After Mudasser Hussain discovered the transformational power of executive coaching, Mudasser Hussain decided to slim down his clinical hours to divide his time between dentistry and coaching.

In this week’s episode, Mudasser chats with Payman about his motivation for helping others through coaching and how his love of football is bringing the dental profession together on social media.

Mudasser and Payman also discuss the stresses and mental health challenges of being a practising dentist, the efficacy of professional bodies like the BDA, and much more.



In This Episode

01.20 – Social media and screen time

04.45 – Backstory

10.02 – Choosing dentistry

12.21 – Associates and principals

15.59 – First job and VT

20.00 – Benefits of coaching

34.56 – Mental health and stress

36.20 – Real-world examples

44.26 – Coaching – the nuts and bolts

50.36 – Blackbox thinking

59.25 – Chairside vs clinical skills and personality types

01.04.27 – Football on Facebook

01.08.14 – Professional bodies

01.19.07 – Last days and legacy

01.21.45 – Fantasy dinner party


About Mudasser Hussain

Mudasser Hussain is a dental surgeon with more than 15 years of experience in private and NHS practice.

He now practices part-time while studying for a master’s in medical law and ethics and providing executive coaching for dentists and professionals through Clarity Coaching International.

He is currently studying for the ILM-7 diploma in corporate coaching, international leadership and senior mentoring—the highest qualification recognised by the International Coaching Federation.

[00:00:00] My my purpose is to serve people, be able to coach people. But I think my bigger purpose is to sort of show the dental world that coaching has massive benefits. If you get the right coaching and you get the right coach, there’s huge potential for you in terms of growth. And I feel like as a profession, we should really open our eyes to opportunities and possibilities and sort of get away from the doom and gloom. Because I think dentistry is a fantastic career, it’s a fantastic profession and it’s got a limited potential. You can do absolutely anything you want. You’ve got a guaranteed job. There’s probably I don’t think there’s any dentists out there that that would be struggling with a job as long as they’ve got the right kind of paperwork. There’s huge demand from patients for work. I just think that how many jobs can you say that you get all that.

[00:01:03] This is dental Leaders the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[00:01:20] It gives me great pleasure to welcome Odessa Husain, a dentist working out of Oldham. Born and bred Manchester Oldham guy, I guess that’s a Mudassar is an associate who contacted us about a while back during the COVID thing. I was having some questions about How’s the profession going? In the meantime, he’s also become a sort of a business coach or a personal life coach for other dentists, and he’s set up a group on Facebook, a football group, which is I think the regular listeners will know I know nothing about football but football for dentists, which you then changed.

[00:02:02] Melissa Ray Yeah, I wanted it to be more inclusive, so originally it was just for dentists and then I wanted to widen it to increase inclusivity and make it about professionals as well.

[00:02:15] So dentists and professional football for dentists and professional.

[00:02:17] That’s right. I wanted it to be a sort of more intelligent kind of conversations and sort of, I suppose, make it more inspiring and motivating and sort of being able to engage with different kind of people from different lines of sectors.

[00:02:32] Let’s let’s let’s quickly start with that. How many members has that group got?

[00:02:37] Last time I checked, over 700 members.

[00:02:41] Oh, well. And was that completely organic or how did you how did how did.

[00:02:44] You grow that? Yeah, it was completely organic. I’ve kind of myself I’ve actually not been on any social media until about seven or eight months ago, actually, and I decided I wanted to engage with the profession in a way. So I went on social media and this was part of my vision as a coach.

[00:03:03] You know, it’s interesting because you say that did you on purpose avoid social media?

[00:03:08] I think there was a lot of, I suppose, negative connotations to social media, and I still think there is. But I think if it’s used correctly, then it’s a great way to connect with people. So I kind of have now realised the huge benefits of of it as well. But you also have to be mindful of, of it being an addiction. And that’s something I talk about a lot about social media being addictive because we’re constantly on our phones and it’s constantly asking us to use our phone.

