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a blog by Chris Barrow

A quiet voice in the storm

It is a source of great frustration that planning, once more, is taking second place to surviving.

The reappearance of Covid as a primary disruptor (team absences and patient cancellations) is turning the clock back to the post-lockdown days in which we were all making it up as we went along.

It will be 2 weeks tomorrow since I returned from Chamonix and, so far, I have seen zero evidence of any decline in the demand for dentistry.

Cost of living/political crises don't seem to be affecting the consumer confidence in dentistry (yet).

Covid/recruitment/retention/remuneration crises are certainly affecting both owners and managers, many of whom are reporting to me that they are overwhelmed (again).

"Not enough hours in the day"

"Working evenings and weekends."

"Struggling to get through the to do list."

"Don't know where to start."

"Getting distracted from my primary focus by having to fill in."

That's the language I'm hearing and reading on a daily basis. Just when the sun came out and you wanted to get out in the garden or park.

The temptation is to respond with "we are all in the same boat - suck it up, get your head down and keep going."

However, we've been using that language for 2 years now and it may be wearing a bit thin.

I watch the Tour de France highlights every day and always find it somewhat ridiculous that the crowds line the roads, screaming "Allez!" to the riders as they pass, waving flags and banners, beating hoardings and generally going nuts.

Do they think the riders take any notice of them after 180 km of exhausting effort?

There's no doubt that the crowd are making all of that commotion in order to enhance their own enjoyment of the event - not to help the competitors.

What the riders are actually listening to, through their earpieces, is the wise counsel of their team managers.

That's what you and your team need right now - a quiet voice in the storm.

You cannot hold a daily huddle and shout "rah! rah!" every morning.

You can make sure that you take the time for personal conversations on a frequent and regular basis. A simple "how are you and how's it going?", along with calm and measured guidance.

We are back in a storm, it is tough - it will pass.

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