Effective communication allows for a smooth running dental practice. It’s important to take the time to reflect on how you communicate with your team to ensure you get the best outcome all round.
So what is communication?
There’s no hidden meaning to it, in basic terms, team communication is the exchange of information between 2 or more people.
Communication comes in many forms be it conscious or unconscious but it can also be broken down into verbal and written; today I want to focus on these two forms. Neither one is more important than the other; the importance lies within the communication itself.
Verbal communication can include group meetings, one to one interactions/catch ups with team members, conversing via phone, group teaching/ training sessions etc. It is important when partaking in verbal communication that you address the need and desire for it. For example, when calling a team meeting in your practice to discuss something that could have been sent via email, this may be seen as inefficient and ineffective communication as it may be unnecessarily time consuming. Make sure all of your meetings have clear agendas and are led effectively.
Get to know your team members and grow your communicative methods that way. Lead by example, learn the best way to communicate with your team and they in turn will hopefully reflect your style of communication.
Then there’s written communication; we’re lucky that in this day and age we seem to be surrounded by constant technological advancements that we can use to our benefit. At Hive, we use a platform called Slack. Slack allows us to communicate between one another with ease and speed. We use this platform to discuss daily tasks, work related queries we may have, and we also have a separate channel where we converse about unrelated work topics – we find this extremely beneficial to be able to have the freedom of office related chat without being in the office.
With written communication, be aware that tone of voice can be hard to determine. Emailing a team member over having an awkward conversation makes for poor communication and can escalate a situation unnecessarily. Keep written communications concise and always escalate to voice when appropriate.
But why is communication so important?
Good communication leads to a happy and understanding team; we’ve previously discussed the importance of having a happy and healthy team and how this affects the running of your dental practice. This all starts with good team communication. Higher levels of communication lead to stronger relationships both work related and outside of work leading to a happier, healthier and productive work environment.
If you’re a little stuck within your practice and need a refresh on how to engage and communicate best with your team, please get in touch.