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6 Leadership Moves Dentists Need to Make Right Now!

A FREE GUIDE FOR NAVIGATING THE
COVID-19 CRISIS 🦠😷

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Summary

Crisis creates an atmosphere that is ripe for misunderstanding, so good communication with your team and your patients is more important than ever. In this episode Allison and Shawn provide you with helpful tools to facilitate communication and prevent misunderstanding. 

Miscommunication often happens when we forget that it’s the stressors behind our reactions that speak louder than our actual words. A leader takes an honest look at the emotional reactions that we ourselves might be inadvertently expressing as a result of our fears. When we have the courage to think about how our team is perceiving us, we can solidify the message that we want to be communicating to them. With honest and transparent dialog, we eliminate any assumptions they might be having about us, and we encourage others to open up to us.

Once you have an open line of communication, you as the employer are able to see beyond your own lens to understand the insecurities your team is facing right now. You are able to set an office culture that is a safe place for your staff and your patients. As a result, it becomes easier to set clear expectations now that staff roles have so significantly changed. Doing all that you can to improve communication is key to a strong practice now more than ever. 

Furthermore, you can use this time to connect with and serve your patients. You have valuable knowledge in infection control and virology. You are a tremendous resource, so what better way to fight this virus than by sharing your knowledge? An email or a Facebook post may not be enough to reach your patients during this critical time. Reaching out with a phone call will not only help you to triage their needs, but it will allow them a meaningful connection with their dental provider and an opportunity to ask questions and tell their stories. 

Social distancing has drastically altered your usual modes of communicating with your staff and your patients. It is only by intentionally examining your own communication and listening to others that you will grow stronger, more resilient teams, and healthier relationships with your patients.  

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Full Transcript Below

Shawn (01:00):

Hey guys, this is Shawn and I’m here with Allison. And I’m excited about the topic today. Cause we’regoing to talk about communication and why it’s kind of more important than ever because of just thiscurrent crisis. And, and I feel like the crisis creates an atmosphere that’s a ripe for misunderstandings andmore than ever, the challenge on you as a leader is to know how to overcome those challenges. So that wecan make meaningful connections with our patients and with our team and get through this the best wecan.

Allison (01:41):

So, Shawn, I’m, I’m gonna start with communication with my family. I’ve noticed that I’m up and down allthe time and no one really knows what to expect from me because I’ll read an article or I’ll see somethingon the Facebook and it will scare me. And so then I’ll have a moment where I’m truly scared and no oneelse knows, of course that I’ve read this or I’ve heard this. So I just walk in the door scared. So myhusband was like, I need a terror chart, Alison. So I made one. So

Shawn (02:16):

Terror chart, like T E R R O. R,

Allison (02:19):

A terror chart like the airlines have, you know, what level of terror are we today? Oh, that’s where, that’swhere it comes from. Yeah. Like the airlines because I would walk in the door and he’d be like, what did Ido? What’s wrong? Why are you mad at me? And I’m like, I’m not mad at you at all. I just heard we weregonna be closed for another three weeks. I’m scared. So what are the levels on this terror chart in thehouse? Residents. So it’s just silly. It’s a little piece of cardboard with a green at the bottom. And then Ihave a yellow and then an orange and then a red and I took a little sticky post it note and I put it whereverI happened to be at the time. So you come home and instead of people having to read your mind, you justplace that sticky in the appropriate quadrant.

Allison (03:08):

So I should say I walk in, I washed my hands, I washed my phone, I put my purse in the designated place,and then I moved that little number to wherever it is currently. And at least my family has some cluewhat’s wrong with me that day. Now there’s meaning to these four levels. Well there’s joking meeting, butyes, they know what it means. The green of course is that everything’s fine. We haven’t been there in along time. Yellow isn’t, I’m doing okay. You know, I’m, I’m in a a stress situation. There’s no gettingaround it right now, but I’m okay. And orange means that there’s been some information that scared me,but I’m still moving forward. And the red is what, I’m just paralyzed. I’m going into my room, I’mwatching Netflix, I’ll come out later cause I’m, I need some time to process what’s happened.

