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    4 tips for office mangers for handling conflict in the dental practice

    Being prepared for potential conflict can save a lot of trouble down the road.

    Even the strongest teams experience conflict from time to time, but it doesn’t have to invoke stress and dread when it rears its ugly head. With a little preparation, you can be ready for it and quite possibly, have it lead to a stronger and more productive team!

    The following four tips can help you stay prepared for potential conflict.

    Have a system for conflict resolution.

    As a manager, it is necessary to be approachable and foster an environment of communication so that when issues do arise, team members know there are resources available to them. Oftentimes conflict is internalized, which leads to resentment and frustration until eventually it bubbles over! This can be prevented by creating an environment in which team members can speak with management confidentially about their concerns and can expect proper follow through.

    Related reading: 3 ways staff conflict is costing you patients

    In my early years as an office manager, I can’t tell you how many times I sat across the desk from a team member as they are giving their two-week’s notice. When asked what lead to this decision, they purge a year’s worth of grievances, most of which could have easily been resolved if they had only shared their struggles as they were experiencing them.

     

    Be ready to listen.

    You must be able to listen patiently and objectively if you truly hope to gain insight into the conflict. Listening will lead to an understanding of the individual’s perspective of the problem.

    Listening in itself implies value for the concerned party which is often enough to put you onto a path of resolution, while also improving your rapport with the team member.

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    Tammy Hughes
    Tammy Hughes, founding Partner of Evolve Dental Institute, celebrates her 20th year in the dental field this year. She has worked in the ...

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