Practice Management

Emotional Intelligence and the Dental Team

November 11, 2022

Connection is at the heart of every relationship. Connection is based on trust, consistency, and vulnerability and is critical to foundational growth in relationships. Connection comes from the ability to understand others through sensing, empathy, observing, feeling, and knowing yourself. Essentially for meaningful connection to occur, individuals must be aware of themselves and WHY they want to connect and communicate. If the connection is the vehicle, communication is the fuel for the vehicle to create momentum. Communication is when a shared understanding and common ground build a foundation between individuals. When people seek to develop awareness, they see outside of themselves and their desires. The ego, or the want for self, must be cast aside and centered on why the connection is created. 

Why do you want to connect?
Why are you doing what you are doing? Why do you want it? Now, think about why you WANT WANT it. What's the actual reason? And how would it feel if you had everything you wanted? When you reverse the process, it is about connecting with what you want. Trust is built with people and their experiences to connect with what you want. People need to OWN what they want to improve to get to where they want to go, and improving emotional intelligence is the special sauce to get anywhere you want to go. In the context of emotional intelligence, people can know themselves first and build relationships and connections based on their self-awareness. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a self-driven process that leads to self-actualization, and AH-HA! Light bulb moment. Emotional intelligence is a skill that can be improved, unlike IQ. Emotional intelligence skills can be learned and help connect you to people and your purpose. Every occupation in the world is centered around helping people. Our highest need that we attempt to fulfill daily is seeking happiness and joy. And in seeking that joy, we try to find ways to understand what we want within ourselves to bring joy to our lives. What brings each of us enjoyment varies; it is love; for some, it is money, and for some, it is sitting by a river. We each strive for joy. At the heart of every occupation, from a convenience store clerk to an ironworker to a secretary, people help people.

Emotional intelligence is a developed skill among high-performance team leaders because they help OTHERS get where they want to be. Emotional intelligence is about tapping into your awareness of yourself, your actions, and your purpose and honing a craft that empowers others. Emotional intelligence is about serving others and serving your purpose. It is a synergy without ego that allows others to fulfill their purpose, which meets yours. At the core, that's what true leaders do. 

When we understand ourselves, our blind spots, and how to reverse our triggers and respond differently to others, our perspective evolves, and we can see how we can truly serve our purpose. Higher EQ is linked to people who are mentally and behaviorally agile and, as a result, connect and build relationships at a deeper level. For more information on creating and adopting a growth mindset by improving emotional intelligence within your team and your life, you can contact me for coaching or purchase your personalized emotional intelligence assessment.

For more information on leading from the operatory and creating high-performance teams, follow me on Instagram or Facebook @nextleveldh; we also have CE courses on demand at www.nextleveldentalhygiene.comand listen to The Dental Handoff podcast.


Submitted by Dr Kelly Tanner, PhD, RDH

Tags: Practice Management