I was speaking with one of my coaching clients last week.
When we first got on the phone together her voice was tight and stressed. But by the time we hung up, she sounded like a different person altogether! By the end of the call she was relaxed, we were laughing and she had a plan.
What was her main stress?
Making change happen in the practice. She felt like she didn’t have a voice and couldn’t get things done. New initiatives were started in the practice and then would gradually die off and wouldn’t sustain.
She was frustrated because she wanted to do a good job and make things better, but she just couldn’t get any momentum going in her office.
This client’s situation isn’t unique. I hear this a lot. There are many of us (dental hygienists) out there working ‘for’ (I like to say ‘with’) an employer, in a busy office where we feel we don’t have a voice and can’t participate in what we hope to strive for, which is the success of the practice. Where we feel the implementation process doesn’t quite get implemented and maintained (#4 of our Learning Portfolio).
After much probing (pardon the pun) and prodding, I think her main frustration here was that she wasn’t sharing her voice and that there was no set plan. There was no one leading the program that they wished to implement. There was no tracking and therefore no follow-up to help keep that program sustained.
My advice to her (and I present this in some of my programs when discussing making change happen) was to go in with a plan, with confidence, a positive attitude and a smile. Attitude and a positive approach would work much better than going in with a complaint and no recommendation of a strategy to fix or change it.
It is always a good idea to have things written down when approaching the DDS or supervisor of the office and show the pros and cons. Show where you are at today, what you would like to implement and why (perhaps having the Guidelines highlighted, or if you have some documentation that shows the evidence-based research, depending on what it is, etc.). Then have a plan written down, with a Leaders Name for the project attached to it, a strategy plan and a calendar/activity tracker to post in your lunch room to record and track your progress. If it isn’t written down, most likely it’s not going to happen. If it is out-of-sight…it is out-of-mind! Set up a meeting date for follow-up to evaluate the situation and make changes as required….sounds like ADPIE to me!
I have attached the rdhu Transformation Worksheet below if you would like to use this as a template to track some changes in your practice.
Now I know that some may be working in a place that just doesn’t suit them and that this strategy isn't going to work for everyone. If you're not happy, keep your feelers out and look for another practice. Don’t settle…don’t conform. Life is too short to be practicing in a place that doesn’t make you feel good. And if you don’t start looking right away, one year turns into the next and before you know it, all this time will have passed and you will be in the same position that you are in now.
Just my thoughts on this topic…
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!
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