How to increase your impact in dentistry

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Through: Julie Friesen

What does making an impact in dentistry look like for you? Who do you most want to influence? How can you make a difference in the work you do?

These are tough questions to ponder, but I know if you’re reading this, you want to make your mark.

How can I make a positive impact in dentistry?

The truth is that you leave your footprint, whether you like it or not. The challenge is how much positive impact can you make?

Let’s reverse this and look at the definition of what making an impact means.

According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, to make an impact means to have a strong effect on something or someone.

Most of us want to make a difference in our careers and in the lives of our customers and colleagues. In reality, however, we continue with our daily routines and interactions, largely unaware of the impact we are making.

Be intentional in your actions

Think about the positive lasting impression you could make by being deliberate and consistent in your actions. Imagine the difference you could pass on to the next generation of dentistry by purposefully sharing your knowledge and experiences.

You have the ability to make a positive difference. You were born to make an impact!

The only limit to your impact is your imagination and your commitment.

Tony Robbins

Define goals clearly

My impact became intentional as I wrote down what I ultimately wanted to achieve with my work.

This wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be! It took research and countless attempts to paint an inspiring picture of my ambitions, hopes and dreams for my career.

When it finally came together, I had direction and purpose.

Helping create and empower world-class dental leaders and teams to make a significant difference in their practice and the lives of their patients.

Julie Friesen Dental coaching and advice

I’ve established values ​​to guide me in how I want to “appear” in front of my clients, dive into my work, make smart decisions, and grow both personally and professionally. This is my goal.

For me it’s exciting, immersive and lively! It inspires me to get out of bed in the morning and gives me energy to spend the whole night finishing a project.

There is something so powerful in defining who you are, what you stand for and how you are different. You own why you do what you do and how you do it. Yes, this is the whole vision, mission and core values! It doesn’t stop there, however.

Daily bet

The secret to increasing your impact? To be intentional with your purpose every day.

It requires a daily habit of focus and action. You should think about and be committed to your purpose for your work every day.

This is your impact game changer!

“If you live every day on purpose, there’s almost no limit to what you can do.

John C. Maxwell

Let’s face it, no one can maintain that it’s always “on.” Even with a conscious daily routine, there is a good chance that from time to time we will lose focus and fall into emotional reactions.

Stay focused

With a busy schedule and a growing business, my mind can often be fixated on work. An unexpected interruption can have an instinctive response that sometimes doesn’t suit who I want to be. Sounds familiar?

Knee-shock reactions arise from a state of mind of what we are feeling in the moment and are acted upon without much thought. In these moments, we do not consider the impact of our words and actions. Spontaneous reactions often have negative consequences for our relationships, business and life.

So, how do we reset our focus?

One way is through images.

My vision statement is framed on my desk as a daily reminder of my purpose and goals. On the days when I need extra motivation, I move the frame closer, right next to my computer and immediately feel energized.

It helps to let go of tension, to be grounded and to be who I want to be. I feel centered, in control and able to focus on the needs of others. It just goes to show how small things can have a big impact!

Responding is emotional. Reacting is emotional intelligence!

As a dental coach I support dentists and teams with overwhelming challenges. When an exercise feels like chaos and emotions are running high, it’s essential that I react and not react to the environment. I see it as “keeping your head above water”. When I’m swept up in the current situation, I can’t help them – and helping teams is my mission!

In an intentional state, we are aware of our words and actions and respond with awareness, respect, and heart.

Building business relationships

Can you think of anyone who has supported your career in dentistry? Someone you trust, respect and like to have around you? A person you look up to and want to be more like.

Someone who has a positive influence on me may not be the right person for you. However, some properties generally make a good impression no matter what. Most of us gravitate towards someone who is respectful, confident, optimistic, a good listener, a team player, and someone who keeps his promises.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these?

The fact is that we take on the characteristics of people we spend time with. The beneficial influence of others helps us to mold and mold ourselves. Their fresh perspective makes our world bigger and their trust in us helps us move forward. We put our stamp on what we give back!

The common thread of supercharged impact is our consistency with people. Our consistency with others builds trust, trust builds loyalty, and loyalty is the heartbeat of eternal relationships.

This is impact!

Our work can be anything from creating a new process to training a new team. It is what you pass on to the next generation(s) and to your peers. It is having achieved something that lives on and reflects your purpose.

Recently I received a card from a dental team. Inside were beautiful words of gratitude, encouragement and love. One comment in particular touched my heart so deeply that it brought tears to my eyes.

she wrote,

“Thank you for everything you’ve done! Thank you for your guidance and inspiration… but most of all, thank you for believing in me, and more importantly, for making me believe in myself. You are truly one of a kind. The best for you!” -Michelle, treatment coordinator

Consciously or unconsciously, we leave an impression everywhere. Sometimes we get words of encouragement to know that we are on the right track, sometimes we are not. We must rely on ourselves and be true to our vision to ensure we are pursuing our goal.

Be better than average

There are three kinds of people in this world; people who see things happen, people who wonder what happened and people who make things happen. All progress, big or small, starts with you – you are not meant to be average!

This is a decisive time in dentistry to make our world healthier. Oral diseases are estimated to affect nearly 3.5 billion people worldwide (Global Burden of Disease Study, 2017)2 Together as the dental industry, we need to step up to the front lines and bridge the gap between dental health and general physical health. It’s time for dental teams to confidently take a direct seat in educating and helping people achieve optimal wellness and live longer.

Decide today to leave your footprint in dentistry. Make clear what your path is and make a commitment to purposefully pursue your goal every day. Become the leader you seek so you can guide and inspire others to action.

“Choose to make the future not just a place to go, but a better one” place you helped create.”

Love, Julie


“Influence”. Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current English / [by] AS Hornby; Editor Jonathan Crowther. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1995.

global. Regional and National Incidence, Prevalence, and Years of Living with Disabilities for 354 Diseases and Injuries for 195 Countries and Territories, 1990-2017: A Systematic Analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Lancet 2018; 392: 1789-8583.

photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

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