The emotionally cost-free practice

Dear Chris, 
I read your “Tips” booklet on the train while I went up to London on a course last week. One tip was getting help with maintaining an emotionally cost free practice. I will say that ending the relationship with my associate cost me quite a bit at the time, although now of course I am quite over it and I look forward to a much improved working relationships for next year.

Please have you any further advice on how to try and detach myself from the stress of such situations?

You cannot “detach” yourself from the stress – stress is what happens when you lose control.

That can happen in a traffic jam/delayed flight with no explanation.

It can also happen when we lose control to somebody else’s performance or behaviour – as with the associate.

My own “antidote” is to have an inner circle with whom I can discuss:

  • the situation and
  • how I feel about the situation

These are two different conversations – and I always like to separate them.

I’m here for you on both counts.

An emotionally cost-free practice is one in which the team are in conversation – remember my conversation schedule:

  • daily huddle
  • weekly reflection
  • monthly management
  • quarterly goals
  • annual retreat and celebration

Dare I say it again?

All problems exist in the absence of a good conversation.


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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.