thanksgivingI have often remarked that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There are a couple of reasons for this.

First of all, the spirit at the core of Thanksgiving is something universal and inclusive. Anyone, no matter what their background or religion, can appreciate how soul-enriching it is to celebrate values such as having gratitude for the abundance we enjoy. It is a uniquely American holiday, but one that is easy for any new arrival to America to embrace.

And then there is the fact that we set aside time to come together as families to do this. After all, you can be thankful for what you have every day—I believe most of us are—and you don’t have to gather with loved ones to do it.

That Thanksgiving Feeling

But we are social beings, and when we want to celebrate something in a special way, it is instinctive in us to want to draw our loved ones near. It is one of the more wonderful aspects of human nature, I think, that in order to get the full measure of a joyful experience, we feel the need to share it. And when you think about what you are truly most grateful for, for most of us it comes down to those faces gathered around the table.

I hope this is what you are feeling as you celebrate Thanksgiving with family this long weekend.

I also hope some of that feeling carries over when you get back to the office next week and re-unite with your other “family”—the one that is made up of the people you work with each day. Naturally, the dynamics of the relationships there are different, but most dental teams I know are very much like families—right down to the occasional squabbling amongst themselves. And there is no denying that these people, who you probably see more of than you do your family at home, are a vitally important part of your life. That is something worth celebrating too.

As a dental practice leader, the best way to show your gratitude for the people around you is to give them an environment where they can flourish. Give them every opportunity to grow in their roles, to and to feel like an integral part of a larger purpose. Give them the gift of daily mentorship and support for their ongoing professional development. These are the people you depend on, and they depend on you to help them be their best. To me, that sounds like family.

So take some time to acknowledge your interdependence as a team, celebrate what you have accomplished together, give thanks for having one another in your lives, and put real energy into working on where you want to go from here.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Commenter's Profile Image Dee Dee Meevasin
November 26th, 2014
Couldn't agree with you more. We just celebrated our team Thanksgiving yesterday and it was a blast. Here's a link to pics:
Commenter's Profile Image Imtiaz Manji
November 26th, 2014
A potluck "Team Thanksgving"--what a great idea! I love it.