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Is it a calmer, more pleasant place than it was 10 years ago?
Chances are, you and your staff are working toward that goal. Consultant Mary O’Neill has worked with dental practices for about 15 years and is finding more and more often that doctors and their staffs are looking for tips to create a more cohesive, happier office. The California-based consultant and trainer said while there is still a need for consulting on management, leadership and conflict resolution, doctors and their staffs today are branching out and looking for different kinds of solutions, too.
“I’m surprised at the level of interest in just wanting to be happy,” said Ms. O’Neill.
There may be many reasons for such introspection, but Ms. O’Neill wonders if the effects of the economic downturn may have caused doctors and staffs to look inward — do a little self-examination about their motivations and take stock of their workplace satisfaction.
“It seems people lost their mojo,” she said. “They were not feeling happy and content.” As a result, a new focus on values has emerged in her work. “There was interest and desire in creating a harmonious and emotionally healthy team” and a calm, productive work environment.
To help evaluate a staff, Ms. O’Neill is using an assessment tool called the BarOn EQ-i (Emotional Intelligence Inventory). Just like the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) measures what a person knows, EQ takes in behavioral and character strengths and weaknesses. It’s gained traction for providing insight into a person’s behaviors, management styles, attitudes, interpersonal skills, and potential as those behaviors factor into the workplace.
EQ has helped perhaps demystify what had been the purview of the intuitive human resources person. Evaluating a range of traits that illuminate how a person deals with daily work demands and pressures, EQ can measure self-awareness, assertiveness, independence, impulse control, flexibility, problem solving, optimism and social responsibility, among other traits.
For Ms. O’Neill, EQ has set the framework for “playing to your strengths.”
She works to determine whether the doctor and staff are leveraging their strengths in their job duties (“making sure the highly empathetic isn’t in collections,” she said). Having everyone performing work that enhances their natural strengths, and avoiding assignments that force the proverbially square peg into the round hole, produces a more finely tuned, productive and ultimately happier staff.
Making sure the right people are in the right jobs puts the focus on what’s positive, Ms. O’Neill said. “When you encourage the heart — what’s focusing on what’s ‘good’ and ‘right’ — people love it.”
Both the doctor and staff respond by working harder, giving their best effort and, happily, enjoying their work. And isn’t that what we all want?
A tradition of working for the dental profession. The Chicago Dental Society was organized in 1864 and incorporated in 1878. The objective of the Chicago Dental Society is to encourage the improvement of the health of the public, to promote the art and science of dentistry and to represent the intrest of the members of the profession and the public that it serves.
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