Star Wars–Day 4: Do You Trust Yourself to Make the Right Decision?

19 Dec Star Wars–Day 4: Do You Trust Yourself to Make the Right Decision?


Trust that you will know the difference between good choices and bad choices. In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke asks Yoda, “How will I know the good side from the bad side?” Yoda replies, “You will know. When you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense—never for attack.”

In so many situations, the inherent pathway to do the right thing –whether for a patient, or for a staff member, seems a bit blurred. This is when I try and shut my mind down and listen for the answer. Fear used to dictate my decision-making. In one instance, I had to make a difficult decision about firing a staff member. I feared what the staff would say about losing a long-term colleague. I feared what the community members would say when she bad-mouthed me. I feared not being able to find someone to replace her. I feared losing patients who loved this particular hygienist. In the end, I listened to my gut and to my heart. I did “just know.” I ended up being more calm and peaceful without her in the office, and I did not lose patients or other staff members. On the contrary, other staff members spoke up about feeling repressed by this person, and patients said they understood how demanding this person could be. Not all of my staff decisions ended so perfectly, but many did.


Dr. Lisa Knowles helps dentists find more peace in their practices. Click ADA Practical Guide Series to order her latest book on conflict resolution. This guidebook offers templates for success and tremendous leadership advice. Questions? Email Dr. Knowles at

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