Working in Isolation vs. The Power of Shared Experiences

September 17, 2021 Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

Ancient wisdom has taught us that as “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

I love education and learning. As a long-time student and faculty member at The Pankey Institute, I am challenged by and learn from all of my colleagues every time that we gather for an educational event, whether in person or online.

Some of that learning is from the program. Much of it is from one another as we discuss and share what is pertinent in our practices and careers and how we apply what we are learning. In short, these experiences improve my performance as a dentist, leader, and practice owner.

The grid of improving performance according to Todd Herman, performance coach, looks like this:

  1. Observe & measure past action (Data from yourself & others)
  2. Reflect on that data and the feedback from other key trusted people
  3. Reflect / Visualize on the future, especially with key trusted people
  4. Design Future Action (Experiments) & Acclimate to this new behavior
  5. Repeat

This formula for change is almost always best done with other likeminded people who are on similar journeys. They can give you encouragement, feedback, perspective, resources, & connections.

Even more importantly, it can be very therapeutic to hear the stories and experiences of others to realize that you are not alone in your challenges and the ups and downs of attempting to do something difficult. It is simply reassuring to come face to face with the humanness of friends and colleagues that you respect. It makes our own human frailty much easier to accept and can give us the courage to try again and again.

Keep in mind that every thriving and durable organization has gone through countless failures in route to accomplishing their vision.

The highest performing individuals in any endeavor are working in a team of likeminded individuals who are seeking to accomplish similar things. Those individuals have a much-expanded capacity to understand one another’s challenges and needs. This expanded capacity is often the difference between success and failure.

Isolation is the enemy of progress. Don’t let it determine your possibilities.

Seek out ways to include shared experiences in your personal and professional development by joining like-minded groups like Pankey study groups, group masterminds, and group coaching programs. You even can create groups of your own to surround yourself with positive energy.

Once you have experienced the power of shared experiences like these, you will see the difference from working in isolation.

Related Course

Integrative Dental Medicine: Creating Healthier Patients & Practices

DATE: July 26 2024 @ 8:00 am - July 27 2024 @ 2:00 pm

Location: The Pankey Institute


Dentist Tuition: $ 2895

Single Occupancy with Ensuite Private Bath (per night): $ 290

We face a severe health crisis, that is a much larger pandemic than Covid19! Our western lifestyle affects periodontal & periapical oral disease, vascular disease, breathing disordered sleep, GERD, dental…

Learn More>

About Author

User Image
Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

Dr. Edwin A. McDonald III received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Economics from Midwestern State University. He earned his DDS degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. Dr. McDonald has completed extensive training in dental implant dentistry through the University of Florida Center for Implant Dentistry. He has also completed extensive aesthetic dentistry training through various programs including the Seattle Institute, The Pankey Institute and Spear Education. Mac is a general dentist in Plano Texas. His practice is focused on esthetic and restorative dentistry. He is a visiting faculty member at the Pankey Institute. Mac also lectures at meetings around the country and has been very active with both the Dallas County Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. Currently, he is a student in the Naveen Jindal School of Business at the University of Texas at Dallas pursuing a graduate certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching. With Dr. Joel Small, he is co-founder of Line of Sight Coaching, dedicated to helping healthcare professionals develop leadership and coaching skills that improve the effectiveness, morale and productivity of their teams.

One thought on “Working in Isolation vs. The Power of Shared Experiences

  1. Well said Mac – it is an invitation to new (shared) awareness, through story and individual Action, which can create unbounded learning and transformation over decades (a timeline which can be “gentler” than measurement in days, weeks, months, and even years! It truly is a Process more than a Product). Thanks for your writing! rag

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.