Director's Message: What is so intoxicating about Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny in your career or business?

Oct. 10, 2012
Kristine Hodsdon, RDH, advocates focusing on the "conversation" with patients.

Fictional characters such as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny do not exist. Other things do not exist as well, but they may be the trending perceptions we have about our careers and or businesses. The fictional scenario is that you can sit back on a beach at amazingly exotic locations — with some wonderful and fun people surrounding you — and you are on your iPhone or Blackberry, checking your bank account. The dollar signs just get bigger and bigger in those marketing scenarios, don’t they?

Another scenario is that, if dental providers purchase the latest and greatest technological gadgets or gizmos and/or earn the newest certifications, then the floodgates of treatment acceptance will open.

These business and career illusions need to fade away along with the fictional characters of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. They need to be replaced by stronger communication skills.

I would not hire a person — and I bet you would not hire a service provider or anyone — without having a conversation first. What happens during that conversation will determine if you hire a service provider. A dental practice is no different. What happens during a conversation between you and your patients will determine if that patient says yes to accepting your treatment recommendations, and essentially hiring you and/or your team.

So I realize that we all love the idea of travelling to wonderful places, meeting exciting people, wearing clothes that are not scrubs. Yet if we cannot master having a conversation, we will not be able to master our business or career.

Over the next few Director’s Messages, I will discuss the “how-to” of enrollment conversations.

Why is an effective conversation so powerful?

The answer to that question can be found in a quote by writer/actor Kim Krizan from the movie “Waking Life.”

“Language comes from our desire to move beyond our isolation and have some sort of connection with one another. Words by themselves are lifeless; they’re inert. They’re nothing more than symbols. So much of our experience is intangible; so much of what we perceive cannot be adequately expressed. And because of that, when we communicate with one another, and we feel we’ve connected, that we’re understood — it’s almost like having a spiritual communion with that person.”

What we all want from one another is to connect. When we connect, we feel a special affinity with the person who we believe really understands us.

Conversation is how your message is delivered and how it is received.

It is two-way, involving both the sender, and the receiver.

Effective conversation involves not only words, but your body language, what “voice” you use, and the art of listening. We will discuss all of these, as they are equally important to learning this skill.

Kristine A. Hodsdon, RDH, BS
Director, RDH eVillage