[00:03:39] Yeah. What’s your screen time in the moment? Do you know?

[00:03:42] I do have an app to limit that, but I would say that it’s around 3 hours a day.

[00:03:48] You’re good. You’re super good. It’s interesting, though, you know, this question. You’ve got you’ve got kids. You just said you’ve got three kids. And this question of screen time and keeping the kids off the phones and all of that. But, you know, for me, there is an aspect of if they’re not on the screen enough, they’re not going to know what’s going on in the world. Not not not that I’m not saying the phone is going to show them news. I’m saying that, you know, life will be on the phone so much more or what about the time they’re older? It’ll be some sort of, you know, lens in the eye. But you know what I mean? Like, in a way, it’s very popular to say I’m keeping my kids off screens. But I remember that kid when when I was when I was a child, that that kid who was on his computer all the time. And that kid’s probably like a billionaire in Silicon Valley right now. But let’s get let’s get to your story, buddy. Tell me about your childhood. Why did you become a dentist?

[00:04:49] So, yeah, I grew up in Oldham, born and bred. I actually, which is a town just outside Manchester. For those people who listeners who may not be aware, my family obviously settled here. I’ve got a huge family and I’m still based in Oldham and obviously went to uni in Manchester. Oldham is quite an interesting sort of place in a way, because I suppose people may remember there were the Oldham riots and kind of Asian communities living alongside white British communities and things like that. And I think a lot’s changed for the better in terms of integration and things like that. So Oldham sort of really transformed, I would say, as a town.

[00:05:30] Would you say there is still some friction?

[00:05:33] I think there’s always friction in different parts of of every neighbourhood. It depends on where you are or where you live. But one thing I do really love about this country is how tolerant we are of each other and how respectful we are. And we allow each other, for example, to practise our religion. And I think we should be proud of that as a country that, you know, there’s a lot of tolerance, tolerance in this country. And I’m proud to be British.

[00:06:01] You’re right. You’re right. And it’s easy to look at problems, isn’t it? But when I look at cousins and things who live in other countries, particularly European countries, and the US has got all of its own. Sure problems. I’d say we have it pretty good here. As far as, you know, relations between different groups, I’ve been told him it’s quite a kind of a ex mining town. Right. Is that is that the thing?

[00:06:29] Yeah, historically, it used to be also used to be a cotton mill town. And, you know, originally there was a lot of migration from Pakistan. My family came from, I might add, in particular. And he’s one of my actual inspirations because obviously he came and and they used to live in quite squalid kind of conditions and worked very long hours in these factories. And yeah, it’s kind of amazing the journey he’s been on and yeah, I’m very, very inspired by him really.

[00:07:03] Tell me about that. He came when? How old was he when he came?

[00:07:07] He came when he was 13 or 14. And so he was very, very young. But back in them days, it was kind of the done thing to work when you were under age as well kind of thing. So you know that. You know what?

[00:07:19] Yeah. Do you know what year that was?

[00:07:21] I don’t know the exact year, but I would imagine he said it was he was when he was 13, so it must have been around 1964, something like that I would say. But when he first came over, yeah.

[00:07:32] Yeah. Very different place to what it is now.

[00:07:35] Oh yeah. It’s very, very, very different and very, very kind of you know, I look at him and I’m amazed when when you look at the history of coming, you know, with with literally no education and living in those kind of conditions to where he’s moved up the ladder and sort of a bit of an entrepreneur in a way, and kind of really successful. So I look at him in all really and and wish that I could aspire and do the things he has achieved in his life.

[00:08:03] So tell me about your childhood. What kind of a kid were you?