Shawn (04:00):

And they know that along with the essentials that you guys have stocked, you also need to have chocolate.

Allison (04:06):

Yes, yes. I’m not losing weight during this, but you know, I think that is important because although theseare serious times, it’s like you kind of need to know yourself and if something is simple as talk, it helpsyou get through certain parts like that. That’s okay. Right. so this terror chart, I think I love it because it’syour family. They know you the best and yet there’s still ample opportunity for misunderstandingsbecause they can’t read your mind. I tend to be a very systematic level headed person most of the time,but this is throwing me for a loop and I’m not, I’m all over the map. One day I’m okay, I’m proactive andthe next day I’m scared and I have a feeling that a lot of us are like that.

Allison (04:57):

It’s just uncertain times. Yeah. I think there’s just so much to process and so much that’s unknown that Ikind of find like sometimes I’m high energy and I’m optimistic, but it can just be like the lows happenunexpected. It’s like the script just gets flipped on me and you’re right. I don’t know what it is. I don’tknow what it is that gets me to start considering like, oops. Like what if things aren’t going to be okay?You know, because it’s like as leaders we need to be in touch with reality and sometimes the realitydoesn’t look good because we don’t know exactly what the next week’s going to bring. You know, we’vetalked about in certain States there there’s talk about things not coming back to a new normal till maybeSeptember or October. And then when I read something like that or hear something like that, it, it’s justfrightening. As I think about my financial future, I think about my patients. I think about my family. Soyeah, I guess it’s, my mental health is up and down and so I needed some way to communicate that withmy family where it wasn’t when I walked in the door and I was upset, they would think I was upset causethe house was messy. I mean that’s like the furthest thing from my mind at the moment.

Shawn (06:13):

So really what we’re talking about is like, this is an example of a tool that just helps facilitateunderstanding as you’re communicating. Hey, like yeah, I had a tough day like that. People don’t know.And I think there should be more understanding and grace when it comes to your family, but you don’twant to have these misunderstandings when it comes to your patients because maybe they won’t give youthe benefit of the doubt. You don’t even mean like you or your team. Like these are people you care aboutin professional relationships and we just want to make sure that you guys, our listeners have just sometools available. You know, just to kind of prevent misunderstandings. You know, we were talking abouthow dentists, it’s not like they’re trained with business communication

Allison (07:00):

Best practices. No, that is not part of our training. And so in something like this, it is difficult for us tofigure out what to communicate, what to share. You don’t want to share that top red level fear because it’s,it’s not appropriate for anyone but perhaps your spouse. But at the same time you still need to be true andpeople need to know what’s happening. So it’s a fine balance. And, and like I said, we don’t have thattraining gets

Shawn (07:32):

It. It is a tension that’s difficult. When you’re not in that global pandemic, you know one of the things, youknow, Alison is that like, I don’t like conflict. I don’t like being misunderstood. I don’t like it when I feellike people are viewing me in a light. That’s not true to the way that, I don’t know, like I want to havepeaceable relationships with people. That means a lot to me. And that’s why anytime, I know wementioned it in our episode on collaboration, it’s difficult for me whenever some sort of collaborativeeffort let’s just say it goes off course because I don’t always know how to bring it back onto course. Andagain, that’s just under normal circumstances now. There’s just more craziness than ever. So just recently,you know, again, another issue with the programmer and if this programmer ever listens to this podcast, Ithink you’re doing a great job.

Shawn (08:29):

But it was still a situation where I had to, I don’t know, bring some sort of corrective leaderships, youknow, to talk about what was really happening. And I had some concerns, you know, and one of thethings that I had to be thinking about is what is the longterm view of this relationship? Is this somethingthat we’re breaking ties with? And I’m kind of needing to put an end to it. And in this circumstance itwasn’t. So that changed the way I thought about how I’m communicating because I was needing to bringup some things that bothered me and frustrated me, you know. So I was telling Alison like I wrote a firstdraft of an email. I did not type the recipient’s email in case accidentally. You send it, never do that. Andthen I just sent it to someone I trusted to kind of get to give me some preliminary feedback and I thinkthat was very smart, well done.

