Guided Team Meeting

Dec. 1, 2000
This month, we`d like to help you create a team meeting to discuss and address some of the issues that may remain unresolved in your practice.

Sandy Roth &

Teri Goss

This month, we`d like to help you create a team meeting to discuss and address some of the issues that may remain unresolved in your practice.

We`re going to have a competition. The first step is to make a copy of this month`s installment of Mastering the Art of Communication for every team member. Ask them to read it as a thought-provoking event - but not necessarily for formal discussion.

On the day of your team meeting, make sure you have at least three hours for the process outlined below. Divide the team into two groups, being sure to balance the groups. For example, make sure best friends are on different teams. Split hygienists and assistants if possible. Don`t load one group with the most vocal team members. The dentist is the moderator and does not join a group. If you have a large team, create groups of no more than four members.

Each group is given the following assignment: Identify 10 problems that are holding back this practice. For each problem, outline a strategy for resolution. There are no limitations such as time, space, or money. Fully discuss the strategy, including the advantages and disadvantages of the approach.

The teams are given one hour to complete their assignment. Each team should go to a private area. During the process, the dentist, as moderator, moves between groups, silently listening without interfering or participating in any way. At the end of the hour, the groups return and the competition begins. Each group, in an order chosen by lot, presents its strategy for problem resolution. A flip chart and markers will help. Everyone is encouraged to take notes and listen fully to each presentation. Anyone can ask clarifying questions during a presentation, but may not argue about a proposal. At the conclusion of the presentations, the dentist may comment and perhaps even award prizes for the best ideas generated by the group.

This project accomplishes many of the goals outlined in this month`s article. It takes courage and discipline. It is well worth the effort. Best wishes to all of you. Please let us know how we can support your process.

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