Dental Business Coach | You Teach People and Train Dogs

Last month I asked the question if you have employees, or a team with whom you work. Now I would like to address a pet peeve of mine when working with a team. I have said before that the words we use matter. Not only in our personal lives, but also in our dental office. Communication is very important when we talk with one another. The way in which we communicate impacts our team members.

It has always bothered me that some refer to working with people as training people. That phrase drives me up the wall like nails on a chalkboard. You teach people, and train dogs. Think about that for a moment – it will change your perspective. Training denotes something basic, almost demeaning. We should want much more for our team that represents us in our practice. Whenever I hear that phrase, I think of when I potty trained my kids or training a dog to sit. See what I mean? What professional team member wants to be trained? As a dental student did they train you or teach you clinical skills?

Contrast that with teaching someone. Learning new things is fun. We get the opportunity to learn new information daily. Throughout our lives as students from elementary school forward, we have teachers, not trainers. On the collegiate level, they are called professors – still not trainers (whether they have tenure or not) 😊 Every office I have worked with has appreciated the difference when I explain it to them from my perspective. Ultimately, it is a respect thing.

Please understand, the words we use matter to your team. Are you skeptical? Just ask them for their opinion. Learning new things is something that should never stop – not for those that want to continue to excel. Those are the type of people I want on my team.