Dr. Lisa Knowles — New Year, New Hope

Lisa Knowles
Dr. Lisa Knowles
Learn more about Lisa at www.intentionaldental.com
You can reach her at 517-331-3688
Lisa Knowles is known as “Dentistry’s Communications Expert.”  After fifteen years of practice ownership, Lisa has scaled back her clinical activities to concentrate on consulting.  Her focus is on helping the dental community create messages that evoke change and unify teams, and Lisa has a particular interest in the topic of oral and systemic links emerging in dentistry. She is leading the way in creating awareness and in creating collaborative messages to help all healthcare providers speak a common language to facilitate better patient care.
Lisa and Prosperident CEO David Harris have been friends for several years and regularly have interesting discussions on topics of mutual interest.  The following piece from Lisa is an offshoot of one of those discussions.
New Year, New Hope
The topic of embezzlement is heavy. Let’s admit it. It’s scary, not real fun to think about, and brings up all sorts of emotional upheaval within us. Personally, I am elated David Harris covers this topic and takes care of it for dentists. I would not want to do it.
After many conversations with David, it’s clear I am the antithesis to the heaviness of embezzlement. David refers to me at the Don Quixote of dental consulting. At first, I worried about this. Maybe I am too soft? Maybe I am too pie in the sky? Maybe I am too…hopeful?
I think not. If there’s one thing people want in a dental consultant, it’s an ability to give them hope for something better. People turn to consultants under a couple of circumstances: 1) They want to change some things in their lives, and they want to get better or 2) They are really good at what they do, but they want to be even better. Both situations require hope.
I chide David about being too skeptical, and he chides me about chanting “om’s” in my yoga classes. Really, though, to succeed in dentistry, we need to be both skeptical and idealistic. The hard part: knowing when to turn one on and the other one off. If we are too skeptical, the world becomes negative and hard to live in. If we are too idealistic, life becomes fantastical and unrealistic.
For the embezzlement arena, I want to hire someone who is a bit cynical. This person must not trust easily and must question each “suspect” with the utmost objectivity. David and his team have this knack.
For the team left broken after an embezzlement situation, I offer the hope and reassurance that life will resume as normal again in due time. My forte in communication offers practices the language needed to get through the process, and my experience as a dentist helps other dentists learn to trust again.
No one likes to be duped. No one likes to play the fool. Embezzlement brings out all of these feelings and all of these possibilities. It’s good to know everyone has been duped and everyone has played the fool at some time in his or her life. Good consultants help the team find pieces of good in the world again and help breathe new life back into difficult situations. Good consultants hold the hope for the team when no one seems to have any of their own.
As the New Year begins, I challenge you to find the right balance between skepticism and idealism. For me, it’s an intentional effort to not live in a sea of cynicism day in and day out—even though there are thousands of reasons to lack faith in others. Rather, it’s a conscious choice to find the good in a bad situation. It’s a conscious effort to find others who, through the good, the bad, and the ugly, remain optimistic about life. People like David and I need each other. I need the Davids in my life to remind me to be cautious and to look before I leap. David needs the Lisas to remind him that not everyone is fraudulent, and there are trusted souls still out there in the world. We need both skepticism and idealism in dentistry, just not in their extremes
It’s with hope that I wish you a peaceful and prosperous 2014!
Lisa Knowles