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 

5 Best Practices to Enhance Your Practice Performance and Productivity

By Melvina MacDonald, Employee Assistance Program Director, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Inc.

“I feel like if I go on like this, I will get sick.”

“I can’t think, I am confused …”

“I have too much stress at home and work.”

“I need to go home, I can’t do this anymore.”

“I need help.”

These are statements made daily by employees seeking help through our Employee Assistance Program. As employee assistance and mental health professionals, we have been in a position to help employees cope with the multitude of competing priorities both at work and home.

Stress has become a common and costly problem in the American workforce. More than one-third of American workers experience chronic work stress, with low salaries, lack of opportunities for advancement and heavy workloads topping the list of contributing factors (American Psychological Association 2013b). Job stress is estimated to cost U.S. employers $300 billion a year in absenteeism, diminished productivity, employee turnover and direct medical, legal and insurance fees. Dental practices also struggle with these same employer challenges.

The American Psychological Association Center for Organizational Excellence has identified psychologically healthy workplaces as a win-win both for both employers and employees. A psychologically healthy workplace fosters employee health and well-being while enhancing practice performance. The following are five evidence-based practices to support employers with improving their work environment:

  1. Employee Involvement: Look for ways to involve employees in decision making. Provide channels for open two-way communication.
  2. Health and Safety: Provide access to an employee assistance program and mental health and substance abuse services, prioritize safe practices and communicate concern for employee safety. Provide programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and the prevention and management of workplace stress.
  3. Employee Growth and Development: Provide skills training and leadership development; seek opportunities to provide avenues for career advancement.
  4. Work-life Balance: Consider personal and family needs; look for means to offer flexibility in work schedules. Offer flexible benefit plans.
  5. Employee Recognition: Develop a program for individual and team recognition.

By applying psychologically healthy workplace practices, any dental practice has the potential to activate all the resources of its workforce in meeting the mission of the practice.

“You can have the best strategy and the best building in the world, but if you don’t have the hearts and minds of the people who work with you, none of it comes to life.”  ~ Renee West, Lexor and Excalibur Hotel

For further information about psychologically healthy workplaces and their successes, go to, or for information regarding the Tallahassee Memorial Employee Assistance Program, go to