A dental practice, like all other businesses, is forever undergoing an inevitable change. These changes could be either self-inflicted or imposed upon you, planned or unplanned. A team member leaving or arriving is a change in the team dynamics. The introduction of a new treatment changes how you promote that treatment. New regulations are a change in how you carry out protocols in the business aspect of your practice.
“Change is the one constant in life. One’s ability to adapt to those changes will determine your success in life.”
To keep up with the times, your dental practice needs to adapt to that constantly changing environment. We have all experienced first-hand the adverse effects of an imposed change with the corona pandemic of 2020.
However, regardless of how change arrives, how you manage the change is a significant factor in how your team reacts to that change. It will determine how your team responds – with either much resistance and retaliation or cooperation and collaboration. You either experience immense fear and stress or feel relaxed and in control.
Why Dental Teams React Negatively to Changes
In most cases, what tends to be the situation is that a change arrives unexpectedly, or the dental practice principal wants to introduce a difference, which is imposed upon the team.
Now, invariably, the team will use their past experiences with change to respond. In most cases, as human beings, we don’t enjoy change much. It has filtered down in us genetically over millions of years.
In the cavemen era, change meant danger. We liked to remain in our small communities to protect each other from other wild and prehistoric animals.
Hence, we became comfortable remaining in a place of compromise. Fast forward to the modern era, and we still live with those instincts. We need to feel a level of psychological safety if we are to progress with change. Hence, your team will react to any development changes you introduce with much scepticism. It is natural for them to do this.
Many questions will arise in your dental team’s mind the moment you talk about introducing changes:
- Will I be good enough to do this new work?
- What if I can’t do it?
- Will I lose my job?
- What if everyone sees my weakness?
- Will I have to work harder for the same wages?
- What if I can’t manage the new changes?
- Will I be told off?
Hence, dental teams retaliate against change. They are reactive because they are looking at their circumstances.
They feel insecure, and they don’t want others to put them down for it.
The introduction of any change is more about your team’s psychological, emotional, and physical well-being.
When the team feels that no one is looking out for them because everyone is in it for themselves, they react negatively to any change in the status quo.
Psychological Safety First for Dental Teams
Dental teams need to feel part of a positive culture with strong values.
- They need to feel that they are safe and that their jobs are secure.
- They need to feel valued and appreciated for their contribution.
- They need to know how their work makes a difference to the bigger picture.
Hence, introducing CHANGE requires much consideration and pre-thinking.
Successful Change Management requires a process.
Getting Ahead of Change
Those dentists that were entrepreneurially agile during the 2020 corona pandemic were swift to take action and gained much momentum over others.
This is a similar story with any change: Get ahead or be left behind.
The compounding effect can either be transformational or detrimental.
A vital component of Transformational Leadership is HOW you introduce that CHANGE.
However, It’s not just about team management or motivation; it’s about team security and psychological safety.
This involves a transformation in your leadership style.
You can now join the group of discerning savvy dentists out there who are gaining momentum in their businesses using tried, tested and proven techniques in Transformational Leadership.
Talk to us about how we can help. Get in touch with us today.