Personal Power is Reciprocal

Build your relationships first….then your dentistry. ~ Bob Barkley

Personal Power is Reciprocal

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Life is a lot like a game. It is a series of physical, emotional, and financial interactions with our environment and others. Sometimes we “win”. Sometimes we “lose”. And sometimes we just learn so that the next interaction will hopefully be more favorable. In this context, we can also view life as a series of negotiations , negotiations with ourselves, others, and our environment.

On this, Jordan Peterson, PhD states: “You can’t negotiate from a position of weakness. You need to understand that if you want to advance your career and yourself you must negotiate with others. And this is because, even if you are competent at what you do, but you remain silent, you will be ignored. So, in the grand scheme of things, what you can do will not even be considered. You will just be a part of the background which is keeping everything functioning for everyone else.”

To develop ourselves, and to become successful, we must therefore be both competent AND strategic. We must be able to say to ourselves and to others (directly and indirectly), “This is who I am….This Is what I believe…This is what I can do to make your life better, easier, or more fulfilling.”

But that kind of posture, that kind of clarity, and that kind of purposefulness, is only useful within the context of a helping relationship, where the meaning of “better”, “easier”, and “more fulfilling”, can be discussed and negotiated…within a relationship where we are in essence making a better offer than doing nothing, or them making another choice.

Truly helping relationships with our patients require personal power, and personal power is both principle-centered and reciprocal, as the power actually comes from the other person and their belief in us.

Paul A. Henny, DDS

Thought Experiments LLC, ©2018


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