It’s For The Best: Learning To Be Selfish
A common complaint we hear from dentists is that they give to everyone, but they don’t get anything in return. This applies to staff, patients, and even family members.
Imagine that a regular patient pops into your office who asks that you ‘just quickly check something’ which ends up in you providing an oral exam free of charge. While it may initially feel like the right thing to do, if you continue to provide these kinds of favours it’s possible that you may start to resent those patients and giving away these free services. You are giving away free advice, not billing for it, which can have a long-term impact on you and your practice.
The same applies to dealing with your staff. When you feel you are giving to your staff, taking care of them, taking them to professional development courses, but don’t feel like you’re getting something back, that can also create feelings of disappointment and resentment. If this is a situation that feels familiar, you may have a deeper issue and a culture problem. It all goes back to leadership and setting expectations.
It’s similar to parenting. If you’re continually sacrificing yourself and acting in someone else’s best interest, you can’t be the best parent, business owner, and dentist that you can be. Ultimately, you’ll end up feeling taken advantage of, and you may also do things that you normally wouldn’t do because you are run down.
The bottom line is that you need to teach people how to treat you. Your time, business expenses, professional expertise and knowledge, and the time that you have invested in your learning in the past is something that you deserve to be valued for.
Being Selfish vs. ‘Being Selfish’
Setting and communicating expectations is key to getting others to treat you the way you want and deserve to be treated. Remember that being selfish is not “being selfish”; it’s creating boundaries and setting expectations and taking care of yourself and your business in order to function at your peak. You cannot deliver ultimate dentistry if you feel walked on and taken advantage of.
Setting expectations and communicating them clearly to those around you is key to making sure you and your business is running at its optimum.
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