Making Tough Love Work In Your Business.

Sometimes in business, as well as in life, we are faced with making some tough decisions.

“Tough love” decisions.

Sometimes we have business relationships that just simply do not “cut the mustard”.

Do you know what I mean?

These are relationships in our business that are either very one-sided, or are very unbalanced [and yes, there is a difference], or are scowled upon as simply being obtuse.

A one-sided relationship in business would be one where one side was repeatedly and continuously giving, while the other side was repeatedly laying back, doing not much, and taking.

An imbalanced relationship would be one where we see both sides providing some level of effort, but with one side providing considerably more effort than the other side.

And an obtuse relationship would be one where from appearances, one side was completely “a fish out of water”.

So what does it all mean?

Firstly there will always come a point in every business relationship where we must re-evaluate the purpose of that relationship and whether there is a reason to continue that relationship.

For example, in dentistry, your dental office  may have a laboratory or a supplier that you have had a long term relationship with, but you have tolerated some shortfalls, which have gradually worn you down.

When I was an assistant dentist way back when, my employer had had a long-lasting relationship with a denture laboratory, but during my time at the practice, the delivery service from the laboratory had become dramatically less reliable. Along with this, the dental technician from the laboratory had developed a very regular and consistent quality [set-up] issue with the dentures being made for our patients.

Finally, after being let down time and time again by this old technician, my employer asked me to contact a local dental technician who I had met, who quickly was able to attend our dental office then and there. This new younger technician was able to service our dental office with good workmanship, along with a regular and consistent turnaround timeframe between our appointments.

A similar thing can be said about employees.

There are only so many times, I mean a finite number of times, that an employer will tolerate repeated short fallings where the employee makes no progress in attempting to improve.

A good employer will always reward initiative and drive shown by his employees.

When either of those attributes are missing or begin to wane, then it is definitely time for the employer and the employee to address the relationship and decide whether the working relationship has reached a figurative “line in the sand”, or whether there is improvement and effort that is lacking, that could be applied.

Complacency and apathy are the killers of healthy relationships.

In a working environment, neither side should take the other side for granted.

All business relationships should be treated with a similar delicacy to that with which we treat our personal relationships.

We do need to always be sensitive and aware of the wants and the needs of all parties in the business.

Rarely are business relationships truly equal. There is, in most cases, an imbalance between the provision of the service provided and the receipt of that service.

When this is the case, and there is an imbalance, the over-giver may simply be grateful for repeated praise and thanks for providing that service.

Expressing gratitude regularly can take you a long way.

Management that praises and compliments its employees, and its trades and suppliers, will always go further towards the maintenance of strong working relationships than those arms of management that fail to praise.

And sometimes all that is required is regular and repeated acts of recognition and gratitude and praise.

Take a good hard look at all the relationships within and outside of your business.

Are they well balanced with a fair and reasonable win-win outcome available for each party?

If they are not balanced, ask yourself if that relationship needs some attention so as to ensure the longevity of the association.

You cannot build a long term successful business based on imbalances and misconceptions.


My next public speaking presentation showing Dentists how to grow their Dental practices will be in London England on Saturday 4 August 2018 with Jayne Bandy.

For more information and to secure your seat click this link here.


Have you read my book , How To Build The Dental Practice of Your Dreams [Without Killing Yourself!] In Less Than Sixty Days.

Click Link To Order


The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me at

Did you like this blog article? If you did then hit the share buttons below and share it with your friends and colleagues. Share it via email, Facebook and twitter!!