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a blog by Chris Barrow

Feedback can be a double-edged sword

Interesting to get two separate perspectives on the work you do.

This morning I receive an email from a client:

“I have asked over the years for advice, from my accountant, bank manager, father-in-law, staff, friends, family and the advice is always conservative, and almost negative, and when taken, has been unsuccessful (I do generalise), but my wife and I have followed your advice for some years now, often feeling that it is counter intuitive and bold and often very scary – and my business has grown.”

and then another within the hour:

“I was originally in a partnership (2 silent Partners) – in a profit sharing arrangement.

Whilst I was still in this arrangement i went on your coaching programme for a year.

I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for YOU I wouldn’t be where I am today – so a very big THANK YOU!”

This afternoon I read the thread on today’s Dentistry magazine ezine, relating to the Top 50 list – and discover the following post:

“I’m not a hater but chris barrow at number 2????!!! That makes a mockery of the top 50. After preaching business lessons to the independent practitioner, he sold his soul and joined the biggest corporate.”

Well “Steve”, permission to give you some direct feedback:

  1. I act as an independent consultant to IDH (for about 50 days this year), helping them with customer service training, recruitment and the development of a clinical training academy;

  2. I don’t recall having sold my soul or having been paid for it – by anyone;

  3. I continue to devote the rest of my time (shall we say 150 days a year) to working with independent practitioners, other corporates, retailers and PCT’s;

  4. My experience is that “best practice”, good customer service, ethical selling, leadership, management, marketing and operational systems can be delivered in all of these environments – and that all sectors contain examples of excellence and mediocrity;

  5. My mission is to help people to achieve their full potential, wherever they are;

  6. In an abundance mentality, there is plenty of business for everyone – and the impending arrival of retailers into dentistry will expand the market (more dentistry will be sold) and force through business improvement (more mediocrity will vanish);

  7. I was as surprised as you at the Top 50 result. Like many of those who appear in the list, I actively canvassed votes from my own “community” of practitioners – and was genuinely moved that so many more people than I expected exercised a positive vote in my favour – as do like to put my neck on the block;

  8. I know full well that my business philosophy and the way I put my point across is not liked by everyone in dentistry – when you have the courage to hold a conviction, negative feedback goes with the patch – you have to get used to it – even when it’s unfair and inaccurate;

  9. I consider your remarks to be ill-informed in their content and rude and disrespectful in their delivery – and I wonder if that was your intention?

  10. I’m happy to engage you in a direct conversation if you have any genuine concerns;

  11. I accept that the original post was April – but Dentistry have issued the ezine today to over 14,000 subscribers (I believe);

  12. A public forum can be a dangerous place to express private opinions.

Steve, I don’t know you and you don’t know me – but I’d be happy to pop down to the Wirral and meet anytime.

I’m over it (again) – but we all need to understand that success brings many benefits and some brick-bats.

Your patients will be the same – I was consoling a client this evening who was devastated by the negative remarks of an angry patient who suggested that he (the dentist) did not have the right to call himself a medical professional. One of the most ethical hard-working and charitable men I know and he rang me in despair.

Its a funny old world – clients/patients/strangers – they can build you up and they can knock you down.

Some pageant.

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