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Trojan Today Classic: “To Give is to Gain: Contribute vs. Comfort” by Phyllis Waite

To Give is To Gain Blog

Do the right thing … because you care!

To retain long term, mutually rewarding relationships, it is essential to support a team member whose skill or judgment is not properly supporting the team. Timely STAFF COUNSELING is an opportunity to show you care about the person’s career development. You are willing to GIVE OF YOURSELF by teaching or coaching towards improvement and are committed to the office MISSION by caring enough to step outside your comfort zone and offer insight. Effective leaders see timely communication as ‘contributing’ rather than ‘confronting.’

Verbal skills are key. Build on a positive foundation and remain non-judgmental. Keep the conversation about the skill and avoid TAKING by making it about the person. For example:

“Mary, because I know how much you care and how diligent you are, I have some insight into how you may be able to make some adjustments and be more effective with (state the situation). Please look at our schedule and let me know when we can spend a few minutes together. I look forward to brainstorming with you.”


“Joan, how are you doing? That was difficult, wasn’t it? Let’s make it a priority to meet tomorrow at 12:30 so we can discuss how we can avoid this in the future. Will that time work for you?”

Observing poor skill and judgment without offering insight and support is TAKING from the individual staff member and the team and is likely to affect a patient’s image of your practice. Ultimately overlooking and accepting below-the-bar skill and judgment affect management’s image and will create feelings of resentment and favoritism among the team.

TIMELY COMMUNICATION IS GIVING, anything less is TAKING from everyone!

Phyllis Waite is a Management/Leadership Coach committed to building successful dental practices. FMI:


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