Shawn (09:22):

And the feedback I got was that a lot of what I said came across really petty. And that’s the last thing. Idon’t want to be petty, but it felt great to be able to write that stuff but not send it to the person thatultimately he was intended to. So yeah, I’ve learned, you know, even my brother and I’m incommunication with his wife at times, he says it really helps when they write stuff down. Instead of itbeing like a, he said, she said and they’re kind of wondering, it allows them just to kind of organize theirthoughts and kind of almost be on the record. Like, is this really what I want to be responsible for saying?You know, so that’s just one, one kind of tip that might help people.

Allison (10:05):

I also think sometimes we write a story about people and then every time we get any evidence that backsour story, we like file it. So this is my whole story and when I’m thinking about some of the politicalsituations I’ve been in with the American dental association and the Arizona dental association, I willwrite a story about what I think this other dentist is saying or thinking about me. And then every time theydon’t respond to an email or they say something that I think might be snide, I’ve just filed it away that theydon’t like me. And that’s, that isn’t really the best thing for me to do. The best thing for me to do would beto take a minute, see what my story is, and then call them and say, Hey, I built this. I feel like we have aproblem here. Can we talk about it? And nine times out of 10, I’ve created something that isn’t actuallythere.

Shawn (10:58):

So just to even bring a little clarity to what you’re saying, you’re talking about like the narrative thatyou’re forming in your own thoughts that,

Allison (11:06):

That this person doesn’t like me or they don’t respect me because of something they’ve said or done. Butwhen you actually talk to them, the reality is that they did respect me and they really appreciated what Isaid. They just didn’t know how to respond. That’s a different narrative than I don’t like you.

Shawn (11:25):

So what was it, if you kind of take a step back did you find yourself again, was it just like an assumptionthat you were making without all the correct information? You know, like a snap judgment? Like what doyou, I dunno, what do you think it was that allowed you to start building this again? False narrative?

Allison (11:45):

Well, I think part of it’s just the times we’re in, everyone’s reactions are different than what I expect fromthem. They’re normal and

Shawn (11:54):

It’s not always about me. And I have to remember that their reaction is not always about me and myreaction isn’t always about them. So it’s just right for this misunderstanding and stories being built aboutpeople that aren’t really true. And it’s important that we step back and we look at that. You know? Alsothe mode of communication for many people out there might be, might’ve changed. Like if you and I areused to being able to meet and talk and communicate and now we’re forced to do it digitally. Let’s say wehave to use zoom or let’s say we’re just really emailing or texting more heavily. Well, if that’s a change inwhat we’re used to, that change even allows for there to be more misunderstanding. Well, I think so too,because I can email something and say, I’m, I really would like to discuss this.

Shawn (12:44):

And you can read that in a lot of different ways. So if I’m used to sitting in front of you and you can seemy face, it’s just different. I remember the first like massive, I wouldn’t call it a breakup cause this waslike my best friend was a guy. But like in high school it was AOL instant messenger and it was just like aFriday night and I was not feeling great and we’re supposed to get together. But he was kinda like seeingwhat kind of options he could have out there. You know, it drove me crazy when friends did that. Like,Hey, what do you want to do tonight? And if I didn’t have an idea, like I could tell they were kind of likepinging other friends to see if they had like something more interesting. It’s Sean, that’s a story you’vewritten.

