Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned about Dental Office Staff Meetings

This is another guest post from our client Dr. Donald Lurie.
It seems to
me that staff meetings and office planning are difficult and at best, one of
the areas that I disliked the most.  To
carry it a step further, this same planning and meeting is necessary while
contemplating retirement, finances, future activities and endeavors and the
like.  Again, as I have said before in
some of my earlier blogs, the Team of
is an important part of the process
I found it
difficult to enjoy staff meetings due to the varied personalities that were
present on my staff.  It was difficult
for them to talk openly in front of their peers and in front of “the
boss.”  My staff was not large, but
extremely qualified and trained – 2 RNs, 1 CRNA, Office Manager, and a secretary.  They were all female and
really good people. However, when it came time to verbalize, critique the
practice, correct our errors or attitudes or seek ways to “make it
better”, the room would get quiet and everyone was looking at the
floor.  It seems to me that this
situation is also carried out many times when having these open and
introspective gut-wrenching discussions with the accountants – especially when
getting ready for major decisions such as projections, practice evaluation,
insurance issues (to join or not),  and
even retirement.
I noticed in
our staff meetings that it was difficult to be constructive.  The folks felt that there was a criticism of
their work or their personality or even their effort.  I sometimes felt, that I was walking on
eggs.  Who was working for whom.  How many hours, days, weeks etc… was enough
for sickness, vacation, retirement funding and all the mundane aspects of
“running the business” of a practice that had nothing to do with that
which I signed up for—-treating patients. 
discussion must be had with our advisors. 
It is necessary to be open and receptive to ideas and suggestions that
might not be what we want to hear.  The
timing of retirement may dictate other strategies that were not planned for in the
earlier years of practice.  As noted,
other priorities (health, money, wife etc.) may have changed.  It is difficult to be criticized in these
meetings or to perceive that you are being looked down on.  However, the really good Team of Retirement will not make it a personal attack.  The point is that we must be ready and
available to look at our total work and life situation –  tweak it, shape it, and finally own it. 
As I have stated in other blogs, this sharing of attitudes, this true
meaning of creation of the next profession (Retirement), will  then be filled with anticipation, will be
fruitful, and there will be calm and peace. These are just some thoughts, it
seems to me.

Mistakes made and lessons learned next time.
Dr. Donald
B. Lurie, DDS
Phone:       717-235-0764
Cell:           410-218-2228

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