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18th April, 2023

How to Stay Calm through Complaints (Even When It’s Personal)

With Dr Annalene Weston

Photo of Dr Annalene Weston

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On this episode

Can you keep cool when you receive a complaint about your work?

Complaints are part and parcel of every profession. No matter how common they may be and how hard you work to avoid them, the anxiety that you’ll get one is always there. It’s even more nerve-wracking if you work in healthcare. Often, complaints come with threats of referral to a professional regulator. All of a sudden, your career might be on the line.

This week, Dr Annalene Weston of Dental Protection Australia joins us to discuss how to stop taking complaints personally. We talk about the thought process that comes with patient complaints and discuss strategies on how to depersonalise and best deal with them.

If you want to know the mindset shift that will change how you deal with complaints., listen to our full conversation in this episode of You Are Not a Frog.

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About the guests

Dr Annalene Weston photo

Reasons to listen

  1. Learn the root of practitioners’ fear of receiving a complaint.
  2. Find out how you can shift your mindset around getting complaints.
  3. Discover the value of support when dealing with complaints inside and outside your control.

Episode highlights

04:41

Getting More Complaints in Healthcare

10:19

Getting Affected by Complaints Even When You’re Not at Fault

13:39

Fear of Complaint

18:42

Mindset Shift around Getting a Complaint

25:15

Understanding It from the Patient’s Point of View

34:21

Being Right vs Being Good in a Relationship

38:49

Dealing with Things Outside Your Control

43:20

Getting Struck Off

45:36

What Helps When Dealing with Complaints

53:42

How to Depersonalise Complaints

57:57

Annalene’s Top Three Tips in Dealing with Complaints

61:04

Forgive Yourself

Episode transcript

Rachel Morris: There’s one thing that humans in every profession, well, that I’ve come across, seem to fear more than anything else, and that’s getting a complaint. In healthcare, it’s doubly hard because complaints often come following a mistake or a negative, difficult outcome, and are often accompanied by the threat of referral to your professional regulator who could literally end your career. No wonder we live in fear of them and do everything in our power to avoid getting one. The majority of complaints are out of our control, and any doctor, dentist, or healthcare practitioner is more likely…

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