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A balancing act

Do you know when to praise the team, but also how to deal with poor performance? It’s a fine line many practice owners and managers fear to tread

I always hear, ‘we don’t feel appreciated’ from the team members; and, ‘all I do is praise them, but they can’t take criticism’, from the dentists. Nobody is ever happy, but there is a fine balance that can be achieved. This is what I recommend: Praise each member of the team that you come into contact with every day. Saying ‘thanks for today’ is not enough. You may take the view that, ‘they are doing their job and getting paid, so why should I praise my team?’ My question to you is, do you want the team to do the bare minimum and do so with a negative approach? Or you do you want the team to complete their duties with pride and go the extra mile? If you want the best from your team, then you have to lead them to be the best. By praising, you can motivate, build confidence and encourage positive behaviour. Three little words and an explanation of what they did well works wonders. Complimenting your team members on little things such as, ‘your tone of voice with that patient was lovely, you sounded so friendly. You really put that patient at ease and it was a great help, thanks so much’, and/or ‘the way you dealt with that disgruntled patient was super, I learnt a few things from you then – thank you’.

The good...

•    Say thank you and offer praise every day

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