Area Manager, Gary Nelson, talks about the importance of knowing how to regulate your mental bandwidth.
I think we can all take it as read it’s been another punishing few months mentally in dentistry and the world as a whole. The past few years have been a roller coaster.
In recent weeks whilst providing guidance and solutions for friends and clients on what has been largely the same subject matters, I have been recounting the adage of…
‘What gives a person energy and what reduces energy in a person?’
These past few years everyone’s ‘mental bandwidth’ has been teetering somewhere between full and overflowing.
That overflowing mental bandwidth influences our abilities to make good decisions in every walk of life, it has a major effect on our energy levels.
The major effect on mental bandwidth at present is the situation with regards to scarcity of the support team in dentistry – associates, hygienists, nurses and reception team.
This is something sadly we have little control over in the short term, but you can and need to be able to regulate yourself and your team member’s mental bandwidth levels.
To be able to do this for yourself and your team, I think understanding the following is a good place to start:
- Your energy levels – what give you energy and what depletes it?
- Your own mental bandwidth and the effect it has on your ability to make daily living decisions
So, where do you start?
I have always been a fan of Personality Testing.
There are numerous types of personality tests out there on the World Wide Web, my personal favourite has always been Myers-Briggs (free test are available on the web, or you can pay for a more in-depth analysis).
This test is my favourite because of the depth of information it provides about the individual personalities.
The Myers-Briggs test asks a series of questions which ascertain an individual’s personality type. The personality types are taken from four sets of opposing characteristics: introversion/extraversion, sensing/intuition, thinking/feeling, judging/perceiving. Each person is said to have one preferred quality from each category and the more individual types are derived from the makeup of these characteristics. For example, someone could be an introvert, sensing, feeling and perceiving – this would make them an ISFP.
Once you’ve completed the test, you’re given your own four-letter code which should spell out your personality type. There is a plethora of information on the web about Myers-Briggs if you want to know more.
Knowing your M-B personality type will help make sense of why you react in the way that you do and if you get your team members to take the test why the team reacts in certain manner. This can help highlight what factors affect the energy tank.
If you and your team take the time to understand each other better, then you could have a more settled team environment by identifying the causes of stress and energy burnout.
By better understanding ourselves, we can work to put into place business strategies to help prevent those triggers that cause an individual’s mental bandwidth to overflow and in turn deplete the personal energy tanks to empty.
It is certainly not an easy world to navigate at present for any individual and running a dental practice adds additional factors.
Keeping yourself and your teams energised could be the key.
Why not give it a try, take the time out to help understand you and your people better.
Oh… and by the way, me…an INTJ in case you are wondering, now what are you? (Take the test for free here).