If I were to select one word which is most closely associated with a successful Relationship-based, Health-centered practice, it would be the word growth.
What kind of growth?
Care Team Member Growth.
Effectiveness and affectiveness of team growth.
Patient growth – in knowledge and sophistication of their attitudes and commitments toward dentistry.
And of course -practice growth.
Notice please than I did not mention a word about teeth or techniques. I didn’t mention a word about technology, or what you must physically own to achieve growth. And that is because growth is not a material thing, it is a spiritual thing.
Growth can be promoted, or it can be impaired by the way we think, and consequently the things that we do and say day-in and day-out.
And what we do repeatedly is driven by what we believe…what we believe about ourselves, what we believe about others, and what we believe about the purpose of dentistry.
In other words, dentistry is driven by our philosophy…our world view…our perspective of things, and therefore what it all means to us.
Avrom King said that it all boils down to these three questions:
1. Who am I?
2. Why am I here?
3 What is it that I am trying to achieve?
All three are philosophical questions. And all three lead us to answers which directly influence almost everything else.
If we do not understand who we are on a values and beliefs level – what Mac McDonald recently referred to as “the deep structures of ourselves” – we cannot predictably lead ourself in any desired direction. And as a result of that, we can not predictably lead others in a desired direction either.
So, you can see that in a world where our personal perspective is one of little personal agency, it is easy to assume that we have minimal value. And in a world of minimal personal value, everything starts to look scarce, and everything starts to look scary, so we are tempted to take short cuts; we are tempted to grab what we can for ourselves now.
If we believe the world is flat and that there is nothing that we can do about it, then we are likely to stay on shore, drown or feelings of disempowerment with a little too much wine and whining, and achieve little. And along the way we will attract toward us those who think and behave similarly – because like attracts like- King’s law in action.
We tend over time to create a practice in the exact image of what we believe. And it could be a version of heaven or hell that we create. And all of that happens because we chose to grow – or not.
How much growth is happening in your practice? Can you see the green shoots of enthusiasm and creative change all around you – the evidence of constant renewal? Or do you see an ossified structure struggling to maintain the status quo – and within it people who are down, frustrated, and thinking that they have no other choices?
Who are you?
Why are you here?
What is it that you are trying to achieve?
And that is why L.D. Pankey and Bob Barkley constantly talked about it.
Paul A, Henny, DDS
Thought Experiments LLC, ©2017
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