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I See You

Posted Apr 13 2009 12:40am

Think about it.  How does your day in the office start out?  Maybe you're sitting at your computer, or maybe you're setting up rooms, checking the answering machine or drinking coffee.  How attentive are you to the people entering the office after you?  How much do you recognize the people that are already there?  Even in our own practice, I often noticed that sometimes people would come in, put their coat away, say hello to those they passed, but never come to greet those of us who were at the other end of the hall.  The hall's not that long so it's not a big excursion, it just never entered anyone's mind to do so.  Often I'm sitting by myself at the front of the office and it was odd to hear people come in and say nothing.  So I said something and it was obvious that no one realized they were doing that.  Now they at least shout a hello my way.
    If you're the dentist, how much of a greeting do you give your staff as you or they arrive?  Do you even look up from your computer and smile or do you just wave your fingers as you keep on with what you're doing?  I know you are probably doing something very important, but think about it.  Your staff is very important to your success.  They might get used to your unenthusiastic greeting, but it won't inspire them. 
    If you're a team member, how do you greet your co-workers?  Someone is going to set the tone for the practice.  It is usually the person with the most persuasive, assertive personality.  Many times it's a bully.  They can make everyone believe that nothing is fair or that every day is a chore.  Are you going to stand there and let it happen, or are you going to assert yourself and recognize everyone with a smile that let's them know they count with you?
    Think about how you react when someone you really like that you haven't seen in a while, walks into a room.  Your whole body reacts.  You sit up straighter, lean forward, you don't just smile, you beam and they have no doubt that you're happy to see them.  That's how I react when when of my children comes home from college.  I can't hide my delight in their presence. 
    How would your boss, staff or co-workers feel if you showed your delight in their presence when they walked into the office every day?  I'm not suggesting you overdo it.  Not at all.  What I want you to do is to think about how much these people really do mean to you.  What they bring to your day and your work.  How you would like them to feel as they go about their day.  How you would like to feel in their presence.  How you would like to go about your day.  Do you think you have any influence in that?  You can do your part.  You can let them know you actually see them, for starters.  Really see them for who they are and what they do.  That will make it easier to enjoy them because they will react positively to your recognition.  From there it becomes ridiculously easy to just build better and better relationships and a better practice culture.
    I see you.  You're sitting there reading this and wondering if you resemble the guy sitting at the computer barely grunting a hello. Or maybe you're the one drinking coffee and dreading the 10:00 patient who always complains and won't let you lean her back.  But, do you really see her?  See how it goes?  If I see you, you might see me, too.  Before you know it you'll be seeing everyone in a different way.  Maybe they'll be less dreading and more enjoyment.  Can you see how much better that might be?

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