It is generally believed that leaders are born and not made. What if I could prove to you that this is not the case and with the right kind of self-awareness and dedicated work, anyone can become a great leader? Yes anyone! Because with emotional intelligence, leadership skills can be honed not simply to better your own performance, but also improve the harmony within your dental practice through conflict resolution among your employees.

The very first thing you need to understand is that leadership is a set of skills that are acquired over time through exposure. The more your knowledge and understanding increases, the better your leadership will be. And how does that happen? Through self-awareness. A trigger point will jolt you to the reality that you are the one in control and that control can be harnessed to further improve your current situation.

So how can you ensure that in your dental practice you are a leader who is loved and followed? Give these tactics a try!


1.0 Clarity of Words is Essential

You may have experienced how different people react differently to various situations and scenarios. This is because everyone understands things from their own point of view. For example, if you say that the rules in the workplace are relaxed, does this mean there is no dress code? People can bring in their children? There are no strict working hours? You may simply mean that they can come in casual clothing, but employees can assume anything with the vagueness of your words. For this reason, you need to be clear on where the rules are relaxed and where strict measures need to be considered.

This way the employer and all employees will be on the same page about how things need to be run. The expectations will be clear, for everyone.


2.0 Engage the Team in Rule Making

Another important consideration when you want to make sure that there is no conflict between the leader and the led, is engaging employees in rule and policy making. Conflict arises when people don’t understand the point or purpose of a certain rule. It helps to seek their collaboration in designing the rules in the first place. Then, everyone will know why a certain rule was created. This generates ownership not just for the employer but the employees as well.

In simple words, don’t just rule the team, let them be the rule makers.


3.0 Having that Difficult but Necessary Conversation!

A difficult conversation is one where the leader is afraid of dealing with a problem because they are fearful of the reaction. Does that mean it can be avoided? Of course not. The longer it is delayed, the worse it gets. The biggest problem about a difficult conversation is starting it. And the best way is to do it ASAP.   All you need to do is choose your words in a way that they show your concern and compassion. Don’t make the other person feel embarrassed or cornered. Let them know that you are worried and want to help them improve.

More times than not, the employee is going to be appreciative of your concern. Everyone wants a second chance, and so long as you are willing to give them that, they are bound to improve whatever it is you expect of them. Instead of bringing people down, you as the leader need to lift them up!


4.0 Conflict is a Gift!

This may sound like the exact opposite, but conflict really is a gift. It allows you to find out so much more about your people. It hands you information that can then be used to help the other person reach their full potential. With the conflict in hand, you can come up with innovative and extraordinary outcomes to otherwise meaningless problems. Therefore, instead of shying away from it or getting uncomfortable, meet it head on and try to use the information for everyone’s benefit.

So how can you resolve a conflict? The most important thing to understand is that you have to recognise a conflict exists and acknowledge this with the person bringing it to your attention.  You have to be the one who listens, pays attention and provides options for a resolution. Taking notes while the person is telling you about their problem helps in not simply developing a solution, but also allows the employee to see that you do care enough about the issue.

Once the listening part is done, it is essential to ask the employee what they would like done. What do they think is a reasonable solution? If someone is coming to you with a problem, they also probably have a solution in mind. If you let them explain it, not only will they respect you more for it, their solution may actually be a very effective one.  This will also give you a chance to think about the problem without having to comment. Ask the employee to come back to you the next day. Give them and yourself time to sleep on it! Issues often look different the next day when emotions have had time to settle and we can face things feeling rested.

Conflict resolutions are not about taking immediate action, it is about hearing the problem bearer and letting them know that you care.  Leaders don’t always have all the answers. Same is the case with business owners or dentists with their own practice. What they do have though is compassion and the ability to let others know how you trust them and care for them. This is what sets leaders apart and helps them stand out as a favourite among their employees.


P.S. Whenever you’re ready …. here are 4 ways I can help you grow your dental practice:

1. Grab a free chapter from my book “Retention – How to Plug the #1 Profit Leak in Your Dental Practice”

The book is the definitive guide to patient retention and how to use internal marketing to grow your practice – Click Here

2. Join the Savvy Dentist community and connect with dentists who are scaling their practice too

It’s our Facebook group where clever dentists learn to become commercially smart so that they have more patients, more profit and less stress. – Click Here

3. Attend a Practice Max Intensive live event

Our 2 day immersive events provide access to the latest entrepreneurial thinking and actionable strategies to drive your practice forward. You’ll leave with a game plan to take your results to the next level. If you’d like to join us, just send me a message with the word “Event and I’ll get you all the details!  – Click here

4. Work with me and my team privately

If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to take your profit from 6 figures to 7 figures …. just send me a message with the word “Private”… tell me a little about your practice and what you would like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details! – Click here