Managing Conflict through Communication

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Conflict is inevitable in the workplace. For a dentist, a bad relationship with a coworker or between two coworkers can have a significant impact on the efficiency and productivity of your practice. In both professional and personal relationships, honest communication is crucial to managing conflict. Here are some strategies you can use to manage any existing or future conflicts through communication. Keep in mind that not everyone is going to agree with one another all of the time because everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but learning how to communicate through disagreement is ideal.

Know the right time and place: If an issue arises, trying to handle it in a conversation in the midst of another busy day at the office is not the wisest strategy. You will probably feel rushed, and may not have the level of privacy you need to handle it properly. Postpone the discussion until a time and location where all parties can speak freely without worrying about being interrupted.

Resist the urge to vent or gossip: If you feel the need to use someone as a sounding board, it’s a good idea to choose someone who does not work in the office as well. Venting to a coworker or, worse, a subordinate could lead to tidbits of the conversation circulating as fresh gossip. Or, someone may overhear you venting. In either case, your trustworthiness can take a hit.

Be direct: If you have a problem with a specific individual, then handle it by talking directly to that person. If one of your employees comes to you with the problem instead, this can hurt the relationship between coworkers, and it may hinder their ability to be good teammates in the future.

Just the facts: Don’t let emotions dictate the course of the conversation. Even if you are feeling anger, frustration, or other negative emotions, set them aside and stick to the facts of the situation. By approaching the matter from a logical point of view rather than an emotional one, the content of your argument should be better received.

Avoid being passive aggressive: Sarcastic comments, a rude tone of voice, or giving the silent treatment all can be examples of passive-aggressive behavior—and none of them foster an environment of healthy communication. Being passive aggressive often can backfire, making an existing situation even worse without a solid resolution being reached.

Think first, then speak: In a professional setting, your words and actions matter. What may seem like the right reaction in the heat of the moment can, in retrospect, by a major mistake. Once something has been done or said, you can’t put it back or undo it. Be aware of your emotional triggers. You may feel justified in your reaction at the time, but by taking a moment to think before responding, you have a greater chance of communicating in a positive and helpful manner.

Above all, listen: Have you ever been in a conversation or an argument, but when the other person is talking, you’re not really paying attention because you’re focused on formulating the next thing you’re going to say? Putting more effort into listening can go a long way toward effective communication. By listening well, you gain a greater understanding of the opposing point of view. That goes a long way to resolving conflict.

Staff training services

Your practice only will be as effective as the members of your team and their ability to work together. Maybe you’re having ongoing issues with your employees, or you think everyone in the office could benefit from training in communication and team-building. Then let the experts at Bryant Consultants help. Our services can help you refine your vision, establish goals, and set processes in place to evolve your practice. Contact us by calling (877) 768-4799.

We provide consultation, training, and coaching to help improve the operations of your practice so that you can provide exceptional results to your patients. No office is out of reach for us; we will even come to you!

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