Size doesn’t matter

I was really worried yesterday – because after the “party” at last week’s Toronto Intensive (22 of us never stopped laughing for 3 days), the prospect of working with 5 clients for 3 days was daunting.
The room was very quiet, few questions were asked during the morning. I was using lots of energy and we were racing through the material.

I was explaining the distinction (for me) between trainer, consultant and coach – and this small group helped me to gain a large insight.

Trainer – shows how to do something.

Consultant – shows how to apply training.


We filled a board with words – second opinion, accountability, shoulder to cry on, inspiration, example, mentor, guide.

Suddenly, I saw Yoda in the original Star Wars movie – asking Luke to lift his X-wing spacecraft out of the bog.

And I realised that, as coaches, we are Yoda for our clients – we are a tribal elder.

In our coaching programmes we create a tribal experience for our clients – even solo-preneurs want to be part of a tribe.

Tribal elder – that works for me.

Then one of my “Famous 5” here in Vancouver wrote to me overnight:

From Simon Reilly

Hi Chris,

All is well and things went very well today.

I appreciate that although the group is small, big things come in small packages.

Looking forward to tomorrow.


Luke can’t levitate his X-Wing out of the bog.

I don’t believe it. Luke Skywalker
That is why you fail. Yoda

Alright, I’ll give it a try. Luke Skywalker
No! Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try. Yoda

Luke Skywalker: I can’t. It’s too big.

Yoda: Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere. Yes, even between the land and the ship.


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.