written by Terry - June 21st, 2011 at 6:47 am

question markNever discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” Plato

A message from Terry: People who work in dental offices have one important thing in common: they’re all perfect.

What? You’re not?

Are you sure?

Well, that’s a relief, because neither am I. But where does that leave us? If I’m not perfect…and you’re not perfect…then maybe the other people who work on dental teams aren’t perfect either. So what are we going to do about that?

As appealing as it may be to think about “fixing” everybody else, common sense tells us that we’d be wiser to work on correcting our own faults. And, to do that, we have to figure out what those faults are! As advice columnist Ann Landers once wryly advised, “Fifty-one percent of being smart is knowing what we are dumb about.”

In this case, however, it isn’t a question of being ‘dumb.’ Rather, we’re figuring out how to shore up the weak spots in our repertoire. Pretend you have to train someone to take your place. What tasks would they need to master? What skills would they find most essential? Then make a list of any of those tasks you don’t like or haven’t fully mastered.

That list of the chinks in your armor is just what you need to make yourself a better, stronger part of the team. It’s human nature to avoid tasks that make us uncomfortable. But that just perpetuates the problem.  Instead of avoiding them, or sliding by with a minimum of time and effort, pick out one of those tasks and tighten your thinking cap. It’s time to get analytical!

  • Make a detailed list of how that task should ideally be accomplished.
  • When in doubt, ask for help and/or information, to clear up any confusion.
  • Think about how nice it will be, not to have to cringe every time this task needs to be done. That peace of mind can soon be yours, if you challenge the area of weakness and figure out, step by step, how to solve it.

Out of all the many tasks you handle, which one makes you feel least confident? Where can you find information that will help you strengthen that weak link in your chain?

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