[00:08:06] Yeah, I mean, I come from a very large family. I’m second youngest in my family. Childhood was good. It was it was nice. You know, I think things that life is very different now. But as kids, you could go out and play on the streets and then you’d have to be called, called in and you know, you could play football on the streets. And it was just you did knock on each of those doors and it was a very community kind of spirit and it was a very free kind of spirit which which I enjoy. Whereas I think nowadays we talked at the start of the about the distractions of being on phones and being on, on social media and all these pressures that come. But yeah, childhood was really, really good. I really sort of enjoyed that time and I look back fondly and I think it’s probably one of my best times in my life. I would say that those those times where you were just free and you could just go out and kick a ball and play with random people and play football. And I didn’t say you can all these childhood games and there was no no care of concern of whatever was going on in the world. Whereas now I think we’re bombarded with too much information.

[00:09:09] How old are you? Do do you sound like you were you were growing up in the forties.

[00:09:14] This I’m actually I’m actually 34 but I feel like I’m more connected with the older generation than the younger ones because I my sort of I think Facebook came in my second year of college. So so I I’m not kind of converted to that. I’m one of those that I enjoy the simple things in life.

[00:09:35] Unlike older people, I’m actually in many ways more comfortable with older people than younger people. But but also I’m energised by younger people, too. I think you need a good mix of both. And in your thirties you are not yet at that stage where there’s loads of younger people who want to talk to you. But you’ll see you soon. Soon there’ll be there’ll be lots of those, I suppose. Now in your coaching game, you’ve, you’ve got a lot more of this. Why did you choose dentistry?

[00:10:04] I think at the time I was I was actually only an hour in between dentistry and medicine. And at the time as well, I think now there’s a lot more resources available in terms of do a lot more research into things. But when I chose dentistry, you know, it was it was one of those that I perhaps naively thought that you look at the career pathway of a, for example, a doctor, you do your five years and then you’ve got a lot of training before you actually become what you want to become. Whereas I think the thing that attracted me to dentistry was the fact that after the five years of one and the one year training, you’re kind of at the same level as everyone else. So it is more like it’s not a long training pathway and perhaps I’m not looking back thinking that was quite a naive way of looking at it. But you’re young and you don’t really you don’t really know the world or see the world, and you see the world in a very different way now than you do then.

[00:10:53] Did you? You said you came from a big family. Did anyone else in your family become a dentist or doctor?

[00:10:59] No, no. I do have a doctors, optometrists, pharmacists. But I am the only dentist at the moment in my family. But yeah, I think for me it was more like also making my parents proud. It was something that was really kind of important to me. I wanted to to make sure that they felt because because obviously there’s a lot of, I suppose, time and energy parents put into making sure their children aspire to become successful individuals. And for me, that was also part of my motivation to become a dentist. Yeah.

[00:11:35] Then when you decided to go to university, did you not have that feeling of, Hey, I want to get out of this town and see another town?

[00:11:42] Yeah, I think to some extent it was again, my family who kept me here. My dad kind of said to me, Look, I’ll buy you a car and we’ll we’ll get, you know, you can do what you want and try to stay in a way. And I thought, you know what? That doesn’t sound too bad in a way. And I think, you know, for for everyone university is what you make of it. But I enjoyed my time at uni. I made some really, really good friends. I’m not going to lie. It was stressful, but I think it was stressful for everyone. It was dentistry, but it was yeah. It was a it was a difficult journey to become a dentist, but I’m proud of my achievements.

[00:12:21] So you you’re 34 now. That means you qualified something like ten years ago. 11 years ago. Yeah, that sort of thing. And so in that 11 years, you, you’ve been an associate. Have you not thought about practise ownership in that time?

[00:12:37] I have. And there were several occasions where I came close to buying a practise. On one occasion it was the vendor who bailed out on me on the last minute kind of thing. So there’s been a few times, but I think with me personally getting married and having children or the priorities and responsibilities financially started to take over and the practise became a bit lower on priority. It’s something that I still aspire to become a practise owner. It’s something that I am actively looking to do. But it’s like with anything, when more responsibilities take over, you start having other priorities.

