Do You Rate Your Meetings?
One of the most difficult human experiences is receiving criticism. However, it is one of the best learning tools.
Before managing, I didn’t realize the importance of having meetings regularly. For almost every situation you encounter, the most effective way to share information with your team is to have a meeting. It can be an open mic, a focused meeting, several topic discussions, financial, operational… the list goes on.
What we all know is that a workplace cannot survive without these check-ins, whether it’s daily (such as huddles), monthly, or quarterly. Over time you can get to know what types of meetings work best for your practice.
The struggle we may face is, will all team members be as excited or engaged as you would like them to be? We often try to figure out a way to shift the focus and keep things interesting. How effective are your meetings?
Considerations for Meetings in the Practice
As managers, we need to lead by example. If I need to give employees critiques of overall office productivity, I also need to be willing to accept critique.
The upside to meetings is that they can be a quick and efficient way to disseminate information, along with our direct eye contact and verbal responses letting us know whether or not we are on the same page as a team. If there are concerns, we address them right away and figure out solutions together.
This is the time to share valuable information and figure out ways to modify certain behaviors that have not been working with your team. If you, as a practice manager, would like to implement something new, set up a meeting accordingly and figure out whether this option is best for your team, the practice, and, most importantly, your patients. Setting time aside frequently makes it very easy to hold others accountable. You can also check in on things you cannot focus your attention on otherwise. As we all know, communication is the key to success. It creates healthy work environments and clear expectations.
The downsides of meetings might include a lack of interest, unfocused team members, side conversations, or constant disagreements. Be able to identify when this time becomes toxic and stop the negatives right when you see them. This may require you to establish a specific set of rules for your team and remind team members before the start of the meeting that, as adults in a work environment, we are expected to be respectful, work hard, and professionally present ourselves.
Understand that when someone is passionate about an idea or is in full disagreement with a newly required task, they must be able to express those feelings respectfully and professionally. When you start to see your meeting go sideways, be sure to stop and bring the team right back to basics. Then deal with team members that are not interested at all. You may question whether these team members even care to be there. If they are unwilling to be engaged in making positive changes, hearing feedback from their team members, and speaking up, then it may be time to re-evaluate that team member altogether.
Conducting Effective Meetings
Make it productive. Some may think that all meetings must be informative. This may be the main reason for the meeting, however, we also should consider that we sometimes need to de-stress.
For example, my team members like to have some time to speak freely and include a fun activity as well. We all get busy and may find ourselves in a shaken snow globe. Set up the time to let your team know you care about their stress levels and take a break so they don’t get overwhelmed or feel overworked. You will find that when you have times like this, at least quarterly, you will get better results from your team as they feel rewarded for all their hard work.
Now that your types of gatherings have been identified and scheduled, it is time to get the show started. Have a timeline, set some house rules, and conduct a productive meeting.
Ask your team to rate the meeting on a scale of 1-5. Lower ratings mean that the meeting was not effective, not informative, and had no purpose. Higher ratings mean that everyone was on track, all team members felt it brought value, and it was a great use of their time. This is important because we need to be able to know how each team member feels.
If you find that you continuously have lower ratings, then ask your team what kind of team meeting will be valuable to them. Although you may not be able to please them all, you can take a step in the right direction on getting them involved. This also makes the team member feel valued and that they have a voice. There may be some areas that they can help you improve in. Either way, you will never know if you don’t allow the team to rate their experience.
Try it out!
About the Author
Driany Cruz, MAADOM is a regional manager for New England Dental Partners, overseeing nine of their Boston region practices. She started her dental career seven years ago as a dental assistant. Driany is a lifetime member of AADOM, a member of the local AADOM Boston chapter, received her fellowship designation in 2020, and most recently was inducted into the 2022 AADOM Mastership (MAADOM) class last month in Scottsdale, AZ. She strives to achieve the highest quality of dental management experience and to understand all the business aspects of running a practice.