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How to be a Rock Star Dental Team Member

Posted December 17, 2014

Gary Takas

iStock_000023232686XXLarge“Success is peace of mind that is a direct result in knowing that you did your best to become the best you were capable of becoming.” – Coach John Wooden

Becoming a rock star dental team member will provide you with the ultimate job security. Your current employer will fully appreciate you and if you ever find yourself looking for a job, you will discover that the very best offices will be vying to have you join their team. In this post, I’ll provide five specific characteristics of a rock star dental team member.

Be Happy                
Sounds obvious, I know. I’m firmly convinced that the world divides neatly into two categories of people: those who are happy and those who are not. Now, I fully realize that life will throw you curves and sometimes circumstances make it very difficult to be happy. However, your fellow team members and your patients deserve to be taken care of by happy people. Fake it if you must.

Do Whatever It Takes
Any team member who is willing to jump in and help, whatever the task, is worth their weight in gold. Cross-train with your team members and learn how to perform tasks that are outside of your normal workflow. If you are an administrative team member, learn some clinical fundaments so you can help clinically if needed. If you are a clinical team member, learn how to handle incoming phone calls. This will allow your practice to become more productive, will endear you to your fellow team members, and help each day run as smoothly as possible.

Embrace Lifelong Learning        
The dental world is changing so fast that you must constantly be learning to keep pace. I read recently that 5 years from now, we will know twice what we know today in dentistry. That applies to materials, techniques, technology and the human side of dentistry. Take courses that will help you master new skills. Become a voracious reader. Make use of your commute time by listening to audio resources. Earn advanced certificates and credentials. I have met many dental team members who report that they have 20 years of experience when they actually have 1 year of experience repeated 20 times. You will become incredibly valuable by embracing lifelong learning.

Develop Your Emotional Intelligence 
Time Magazine reported that Emotional Intelligence or EQ is more important than IQ. EQ is the ability to identify, assess and control the emotions of oneself, of others and of groups. Unlike IQ, EQ can be learned. One characteristic of high EQ is to act calmly and reflect before responding. Practice this skill and you will notice that your office will experience less stress. You may not be able to control everything that happens in your office, but you have complete control over how you respond. A ‘drama-free’ dental office is a beautiful thing indeed.

Be the Kind of Person You’d Like to Meet               
Identify mentors and people who you would like to model your own character development. There are some truly amazing people in dentistry that would love the opportunity to serve as your mentor if asked. Geography is no restriction. With technology today your mentors could be located anywhere in the world. Reach out to people you admire and respect, and model your own behaviors and actions after theirs.

While there are many rewards to becoming a rock star dental team member, perhaps the greatest reward is the satisfaction you will experience from knowing you are doing your best each and every day. That experience is priceless.


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