I had a brief exchange on vulnerability with my colleague and friend, Clive Friedman a while ago. Here are some of the thoughts we shared:
Most dentists are the CEO’s of their team and most definitely of their patients. With this comes an understanding that a dentist’s self worth is 4th-generation-bonded (with a good hybrid layer) to being all powerful. Dentists offer predictable, evidence-based procedures to control the ravages of dental diseases afflicting the masses. They make no mistakes… and, hidden under this perfect hybrid layer lies shame. The shame we never talk about. The shame that no matter how good our dentistry is, eventually, it fails.
If we are ever going to change, we need to talk about this shame… and our vulnerability. How the intrinsic nature of teeth makes our work so challenging.
When we hide in the shadow of shame, we don’t dare speak our truth. And when we don’t speak our truth, it becomes impossible to be authentic. This is how our connections to our team members, to our patients and to each other eventually come undone. The problem is that we have conflicting / competing expectations about who we are and who we are supposed to be. We function under the false belief that we need to project an image of being all powerful, infallible, in order to reassure our patients, our team…
“Vulnerability is the birth place of innovation creativity and change” says Brené Brown
Dentistry is at a cross road: times have changed and we need to look carefully at what we do everyday.
Please watch this powerful video on Vulnerability and see how you can let go of who you think you should be, embracing your vulnerability to support a much needed change towards reconnecting with all the people around us in dentistry: our patients, our team members and each other.
Vulnerability is not weakness. On the contrary, it is the most accurate measure of courage.