[00:13:15] Yeah. By the way, it’s not. It’s not a competition, right? It’s not. It’s not like getting there before this time or losing this many years or whatever. And, you know, our conversation about associates, which I really want to talk about, because I don’t think it’s it’s it’s have enough of a voice out there. It’s interesting because the way it’s set up right now, particularly in the system, I feel your principal is getting most of the gain and the associates getting less of the gain. And then, of course, these days there’s a shortage of associates and, you know, there’s that whole thing. But then the kind of the unwritten contract, the unwritten deal is eventually one day you’ll become a principal and then you can get there. But it kind of completely ignores the fact that there’s loads of dentists who don’t want to be principals. Never, you know, there’s there’s loads of people who want to be a mother and not not own a practise. There’s loads of people who just don’t want to own a business, you know, and so they’re left as being associates for the whole of their career. And if associates get this lesser deal because the contract is one day you’ll be a principal and they’re never going to be a principal. We’ve got let’s not forget the pickiest part of the profession as far as numbers is associates. Tell me tell me what you think about that.

[00:14:35] Yeah. I mean, I think things have actually changed rapidly, I would say, over the last ten or 15 years in terms of that. I think back in the days there was this system of you become an associate, you worked for so many years and you might be offered a partnership or or kind of, you know, you took over the practise of whoever, whoever owned the practise and things. But I think associates themselves are now upskilling, diversifying, and I think the opportunities are huge. There’s a huge potential in terms of income for associates, depending on what type of dentistry they do. And in terms of I think the opportunities are vast and things have changed rapidly in terms of the range of treatments dentists offer. And we’re kind of as you know, we’re in that Instagram kind of generation where even the younger guys who have come across very, very ambitious, very, very different to how perhaps I was taught at dentist, how I was taught dentistry. And I think I think it’s a great time to actually be a dentist because I think the opportunities are huge.

[00:15:40] Yeah, yeah, you’re right. I mean, we’ve had people on this show, you know, I kind of call them super associates who’ve got their own. It’s not their own actual list of patients, but they could walk into any practise and, you know, they’ll be full, full, completely full because of their own social media or whatever. So that that is true. Tell me tell me about your practise when you first qualified. Where did you first work? Who was your first boss?

[00:16:05] I first actually worked for a small corporate, and it was probably one of my most enjoyable practise that I worked at because there was a good range of dentists with a very, very big surgery. I think it was seven or eight surgery practise and there were sort of four or five NHS dentists. And then upstairs there were private dentists and it kind of it was, it was sort of geared towards being able to transition towards doing private dentistry as well as you could pick and choose. So I really enjoyed that first, my first ever job because it was it was a place where there was some mentoring going on, there was some coaching going on, there was some kind of it was just a nice atmosphere. It’s quite a laid back kind of atmosphere as well. The staff were really friendly and yeah, I would say my first job I really, really enjoyed.

[00:16:59] So is that when you say corporate? Was it one guy owned for practises or was it bigger than that?

[00:17:04] Yeah, I mean, I think they’ve got more that probably got about ten or 12 practises now and they still do exist. But yeah.

[00:17:12] Was that all them as well?

[00:17:14] No, no, that was actually in Blackburn so it was quite.

[00:17:17] Ip quite far.

[00:17:18] Yeah. Yeah. So that was that was actually my first job. But I think distance wise and commute wise and I suppose various other things got in the way and then yeah, obviously I decide to, to, to leave.

[00:17:31] How would you say that?

[00:17:34] My first job actually was only. It was a year. Yeah. Yeah. No, no. That was after. I thought we were talking about the first job after that.

[00:17:42] Yeah, but talk about your boss, because I think it’s quite a yeah, your first boss is actually a massive influence.

[00:17:49] Yeah. Yeah. I mean my first actual position was, was actually in Liverpool, it was in a place called Highton. Liverpool. And it’s kind of probably one of the rougher parts of, of Liverpool. So it was kind of a bit of a shock in a way. And I think yeah, it was, it was okay. I felt I learnt more outside of it than I did actually in VTI. But it also really very much depends on I suppose, your trainer as well as the environment as well as different things. But yeah, it was, it was, it was okay but I felt like I learnt more in that other year afterwards.

