Trouble in Paradise? What to do?


Part 1

So you as the employer have begun to see some signs along with a number of your team members who have pointed this out to you.  You are beginning to ask yourself if a particular employee appears to still be a fit for your practice.


  • Have you each grown in different directions and is your vision and focus no longer in tune with how she sees things advancing?
  • Is there resistance to accommodate the new changes you have begun to implement?
  • Does the employee in question appear to be “stuck” and unable to conform?

You know there was a time when she was so enthusiastic and positive; when she openly shared her delight to be there on a daily basis (which was visible to everyone). Where has this positive energy gone? And even more important than that is the biggest and most important question of all: what’s going on with her and can she rekindle the excitement and respect for the position she has held for years, or is there no way to recover this once “model” team member?

Often an in-depth, honest, open conversation can uncover some underlying reasons for this change and the relationship can be salvaged. But often it is a sign that it is time for both parties to “cut bait” and just move on.


  • Can this relationship that seems to be dwindling, be recovered somehow?
  • Did the conversation reveal any hidden reasons for the change in demeanor?
  • With some work and understanding can things be corrected putting everything back in its proper place again?
  • How long does an employer wait to see if and when positive changes begin to surface, or perhaps on the flip side, when they become increasingly more negative and possibly disruptive?

When time proves that nothing is going to change and significant improvements are not going to happen in spite of the “healthy” conversations between the two of you, then it is time for both to begin planning both of your futures.

Let’s assume that this all makes sense, and the approach to resolving this conflict has been handled appropriately thus far–but there is a catch.  Getting to this point is not at all uncommon, but what is even more prevalent in our business is the fact that now things just stagnate into status quo.

Neither the employer nor employee is ready to take things to the next level and make the necessary adjustments.  Why? Because it’s difficult for both of them to make the next move, partially out of fear and partially to avoid any uncomfortable conflicts between them, or the team, or in the case of the dentist/employer, the patients.  This is what they both have in common and why neither one is comfortable to further address things.


They both continue on with the same dynamics, the same disinterest, the same frustrations on both sides, and they continue to just roll along with no changes at all other than the fact that the work environment grows more and more awkward and the negative energy becomes more and more intense.  So what we have here is an environment that speaks unhappiness to all that enter it. Why? Because this is as far as the employee and employer are “emotionally” able to take it, and we are now left with not only a visibly unhappy practice culture, but two very unhappy people.

WHAT TO DO? – Part 2 coming soon.


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