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Monday, February 10, 2014

The Quality of Your Life Depends on the Quality of Your Communication.

What Is Your Style?
Think about that statement for a moment.  How often do you speak to someone and know for a fact your message was received as you intended it to be?  Do you ever wonder about the facial expression, body language or “vibe” you get after you say something?  You ask them about it and the person says, “Oh, sure. Yes, I’m fine. I get it.” And yet you are still left wondering if that went as well as you thought. Or maybe you simply have the expectation it went exactly as you wanted and you don’t even notice the reaction.   It happens to all of us.  It happens a lot in dental practices.  As a consultant, with over a decade of experience, I can tell you it is one of the most common problems that exist.  It can cause a loss of motivation, productivity, and sadly even the relationship. 
In this article we will explore the impact of communication styles between a doctor and the team. 
Communication: To make known: exchange information or opinions.
If the definition is so simple, why is it there are so many ways for communication to go bad?
There are different styles of communication.  The two most common are TASK-driven, or bottom-line people, and PROCESSORS, or people who require details in order to sort out the information. A person who is a TASK oriented communicator says things with the bottom line intent in mind.  No fluff, no extra words, no warm fuzzies.  To a PROCESSOR it may be perceived as abrupt, to the point, or lacking emotion.  To the TASK person, it is the easiest, more effective way to get something accomplished.  It is a bit like, “I don’t need to tell the whole story, I just need you to do this the way I want it done, no questions required.”  Other TASK communicators find this very appealing and it helps them stay focused and doesn’t cause them any concern or confusion.   The PROCESSOR type needs more – much, much more.  They want to know why.  “Why do you want it done this way? Why is that the best way?  How will it affect things?”  They want the background, the story, and then they can understand and respond appropriately.  To the PROCESSOR, the story or background is critical.  To another PROCESSOR, the fact that someone takes the time to explain it in detail makes them feel valuable.  To a TASK person this communication seems like a waste of time or even shows a lack of confidence. 
So TASK people love working with other TASK people, and PROCESSORS love working with other PROCESSORS. Life would be so easy if it worked that way all the time.  But it doesn’t.   Not all teams are made up of the same type of communicators, and that is a good thing.  Within a team with both types, everyone involved may not be clear about who is a TASK person and who is a PROCESSOR and how to handle the difference. It would also be easy if it were based on sex, job title or we all had it stamped on our foreheads.  Learning to send and receive messages with the opposite type is crucial to your quality of communication. In order to better understand how critical this is.

For more information please visit us at www.saltdpm.com and follow our blog at http://saltdentalpracticemanagement.blogspot.com/
By David Milligan, Salt Dental Practice Management
Article was first published by Tri-County Dental Society

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