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Negative Feedback and the Performance Review

NegotiationIt’s December and for many organizations, that means performance reviews and appraisals. If you are the boss, this might be the time of year when you provide feedback to your team. And if you are an employee, this might be the time when you are on the receiving end of an evaluation.

Over at the Fast Company blog, Celia Shatzman has posted 8 Questions to Ask your Boss that can Make or Break your Career. The post draws heavily from the book Great on the Job: What to Say, How to Say It: The Secrets of Getting Ahead by Jodi Glickman. Question #8 attracted our attention:

“I’m sure that I’ll have some additional thoughts and questions as I digest all this information. Could we schedule a follow-up conversation in a few days?”

When to ask: At the end of a not-so-great performance review or any conversation wherein your boss gives you valuable, if not altogether positive, feedback.

Why it’s important to ask: It’s hard to think on your feet and ask constructive questions when you’re feeling beat up. By asking for a few days to collect your thoughts, you’ll have time to reflect on your boss’s words and brainstorm ways to move ahead. “The last thing you want to do is lose your cool,” says Glickman. “Remember, the goal of feedback is not to make you feel good. It’s to make you better at your job.”

Seems as though this would also apply if you were the one delivering the negative feedback—you might propose that the two of you meet again in a few days for a follow-up conversation.

What has been your experience with negative feedback, either on the giving or receiving side? Share your observations in the comments.

What is the Accountability System for your Goals?

Pocket watches in a bunchBig dreams are great, but if you don’t create space in your life for making progress toward them, then they’re fantasies, not goals.

That’s a quote from productivity expert Laura Vanderkam who goes on to write:

Build an accountability system–a friend, a group, an app–that will make failure uncomfortable. If you’ve got a run scheduled for Tuesday morning, and on Tuesday morning it’s 25 degrees out and your warm bed seems pretty enticing, what is going to motivate you to get your shoes on and go?

Here’s the thing — if you are a new dentist, chances are you’ve already aced this skill. We continue to be amazed at the level of not just ambition but bona fide accomplishment that new dentists bring to their lives.

So what’s your secret? What kind of system do you have in place so that when the going gets tough you persevere? Give us your answer in the comments.

Life as a New Dentist — Transitioning to Ownership

Dr. Tyler Scott

Dr. Tyler Scott

The ADA is made up of individuals—here’s one of them.

Who are you? I’m Dr. Tyler Scott. I’m a proud member of the Class of 2009 of the Ohio State University College of Dentistry. Currently I’m working as an employee in my father’s dental practice, and we are working with advisors to transfer ownership from him to me.

If you could have any job OTHER THAN dentistry, what would it be? That’s a tough one—this has been my dream ever since I was a kid, so I didn’t ever focus on a plan B that wasn’t dentistry. Although the thought of being a PGA teaching professional or a pro photographer has some appeal.

Biggest surprise so far about this career path? Practice management is such an underlying key to success. I’m working to learn the science of running a dental practice.

What’s your schedule like? I’m working in the office four days a week. For fun I like spending time with my family. I also officiate high school wrestling.

Any advice for someone considering your career path? My biggest influence has been my father. I would encourage everyone to find a mentor to help guide you and increase your chances for success at making your dream become reality.

Interested in sharing your experience as a new dentist? If you are fewer than ten years out of dental school we’d love to hear from you! Contact us at newdentist@ada.org.

Let’s Talk about Barbecue

BarbequeThe Kansas City Barbeque Society reports that Kansas City has more barbecue restaurants per capita than any other American city.

Apart from the delightful fact that there is such a thing as a barbecue society, this information is important to you for two reasons:

  •  A person who has enjoyed some barbecue is a person who will soon be wishing he or she had some dental floss.
  • The 28th ADA New Dentist Conference is taking place in Kansas City, Missouri July 17-19, 2014 at Sheraton Kansas City, Crown Center (mark your calendar).

The Conference includes:

  • hands-on endodontic and implant CE courses at UMKC School of Dentistry
  • a full day of leadership development
  • Friday night social event at KC Live! In the Power & Light District
  • breakfast-and-learn sessions; all-inclusive lunches

Barbecue consumption by attendees is entirely optional, but highly recommended. If you have a suggestion for Kansas City barbecue, be sure to leave it in the comments!

