Conflict Management In Your Dental Office

Dental Office Conflict

Conflict is an unpleasant part of life, especially when people work closely together, but it’s unavoidable. This also means that conflict will also be a part of your dental office. Whether it’s in the front office, a sales office, or the faculty office, you need to be prepared for conflict and know how to manage it effectively.

In most cases, conflict is usually the result of conflicting assumptions and thoughts. These assumptions and thoughts usually get in the way of cooperation. This means that having clear lines of communication open can often help us avoid conflict before it even begins.

Below are some of the most typical areas of conflict in a dental office and how to deal with them:

  • Lack of Communication – Communicating tasks and procedures in writing is one way to avoid conflict. Have the procedures in a book or a desktop folder where everyone can access them. Write out the job descriptions and expectations for each and every employee. Once this is done, make sure that your employees know that you have an open-door policy and are able to communicate with them whenever they need clarification on any issue.
  • Misunderstanding – The best way to avoid a misunderstanding, especially in a new situation or to a new employee, is to ask the person to repeat your instructions back to you. Not in a condescending way, but just to avoid any sort of misunderstanding that could lead to conflict. Sometimes we think we’re communicating clearly, but the listener is hearing something completely different. It’s no one’s fault, but it will eventually lead to conflict anyway.
  • Controversy – If members of your team feel that they’re doing someone else’s work or that someone else is edging them out of their own work, this will cause controversy. The attitude of “that’s not my job” can cause all sorts of resentments and conflicts in the workplace. As their leader, you should be willing to pitch in whenever you can, in order to set the example that you’re a team and should be able to help each other out! If your team sees you cleaning instruments or a treatment room, they may not feel so resentful about having to do it themselves.

In a perfect world, our dental teams would work as teams! But sometimes your employees will need a little help. For tips on how to improve morale or handle office conflict, please contact CTC Associates!

Posted on Jul 11, 2016

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