In my discussions with dentists I often hear about how they are working to be tolerant with their teams. It it’s said to be an admirable quality in an individual, an organisation or a country. I think we need to be making high road decisions and I will explain why and what they are.
Tolerance is defined as, “the freedom to hold views that differ from the established or prescribed”, it is a good thing when applied to, say, religion or philosophy. But not when it comes to running a business where a team has to function as a single seamless unit it is important that people follow the business strategy.
The very definition goes against getting the best results in yourself and others. To tolerate is, ‘to treat with indulgence, liberality or forbearance”. Yet a good team or individual does not indulge itself. Another definition is, “to put up with”, and it is this very act that not only welcomes failures through the door but also gives them a comfy room where they can sleep late after a night on the tiles.
In my frequent conversations I hear what isn’t good, what the problems are that are affecting a business, a team or person, what’s getting in their way and holding them up. They are usually able to tell me what is stopping them from being successful. Amongst the reasons are, without fail, a list of things that they know shouldn’t be happening which ought to be addressed and disposed of.
Let’s look at some more common ones. Team behaviours; a classic example is one person who regularly ‘no shows’ on a Monday but who is such a good worker the rest of the time we let it slide. They are undermining the performance of the rest of the team who do show up gleaming and eager on a Monday morning. All those guys will be doing is wondering ‘why do I bother’?
Next comes the finances. When I ask about the finances I almost never hear ‘We review the fees every three months”. What I am more likely to hear is ‘Well I know we should, but the accounts aren’t ready yet’. This can be eight months into a new financial year, ‘and the receptionists don’t like to admit that we have had a fee rise.
Another example is putting up with paying high interest rates month after month for an overdraft instead of making it a lump of a loan and staying in the black.
Some people might say that making tough, necessary decisions, and doing the tough, necessary tasks is called taking the ‘High Road’. The alternative to ‘Making High Road decisions’, are ‘Low Road Decisions’. Do your best to be on the High Road most of the time.
I am sure you get the drift on what I am saying here.
What to do? It’s easy, write a list of the things that you know you need to address. Review them one by one and come up with a plan to resolve them. Yes, it takes effort. Yes, it might be briefly uncomfortable but I guarantee that it will be worth it as you become more energised and less weighed down by baggage and you You will be able to get on with you should be doing instead of putting up with what you should not.
Article written by Alun Rees (BDS), The Dental Business Coach