Emotional Decision Making In Your Practice?

Episode 028

Have you ever made a decision or reacted completely based on emotion? You probably have, but have you ever done it in your practice? I have and it took a complete stranger to help me see the impact it was having on my practice, and the other areas of my life.

On today’s episode I share my personal experience regarding emotional decision making and explain how that complete stranger (at the time) helped me adjust my thinking. It’s a very candid and personal conversation today on episode 28 of the Business of Dentistry.

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Recently I had an outburst in my office, and it was in front of a man who I had hired to work with me. I brought him on to help me grow my practice. Through a discussion with him I learned I was making decisions based off on my emotions and responding in a certain way to certain triggers because of principles and values I have.

Issues arose when the people I was communicating with didn’t know I held certain principles in higher esteem than others; so I wouldn’t argue about certain things, but I would respond emotionally about others.

That kind of response would lead people to believe I was reactive, unstable and a hot head. Having a conversation with this man helped me to see I have this pattern and it has been negatively impacting my practice and the other areas of my life. By working with him I learned how to communicate better, how to check my emotions and be objective at work and at home.

In our conversation I also realized that it is best to manage the things within my control and let go of the others. This was something I already did but by talking with him it raised my awareness level of myself so I can see it more often, and so I can also be more objective when making decisions.

You might be wondering what this has to do with running a dental practice so let me give you an example. I value being on time, and being punctual. I’ve been in the military for many years and it’s something that is ingrained in me, and it is something I am very big on. You can say it’s a strongly held principle in my life.

But it isn’t for other people, including some of my staff members. So in the past if someone was late I would allow it to trigger me and I would maintain a perception that this person was constantly late. I would make decisions based on that perception, and that emotional trigger – rather than actually checking the facts to find out how often they were late. So now we track how often people are late so I can see whether or not my emotions and perceptions are based in truth.

If any of this resonates with you take the time to find out how you respond to conflict, find out if you are making decisions and reacting based on facts or based on your emotions. You can do this by talking to your significant other, your family and close friends.

Once you find out if you react emotionally like I have been doing, it will help you improve your communication and your decision-making process. You can go from making decisions based on emotions to a more objective decision-making process. And when you get to that point, a lot of areas of your life will get better including your practice.

Now instead of responding based on my emotions I do my best to get all the facts and the data, take that information into account and process it before making a decision. It’s not possible to take all the emotions out of a decision but I’ve learned to not respond solely based on an emotional trigger.

Doing so has made me more profitable, more productive in my practice – and it’s helped me to leave the office at the office and not take it home with me! So that’s my action item for you this week: check in with yourself and see if you are making decisions based on facts or based on emotions.

There are more personal examples and real life stories that highlight the benefits of checking your emotions and being more objective on today’s episode of the Business of Dentistry.

Tweetable: “Understand how you make decisions and why you make them.”

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