Finding time to STOP and Say THANK YOU

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” John F. Kennedy.

It’s the time of year when everyone is reminded to be grateful, but the thing is, we shouldn’t need a reminder to say thanks. It’s sad, but that is human nature. We are so distracted by all that’s going on in our lives that it takes a reminder, or an event of some sort, to bring our attention back to things that are important.

Life is short. Say thank you.

It’s amazing how people don’t really hear each other. It’s not that we’re ungrateful; it’s just that we’re so distracted by our own thoughts and personal activities that sometimes things are missed or overlooked. That all-important thank you to those who matter most – those who are helping us enjoy our lives – is inadvertently missed.

Think about public speaking – advisors and coaches will tell you not to worry about what the audience thinks because they’re not thinking about you, the speaker – they’re thinking about themselves. That’s why it’s important as leaders to remind ourselves to be aware, to pay attention to those around us, and to say thank you (genuinely or it won’t matter) when you can.

When you have a great team working with you it’s easy to just make the motions day in day out. You come in and maybe you say good morning … maybe you don’t. Maybe you share a chuckle at your huddle, maybe you don’t. You move from patient to patient, op to op, and then the day ends and you wish your team a good night … and then it starts all over again. There was no specific thank you in there. You were nice. You smiled. You were courteous and shared a laugh. But no “thank you”. That is precisely the reason that you should STOP and think about those around you … those people who happily support you day in and day out … those who come to the table when you need them the most … those who help you “get it done”. It’s time to STOP and say THANK YOU.

When someone forgets to say thank you, you often notice. People bustling about their business don’t thank the sales clerk, they push through the door held open with no acknowledgement, or cut in front of a car without a small wave. Hey, you … THANK YOU! Just two of the easiest and possibly most important words we can offer.

You like it when a patient acknowledges your efforts with a “thank you” and it feels good when you’re courteous to someone who you don’t know at all, as you move through your day.

Recently one of my departments really came to the table for me. Their manager was away on short notice leave, and I was away at the GNYDM and then, ugh, off sick due to strep throat, yuck. But this team pulled together, stayed calm and cool to figure out how to do tasks they weren’t familiar with, they put on a smile, kept a positive attitude, and kept production rolling. They were helpful, considerate, and strong. THANK YOU TO THEM. Their awesome effort made me think of writing this blog. They were awesome and I appreciated it.

You have people like that on your team. Have you said thank you lately? 

You count on your great peeps to smile, to say good morning, and to make your day. You count on them to open the door, wash the floor, and answer the phones with enthusiasm. You count on them to get patients in, check them out, and cover off when you can’t. They fill in where needed and keep you and your patients happy. Those folks need a really big THANK YOU.

Your practice would not be where it is without a great team. We all know that appreciation is feel good stuff, but on a human-to-human level, we all thrive when acknowledged. And I think that when you say thank you, it makes you feel better too.

This is an odd final comment I know, but the singer Miley Cyrus rose up in my book this year when I saw her as a judge on the TV show The Voice. I didn’t know her much prior to this show. I danced to Achy Breaky Heart (oh I’m old) and I had heard something about twerking, but it turns out she’s a very positive person with very positive advice. On one episode, she said the following to a team member that was being eliminated: “You can’t always use your falsetto – your high voice – but you can always smile and make someone’s day.”  

Thank you for choosing Patient News. We truly appreciate every one of our special group of dentists and their teams. Have a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season. 

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