I have a dental assistant who is technically capable but who doesn’t seem to like our patients. She says the minimum to them and has a rough style that can be off-putting. Even the rest of the team avoid her. I’ve given her feedback that she needs to be nicer and she’ll be better for a few days and then she returns to looking annoyed and surly. Is there anything I can do to change her attitude?
Attitude and personality are really difficult things to change about someone. And because attitude is subjective, it’s tricky to give feedback about. (She might see herself as quiet instead of surly.) What you can do is give her feedback about how you interpret her behavior and specific directions on the behavior you want to see. For example, you can provide a checklist of questions you want her to ask patients. You can teach her how to modulate her communication style. Your focus would be on changing specific actions because you are probably not going to change her personality.
But ultimately, if she doesn’t represent your philosophy, then this person may not fit in your practice or at least a fit in a position where she interacts with patients. One dentist I work with moved a DA with a challenging personality into an insurance verification role. This solved his issue!