Your IQ Got You into Dental School, Doctor — But What is Your EQ?

By Dr. Rick Huot

The intelligence quotient (IQ) test was developed to measure individual intelligence more than one hundred years ago, and has been recognized as a good predictor of future academic success, while serving as a screening guide for teachers to allocate resources to students that exhibit less than average scores. Most dentists at an early age probably scored in the 130- to 160-point range — putting them in the “gifted” range — and given the rigors of a dental school education, this proved to be a valuable aid among others in predicting academic success.

There has been a lot of recent interest in the workplace to explore what individuals have for an emotional quotient (EQ), as emotional intelligence plays a critical role in higher productivity, job performance and overall satisfaction with an individual’s job description.

According to management experts, workers who display high emotional intelligence are more confident and capable in their work environment, and earn a large amount of respect from their colleagues at work. Further research reveals that in times of crisis in the management world, individuals with high EQs tend to stay calm, are flexible in the outcome and have the ability to stay focused on the problems causing the crisis.

Dentistry has become a “team sport” and requires more attention to detail and focus than ever before. As the leader of the dental team, it behooves dentists to learn how to develop a greater emotional intelligence to solve managerial problems found every day in any type of practice setting you may be in.

Due to the demand for courses on EQ, there are many companies who specialize in the development of work teams trained in the practice of increasing emotional intelligence. As teamwork and collaboration is highly emphasized in today’s managerial toolbox, a course taken by your entire dental staff would probably be extremely beneficial, and instructional in nature.

If you have been looking for a course for your dental team to teach your members to be more effective communicators, become more productive and work together more effectively, an emotional intelligence course may be just the thing you are looking for to revitalize your practice!

Dr. Huot is a general dentist in Vero Beach, where he also has a dental practice management consulting business. He is on the FDA Board of Trustees and can be reached at rhuot@bot.floridadental.org. 

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