Being Happier At Work

January 1, 2018

People spend the great majority of their life at work, so choosing a profession that provides us with some degree of happiness seems like a sensible move, albeit one that can be more difficult than many would have hoped. People who are unhappy in their work can lose focus and affect both communication and productivity within the workplace while increasing their own stress levels to an unhealthy degree.

The good news is there are ways to change your mindset and attitude to make yourself happier, even if the job itself is not your preference. One good tip is to change your morning routine.Starting a work morning in a frantic rush to get organized is all but inviting a day of stress so try to find a way to positively change the beginning of your day.Try getting organized the night before or setting your alarm clock to wake you up fifteen minutes before the current time.

Another good tip is to avoid getting frustrated by the small details of life.There are new hurdles every day but rather than getting stressed by them, concentrate on living in the present moment and allowing yourself to feel pride in the progress you make throughout your work day.

Conflict Resolution: Get Everything On The Table

By Chuck Trautman, Arizona MarketingAssociation

Conflict in the workplace doesn’t have to turn into full-scale war. You can mediate disputes with employees—and between colleagues—successfully with these tactics:

  • Listen to their story – Much of the time, an employee simply wants to be heard. Sit back, keep quiet, and let the person speak. Employees will be more willing to listen to other points of view once they’ve had a chance to express their feelings. You have to get problems out in the open before you can resolve them.
  • Identify the real problem – Often the stated reason for a disagreement masks a hidden problem. You might be upset when an employee misses a deadline, but the root cause of your anger may be a perceived lack of respect for you and your position.Ask yourself and the other person (or people), “What’s really getting in the way of a solution here?” Find the real obstacle and you’ll be in a much better position to remove it.
  • Focus on the big picture – Disputes can be messy, with problems overlapping each other. Don’t get too involved in the details (was the report a day late or just a few hours?) but keep an eye on the overall impact of the problem. Once the main issues are on the table, trivial disagreements tend to disappear.
  • Don’t push too fast - Even when the solution is obvious, don’t suggest it too quickly. People need time to process their feelings about the situation. An employee may want the other person to understand how he or she feels; solving the problem in five minutes won’t create a real sense of resolution. If possible, take some time to discuss options and think things over before offering advice or imposing a solution.

How to Manage Three Different Types of Workers

To be effective as a manager, you have to be able to guide and motivate a diverse group of individuals. Here’s a look at a few personality types you might encounter among your workforce and tips for getting the most from them:

  • In charge – These employees like to make decisions and run things. You should accommodate their strengths while staying on top of your overall goals.Let employees in this category take center stage on tasks that are appropriate to their skills and experience. Feed their desire to feel important while monitoring their progress.
  • Behind-the-scenes – These workers tend to be quiet and cautious. They may have good ideas but won’t push to make them heard. Build their confidence by asking their opinions, praising their ideas when appropriate, and reinforcing positive aspects of their personality, like their desire to avoid conflict.
  • Rebellious – These employees want to challenge the status quo. They can be difficult, but if they have the best interests of your organization at heart, they’ll be worth the trouble. Don’t get into arguments with them.Reinforce the positive aspects of their personality without engaging the negative. Behaviors that don’t get reinforced will usually fade with time.

“Not My Job!”

By Dr. Lisa Aldisert, President of Pharos Alliance, Inc.

Several of my clients lament that their employees don’t understand or know what is expected from them.Strangely, this isn’t unusual. The job description that guides new employees often does not clarify what is expected or how they will be evaluated. Indeed, over timejob descriptions become obsolete as jobs change and evolve.

You should have two documents for each position. One captures roles and responsibilities. It details the various components of a job and identifies specific things that the employee is responsible for. Basically, it breaks down the job and the accountabilities that belong to it.

Another document outlines key performance indicators(KPIs). This should describe approximately five ways in which performance on the job will be measured. Together, the two documents will give employees clarity over what their jobs entail and what is expected of them. But here is the key: Creating and reviewing these documents is only the beginning of the process. Once they’ve been adopted, use them to track performance and to gauge how well the employees are doing.

If you just produce a blueprint for a job and don’t refer it to on a regular basis, it’s a wasted exercise. Think of it this way: an architect or engineer or construction manager doesn’t just look at a blueprint once, fold it up, and put it into a drawer. They refer to these drawings throughout the construction process.

Managers will see much more productive outcomes from their staff when they implement these metrics and work with them to accomplish better results. Unlike a more static, conventional job description, you can measure progress and outcomes from this approach.

Seem like too much work? It may be at the beginning, but you’ll solve the problem of employees understanding what is expected of them. From there you should see improvement across the board.

Attributes Of Entrepreneurs

by Chukwuma Asala.

What does it take to become an entrepreneur? It takes a certain mindset and a different way of thinking to get into business.

Robert Kiyosaki is quoted as saying “a job takes skill but business and entrepreneurship takes a mindset, mental toughness and emotional intelligence”.

Here’s the challenge: those three things are not taught in colleges. Most colleges train students to become employees. Even great MBA programs which give the impression that their students graduate into entrepreneurship continue to produce more wage earners.

What does it takes to develop a business-owner mindset?John Maxwell, author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws ofLeadership says “To be successful, you must emulate the way successful people think.”

Some successful entrepreneurs and business owners who are now self-made millionaires include Donald Trump,Robert Kiyosaki, Rich Devos, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates andJeffrey Bezos. None of the people had any specialized degrees and half of them didn’t even finish college.

According to Donald Trump, there are three things that will not help you solve your financial challenges: hard work, more education or a different job.

