Kristine Hodsdon, RDH, MSEC, Consultant/Trainer Pride Institute
Automatic, negative responses to people or events often indicate a hypersensitivity that’s referred to as “getting your buttons pushed.” In the office, these emotional reactions can limit your leadership influence with your team and restrict the level of success with your case acceptance.
Usually these sensitivities have their origins in painful childhood (and from what I hear, dental school) experiences, such as constantly being criticized, rejected, or controlled. Because we’re all human, we sometimes take these feelings to the office with us.
Answer the following two sets of questions true or false to discover how well you manage your emotional reactions at the office.
1. When someone critiques my work, constructively or not, I shut down and withdraw or feel guilty.
2. When someone hurts me, for instance if they fail to recognize “I’m human too,” I lash out at them or blame myself.
3. I hate it when a team member tells me I’m “too sensitive.”
4. When a team member says or does something that makes me mad, it takes me a long time to let go of it. I usually carry resentment.
5. Sometimes I have no idea why I respond to team members the way that I do, I just can’t control myself.
1. If I feel inordinately upset or angered by something at work, rather than blaming someone for making me feel what I’m feeling, I take a deep breath and take an honest look at myself to see what I can learn from the situation.
2. When I feel “triggered,” I know it usually has nothing to do with the person who pushed my buttons.
3. If after I have calmed down and returned to a professional state of mind and find that a current situation needs to be addressed, I do so in a constructive manner.
4. I’m familiar with the situations to which I’ll most likely overreact. More quickly I recognize when my buttons have been pushed, and I am less reactive.
5. When my buttons do get pushed, I’m able to see any unresolved personal issues that need my attention. I can then return my attention to my work.
If you answered true more often in Set 1 and false more often in Set 2, you may want to learn how to deal more effectively with your emotional responses in the workplace. Your success depends on it!
PAST TUESDAY TIPS: What commercials taught me about selling dentistry
Dental practice systems check