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a blog by Chris Barrow

Are you the odd one out?

This morning I'm in Leeds and preparing for the last of our 7 regional, quarterly, 2-day workshops for Q2 of this year.

Today I'll be introducing the wonderful Cat Edney to spend the day sharing how to introduce therapy-led maintenance and also the scope of practice of the modern digital dental therapist.

Over the last three months, Cat has been the catalyst in encouraging many members of The Extreme Business 100 community to evolve the role of the dental therapist in their practice(s).

Tomorrow I'll be personally coaching a group of Owners - helping them to stay focused, set goals for the next 90-days and anticipate trends in the wider dental landscape.

Around 45 delegates today (Owners, Managers, Hygienists, Therapists).

Around 20 Owners tomorrow.

All of my guests will arrive with one thing in common, which brings me to my title and topic today.

They think that THEY are the odd one out.

That all the other audience members today and all those sat around the boardroom table tomorrow are running Champions League practices - and that theirs is the crappy one.

This is human nature - to "compare my inside with your outside".

We look at other people and see the external veneer of their success.

Then we look at ourselves in the mirror and see a list of faults.

Thinking about the famous SWOT analysis - we see everyone else's apparent strengths and opportunities and we see the weaknesses and threats in our own lives.

So I often start my workshops by asking for a show of hands from those who think they are the odd one out in the room.

When a flurry of hands are raised, it diffuses the anxiety.

Many years ago I used to use the analogy of an onion - layers of skin on the outside and a small core.

That's you and I - we parade our onion skins on social media - living our best lives - but it's the core of the onion that we see reflected in the bathroom mirror.

Part of leadership and the management of our self-esteem is to remind ourselves every day that we are a many-layered onion - and that so is everyone else we meet.

Sometimes in leadership we have to reveal our sensitive and fragile core to earn respect.

Sometimes we have to toughen up our skin and make hard decisions.

Every time in sales and team-building, we have to carefully seek the core of our client/patient/colleague before we can earn their trust and confidence (and, once more, take our client/patient/colleague below the our own outer surface).

You are the odd one out.

I am the odd one out.

We are all the odd one out.

So stop any negative self-talk ("OMG everyone else here knows what they are doing and I'm floundering") - and join the club - we are a like-minded community.

p.s. You are the hero, I am the hero, we are all heroes.

p.p.s. My Q3 workshops on "Digital Dynamite" begin in 2 weeks in London - eek!

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