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a blog by Chris Barrow


A meeting last week with a man and wife team: he is the dentist and she “was” the housewife, although previously a professional service provider herself. The team are in anarchy – refusing to do what the Principal wants, running the place for their own comfort and convenience. The wife has arrived in the practice part-time to try and create order and they are treating her badly. The owners are stressed and depressed. The team are rude, disrespectful and ignorant. The call to me was “can you help us fix our team?” Usually when this call comes in, I look at the Principal to see what historical performance or behaviour has caused the problem. It can be lack of leadership, poor management or lousy communication skills. In this case, try as I might, I cannot fault the couple in question – they are soft but genuinely nice. No – what we have here is a “gang” of small-minded women who have taken over. So my advice to the couple? 1. It cannot be fixed 2. Don’t pay me to come in ⁃ I’ll tell them they are a disgrace and should be thankful they have a job in this climate ⁃ I’ll tell them how their behaviour and performance must change ⁃ They will hate me ⁃ Then they will hate you for bringing me in – so……. 3. Sell the practice to a corporate 4. Either take the cheque and walk out the door without looking back or 5. Take an earn out, walk in at 09:00 every morning and walk out at 17:00 I despair of employees who think they can play fast and loose with somebody else’s livelihood and emotions just to satisfy their own little power-plays and mood swings. Zero tolerance in a recession.

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