[00:18:26] Yeah. So and where are you working now? How long have you been there?

[00:18:31] My current practise have been there just under a year.

[00:18:35] Oh, really? Oh, really? Yeah. So where else have you worked apart from these too?

[00:18:40] So, yeah. I mean, I spent a few years for a company called Rabbit and Ray. They’re quite. I know, I know them. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, right. Okay. I mean, obviously, I think they’re sold now to dental partners who have now also sold on, from what I understand. But what impressed me about Robert and Ray was they did things properly in terms of policies, procedures. They wanted everything to the the gold standard. And yeah, you know, I it’s definitely a company that I think of fondly. And there was a lot of opportunities in terms of support mechanisms in place and they had the clinical director you could get support from if you need any help with patients and things like that. So yeah, I worked for them for three years and then I’ve worked for an independent practise for for for nearly, nearly five years. Just under five years.

[00:19:28] Was rough and Rea Oldham was up the Bolton I went to the.

[00:19:31] Bolton that was in Burnley. Yeah. The Baltimore is their flagship one and that’s where they have like training days and things like that. Yeah, yeah. Really, really nice the way they did that. But yeah, it was again, it was great because you could network with other dentists, you know, there was a lot of support there in terms of, in terms of developing your dentistry, in terms of developing you. And I think they also had some urgent care kind of contracts as well. So you could earn some additional money by by doing that as well.

[00:20:00] All right. You said, you know, a pretty standard sort of situation as far as the work that you’ve done and the jobs you’ve done. So now you’re a coach. So how did this happen? What was what was the transition?

[00:20:14] So my transition into being a coach actually happened in the last 12 to 18 months, really. And, you know, I think the pandemic’s had a lot of impact on a lot of people. It made me really re-evaluate my own life. I also got COVID and, you know, obviously had some after effects of that as well. And there was issues with regards to pay as well during the pandemic at the practise that I was at and like a lot of associates, you know, I, you know, we were left in limbo and there was no clarity or help or support from people with regards to pay. And I was in a situation where I just recently purchased a house. There’s a lot of financial pressure. I had two children at the time as well. So money was was tight and there was a lot of uncertainty as well. So it was quite kind of there was a lot of if you are a spouse of various things going on at the same time and obviously we all suffer from, I suppose, mental health issues. And I myself, you know, I’m I’m open to it admitting that obviously I’ve suffered from anxiety in the past, stress in the past, burnout and, you know, sought help from various different types of people like therapists. I’ve even been to see a hypnotherapist to help me with with things like that. But when I got coaching, it kind of completely transformed my whole life in a way. And my whole way of thinking and coaching for the first time I felt was fixing things, whereas things like therapy and counselling, I feel like they just papered over the cracks and it was one of those that it was like, if you needed help, you know, or you went through a bit of a tough patch, you might reach out for some help. So I’ve always been kind of into being in tune with with my body and my physical health as well as mental health and making sure that, you know, it’s not kind of, you know, affecting my performance.

[00:22:08] So so you’re saying that the coaching was the first thing that helped you, really helped you move the needle as far as stress and anxiety? Is that what you’re saying?

[00:22:19] Yeah, yeah, definitely. It absolutely changed the way I viewed the world. It transformed.

[00:22:26] And so so was that kind of like the mindset change?

[00:22:31] I think coaching is far more complex because I think the thing is a lot of the other types of therapy focus from the past and delving into the past and what a person really wants when they’re in difficulty or struggling is actually wants to move out of that situation or. Pull themselves out of that situation. And I feel like coaching is a very forward thinking kind of process.

[00:22:56] Forward looking.

