We have heard a lot about how important a manager is to the success of a team or company. But what makes a great manager? What characteristics do they possess that set them apart? Lab Managers are the ones who hold everything together in a dental lab. They are responsible for ensuring that the quality of work is up to par, deadlines are met, and that everyone is working together efficiently.
Here are five traits that every dental lab manager must have:
1. Well Organized:
One of the most important traits of a successful manager is organization. This includes being able to keep track of deadlines, work progress, and having a plan for every aspect of the lab. A good manager always has a backup plan in case something goes wrong.
Different managers have different ways to stay organized. One of the ways you can adapt is by taking notes. As a manager, your employees will ask you questions, give you updates, and provide new ideas. If you don’t want to forget anything, jot it down so you can address it later. As a manager, you might have a lot on your plate and it can be difficult to keep track of everything. Writing things down can help you to keep track of things
TIP: Make a list of accomplishments every time you do something. And you can present that info to the supervisor during your meetings with them and highlight your achievements to them. At the end of the year, reflect on the accomplishments and set a clear goal for the year to come. Be proud of what you have done!
2. Be a people’s person:
People’s skills can be the make or break of a manager. You need to be able to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and build relationships. As a lab manager you can know how to run a milling machine, and you can know all the products inside and out, but dealing with people is a whole different story.
When you’re dealing with employees, you need to be able to understand where they are coming from. You need to be able to see both sides of the story and find a resolution that everyone can agree on. Try to create contact points with your employees. Get to know them on a personal level, so it’s easier to understand them and their work process. Some employees are visual learners, some are auditory, and some are hands-on. As a manager, you need to be able to adapt your communication style to each individual.
Inshort, be approachable and a good communicator who can be easy to talk with as well as give clear instructions when needed.
3. Compassionate and Empathetic:
A good manager is someone who can put themselves in their employee’s shoes. They know what it’s like to be in their position and they understand the challenges that they face. They are compassionate and care about their employee’s well-being. A good lab manager will go out of their way to help their employees succeed. Don’t feel insecure if your employees are doing better than you, feel happy for them, and be a good source of motivation for them.
4. Ability to Delegate:
As a lab manager it’s your job to set other people up for success, and in order to do that you need to be able to delegate. You need to be able to trust your employees and give them the responsibility to complete tasks. If you try to do everything yourself, you will quickly become overwhelmed. And if you micromanage your employees, they will become frustrated and resentful. Try to find a balance between the two.
You have to challenge them in order to make them grow. Let them learn from mistakes they make while working, as that is the best way they will learn. Indirectly you will also be a good teacher for them.
If you see there are great masters in dentistry. And the reason they are excelling is that they are able to take complex situation, process it, and break them down so people can understand them. Being able to break down complex situations so that your team can understand them, is a key trait of a good lab manager.
5. Admit when you are wrong:
Wrong ≠ Bad. We are all human and we all make mistakes. A good manager is someone who can admit when they are wrong and learn from their mistakes. It’s a good thing, we know it’s not difficult to admit you’re wrong. Accepting your mistakes makes you more human to your team and they will feel more comfortable approaching you with problems. Building that acceptable culture in your team is very important, you want people to come to you, and ask you questions or anything they need without feeling scared. Build that trust!
Just how we at evident digital are focusing on providing better dental designs to our customers without any hassle, every dental lab manager should also focus on the following five traits for a better management experience.
Watch our Lab-to-Lab webinar on 5 Traits of a Good Lab Manager by Anthony Calonico of AEA Dental to learn more!
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