November 11, 2022
by Kathleen Bokrossy, RDH, President
Today, more than ever, is our chance to shine! I am confident that you have experienced, and probably still are experiencing, sub-service in many different areas.
I have visited various places, whether it is a professional place of business, a restaurant, or even a grocery store, where there have been signs at the front entrance actually warning me that I won’t be receiving great service. “Be prepared, you will not be receiving good service today due to shortage of staff, etc.” And then I think to myself and sometimes say out loud, “Tomorrow isn’t looking good for you either!”
This used to be a joke. My friend Jo-Anne Jones had a little sign with this funny saying at her family cottage; but now, this is for real. People are pre-warning you that you are not going to be happy with the service they will be providing.
I would never have thought that we would be experiencing such a warning and then, ultimately, receive such poor service and be okay with it. Patience has become something that many of us have mastered, and acceptance of poor service has become a requirement.
I can understand that, yes, there are circumstances where this is going to be happening and understandably so. But I also feel that it is an excuse for many to deliver poor service and not care. I have had this conversation with a variety of people, and this is something that many are experiencing.
But guess what? This is a great opportunity for us. This is where we can really shine. We can over-deliver, exceed expectations, and have our clients and team talking about us when the opportunity arises that will essentially lead to referrals and good things.
This is a great opportunity for us to self-assess and look for areas to bring more value to our dental practices, and to become indispensable.
Everyone wants to feel indispensable; although we realize that no one really is indispensable, it is important for us to have this mindset to flourish in our workplace. There are even books available on this topic as this is something that many strive for.
I speak and engage with dental hygienists every day and often hear the pain that many are feeling in their dental practice. They don’t feel noticed. They have no voice or input. They are not engaged and are stuck on the hamster wheel. A program may get started in the practice, but it never gets fully implemented or it doesn’t sustain.
I am excited to share strategies on how you can stand out as a dental hygienist. How you can have your voice heard and be innovative, a planner and an implementer!
Strategies that will not only have your clients looking to you, wanting to see you, and respecting you; but also, your team members as well. Strategies that will help you succeed and essentially be in a position in your office that fulfills you.
Being indispensable in the workplace is attainable! I will be sharing these strategies over the next few issues of Oral Hygiene, so please stay tuned for more.
Secret #1: Let’s start with the positive mindset. A positive mindset = a positive life! People want to be around positive people.
A positive mindset starts at the beginning of the day. If you start your day off with a couple of things not going your way, you can still switch it around so that you are in control of your day and how it will turn out for you.
Here are some practical tips to achieve a positive mindset:
a. Begin the day with a positive affirmation or a positive podcast. Repeating a positive affirmation, smiling, and doing mindful breathing in and out of your nose can change your mindset. You can shake off the negativity just by putting positive thoughts in your mind.
b. Focus on the good things, however small. Almost invariably, you’re going to encounter obstacles throughout the day – there’s no such thing as a perfect day. When you encounter such a challenge, focus on the benefits, no matter how slight or unimportant they seem. For example, if the store is out of the food you would like to prepare, get excited for the opportunity to try something new. If you get stuck in traffic, think about how you now have time to listen to the rest of your favourite podcast. If you have a difficult client, think about how lucky you are to help someone in need and, perhaps, you made a difference for them in their day because you smothered them with kindness. Don’t play the victim. This helps shape the positive mindset.
c. Laugh it off. Find humour in bad situations. Allow yourself to experience humour in even the most trying times. Remind yourself that this situation will probably make for a good story later and try to crack a joke about it. Journal about it that night and find the humour.
d. Turn your failures into a lesson.You aren’t perfect. You’re going to make mistakes and experience that feeling of failure many times. Are they really failures? Think of them as a lesson learned for next time!
e. Transform negative self-talk into positive self-talk. Unveil your limiting beliefs to discover your liberating truths! For example:
f. Focus on the present. Not today or this hour. Focus on this very moment and identify what is important at this moment.
g. Find positive friends, co-workers, and mentors. Surrounding yourself with positive people will have a positive effect on your mindset.
h. Stay away from gossip! When speaking about a fellow co-worker, would you say what you are saying with them in the room? If not, avoid engaging in this communication.
To be continued in the next issue of Oral Hygiene!
About the Author
Kathleen is the president of rdhu, a Professional Development company, which provides team events, hands-on programs and online learning to help Transform the Dental Hygiene Experience for the clinician, the client/patient and the practice. rdhu.ca