[00:22:57] Right forward looking, forward thinking. Forward and sort of drive driving, kind of moving you from a particular place where you are mentally. And I think that’s what you really want rather than just just sort of putting it in a box in a way and hoping it will go away because it’s still there in a way. Whereas, whereas coaching completely transformed my relationships, transformed the way I think, transformed me as a person as well as kind of made me become an entrepreneur in a way, and sort of take risks and sort of really sort of, you know, have a view life in a completely different way. And the way, you know, and even the move towards being on social media was something very new to me in a way. It wasn’t something that the old Mudassar would would do in a way. And that’s what I’m saying, that coaching really, really changed the way I perceive things. And I feel like so much more stronger, so much more resilient, so much more positive, so much more kind of energetic. And I think after going on my coaching journey and being coach and then getting a formal qualification in coaching and meeting people outside dentistry, that was really what really sort of completely changed the way I think, because it sort of showed me that the life of a dentist, I feel like it’s very, very sheltered in a way. We go usually to the same place of work, we do the same thing every single day. And for me, there’s not a lot of learning that goes on. You’re kind of just doing your work and you’re probably staying at the same level. And, you know, I felt like when I met people outside dentistry, the way they think, how they want to help people grow and become better and improve, that’s what coaching does. And I think that’s that’s when it opened my eyes and I thought, you know what? It’s a concept that I suppose I didn’t know existed really in dentistry, and it probably isn’t that widely used yet, but it’s something that I feel like would completely change dentistry if it was used correctly.

[00:25:03] Well. Do you remember a moment where something clicked in your mind? Because it’s not. It’s a very short period of time to go through such a massive change. And was it was it was was it gradual or was it something your coach said or was it. What was.

[00:25:20] It? I think I think it was it was just meeting these different personalities. And these were people who owned multiple businesses who were who were millionaires, who were weighing sort of almost close to retirement, but still worried about their legacies, still worried about wanting to give more. And I thought I’ve never even thought about these things as a dentist. And you probably never do. You just spend your life doing what you what everyone expects you to do, continuing your job, trying to earn money, trying to support your family and trying to enjoy your life. You don’t really think about what is your purpose here? What is actually your dream? Who are you? And these are kind of questions that I find myself asking. Like, you know, you really need to understand your own psychology or your own sort of narrative that you’re telling, know the way you’re talking to yourself and and these things completely sort of, you know, I was completely unaware of it. And I think the conversation I had with these kind of people and then being coached as well. You know, and that’s the bit that I love about coaching, being on this coaching journey with people and then sort of coming to the realisation themselves and having that lightbulb moment. I didn’t think that maybe I could do that and then they go on and do that and do whatever they, you know, that came, that came to the head during that coaching session. For me, the fact that they’ll, they’ll remember that for the rest of their life and that’s something that that really sort of drives me, the fact that you can sort of turn on a switch that was probably flicked they turned off by accident or close. It might be that they’ve lost motivation. It may be that life just completely killed any any growth in them. And I think being able to turn on that switch or being able to get them to a place where they never thought is for me the the amazing reward that you get from coaching.

[00:27:11] Sounds great. So tell me then in a, shall we say in a sentence, you know, what is what is your purpose? Is it that is it spreading this good news?

[00:27:22] My my purpose is to serve people, be able to coach people. But I think my bigger purpose is to sort of show the dental world that coaching has massive benefits. If you get the right coaching and you get the right coach, there’s huge potential for you in terms of growth. And I feel like as a profession, we should really open our eyes to opportunities and possibilities and sort of get away from the doom and gloom. Because I think dentistry is a fantastic career, it’s a fantastic profession and it’s got a limited potential. You can do absolutely anything you want. You’ve got a guaranteed job. There’s probably I don’t think there’s any dentists out there that would be struggling with a job as long as they’ve got the right kind of paperwork. There’s huge demand from patients for work. I just think that how many jobs can you say that you get? All that. And most dentists, I would say earn upwards of 50 K at least. You know, I don’t see many, many kind of jobs out there that can guarantee that kind of lifestyle or that kind of income.

[00:28:36] And yet. We’re getting loads of people wanting to leave the profession.

