Become a Step Down Transformer

April 6, 2019 Dennis Stiles DDS

Reactivity is hard-wired into all of us!

By definition reactivity is an autonomic function related to a perception of threat. When pressure and stress go up in a busy dental practice, reactivity tends to raise its ugly head.

Knowing Yourself is Hard Work.

From experience I know that seeing reactivity in others is usually easier than seeing it in myself, but I’ve learned to periodically focus on my emotional situation. I’ve learned that one of the best practices I can strive to embrace is to become a “step down transformer.” This means I focus on being someone who converts high-voltage, low-current power into low-voltage, high-current power. By taking in all of the energy and refocusing it in a positive and more relaxed direction, patients and team members are apt to feel better.

In the presence of ongoing stress—which easily produces an undercurrent of anxiety and reactivity, being less anxious will help others be calm. Stop and observe what is going on in your practice emotional system. Respond calmly and thoughtfully to allow time for others to reboot.

Your team and patients want you to be their guide.

As you work on yourself, you will see how much they appreciate the model of calmness you give them. By leading with calmness, you are creating an environment in which people can be their best and feel competent. Now, that’s leadership!

Related Course

E3: Restorative Integration of Form & Function

DATE: March 30 2025 @ 8:00 am - April 3 2025 @ 2:30 pm

Location: The Pankey Institute


Dentist Tuition: $ 7400

Single Occupancy with Ensuite Private Bath (per night): $ 345

Understanding that “form follows function” is critical for knowing how to blend what looks good with what predictably functions well. E3 is the phase of your Essentials journey in which…

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About Author

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Dennis Stiles DDS

Dr. Dennis Stiles, a native of Amherst, MA, has called upper Montgomery County home since 1986. Dr. Stiles is currently a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, the Maryland Society of Sleep Medicine, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and has received fellowship in the the American College of Dentists, the International College of Dentists and the Academy of General Dentistry. In 2017 he received Diplomate status in the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine (ABDSM). He also served as past president of the American Prosthodontic Society (2006) and currently is serving the president of the APS Foundation. In 2009 Dr. Stiles was appointed to serve as a dean's faculty member at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. In 2016 Dr. Stiles was elected to serve a three year term as a board member of the LD Pankey Institute through 2019.