Somedays our personal baggage feels heavier than others and it sure can weigh you down. Have you ever stopped to reflect upon how that baggage effects your ability to serve others whether at home or work? What about those around you- your significant other, your kids, your patients, and co-workers? Is it possible that in our society it has almost become a culture norm to carry those bags everywhere you go? I’d like to share a recent experience I had at an established dental practice in Mississippi. The lady up front did not know who I was nor that I was there to meet with the Doctor. Yet within 30 seconds of walking into the reception area she unloaded her life story on me and my colleague along with 2 elderly patients waiting to go back for treatment. Before I share the details please hear my heart loud and clear- this was a scream for help from an overwhelmed employee drowning in heavy baggage with no where to put it down and as a dental coach this is certainly an area of expertise where we can help. The concern here is that work is not a healthy outlet to voice such frustrations such as her being a single mom, recently moving, and being involved in a hit and run.
Five minutes after I walked into this practice and awkwardly sat in silence while she continued to rattle away her list of life problems I realized I knew this gal’s life story yet I didn’t even know her name nor did she know mine. As she loudly shared that she told her attorney she was “out for blood” I started to imagine I was one of those cartoon characters who could slide out of their chair, slink down onto the floor, and slowly back away. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks- if I as a dental insider felt this way how were the patients feeling? What if one of those patients is already fearful of being at the dentist office does this put them at ease and give them a reason to come back? What if the gentleman sitting across from me was a new patient; what kind of first impression does that make? What are the chances of the rest of the team being set up to connect or fail based upon the stage set by the front desk?
Ever heard of the butterfly effect? We see it all the time in practices and it can truly make or break a person’s day. I’d like to share a few go to’s in how to address those dreaded bags. The first step in moving forward is not so much leaving the bags at the door as it is learning how to make them lighter. That’s where AMP comes into play with one on one coaching and guidance on health outlets to use when needed. Our unique focus on mindset coaching sets you and your employees up for transformational days whether for self or others. We have the pleasure of gifting your practice with state management tools that they can always carry with them. We have found that when someone gets overwhelmed, such as the example of the front desk lady above, there is an automatic fight or flight response that takes place in the brain. This automatic response in the amygdala cannot distinguish between a real threat and a perceived threat meaning the response triggered is a false alarm. Once this occurs it can be challenging to take a step back for perspective much less manage one’s thoughts or feelings. Therefore, it is essential to shift the blood flow from the amygdala back to the prefrontal cortex in order to make better decisions.
There are 3 key points to focus on in order to do so:
- Change your physical state through movement.
- Change your focus.
- Change your language.
Our most successful clients know these techniques well, what is behind them, and why they work. It is not uncommon to get a text mid-day from one of our clients sharing they are challenged with something internally or externally of the practice and shifting the way they respond by taking a brisk walk or doing push-ups or jumping jacks. This first line of defense is the quickest and easiest way to break out of the fight or flight state. While it may feel uncomfortable or perhaps even silly at first once this becomes a go to utilized technique we typically then see profound personal and professional growth resulting in long lasting change. My challenge to you is in being aware of how you and your team effect one another and those around you at work and home and then utilize change through physical movement to get a different outcome. You never know, all those walks and push ups may have your significant other thanking us later too!