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How to Survive in a Dental Office with a Difficult One

Posted November 8, 2016

Tonya Lanthier, RDH

difficultI’ve been lucky enough to call the dental industry my home for the past 20 years. I’ve worked in over 100 dental offices. I’ve been temporary and permanent. I’ve seen offices that were successful and the employees worked well together and I’ve seen some that were lacking efficiency and did not work as a team.

Now sure, some of us have been lucky enough to have great leaders and bosses as coaches. However, for the few that have not, here are some rules for survival in an office with a difficult one.

Difficult people are everywhere. This could be the office manager, the dentist, male, female, or whoever might be in charge. It is important to understand the differences between how males and females do operate -more on that later.

While I do not condone staying in a job where you are unhappy, physically or mentally sick, here are some tips to survive the negative Nelly, the pessimistic punks and the downright unpleasant.

  1. Never shine bigger or louder than your master. This is the battle of the ego. The “one in charge” doesn’t’ want to feel threatened. They like their place at the top, and they don’t want anyone encroaching on that.
  1. Pick your battles. You might be right 100% of the time. Your boss might be arguing that the sky is purple. It’s not always worth the argument. Let him think the sky is purple! Take the high road. Because in the long run there is nothing to win if you are right- and you get to keep your job.
  1. Their ego is their biggest weakness and your greatest friend. Use this to your advantage.
  1. You can never win if they carry their own board. “Never play checkers with someone who carries their own board”
  1. Keep learning and growing always. Goes without saying. Never settle. Continue to stretch yourself to new heights.
  1. Bottom line- your core values matching up determine your happiness. If there is a mismatch in core values, it will never work. Bottom line. You won’t love going to work if you don’t match up with the core values of the office.
  1. Give the reward (Genuine true complement) even thought it’s nice to get a pat on our back. Be BIGGER! Let people know their work is noticed. Show them that their hard work is paying off. These things always come back around.

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