Do you have symbiotic or life sucking relationships in your dental practice?

Source: DentistyIQ, by Lisa Knowles, DDS

I am quite sure many dentists believe their relationship with their staff members is symbiotic in nature. But, what kind of symbiotic relationship is it? Is it of a facultative symbiotic nature, which means that the doctor chooses to live and work with his or her employees but does not have to, or is it a mutualistic symbiotic relationship, where the two absolutely depend on one another to survive?

That’s a tough one. Early in my days as a boss, I believed I had a facultative arrangement. I liked to think I called the shots and others helped me achieve my goals – um, I mean our goals But, really, it was about my goals. I just assumed that’s how it worked. I thought I didn’t need my team members to survive; they were replaceable. I did not have to have a certain person to be successful in my day-to-day routines. After all, in dental school I could complete a procedure all by myself, with a rubber dam in place and the patient holding the suction. I could do it all if I had to. Despite my rationale, private practice is a whole different beast. No patients really want to hold the suction, or have you reach over them to change an instrument. Yet, we hold on to that thought that we can do it all if we need to. We can, but is that the best way to treat patients or other team members? I don’t think so.