Shawn (13:25):

It is even that you’re right. So again, I have this like lens and I’m going into this interaction and we justended up keep, we’re just misunderstanding each other and miscommunicating because of the mode.Normally we would just get on the phone, but we were just using instant messenger and we got in thismassive blow up, massive fight. And I credit most of it to the fact that it was a mode that really wasn’t, itwasn’t the bathroom best method for that. And it caused like a lot of fallout that took a long time to repair.And it’s like today because of social distancing, you know, because of being responsible, which peopleshould be responsible with the state of the crisis the way it is right now. It’s like practice social distancesaying we don’t want this to spread. But that might be placing undue strain and stress on what we’refamiliar with and we’ll work accustomed to when it comes to relating to and communicating with ourpatients, relating to and communicating to our team. And that’s kind of what we’re wanting to, you know,just talk about. So the first thing of course is, is you and how you’re being perceived by your family. Andthen the next thing is how are people, how are your team perceiving you right now? And if you take a stepback, your team is probably writing a story about you right now about who you are, what your motivesare, and you need to get clear about who you are, who, who are you and what are you really wanting rightnow. And it’s

Allison (14:52):

Scary. But once you kind of have a vision of what am I really scared of and how can I communicate thatto my team, then that’s an opportunity to sit down and talk to them. Cause you’ve also built a story aboutthat and we can’t help it. It’s just in our brains. You know, this person that’s not coming into work, I feellike she’s goofing off at home. Well that may be furthest from the truth, but every time I hear her andthey’re giggling in the background on the phone, then I’m angry, right? And I’m not being reasonable. I’mbeing irrational. But in last week, open up the dialogue and start talking. I can build a huge story that willprobably hurt our relationship forever. You know, one of my employees just communicated how thankfulshe was because I know she’s an incredibly hard worker and right now she’s not coming to work.

Allison (15:44):

And I know it’s because of family dynamics where she needs to protect someone at home that if they gotcovered 19 if they were exposed to the coronavirus it wouldn’t be good for them. They have lots ofunderlying conditions and it was one of those things where just getting to reach out, Hey like where areyou out right now? How are you doing? I’m finding that out and getting to just even validate her, Heylook, I know like you are not just an employee that I absolutely respect, but I know your work ethic. LikeI know this isn’t an opportunity for you to just, I don’t know, milk it or whatever could have beenassumed. And just even the, I dunno, the health of our relationship because of me validating that it justmade her feel known. And that part of the conversation is, you know, we always do this.

Allison (16:31):

How are you doing Sean? And you say, fine, how are you doing Alison? I’m fine. And that’s how wealways communicate. In fact, it just comes out. So you have to really get to that. How are you really doingwhat’s really going on with you so you can have a deep conversation and find out what’s happening withthis person. And that’s the culture that we try to keep. You know, both you and I in our you know, in mybusiness and in your practice. But if people don’t have that culture, it might be a challenge, but it’s never abetter time than now to step out and to be vulnerable and to be transparent. Because to really, I dunno, tolead authentically, you need to be able to connect authentically. And if you’re not willing to, as a leader,be vulnerable and share where you’re at. Your team’s not gonna, they’re not gonna feel safe. And, and thatis really important right now is that level of safety. So if your team is at the office and they’re helping you,I think there is an opportunity every morning to just check in, see how they’re doing. Maybe you don’thave a terror chart on the front, but you still need to ask them what’s happening because they’re probablycoming in with fears too with things

Shawn (17:50):

That are happening in their family. They, nobody’s, somebody got sick. I mean they’re dealing with a lottoo and so there needs to be an opportunity for them to share that and for you to think about, okay, so howare we going to deal with it? It needs to be a strategy. You know, I love what you just said about you don’tknow what they’re dealing with. Maybe someone’s sick like wow, never before has a cough bendsomething that’s like, I guess is that a Corona cough? Like a home? Yes. But in like the reality is peopleare still getting sick with normal things that are fine. Like they’re not life threatening but we don’t know.Like during this time one of our kids, he had a fever and it’s like right off the bat it’s hard to notsometimes go to worst case scenario.

