by Alex Francis
It can be easy to fall into a rut at work—going through the motions without a real purpose in mind. And as a dental assistant, it can be particularly hard to resist slipping into the shadows and allowing the actions of those above you dictate the path of your career. In order to be a successful dental assistant, it is important that you take conscious steps to become a valued member of your team.
The guidelines in Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People can be especially helpful in aiding dental assistants to establish themselves as invaluable within their practices.
Seven Helpful Habits
The first habit is to be proactive. This can be tricky as the role of a dental assistant is inherently a supporting one, but asserting yourself and taking responsibility whenever possible can go a long way toward increasing your perceived effectiveness. Covey’s next recommendation is to begin with the end in mind—know where you ultimately want your career to go and actively work to steer it there. Third, he stresses the importance of putting first things first.
This means knowing when it’s okay to say no and prioritizing things that will help advance your career. Subsequently, it is also important to have a win-win mindset. Dental assistants work as part of a team, and an effective assistant is one that knows how to compromise in order to achieve what is best for everyone.
Covey’s next three recommended habits for being an effective person, and, therefore, an effective dental assistant, are related: seek first to understand, then to be understood; synergize; and sharpen the saw. Before a dental assistant attempts to assert their own idea, they must first understand where everyone else is coming from.
They must do their best to promote the synergy of their team, and they must be sure that they have sharpened their saws, so to speak, by keeping up to date on what is going on in both the dental field as a whole and with their own team. When these seven habits are put into practice, you will be able to make informed suggestions and increase the effectiveness of both yourself and your team.
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Seven Habits of Effective Dental Assistants
by Alex Francis