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Supporting Your Practice

How to Conduct Difficult HR Conversations

Hartley Jafine
Drama and Improv Teacher

Difficult conversations with colleagues and staff are a fact of life in any profession, and dentistry is no exception. Dealing with differences in opinion, gaps in expectation, and handling disciplinary or underperformance issues are all part of what it is to manage your own practice.

So how can we better prepare ourselves these awkward moments of conflict, and what, specifically, can we learn from the art of theatre and improv?

Hartley Jafine is a drama and improv teacher who works with medical and dental students on how to better conduct difficult conversations. In this edition of CDA Oasis Live, he explains to Dr. John O’Keefe that by studying the principles of how an actor prepares for a role, we can approach difficult conversations from a position of understanding and therefore better recognize the other party’s perspective. He goes on to highlight the importance of not avoiding difficult conversations, outlines the benefits of a curiosity mindset, and shares useful tips on better communicating with your team.

“Training to understand what a character is fighting for gives you insight into what they want in a scene. By engaging in this way, you can recognize their perspective and how that perspective aligns with yours.”

We hope you find the conversation useful. We welcome your thoughts, questions and/or suggestions about this post and other topics. Leave a comment in the box below or send us your feedback by email.

Until next time!
CDA Oasis Team

Full Conversation (12.21")

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