Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Article excerpt

Q: I set up my own dental practice in a small town in Surrey six months ago.

I'm 35 and the previous owners had been well into their 60s. My clients are all mature and I'm finding it hard to get them to accept me. I've made a few changes around the building to modernise it, only to receive some snide remarks as a result. The biggest challenge is the staff, who challenge my every comment, and, when they're not telling me how it used to be done, are being passive-aggressive. I don't know how to improve things, can you help?

A: I'm afraid you've ignored the huge value that many people place on familiarity. Going to the dentist, despite advances in technology and the reduction of discomfort, still fills a great many people with a deep sense of foreboding. To encounter a familiar receptionist in a familiar reception (and probably a familiar copy of Country Life as well) can be greatly reassuring. The older you are, the more welcome that reassurance becomes. At 35, you've started to redesign this practice to suit people of your own generation rather than the clients (and the staff) you've inherited. …

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