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    The biggest mistakes dentists make: Ignoring staff conflict

    Staying out of it could have big consequences for the office dynamic and the success of your practice.

    Based on his extensive experience with dentists over the past 30 years, Dr. Roger P. Levin has authored a new book entitled The 31 Biggest Mistakes Dentists Make. His premise is simple. As he says in the introduction, “We can learn from our mistakes. But isn’t it better to learn from other people’s mistakes?”

    Following is an excerpt from the book.

    Related reading: The biggest mistakes dentists make: Lending money to family members 

    Mistake #26: Ignoring staff conflict

    Every dental practice will face conflict from time to time. It’s a result of both being in business and the realities of human nature. Even teams who get along extremely well experience periodic arguments.

    Letting conflict linger, however, isn’t acceptable. Levin Group has worked with over 25,000 practices and found that dentists routinely allow disagreements to persist―to the detriment of office morale and eventually practice production and success.

    Dentists may ignore conflict for different reasons. First, most are trying to be non-confrontational―they don’t want to raise the issue. Second, they hope that the problem will go away on its own. I can assure you, conflict among team members almost never resolves itself. In fact, the situation almost always worsens if left alone.

    Address major disputes immediately to keep negativity from spreading. At the first sign of conflict, you or the office manager should meet separately with the parties involved. Try to understand why the conflict occurred and what solutions are possible. Be careful not to take sides, but to focus entirely on solutions. You may have to hold a group meeting to completely remedy the situation.

    Related reading: The biggest mistakes dentists make: Thinking embezzlement will never happen

    If left unchecked, conflict will wreak havoc on your practice, ultimately leading to increased stress and lower production. The longer you disregard it, the more it will negatively affect other team members and their ability to do their jobs well. You need to make it clear that conflict in the practice won’t be tolerated. Staff members aren’t required to be best friends, but they must be able to work together efficiently and effectively in the practice’s best interest.

    The 31 Biggest Mistakes Dentists Make has now been published and a digital download is available here for just $59.

    Learn More about Scripting and the Other Systems Essential for Practice Success. Save $50 on doctor tuition for Dr. Levin’s seminar “The Business of Dentistry… Simplified” in Houston on September 15. Register with code DPM50 to receive your discount. For details and to register, click here.

    Dr. Roger P. Levin
    Dr. Roger P. Levin is a third-generation general dentist and the chairman and chief executive officer of Levin Group, Inc., the largest ...

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