News |3 min read

The Power of Positive Language

Cara Hull, MAADOM with text, "Real-world insights from AADOM authors"

E + L = M

Hold on, AADOM tribe!

Don’t worry; I’m not going to focus on Einstein’s theory of relativity or take you back to high school algebra class.

E + L = M is a great equation for communication in your office. E + L = M stands for Event + Language = Motivation.

As a dental office manager, you can use this equation to motivate your patients or team members.

The words that we use in situations are powerful.

Keep reading to learn tips on how you can use the power of positive language to make your dental practice stronger.

Scenario 1: tooth extraction

In this scenario, you’ll learn how the power of positive language directly impacts motivation.

The patient needs to have an extraction:

Language that incites negative emotions

  • Low motivation = “Pull/yank your tooth”
  • Fear = “It’s going to hurt.”
  • Stress = “It’s very expensive.”

Language that encourages positive thoughts

  • Calm = “We’ll remove your tooth.”
  • Encouragement = “You’re in great hands.”
  • High motivation = “We have financing options.”

The power of positive language

You can see that the event doesn’t change, but the language or words we use to communicate during the event does.

The words or phrases we use either encourages (motivates) or discourages (doesn’t motivate), a patient from moving forward with treatment.

Be mindful of language. Even when used jokingly, it can make a difference in how you, your doctor, or your dental office are perceived by patients.

Do you use language to make your patients feel comfortable? Or to put them at ease?

If so, great job!

You’re probably experiencing high case acceptance and building strong patient relationships.

If not, consider changing the words and phrases you use to motivate your patients.

Scenario 2: implementing change

In this scenario, your doctor wants to implement changes they learned in their recent continuing education course.

Negative feelings

  • Low motivation = “We have to change again!”
  • Resistance = “How long do we have to do this?”
  • Negative impact = “This always slows down our schedule.”

Positive encoruagment

  • Excitement = “Doc is always bringing the latest information to our team!”
  • Positive = “We can do this!”
  • High motivation = “Thankful to work for a doctor that cares!”

We can all relate to our doctors wanting to implement change working in a dental office. We work in an exciting profession that consistently makes improvements.

Some team members welcome change and are excited about doing more or bringing new equipment and materials to the office.

Others struggle with change and often times resist it.

As office managers, we need to help our doctors motivate our team to grow and learn new things.

Ask yourself:

“Does the language I use motivate my team?

We don’t want to be part of the problem by using language that goes against our doctor’s wishes.

We’re the cheerleader in the office encouraging our team members.

Choosing the right words and phrases will have a greater chance of successfully implementing “the event.”

Meet the Author

Cara Hull in pink top and pearl necklace

Cara and her husband, Dr. Joseph Hull, own a general dental practice in Gregory, SD.

Cara is a lifetime AADOM member, participates in the Dental Spouse Network… This text opens a new tab to the Dental Spouse Network website…, earned her FAADOM in 2012 and MAADOM in 2021.

When not at the dental office, Cara is active with her four children. She serves as a local school board member, Girl Scout troop leader, and Sunday school teacher.

In 2018, Cara received the “Go-Getter Award” from the Gregory/Dallas Chamber of Commerce for her dedication to supporting local businesses and volunteering throughout the community.


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