SpouseTales Snippet 7: “Seasons of Change”

In Embracing Coworkers, Inspiration, Self-Help by JoAn Majors, RDA, CSP®

Recently we’ve been recording a series about the seasons of change on the SpouseTales podcast. It’s interesting to consider how many of us have gone through a “season” in our lives that absolutely had an effect on us, both professionally and personally.

We often read about how when going through impactful change(s) it’s important not to make big decisions. At one point, someone published a list that included things like; relocation, career or job change, divorce, marriage, family loss or significant illness, new home, new child and a few more. Anyway, if my memory serves me, it implied that any more than two of these at a time could create an inconsistency for a person experiencing these changes. Even a different (often temporary) personality style can be observed simply due to feelings of someone’s inability to make decisions.

Multiple Seasons Simultaneously Is Normal In A Dental Business

When you are a business owner, it seems impossible to be in a situation where you aren’t going through many of these issues at the same time. At the very least, you are having some “experience” with this when someone on your team is facing any of these issues. It’s great in theory to think what we have going on doesn’t affect others. It may be true in some businesses, but in dentistry, it most often is not.

Our teams are usually pretty intimately connected. In a smaller practice, there might be only a couple of assistants per doctor. If one is out sick and another has a young child that is ill (with no real support system locally), this will absolutely have an impact on the team and the bottom line. At the same time, keeping three assistants on board to avoid a concern like this can also impact the bottom line and the team’s ability to provide a bonus in some instances. 

Create an appreciation and awareness for others

We know there will be seasons in our lives for change. We go from caring for our young children to often caring for an aging parent later in life. Remembering that feeling of sleep deprivation when you have a young child is as important as remembering the day you would have rather taken a beating that taken a nap! Seasons of change should help us create an appreciation and awareness for others and where they are.

If you have never had any serious illness, you can’t begin to imagine why someone who has back pain is frightened to fly because they’ll lift a suitcase or briefcase wrong and be struck with the inability to move or get off of an airplane. What I would like you to remember is that we are all human and have frailties at some point in our lives. Some of which you can physically identify or see, while others are so deep, it’s impossible to understand they are even happening.

Proper acknowledgment is significant today.

After losing my mother and my brother exactly one year later to the date, I remember thinking how strangely people responded. “She wouldn’t want you to be sad.”, “He’s in a better place.”, “I understand how you feel.” Here’s the truth, people. If you still have your mother, please don’t tell me you understand. He may be in a better place, but I might not necessarily appreciate this suggestion in my emotional state. Especially since he was healthy one day and gone the next. Learning to show empathy is not as easy as it might seem.

Learning to say, “I can’t begin to imagine how you must feel” and knowing that this simple but powerful phrase, when shared with no expectations to the person experiencing change, is one of the greatest soft skills you’ll ever learn.

Seasons of change are inevitable. Your ability to master the soft skills critical to acknowledge and empower those who are experiencing them…well, that’s on you. Let’s all work to be better at understanding and acknowledging these seasons of change. It’s impactful to our lives both personally and professionally.

See you on the road,                                                                                                      JoAn

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