As we approach Martin Luther King Day, now is a good time to reflect on how well we promote justice and equal opportunities in our practices. Of course, most dentists are compassionate and concerned about the needs of others. It is why we went into this profession in the first place. Therefore, I assume that my readers are equal opportunity employers and that they do not encourage discrimination in the workplace. However, there are probably ways that all of us can improve our dentist leadership to create more open, respectful, and growth-oriented practices. These leadership skills also extend to our patients. Are we allowing them to have an equal say in their care?
True Dentist Leadership Puts Team Ahead of Self
In all likelihood, you do not make distinctions among your team. You offer salaries and promotions relative to experience and performance. When evaluating professional aptitude, you do not consider race, sex, or creed. However, unwittingly, a certain degree of intolerance may have crept into your practice. First, do you provide your employees with the same opportunities that you have yourself? You understand the importance of continuing education and professional growth. In all likelihood, you take classes and stay informed about the latest developments in dentistry. It is equally important for your team to do the same. Even your office staff should have the chance to develop their skills, learn to use new software, and improve communication. Additionally, your team should have the chance to express their opinions and to provide suggestions about how you can work together to improve your business. These opportunities will not only improve the operations of your practice. They will also lead to greater employee satisfaction, a lower turnover rate, greater efficiency, and improved profitability.
Second, do you provide equal opportunities for your employees with families? Raising kids and trying to hold down a full-time job can be a huge challenge, and your team members deserve your respect and consideration. No one should have to choose between keeping their jobs and upholding their family commitments. To provide equal rights to team members with families, it is essential to establish a flexible and compassionate scheduling system. Additionally, you must build your dentist leadership on good communication. When you are already aware of your team members’ needs, their family lives, and their outside commitments, it will be easier to establish and maintain these family-oriented policies.
Equal Rights for Your Patients
Of course, equal rights and good dentist leadership also extends to your patients. You know that they deserve your respect and compassion, but are you doing everything you can to give this to them? Are you really listening to their needs? All too often, we have the same attitude with our patients that we have with our team members; we know best, and we are going to tell our patients exactly what to do. The truth is, we may know the clinical side of things best, but our patients know their own needs better than anyone. Before recommending treatment, we must learn to listen to our patients with no preconceptions and no agenda. Only when we base all of our interactions on listening and compassion can we say that our dentist leadership promotes true equality.