[00:28:42] Yeah. And that’s the question we ourselves have to question. Why? And what is the reason for this? And how can we stop this? And what things can we put in place to to support these people who are in this predicament, who want to leave the profession? And I think we need to start caring for each other. And that’s that’s for me, that’s that’s part of my purpose. I genuinely care for my profession. I genuinely care for my fellow colleagues. I genuinely want the best for them. And that’s where my, my, my drive comes in terms of helping and wanting to serve as many as many people. But there’s still something even my coach said. Why do you always talk about dentistry? Because I think for me, I’ve gone through struggles within dentistry. I’ve gone through painful periods, I’ve gone through suffering, I’ve gone through mistreatment, I’ve gone through, you know, lots of lots of hardships and come out through the other end still with an upbeat, positive attitude and still think that I’m definitely not the only one. And especially coaching different people, even people who are hugely successful, it’s amazing some of the things that they they sort of highlight. Some are some dentists, you know, really high grossing dentists. They’ve been taking antidepressants since they were 18. They’ve never got that problem fixed, even though they might appear to be hugely successful. And that’s the thing that we need to really think about self care, think about caring for each other, think about what steps we can do to support each of the dentistry itself is physically and psychologically has a lot of health implications, and those are things that really need to be managed before it’s too late.

[00:30:36] So look, I’ve never been properly coached. I mean, I’ve spoken to a few coaches in my time. But is it that when you’re talking to people and you say, what’s your purpose? That mainly most people say a similar thing about connexion and impact and all of that, or is it that people say lots of different things?

[00:30:58] I think, you know, as coaches, especially with the way I’ve been trained, there’s various tools that we use to unlock you. So if I said to you, what’s your purpose? You’d probably, like, spend. I’d be, I’m not sure really an Ari for a long time kind of thing. So, so, so. And that’s the thing. How do you unlock what’s inside a person? To me, one of the things that’s very commonly used amongst coaches or one thing that I use is something called The Wheel of Life, and that’s just like looking at every aspect of your life and you basically rating it. I mean, these are things that you can sort of then have conversations about. So whether it might be your career and your rating as a for whether it might be personal or romance, you might be rating as as as something high or low your financial whereas these are these are basic human needs. We all want and have the same you know, everyone’s probably heard of the Maslow’s hierarchy. We all have the same basic human means, even even even though we’re dentists, we’re still humans, we still, you know, still perform the same way. And that’s the thing. That’s the thing we’ve got to sort of so I use tools to unlock and there’s always something in the closet that someone’s kept hidden from someone or kept away. And that’s the thing about coaching. I think it’s important to have that kind of trust is really, really important, having that non-judgmental, kind of confidential relationship with your coaches and for them to understand that you’re there to get them performing at peak level, you just want the best for them. And anyone who’s been coached by me will vouch that I will leave no stone unturned. I will do absolutely everything to make sure that they succeed in life and make sure that I can I can remove that obstacle, remove those fears, and get them sort of lying, really.

[00:32:56] So but in the training, is there something that says, hey, as you’re asking people about their lives and you said, oh, you find these skeletons in people’s cupboards? When I say skeleton, it’s like something that’s blocking them. Something they’re scared of something. Yeah. Is there something that says, hey, did you suddenly uncover something terrible and now it’s out of your remit and they need to go see a counsellor? Or how does it work?

[00:33:19] Yeah, I mean, sometimes it can, can can be like that. If you think there’s something that you think, for example, somebody’s feeling suicidal, for example, that’s something that a coach would struggle to. You may have to signpost to someone else, but it all depends on on how comfortable you feel. I mean, with myself it’s been varying kind of issues. Some vary from grief, from dealing with grief and the loss of a loved one to, you know, and also my client base is quite varied as well. It can be simple things about whether whether somebody should deserve a pay rise or not or whether we should fund, you know, expenses for this for a director or something. And, you know, you think that and then there’s other people on the decision committee who who perhaps oppose it. And, you know, you’re kind of sort of delving on whether it’s the right thing for the business or not and whether this person might leave. So I think I think I find those kind of situations interesting because it sort of taps into your emotional intelligence and sort of you sort of weighing up the pros and cons and doing a full 360 before you’re making decisions. But yeah, my, my client base is quite varied in terms of so it’s not the dentist, I would say it’s 8020 actually. I think dentists themselves are very hesitant about coaching and there is a lot of stigma attached to mental health or or accepting there’s a problem. And I don’t think there’s a lot out there for dentists to reach out and get help.

