Last week we had a team meeting on Wednesday. This is something we do about every 4-6 weeks. We block out the entire afternoon, order in lunch for everyone and plan some valuable time together. It is amazing to me how often these meetings turn into logistics discussion about the radio station, uniforms or how we are handling sterilization. I am even willing to admit sometimes they degrade into “gripe” sessions. When this happens I wonder why we continue to schedule these as they seem more stressful than helpful.
One of our goals is to have these meetings be positive and beneficial. There are many levels of benefit we can get, from clinical or technical development, resolving systems based issues, resolving conflict and becoming a more cohesive team. Last week at our meeting one of our team members requested that everyone bring in photos of themselves over a span of years. The suggestion was met with mixed reviews. The day before the meeting at the morning huddle she reminded everyone to bring their photos and some groans were heard.
When the meeting arrived everyone had dutifully brought in their photos. Despite the dread, it was one of the most fantastic things we have ever done at a team meeting. Once the “work” of the meeting was complete we each took turns sharing what each photo was of and passing them around. The images ranged from our own baby and childhood to wedding photos and images of our families when they were smaller. It was incredibly fun and each of us left feeling a deeper connection to the rest of our team. Everyone decided we want to do this again at the next meeting and bring in other photos.
In every dental office therr are systems that work and systems that break down; good days and bad days; stress and excitement. How we deal with the everyday ebb and flow in our offices with grace and caring is about becoming a team, connected by relationships, not just a group of co-workers.