Shawn (18:38):

I absolutely think that’s reasonable to go to a worst case scenario at this moment. Like as a parent though,like it’s like, Oh great, my child is going to be the one child that somehow, even though they had nounderlying conditions and were healthy is going to make the news because they’re the first person tocontract and like, you know, die like meaning it’s hard to sometimes not go there. I think we’re all goingthere, but that’s why it’s like people will probably be irrational right now. Not logical. Because this, there’sjust swirling. That’s the best way I can think of it. There’s just so much swirling and so much noise.People are listening to all different sorts of news and getting information and some of it seems like itconflicts with each other. We’re not supposed to wear masks now. Maybe we’re supposed to wear masks.

Shawn (19:27):

There’s just so much going on and your team has lost. And what’s interesting is that remember that a lot ofpeople around them are probably looking to your team members to help them make decisions becausethey do have that health care knowledge. So it’s important that we’re listening to our team members andgiving them the most accurate information that we know. It doesn’t mean that we know everything, but weknow a lot and your team members know a lot. So in saying that, I’m reminded of the fact that I’m Alison,you as a medical professional, you know a lot, but you also don’t know what the normal public doesn’tknow. I forget that all the time. Right. And so I’ll start talking about virology and people look at me like,what? What did I forget? I forget that all the time. So that’s a challenge to you out there is that whenyou’re talking to your patients or when you’re talking to the public, sometimes it’s hard for you to, tounderstand what the general public might not know because they didn’t just take basic anatomy andphysiology like you did a long time ago.

Shawn (20:37):

Like that probably wasn’t in your, you know, postgrad dental work that was just in your undergrad. So, so,so I’m just saying sometimes you disconnect that from, well it was part of my undergrad, like everyoneshould have gone through that. No, like that you had so much more biology, anatomy training than justsomeone that got a degree in communication or didn’t even have a degree. So, so I’m just saying like it’shard to, to unknow or to know exactly what the general public might be aware of when it comes to basicinfectious disease control, sanitation.

Allison (21:11):

And so that’s when you have to ask and you have to ask in a way that is not condescending becausepeople have different strengths. They probably know more about how to communicate with the publicthan you do. But to ask what, what’s going on? Do you feel safe? And especially your team members, ifthey’re coming into work, do they feel safe? And if they don’t, what would make them feel safe? And ifthey say something unreasonable, then there’s an opportunity to, to educate,

Shawn (21:39):

You know, and kind of just circling back to what we were talking about of like you have to be transparentin order to build that real connection with someone. You know, we were saying that like maybe let’s justassume that you have that culture in your practice already. Well the chances of you having that sameculture or that same kind of intimacy with all your patients, that’s probably not going to be there. So ifyou’re calling patients, I dunno, I think it might be more of a challenge where you have to be intentionalto really get past the initial yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m good. Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. Everything’s okay to reallylike here. Like no where, where are you concerned? Because you as the medical professionals, you andyour staff want to come alongside. You want to be able to educate. You want to be able to offer supportand until someone feels like you really are there for them and you care, they might just give you thepleasant trees and kind of like get you off the phone, you know?

Shawn (22:41):

But, but to make a difference and make an impact and to make an influence, you got to get to that place ofconnection, you know? So yeah, we just wanna encourage you guys like, I don’t know, really, really askhow your patients are doing. If you’re reaching out and we think there’s never a better time than now tojust reach out to your patients and find out how you’re doing. Cause you know so much more abouteverything related to Corona virus, then your patients, do you know how to wear a mask? Recently youjust went live on Facebook and it was such a helpful segment on how to properly wear mask. People don’tknow that.

