The foundation behind every relationship is based on the principle of trust. Not only am I talking about in personal relationships, but also in our workplaces as well. If people trust you, they believe in you. Even if you make a mistake or act in a negative manner toward them, they won’t hold that action against you because they “know you.” They would understand that is not typical of your behavior and most likely try to help you with whatever the problem was.
On the flip side, if someone doesn’t trust you, everything you say and do will be under scrutiny. Behind all your actions, there will be doubtful motive, and until the trust is established, there is no relationship at all.
As dentists, we are leaders in our offices, and leaders must be trusted. If you have a team member who is doubtful of your intentions, he or she will not implement your practice ideas and philosophies. He or she instead may say negative things behind your back to other team members — and even to patients. You can imagine the cascading, detrimental effects this can have on your business. If you don’t have a trust-based relationship with your patients, they will most likely not move forward with any treatment recommendations you may have; and if they do, they likely will find fault in your work, even if it was done pristinely.
Trust is a core concept that every successful business attains. Here are three ways you can establish a trusting rapport with your team and patients:
- Never overpromise. At times, people have the best intentions and try to do more than what is within their realm of capability. We allow ourselves to be talked into things because we want people to like us, and we want to help, or sometimes we just may carry too much bravado. Regardless, if you are not sure you can do something — don’t do it! In fact, I always tell my team under promise but try to over deliver.
- Say what you mean. When you talk, communicate clearly and accurately. Sometimes people tell “white lies” because they feel they will avoid offending someone or confrontation. Maybe they will embellish a story to make it seem more glamorous and exciting, or to try and gain more credibility. Life is just way too busy to try to keep up with these fallacies. Eventually, you get caught, and then feelings get really hurt, and you lose all your credibility.
- Honor your word. If you say you’re going to do something, make sure you do it. Once in a while, you may legitimately not be able to do what you said you would. Make sure this is discussed with those affected, and reschedule. If you don’t, you will lose trust with people, and you will begin to lose faith in your own integrity. If you can’t keep your word to yourself, this will eventually have a heavy negative impact on your everyday sense of happiness and overall well-being.
The bottom line is: Be true to your word, to yourself and others. If you believe in yourself, you will have strong core values that can help you build strong relationships with people that will bring success in every aspect of your life.
Pamela Marzban, DDS, FAGD