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a blog by Chris Barrow

The chip on your shoulder is your strongest attribute

Driven people are very often energised by the "chip" we have on our shoulder - trying to prove something based upon our early life experiences.

It's suggested that this will often be characterised by feelings of anger but I beg to differ - I've worked with some quiet people driven by their "chip".

When I'm working with driven clients, I do like to dig a little and discover "the chip".

Recent examples include a male principal overlooked in favour of an elder brother who made more noise and was initially more successful.

A female principal whose "chip" was simply the fact that, when she was a child, her family struggled financially in a small business and she wanted to reach down and lift them.

A Practice Manager was listening to the second client and chipped in (sorry) to share her story about an impoverished childhood.

My own chip is complex (I've had plenty of time to think about it):

  • Only child with a remote shift-working father (CB seeks the applause of an audience);

  • Impoverished parents who frequently argued about money (CB alternately irresponsible and obsessive about finance over long timescales);

  • Packed off to live with relatives when my mother was sectioned (CB has fear of abandonment and struggles to stay connected to family);

  • Overlooked for a scholarship at Manchester Grammar School and to this day I think my primary school teacher failed to promote me based on post code and parentage, not academic ability (CB has major "working class kid" dislike of affluenza and hereditary privilege);

  • Always last pick for teams at school sports (CB has 35 marathons, 2 perpendicular traverses of the UK by bike and numerous explorations, adventures and physical challenges under his belt);

  • Failed my GCSEs and had to stay an extra year at school and miss my Royal Navy enrolment (CB has fear of failure big time).

The list goes on and it's not intended to be a misery manual, simply my personal voyage of discovery into what makes me who I am.

Two morals from this story:

  1. It pays to know your own "chip" - I discovered mine in many hours of conversation and reflection with personal coaches and soulmates;

  2. Understanding the "chip" that drives your key team players can be hugely important in cementing their loyalty.

By the way - is the patient in front of you discussing a high value treatment plan driven in the same way?

Understanding their "chip" may be the key to unlock the door to treatment plan acceptance.

Your "chip" is.......?

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