Team training for your dental team. Everyone talks about it, but how do you do it effectively? I was in Minnesota recently where I spoke at a study club meeting (fantastic turnout and enthusiasm!) and also had the privilege of doing a dental team training session for Centrasota Oral Surgery. What a great practice!
Part of the team training and team building involved using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). There are many different personality assessment tools, but the MBTI has withstood the test of time. It has been validated over many decades.
I asked everyone on the dental team to complete the instrument online prior to the session. I then compiled the results, compared them to national statistics, and explained what the MBTI reveals.
During the session, we explored preferences—how people see the world, whether they are introverted or extroverted, and how different personality types relate to one another. The attendees were totally engaged in the process, and we had a number of “aha” moments when team members learned something about themselves and their colleagues.
The MBTI does not measure aptitude or intelligence. It fact, it does not measure anything, because, strictly speaking, it is not a test. The instrument identifies preferences. No one personality type is better than another, but the interaction among types is fascinating and insightful.
One of the most important takeaway messages from the session was specific advice on how to deal with the various types when they are under stress. If your coworker is totally stressed and having a bad day, what should you do or not do? By being aware of that person’s type, all team members can learn to deal appropriately with such situations. The result is more patience, understanding, tolerance, bonding—and, yes, team building.
There is one caveat. Too often people get information off the Internet about personality differences and jump into discussions without the proper background. I have been formally trained to administer the MBTI and facilitate meetings. The MBTI is an amazing tool, but it needs to be used in the right context and with a full explanation so that it is meaningful.
When administered with proper supervision, the MBTI provides insights into people that are useful for a lifetime. Many attendees in Minnesota left the team training meeting with a new understanding of themselves and their colleagues—and they immediately wanted their spouses and family members to take the instrument.
If you would like more information on how the MBTI can be used as a great dental team building tool, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with MBTI in the subject line. Whether you have a small or large team, one office or many, the more you learn about how MBTI helps team training, the more you will want to learn.