Too Busy can be Too Unproductive

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

Too Busy can be Too Unproductive

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There is a common mistake which often happens to us without our realization of it. And it relates to the difference between staying ‘busy’, and our focusing on being ‘affective’…and I mean ‘affective’ in the sense that our actions positively influence the emotions of others…that they cause others to feel BETTER about themselves in our presence.

‘Busy’ on the other hand, is undefined. It can be productive or unproductive, hence it can advance the purpose of our practice, or it can impair it.

‘Busy’ is often running from one room to the next all day long trying to be as thorough as possible under very limited time constraints, while simultaneously being ‘nice’ to people.

But that’s not ‘affective’, and therefore that’s NOT advancing the vision, even though we are doing our very best under the circumstances.

‘Busy’ is often related to our internal need to feel like we are making progress…carefully checking the boxes…keeping all of the ducks in a row. It also is sometimes a clever way to avoid criticism…after all, being ‘nice’ yields few confrontations, and all we need to do is tell people what we think they want to hear… to “frame” our message in such a way that they can’t see our production agenda, or even our indifference.

So why do we want to be ‘affective’ anyway? Don’t the interactions become too unpredictable if we have to deal each person on an emotional level? And won’t emotional-level conversations lead toward something we can’t control…and therefore cause an out-of-control schedule? And if we can’t control our schedule, how can we stay busy?

Do you see the trap impregnated into this kind of circular logic?

The central key to becoming a health-centered / relationship – based dentist is to learn how to work with people as individuals instead of just bodies delivering teeth and gums to us, and about which we want to make a profit.

Dr. Pankey famously said, “I never saw a tooth walk into my office”, and he meant that if we do not find a way to become more ‘affective’ with people, we will likely never be able to influence them enough to cause them to make better choices about their health…and that they will therefore never move “above the line”.

Think about it, ‘busy’ might not be everything that it’s cracked up to be. Becoming more affective with people is where the real health-centered game is played. And that ‘game’ can only thrive through a Vision-driven Mission, faithfully executed every single day.

Now, THAT’S a good kind of ‘busy’!

Paul A Henny, DDS

Thought Experiments LLC, © 2017


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