Dr. Pankey taught the critical importance of “Know your Patient” and “Know Yourself”; and that it is almost impossible to be masterful at the former before significantly accomplishing the later. Let’s explore why…
“Knowing your patient” requires INTERpersonal intelligence. This is the ability to understand the patient on a physical, emotional, and motivational level -all of which correlates highly with their behavior and decision-making over time.
“Knowing yourself” requires INTRApersonal intelligence, which is understanding turned inward, requiring a strong capacity for introspection and accurate self-assessment. Self-assessment is functionally the lens through which we view our world; the less distorted this lens, the more we are able to use our worldview to operate optimally with others.
“Knowing your patient” then involves our capacity to discern and respond appropriately to the physical limitations, moods, temperaments, motivations, and desires of others.
“Knowing yourself” requires sensitivity to our capabilities and feelings, accurate interpretation of them, and the ability to draw upon this knowledge to modulate and guide our behavior going forward.
And clearly the later influences the former.
Paul A. Henny, DDS
Thought Experiments LLC, ©2017
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