Just think for a second about all the people you know who are chasing those three things. How are they doing financially? Do they have pillow cases of money just stored away in their garage from all the money they are able to save? Or are they in the same position they were five years ago; working really hard with nothing to really show for it.

There are a couple of key traits of successful business owners and entrepreneurs to pay attention to. For one, they are long-term thinkers.

This is where the emotional intelligence (EQ) becomes very important. This is the ability to maintain a consistent optimistic attitude regardless of the outcome of yourbusiness especially during its early stages. If you don’t believe in the longevity of your business, why should anyone else.

They are also willing to educate themselves. The famous saying is that you make a living from 9 to 5, but a life is made from 5 to 9. Start reading books, attending seminars listening to audio tapes from successful people who succeeded in starting up their own company. This will help you go through some of the tougher times in developing your business as you will find you aren’t the first one experience the challenges you are having.

The most important attribute of successful entrepreneurs is that they learn to embrace failure as a partner. This is tough for most people making the switch from being an employee to going out on their own because we are trained throughout school that you get penalized for mistakes. In reality, this is exactly the only way to be successful in business.

You essentially must fail your way to success. John Maxwell in his book Failing Forward states that “Many failures are merely mistakes and everyone makes mistakes. Those who achieve success are those who persevere after mistakes.”

For the veteran business owners, consistency of habit is the name of the game. John Maxwell encourages veterans to “stay in the habit of doing the things that work”. Also important is enjoying the temporary setbacks and learning from them while continuing to maintain the enthusiasm you had early in the inception of your business.

Growth is always three steps forward and two steps back, so staying in the learning mode will keep you reflecting on what you should be learning and not worrying on what the challenge is.

Staying in the learning mode is paramount as it is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. Do not get intoxicated with your own success as it may be fleeting the second you get complacent.Something that is critical to all successful entrepreneurs is they never stop reading books to develop their mental toughness. Leaders are readers, period.

8 Ways To Make Your Practice More Comfortable

At the beginning of every year we consider ways to improve ourselves and our practice. So when I read this article on our Patterson Dental blog, offthecusp.com I thought it might be helpful to consider ways to improve your office space. I think there are some great ideas to consider.

When new patients visit your practice for the first time, they come with a unique set of experiences that may or may not include feeling at ease around doctors and hygienists. Regardless of where on the comfort scale your patients fall, there are a variety of ways to design your office so that patients stay relaxed and calm throughout their visit, ensuring they become patrons for life.

1. Provide Thorough Office Tours

You know your office is one-of-a-kind, but your patients may not. Familiarity inspires comfort, so make sure to offer thorough office tours to prospective and first-time patients.These guided walk-throughs provide the perfect opportunity to establish your staff’s friendly, approachable tone. They’re also a great time to boost credibility by showcasing your impressive technology. Get together with your team and make a list of all the stops you would like to include in your office tour. Choose the top 5 and rehearse giving the tour with your team. Don’t forget to point out where the restrooms are located.

2. Avoid Harsh Lighting

Visual comfort is important.Use gentle lighting solutions to create a calming environment for patients.Natural light is wonderful, but be careful of the glare that can be caused by sunlight. If harsh sunlight is streaming into your office, consider installing light-filtering window treatments that can be used during the brightest times of the day.

3. Select The Right Colors

Colors in nature have been known to reduce anxiety and aid in healing. However, a multitude of colors can create a comfortable space when executed the right way. “It’s about creating a concept that reflects the image that you want your practice to portray – it might be a space with pops of bold color mixed with neutrals.

4. Listen Up: Consider Acoustics

Noise can be an anxiety trigger for some people, and in a dental office, being welcomed with the sound of drills and treatments might heighten the sense of patient unease.

A well-planned layout with physical separation between the reception area and treatment rooms can help alleviate this issue. While patients are checking in or receiving a consultation, there may be topics that require sharing sensitive information. Consider having an enclosed consultation room for acoustic and visual privacy.

5. Invest in Comfortable Furniture

First impressions are important when you have new patients coming into the office, and your waiting room furniture is one of the things that will influence that impression. You can help your patients feel relaxed and welcome in your office by selecting furniture that makes them comfortable.

6. Create an Organized Patient Flow

When you have an office layout that makes it easy for your staff and patients to get around, everyone is happy.Whether you’re doing a new-build or working within an existing space, design your layout so that people can move quickly and easily through the office. Patterson’s office design services include real estate planning as well as 3D office modeling. We’d be happy to provide you with complimentary consultation on patient flow.

7. Clear Your Clutter

Keep clutter out of the office – both in your public spaces and in treatment areas. In the operatory, the more you can minimize exposed cords, tubing, supplies and instruments, the more comfortable patients will feel. It will decrease their apprehension about the treatment to come, and even help them “forget” they’re in a dental office. Staff will also appreciate having a more clutter-free work environment.

8. Opt for Open Sterilization Centers

Patients are becoming more active participants in their own healthcare, which means it’s more important than ever to be transparent with all the protocol and practices in your dental office – especially when it comes to sterilization and infection control. Installing an open sterilization center shows patients you’re serious about their health and safety, and it will make them more comfortable receiving treatment at your office. Many dental practices even display their sterilization center asa focal point of their practice, making it a stop worthy of inclusion on your office tour!

At Patterson Dental we often talk about creating a great “patient experience” and why this is so important in your practice. I think we can all agree that patient’s purchasing habits have changed over the last few years. The question is have we adapted to our patients? Are we creating more value for our services and building stronger relationships? I want to do this in my business and also want to help you do this in your practice. I believe we have great ideas to share and help implement in your practice.Let’s work together and reach our potential and have some fun in dentistry!“”

-Brad Backman