Allison (23:18):

And again, I’d forgotten that somebody happened to ask me and then I went, Oh the general public doesn’tknow this information. It’s, it’s just so important that we share. So I’m gonna, I’m going to step back onemore time with your team. So if your team is coming into the office, make sure you’re building in enoughtime every day to ask how they’re doing to make sure you’re addressing their fears and to set theexpectations. If they come into the office, what do you want them to do? Their job is different than it usedto be. If they’re working from home, what are the expectations? Don’t assume that people know becausethey don’t. You are, you are still running the show, which is hard, but you’re running the show. So ifsomebody comes into work for you, tell them what you need from them. And I think it’s also importantthat we’re transparent, that we don’t know everything. We’re doing our very best. Here’s what I’mimplementing to keep you safe. I don’t know when we’re coming back, I’m doing my best. Of course youare coming back. If they’re not coming back, don’t call them. But if this is somebody who wants to comeback and still not be on your team, I do think you need to start reaching out. Make sure that you’re still incommunication with your team members.

Shawn (24:30):

You know, the way you just painted that picture. I was just thinking like, man, like there, there’s, there isso much uncertainty that you’re right, like the amount of communication you need to make sure that, Imean there’s just so much different circumstances that could be happening in your practice that could behappening with your employees. Whether, whether practices are in a place right now where they alreadyhave people on furlough navigating this and just communicating so that you don’t unnecessarily lose ateam member just because you didn’t know how to lead. You know, like that’s the, that’s the last thing wewant people to go through right now because finding great help and building a great team is one of thebiggest priorities and is such a value that if you lose someone and you have to rehire, meaning that’s just,I dunno,

Allison (25:26):

Let’s get an add to your chaos when you come back and that is the last thing you want.

Shawn (25:31):

So you’re showing up in the office, there’s a lot going on. You might have some team members there orjust wanting to let people know, like try to be aware of where your team members are at. If there’sdifficult conversations do you need to have because maybe you haven’t addressed pay, you haven’taddressed what the next few weeks are going to look like. Like have the difficult conversations. Yeah.Talk, talk it through with your spouse or someone you trust first. Try to think of what those goals are thatyou’re wanting to accomplish with them. Is this a longterm person you’re wanting to keep? If so, how canyou come up with the solution together? You know, I know some of the most valuable communicationskills I’ve ever learned is in the context of my marriage because so many times my wife just wants me tohear her and hearing her and validating her doesn’t mean everything she sings. Right. And that’s been oneof the hardest things for me to learn because a lot of times employees want to be given permission to talkabout what they’re scared about and just because they’re scared about maybe your silence or the fact thatthey may not get paid or they might get laid off. I don’t know. Like sometimes that as a leader

Allison (26:43):

Makes you feel like you’re not doing something right or that you could be doing something better or youshould be. And it’s like this moment there’s no answers. So I take it as I’m gathering information. I’m ascientist, I’m gathering information. We, my team man says something, especially something that’sinaccurate. It reminds me that there’s probably a lot of people thinking that. So it’s, it is important to justlet them speak and not make them feel uncomfortable. Cause we need to know what’s out there. What arethey thinking, what are, what are the general public thinking? We don’t know. You know what? And that’sthe thing. Like employees don’t think like employers and employers long enough. You have your ownbusiness. You’re a small business owner. You’re on your own practice, you kind of forget what it’s like tothink like an employee. Like it’s just a very different perspective.

Allison (27:35):

So even just encouraging you to try to see beyond your own narrative, beyond your own lens, to kind ofunderstand what, I don’t know, what insecurity that your team might be having right now and is adifferent burden of what you, as the employer’s feeling you feel responsible for your team right now, don’tyou? Oh, I feel very responsible. I feel responsible that I have to keep them safe when they’re in theoffice. I feel responsible that when they come to the office, I need to give them clear goals because theirjob has changed so much. It’s not what it used to be. I’m writing a lot of scripts and then we’re working onthem. So when they talk to patients, and I also, they’re very concerned about the pay. And of course I’mworried about the pay too. So I had to be transparent that this is what I know I can do.

