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Dentists Dish: Staying Connected Through Virtual Huddles

Posted April 21, 2020

Tonya Lanthier, RDH

In a recent blog, we talked about the importance of a weekly team huddle. This week, we checked in with Dentists about what is working in their virtual huddles and wanted to share some of their great tips and advice in breeding confidence and maintaining morale with your team so you’re ready for the COMEBACK!

Be the leader they need. Leadership matters now more than ever.

Lead the call with as much energy and positivity as you can muster. If that isn’t your personality, look to others in your office (your partner, front office manager, etc.) who have that ability. You can always provide your delegate Zoom leader with messaging.

Be consistent.

Have your virtual huddles at the same time and frequency every week (unless there is some new breaking development that warrants a check-in). 4:30 is a good time for most, when the school day is done for those with kids at home, but also gives everyone time before dinner.

Be confident.

No matter where you are in your head with the uncertainty and logistics of reopening (and there are many!) never let them see you sweat! You will set the mindset of your team. They are looking to you to know how to react and respond. Your confidence will breed theirs.

Be light.

Levity is what will keep your team bonded and optimistic. Do a fun ice breaker. For example, ask everyone to join the call with a virtual background that represents their mindset. Or switch it up week-to-week with changing themes (think: virtual vacation backgrounds, alter egos backgrounds, etc.). Have some fun. Laughter is the best medicine.

Be brief.

Keep virtual huddles to about 30-45 minutes, allowing 15 minutes of time for social chit chat. This is why they are here. They miss their everyday people.

Be transparent.

Let them know the challenges you are facing and the steps you are taking daily to solve them, whether it’s safety-related, financial, operational, etc. Even if you don’t have all the answers, acknowledge you are working on getting them.

Be vulnerable.

One dentist shared his lack of success and challenges with filing for unemployment and his team members were able to help him figure it out. They need to see that you are human and suffering, too. That said, be careful not to burden them or bring the energy of the team down. Let them contribute to you, help you and better understand you. This will strengthen your relationships for the better. 

Be proactive.

Don’t make them wonder by avoiding tough topics. Tackling tough subjects with your team is better than them talking amongst themselves or them being in their head about it. Let them know what you are doing with regards to safety and operations, even if just to say you are on top of it.

Be in touch personally.

These calls will also give you insight into who is doing well and who isn’t. Read the Zoom room. Watch the body language and energy and reach out personally to any team members that may not be comfortable sharing what’s up for them personally. If you’ve been paying attention to your team and the different personalities, you may already know who these folks are. Your personal check-in with just them will make a difference.

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