Three Grecian Legacies – Goodness, Ethics and Souvlaki

Ethics is all about spiritually healthy people in socially harmonious relationships.”  ~Tom Morris~

When I read Tom’s definition of ethics I can’t help but think that we
can’t have one without the other.  A spiritually healthy person will
quickly reject and leave a socially unharmonious workplace…or she will
eventually become spiritually unhealthy.  By the same token, a
spiritually unhealthy person will cause disruption in a socially
harmonious workplace.  She will either be asked to leave, or the
workplace will soon become full of discord and the harmony will be

Athens - Acropolis: Parthenon (east side)

Image by wallyg via Flickr

Take a minute right now and think, do you have spiritually healthy
people working harmoniously in your practice?  Are you spiritually
healthy?  Do you bring goodness into the atmosphere and culture of your
practice?  It doesn’t matter if you are the owner, the manager, the
hygienist, the assistant, the patient, or the person who cleans the
office;  you get what you bring and you make it what you bring.  Your
attitude of goodness, or not, will determine your experience.  

Tom explains that when he talks about spirituality in this sense, he
is talking about the inner person.  Who and how are you in there?  Are
you whole,stable and strong?  Are you willing and interested in growing
as a person?  As for harmony,he explains that it is not a state in
which there is no conflict, rather a state in which conflicts can be
discussed and dealt with in a respectful, open atmosphere with a desire
to understand and learn.  

Sometimes goodness is about small things, things like manners.  So
often we think of “manners” as being an old-fashioned word, something
our grandmother cared about.  Who has time to worry about feelings, when
we are so busy?  The reality is this:  how we make people feel will
make or break us so we better take or make the time to make them feel
good.  Of course, the popular wisdom these days is that we can’t make
anyone feel a certain way.  I think that’s ridiculous.  If you slap
someone you’ve affected how they feel about you.  Most of the time they
won’t feel like you’re very nice at that moment.  If you smile at them
sincerely, they will usually feel good about you.  It’s called being
human.  So, think the manners in your practice.  Often, we hear clinical
staff referring to the patient on their schedule as “my patient”.  That
is who they put there focus on in that hour.  Many times they walk
blindly past other patients or don’t even notice them in the waiting
room.  Slow down and be sure to recognize each patient with a smile or
greeting.  Otherwise, they will start to feel that you’re not sincere
with them.  

We need to create a climate or culture of goodness in our practice
and that begins with the staff.  Does everyone respect what everyone
else does?  I remember a new front desk assistant that we had about 7
years ago.  She seemed to have a defensive attitude toward patients and
they felt it.  If someone was a minute late, she gave them a
disapproving look.  If a patient had a problem, she was quick to try to
make it the patient’s fault.  I realized quickly that she was going to
need an attitude adjustment if she’d have any chance to survive with us.
 My attempt to talk to her was met with defensiveness and the
impression I got was that she thought I was misinterpreting her
behavior.  I let her know that our expectations for the way our patients
and staff should be treated must be met.  The deciding incident came
one evening when our long term cleaning person arrived to clean the
office at the end of the day.  The employee was demeaning and
disrespectful to her.  It was unprovoked and inappropriate and it told
us what we needed to know.  There was not enough goodness in her at that
time to work for us.  It was evident in the way she treated someone who
she felt had nothing to offer to her.

Have you worked with your staff to develop harmony?  Do they know
that they can come to you with any problems or complaints and be heard,
and that you’ll come to a solution that you all can live with?  You have
to keep at it and take the “temperature” of your practice on a regular
basis.  Don’t let the goodness element slip, it’s easy to become
complacent once you get to a level where people are satisfied.
 Contentment can lead to decline if you ignore the need to pay
attention.  Goodness must be sown at home, cultivated consistently and
then the benefits are endless. 

Enhanced by Zemanta