Allison (28:23):

And after this date, I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to happen. But at least they have somecomfort that this is where we are. And I think that’s all we really want is just someone else to understandus, to listen to us and to give us some idea of what what’s expected of us. And that’s why I’m talkinghonest about just honest expectations. I think the worst is when someone sets a wrong expectation justbecause maybe you don’t want to deliver reality. You don’t want to deliver a realistic outlook of whatcould happen. And if you want to buffer them and just say everything’s going to be fine, you should begood, but then all of a sudden things aren’t fine. You’re not, you have no more receivables coming in atthree weeks. Like don’t trick your employees by making them think it’s going to be okay if you don’tknow it’s going to be okay. It takes a lot more courage to just say I don’t know because it’d be better forthem to have the right expectation. I think that, yeah, one of the biggest issues with communication iswhen people make assumptions. And if you put some Infor misinformation out there, they’ll never trustyou again. This is the time to just be honest. And they know, I mean they know you’re not making money.

Allison (29:43):

So the other thing, the last thing I want to talk about was the patient issue and reaching out to yourpatients. So again, I’m thinking emails are just not enough. There’s, there’s too much misunderstandingthere. We are doing some Facebook posts, which I think is helpful, but again, it doesn’t, it doesn’t reallyget there for patients. So we’re making phone calls again and especially when we’re rescheduling patientsand it’s taken about 20 minutes per patient. It’s a long time. So the first phone calls how long were theyroughly? Maybe 10 minutes. Okay. So this is drastically because there’s, their life has changed so muchand they want to ask questions. They want to tell you your story, their story. So they’re open. Oh mygoodness. All you do is say, how are you really? And the flood Gates open. And it just gives me a lot ofinformation about them, about where they are, about if I need to see them right now or not.

Allison (30:44):

And then where in the schedule do I need to put them? You know, if I’ve got patients that are, well thistooth is bothering me, I’m okay. Okay. That’s one of the first people that needs to come back. And whenwe get seeing patients again my perio maintenance people who have missed their exam and cleaning, theyneed to come in there. One of the first people I met, a reschedule patients that don’t always show up, thatare totally healthy, that have a balance that don’t want to talk to me on the phone. I’m putting them a littlelater in the schedule because I don’t think that there is, they’re not as needy. So I don’t know. I guess I’mtriaging them too as I’m listening. Where do I put them in this schedule? How important are their needs?And I’m just giving them the high touch that we’re here.

Allison (31:33):

It’s scary, but we’re here. I mean, none of this is normal. Like this isn’t normal anymore. This isn’t whatyou are accustomed to doing with patients. Like having to understand, okay, I’m having to prioritizebecause I have limited capacity. Like who, who do I need to see? I think we, at first in March, I thought,okay, so we’re all coming back and we booked every single day, eight to 10 hours a day. Fridays weredouble hygiene. We were just going to go in there and blow this out. Well, I don’t think we’re going tocome back like that. So we’re not booking like that in may, which means that, and now I have of coursesix weeks of patients, so I am going to have to make some, some decisions. And so I’m trying to triagepatients and treat the most vulnerable and needy first. So really the challenges that dental practice ownersthat you as the dentists are faced with are ever changing and you may not feel like, again, you’re enoughto be able to meet these challenges. And if that’s how you’re feeling at all, then

Shawn (32:40):

You’re in good company because that’s how Alison and I feel. Periodically it’s like this isn’t about havingto do this perfectly. It’s not about you being this perfect leader that never makes a mistake. It’s about youcontinuing to summon the courage to face each day and take it one day at a time. I mean, every day itseems like there’s a new challenge and I just hope I have enough strength to meet that challenge. But Ithink those close to me know that I’m giving it my best. And that’s part of good communication is justwhen you’re real and you’re honest, you’re just letting people know I am going to give it my best. And Ithink people respect that. And, and I think when you’re honest, people give you some grace to today’s atough day. It’s a red day. And that, that allows them to give you some grace today and not take thingspersonally and then to ask questions. So, and that’s all you can ask parent I think goes both ways and it’s,it makes a big difference. So this is hard times. It really is. And if you can’t do all these things right now,we get it. I’m struggling with doing all these things and I wrote them, but every day I try and do a little bit.

 

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