Developing a Written Employee Agreement

The ADA Center for Professional SuccessIf you are the owner of a dental practice, you might already have an employee agreement for use in clarifying expectations between the practice and the dental team. If you don’t have an agreement in place, consider Preparing Written Employee Agreements. As the title suggests this brief document is not a substitute for legal advice, but it is a helpful list of topics that are customarily included in an employee agreement. For instance:

  • What are the expectations around uniforms?
  • What is the arrangement for professional liability insurance?
  • What are the policies for continuing education?

…and more. ADA members can get the complete story at the ADA Center for Professional Success. And while you are there check out the other resources including Be a Great Boss, Checklist for Terminating an Employee and Using Flexible Benefit Plans in your Practice.

How Should You Squeeze Toothpaste?

It’s the day before Thanksgiving and, to be honest, we are already focused on the upcoming holiday.

We have been spending a lot of time with this video How to Toothpaste. The video was made by Vi Hart, a self-described “Recreational Mathemusician” and therefore this video is purely aesthetic, rather than clinical in nature. Still, we are of the opinion that this is the finest existential toothpaste video we have ever seen.

Preparing for the Worst — Disaster Recovery

Preparing for the Worst — Disaster Recovery

 

We have been working on the next issue of ADA New Dentist News and one of the pieces is about the importance of disaster preparedness.

 

stormy weather aheadAn electrical outage is usually just an inconvenience. But if the power was down for an extended period in your community, would that impact your ability to keep your practice open?

It’s no fun to think about a catastrophe, but a plan could make the difference between surviving a crisis and closing a practice’s doors forever.

The ADA has a process to guide dentists through the steps of creating a business recovery plan. Go ahead, just take a look at what’s involved in creating a plan—while it’s more demanding than doing nothing at all, it is probably much less difficult than you might fear.

But what about a situation where the worst has happened?

The ADA Foundation understands how difficult it can be to recover from an unexpected calamity. To help dentists in their time of need, the ADA Foundation’s Emergency Disaster Assistance Grant Program may provide up to $2,000 in immediate financial assistance to help meet eligible dentists’ most urgent and vital needs immediately following a declared disaster – such as food, bottled water, clothing, blankets, medicine and medical supplies, and emergency shelter. Any dentist who is a victim of a disaster may apply to the ADA Foundation for a grant. The ADAF’s Emergency Disaster Assistance Grants are not intended for more long-term needs such as rebuilding homes and or other structures, or replacing household and personal belongings. In addition, funds cannot be used to replace lost income.

Patients with Diabetes Should Watch Their Mouths

open mouthNovember is Diabetes Awareness Month and the ADA is taking the initiative in spreading the word on how uncontrolled diabetes can affect individuals’ teeth and gums.

A recent study in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that one of five cases of total tooth loss in the United States is linked to diabetes. While complications are part of managing diabetes, for the nearly 26 million people in the U.S. living with the condition, tooth loss and other dental health problems are unlikely to be on their radar.

Patients with diabetes have a lower resistance to infection. That, along with a longer healing process, makes them more susceptible to developing gum disease and developing a more severe form of the disease.

Looking for a resource to share with patients? Check out MouthHealthy.org which has consumer-friendly information in both English and Spanish on oral health topics, including diabetes.

Deadline Alert — Mandatory OSHA Training Prior to December 1st

The ADA Center for Professional SuccessDue to a revision of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) you must provide mandatory employee training by December 1, 2013. The basic goal with the changes this training covers is to improve your staff’s understanding of the chemical hazards in your office.

Need more information? ADA members can get the complete story at the ADA Center for Professional Success. And while you are there check out the other resources including financial calculators to factor loan payments and overhead expenditures, ergonomic tips to keep you healthy and patient communications strategies to build trust and increase patient satisfaction.

 

Here’s How They Did It — Real Talk from Dentists in Private Practice

Dr. Chris Salierno

Dr. Chris Salierno

Operations, human resources, finances, marketing — there is so much that goes into being an owner. If you missed the new dentist panel discussion about the nitty-gritty of private practice ownership, you can stream it at ADA.org/ADA365, the online extension of ADA13. Access to ADA365 is free to ADA members; non-members can sign up for $50.

Both dentists who bought into an existing practice and dentists who started practices from scratch were represented on the panel, moderated by Dr. Chris Salierno. The group tackled topics ranging from patient recall to search engine optimization, addressing all those non-clinical skills that aren’t a part of school, but are critical to your success. Stream the entire program at ADA.org/ADA365.