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Heart your Smile - Dental charity
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A week in the life of Mhari Coxon

Hygienist, lecturer and dental business consultant.

Day 1:

Here goes with a week in the life of...me!

Today has been a home office day for me. Working on 3 lectures I am due to give this year. I am so excited to share information with my peers but it has taken a while today to make progress. I am persevering none the less.

There has had to be a load of breaks in my work so I could get up and do a mean impression of Twiki out of Buck Rogers (some of you will not know who that is...you tube it youngsters!). Yesterday I ran the Brighton Marathon and if I don't keep moving (which hurts...a lot) I will seize up completely.

The not very flattering photo is me having a quick banana break with my family at around mile 17. I was on target for a finish under 4.30 which was what I had trained for and what I wanted. When I got to mile 23 I came across a lovely lady called Diane crying. She was so tired and sore and didn't think she could make it. I had a chat with her, helped her feel better and then off she went again. At mile 24 I found her walking and crying again. She didn't think she could finish. I was still on target for my 4.30 finish. So what did I do?

I said "Diane, you will finish this race no matter what. Let's finish it together." She had to hold my hand and arm for some of it and we had to walk a little too. I chatted to her about why she was running and who was at the end for her. She had 3 kids like me and we laughed at how lchild birth seemed easier by comparison to how we felt at that minute. (seriously...it is easier!!)

We finished together and my time was 4.42. Do I regret that? Not even for a minute and Diane's hug and smile at the end were worth more than those 12 minutes any day. I saw the bigger picture.

Look at me, all moral to my story! And the moral is, that caring for, listening too and inspiring our fellow humans is more rewarding than anything I know. Go share some love :-)

Day 2:

Preparing and writing - meeting deadlines?!? and showing respect.

So day two of my stuff and I am writing articles for Dental Tribune - on active listening, and DH&T - on being green in practice.

I am also finishing off the lectures for Clinical Innovations Conference - Biofilm management, and Dentistry Live - Implementing Change and Caring for the Smile makeover generation.

I like to work on several things at once as I can do a little bit at a time rather than work on one project solely. Attention deficit most likely!

I hate to miss deadlines but have been a bit close on a few recently. I have had to apologise and ask for an extension on a few. It is a respect thing to not assume that you can work to your own timeframe but work within others.

It is the same when I am in clinic. I hate to run late. I know how busy my patients lives are and it is disrepectful to expect them to wait long periods for me to see them.

So, managing my clinical book so I am not running over is so important for my own happiness and that of my patients. And calling them if I are running late is compulsory. Then everyone is included and respected.

Now i must go back to writing as I must finish today. One day I will learn not to take on too much......oh look a flying pig :-)

Day 3:

Let's Connect

Hello, a bit later today with this but that is because I have been out and about at meetings and making telephone calls. Cathcing up on research projects is exciting.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time on emails and get copied in to streams of conversations I don't always need to. It can take me an hour to clear my feet in the morning before my day really starts. I can feel you all nodding at the screan here.

Sometimes I forget how effective a face to face meeting or a telephone conversation can be. Emails are inanimate. You can't really tell a persons tone or meaning and it is not unusual to misinterpret an email. Come on, we have all got the hump and then found out it was not how it was meant to be interpreted.

Face to face we can display body language and use our tone and facial expression to convey the warmth and message of what we are saying. We can also show that we are actively listening. Telephone is good too but you can't beat a face to face conversation for connecting with the person you are meeting with.

So, much as I love social media, newsletters and info videos, don't forget the power of that human contact. Next time you start to type that long, complicated email, try picking up the phone or going to meet them instead.

I mean, would I have got to do this if I had just emailed?

Day 4 and 5:

Today has been back to back telephone meetings for me with a lot of fine detail report writing. There are times when you can doubt yourself and your strategies and writing reports helps to reafirm what has been achieved and how you will mpve forward.

It is important for me to be able to reflect on my work, and analyse what needs to be improved, streamlined and kicked in to touch. I have to remain confident in my abilities to ensure my vision comes to fruition.

Tomorrow will seem like a day off as I sit in on an Inman Aligner training day. I know it will be great to sit and watch case presentations and learn about the technical ability required by clinicans to use this innovation.

Then, it is time to get my frock on and enjoy an evening celebrating people who love their jobs and excel at what they do. They will be the next generation of inspirers at the Probe Dental Awards.

So, this is me signing off a little early from my week. Hope to see some of you at the BDA next week.