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NEW! Coach's Corner

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NEW! Coach's Corner

 

NEW! Coach's Corner

Welcome to an exciting new weekly slot in which marketing guru Chris Barrow devotes his time to helping practitioners create the successful dental practice they want.

He'll offer team tactics, suggest all the right moves and reveal crucial skills and drills to help you train your practice team to the top...

Putting out the fire

You know the imagery here – a fire at an oil well, flames leaping into the air and a gigantic cloud shrouding the surrounding land. Rather similar to what happens when gossip breaks out in a business.

An example of which was presented to me the other day as a coaching assignment.
A new nurse has been appointed at a slightly higher salary than her established colleagues.
We had to do that because market forces, supply/demand, means that to attract the right person we had to pay a little over the odds. Our intention was to ‘restore differentials' later in the year – but just now we are reinvesting £250,000 into the practice and there is no spare cash to give everyone a pay rise. The new girl didn't know any better – she blabbed her salary in the staffroom. We don't talk salaries here – never have done in 25 years.
It has caused a commotion – none of the girls are talking to me and you can cut the atmosphere with a knife.

Ever heard that story?
The principal sat in a city hotel with me the other day, head in hands.
‘What do I do?'
The answer is to consider how to put out a burning well-head – although I'm going to slightly modify my metaphor.

Option 1 – Starve the fire of oxygen
1. Call a meeting
2. Explain that discussion of salaries is not allowed
3. Issue a contract amendment that confirms the fact
4. Tell them all to go back to work…
5. …and that you refuse to take part in the conversation – now or ever
6. …and that if people don't like that then they need to be looking for another job.

Option 2 – Create a controlled explosion, the force of which is large enough to extinguish the original fire
1. Call a meeting
2. Ask them to explain their grievances in a team environment
3. Leave them alone for an hour and request that when you return they have designed a solution that incorporates the continued well-being and expansion of the business
4. Walk out of the room and shut the door
5. Return in one hour to listen to their business planning ideas
6. Having listened carefully – default to Option 1

My client decided that option 1 was his favoured choice.
The points being:
1. Don't wrestle with the pig;
2. Don't give oxygen to a situation you cannot tolerate;
3. Never justify the decisions you make to a aggrieved party
4. Nobody is indispensable – nobody
Harsh?
Yes.
Effective?
Yes.
The fire is out.

• Business coach Chris Barrow and Dr Simon Hocken developed The Breathe Business Group. They bring together 15 years' experience of business coaching with more than 750 UK practices and small businesses. If you have a practice problem you need solved, contact ‘coach' Chris – chris@nowbreathe.co.uk – and he'll answer your queries exclusively here on Dentistry.co.uk.

Chris Barrow will be speaking along with Iain Scott and James Goolnik at Marketing essentials for a more profitable practice on Friday 12 September 2008 at the Royal College of Physicians, London. Please call Independent Seminars on 0800 371652 or visit www.independentseminars.com  for further information and to book your places.

 Posted on : Mon 28th - Apr - 2008

 

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