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The Impact of Relationship Building.

In a recent article, the author made the comment that the strength of a community lies in the strength of the connections that we have with one another. Recently, those connections were tested, but through honest and open lines of communication, we were able to reach a mutual understanding and begin the process of healing.

Strong relationships are forged through trust, respect, and the commitment to a shared or common goal. That is why placing a focus on building relationships between the individuals, groups, and organizations that have a stake in promoting the profession of dental assisting is crucial if we are to truly achieve the goal of meeting the needs of dental assistants across the nation.

Building relationships takes time and effort. It will not happen overnight and it must be made a priority. With the individuals, groups, and organizations that provide products and services to the profession of dental assisting growing exponentially, interaction between the stakeholders will be a contributing factor to the success of the community as a whole. While the digital age has provided tools to streamline the process such as texts, emails, and social media, the most important communication method continues to be direct or face to face. According to research, the ability to make eye contact and read body language are key factors when it comes to having confidence in and establishing trust between two parties.

Networking is a valuable relationship-building tool. It broadens one's horizon and offers the opportunity to gain a new perspective on an issue through the sharing of ideas and knowledge. One of the greatest benefits that ADAA offers its members is the ability to network with individuals, be it in one's own back yard or across the country. It is important to be open to such opportunities wherever and whenever they present themselves. Reach out to the individual sitting next to you at a dental meeting or continuing education course. Ask them about themselves and show a real interest in their response.

As a tripartite system, ADAA offers a wide scope of opportunities to connect and build strong relationships among members at the local, state, and national levels. As respect, confidence, and trust grow among our members and we learn to support one another, our association will become better and stronger. But to do so, we must find ways to get out into the community and interact with our target population--the dental assistant. At the national level, leadership is working diligently to increase our presence at larger conferences and meetings (while at the same time being budget-conscious) through the use of booth space as well as providing the high quality continuing education for which ADAA is known. The increased partnerships with various dental societies provided the opportunity for ADAA to be present at these meetings.

The response has been positive as we connect with dental assistants, many of whom are learning about ADAA for the very first time. At both Chicago Midwinter and Hinman, promotion of ADAA as the association that represents dental assistants by both member and nonmember speakers at these meetings led to an influx of dental assistants to the booth following each course. This is a perfect example of relationship building, partnership, and collaboration at its best. As these relationships are fostered, recognition of who we are as an association grows. That is when the state and local components are most needed, to step in and continue growing that relationship.

It has been said that when organizations work together towards a common goal, it is possible to create something greater than what the individual organizations could have accomplished on their own. Building relationships through collaborative partnerships within the dental assisting community creates a sense of unity and support that has wide-reaching and positive repercussions for everyone involved but most importantly for the profession itself. Now more than ever ADAA and its members must be proactive in building relationships within the association as well as finding new ways to earn the trust and respect of individuals, groups, and organizations outside of the association.

Robynn Rixse, BS, CDA, EFDA, MADAA

President 2019-2020

American Dental Assistants Association
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Title Annotation:President's Page
Author:Rixse, Robynn
Publication:The Dental Assistant
Date:May 1, 2019
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