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As a new mother, a friend of mine gave me the best piece of advice, “Don’t be a parking lot mother”….GO TO THE SOURCE!

I said, “What’s a parking lot mother?”

She said, “A parking lot mother is someone who drops their four year old off at nursery school, then goes back to the parking lot, and who does she see, but other mothers… then the conversation goes something like this….”

Mother # 1 says to Mother # 2, “I’m having a huge issue with Mrs. Smith (the nursery school teacher). I don’t understand why my little Johnny doesn’t know his numbers”

Mother # 2 says to Mother # 1, “I understand how you feel I have concerns too.
I don’t understand why my little Sally doesn’t know her Alphabets!”
Then mother # 3 joins in and says, “I too am upset with Mrs. Smith. I don’t know why my little Tommy doesn’t know his colors!”

I ask you….. Did anything constructive happen in the PARKING LOT?

Answer….NO

Who should they have taken their concerns to?

Answer …Mrs. Smith

Hence don’t be a parking lot mother… GO TO THE SOUCE!

The same scenario happens in a dental practice…We call it THE DRAMA TRIANGLE.

It goes something like this…..

Hygiene #1 says to Hygiene # 2 “I can’t believe how Sharon (the scheduling coordinator) scheduled my day, does she think I have roller skates?”

Hygiene #2 says to Hygiene #1, “I understand exactly how you feel….she does the same thing to me.”

I ask you…..did anything constructive happen from this conversation? NO

Who should Hygiene #1 have taken her concerns to? Sharon

Hence don’t get involved in the Drama Triangle… tell the person to GO TO THE SOURCE!

One way you can stop the drama triangle is to use a simple verbal tool…..when a team member comes to you with a concern about another team member use the following verbiage, “ Tell me ( name ) “ what did “(name) say when you told her about your concerns?”

This verbal skill tells the team member to GO TO THE SOURCE

Lesson number 1……. STOP THE DRAMA TRIANGLE IN A DENTAL PRACTICE AND REWARDS OF BETTER TEAMWORK WILL FOLLOW.

Lesson # 2 ………WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED THAT PARENTING AND DENTISTRY WOULD HAVE SO MUCH IN COMMON?

Deb Cohen

Author Deb Cohen

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