Staff conflict is one of the most challenging practice management concerns for dentists. It's also inevitable that disagreements among team members will arise at some point. The key to resolution is to handle the quarrel promptly and effectively.
Set an example for your team. As the CEO of the practice, the dentist is ultimately responsible for creating a pleasant working environment. To resolve disputes, the doctor should identify the issue, call a meeting, and ask each staff member involved to propose a solution. All those concerned should come to an agreement, and then hold a follow-up meeting to ensure the tension has been properly diffused.
Don't ignore the problem. Many dentists would prefer to ignore staff conflict and hope it resolves itself, but that rarely happens. Allowing the conflict to continue unchecked will disrupt the staff's ability to function as a team and undermine practice productivity.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group.
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