My parents routinely told me to “mind my Ps and Qs” and I always tried to, even though I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant.*
Turns out, the “Qs” are an especially important part of coping with the world.
The first one we encounter is IQ. Intelligence Quotient is an international standard that has been around for over a century. The results of various IQ assessments have guided – and misguided – the lives of many of the boomer generation. (That and gender stereotyping, a topic for another day.)
The second one is EQ. Although the concept of Emotional Quotient was identified over 50 years ago, it only gained mainstream popularity in the mid-nineties. Briefly, it’s the ability to use emotional information – your own and others’ – to guide thinking and behaviour. There are all kinds of assessments available, but to my knowledge, there’s no ‘official’ standard scale like IQ.
Then there’s CQ… twice. Cultural Quotient is the capability to relate and work effectively across cultures. This term was coined in the early 2000s, and there’s even a Cultural Intelligence Center in Lansing, Michigan. Managing diversity in the workplace is a much-explored topic.
The second CQ is also a recent addition to the list. I’ve seen several articles now about Confidence Quotient: The measure of how each individual acts and interacts based on their own self-perception and self-esteem. Again, there does not appear to be one standard assessment or scale that ranks CQ, but you can find a wide variety of tools online (like at http://www.funquizcards.com).
Your CQ can have an enormous impact on the success of your practice. Patients expect clinical expertise but it goes further than a certificate on the wall. They need the reassurance that their dentist and team believe in their expertise.
You and your team exude confidence – or not – in many ways. What you say, how you say it, your non-verbal cues, your ability to listen, how others deal with you… these behaviours all contribute to the trust your patients develop.
Here are a few things to think about to build a positive CQ:
- Be aware of the power of positive thinking and the self-fulfilling prophecy
- Pepper your vocabulary with positive words: “Absolutely!”, “Of course”, “No problem whatsoever”
- Train your team to embrace these techniques as well. Get them comfortable with patient-centric comments like “Our dentist is the best!”, “We’ll take care of you!”, “You’ve come to the right place!”
- Identify and showcase your strengths. Framed diplomas and certificates add gravitas. Framed or counter-top congratulatory postings as team members achieve continuing education show progress. Showcased testimonials and accolades from all sources support the official credentials.
- Know your weaknesses and learn from your mistakes; correct errors and move on
- Discuss your curiosity, ongoing learning and continuous improvement
- Practise stress-reducing strategies. Calmness and control exude confidence
- Identify and avoid toxic influences; nip negativity in the bud
- Search for the upside and focus on the can-do
- Celebrate others’ successes
The next measure looming on the horizon appears to be SQ: Spiritual Quotient. But I’ll leave this one for you to explore at your leisure. Religion and Politics… my parents taught me better.
*There are many theories as to the origin of this expression. My favourite is the Old English barkeep’s system for keeping track of your pints and quarts.