[00:34:56] We’re doing a mental health kind of month thing and licencing and talking to dentists. There’s a lot more mental health issues out there than I realised. It’s I don’t know, is it, is it that more people are talking about it now? There always was, but people weren’t talking about it or people were turning to drink or drugs or whatever it was, and now people are talking about it or is there more stress now? I can’t believe there’s more stress now than there was, you know, in the sixties or something.

[00:35:28] I think there is I think we’ve all lived in lived through this pandemic. And pandemic itself has caused psychological trauma, whether that’s directly or indirectly listening to the news, listening to the catastrophizing that goes on in the media. I mean, you know, there’s probably nobody who’s who can say, I’ve not been affected by the pandemic. We all have in some way. And I do think that the mental health sort of is probably a bigger problem than the COVID 19 itself. And I think nowadays, yeah, we’re more open about it and we’re more sort of thing. But I think it’s, it’s, there’s just even even the NHS or generally there’s just not enough help out there for people. And, you know, it’s, it’s a lonely place for, especially for dentists.

[00:36:20] Well, I want you to give me an example. The idea of you said you’ve been through a lot in your career. I want you give me an example of what things you went through, how you were taking them before, and how you would have taken them. You know, now with your sort of new tool kit that you seem to have, what are the things you went through that you know, that really hurt?

[00:36:43] I think I think one things that we find difficult, especially, you know, NHS dentists will definitely know about this, but patients are sort of kicking off or demanding things or being confrontational. I generally, you know, I find that kind of behaviour is very difficult to deal with, especially people who are very demanding and say, you know, I know my rights, I deserve that, you know, I should have all that treatment on a band or a band. Three And those kind of situation would kind of stress you out because you’re worried that they might end up be the point in a complaint going to the NHS. And we all know that when, when a complaint arises or anything like that, you know, the mental, even though even though you know you’ve not done anything wrong, it can have massive health implications on your mental health. Just use worrying and stressing about that patient. And I think previously, you know, a lot of the time you’d worry about things that would never happen even you know, it might it might be that, you know, you struggle with an extraction. You end up having to refer and you’re worried about them getting seen. And even though you know that you did everything you could to prevent that from happening, but these these are common sort of situations that can arise.

[00:37:53] But you spend a lot of time. Worrying and stressing. And the thing is, there’s nobody who will understand that because because it’s all in your head and you’re kind of almost building up that tension and that anxiety until it’s over kind of thing. And I’ve changed myself in, I would say, now where? I don’t fear patients anymore. And in fact, because I think, you know, what coaching teaches you is, you know, where there’s difficulty or suffering leading to that because that’s when you grow. If you can deal with a challenging or difficult patient, you can deal with anyone. And for me, I actually now actively want to see those problematic patients that nobody wants to see, because I think that the main problem is, is that it’s communication. And as long as you’re doing the best for that patient and they’re not making outrageous demands, you can quite easily manage that situation. So I’m far more confident in dealing with with those patients, so much so that I want to deal with those patients because I feel like if I can deal with them, I can deal with anyone.

[00:39:01] How interesting. How interesting. It’s funny because I quite like complaints myself when if someone complains about enlighten, it’s by the way, very rare. But when I get when I get a complaint, I quite like dealing with it, not because, oh, I’m the boss and I want them to know I’m the boss, but for that same reason that, you know, I feel like I can fix it. You know, I’m I want to enjoy fixing it. It’s kind of the the way the way I think about it. But there is a big difference between those two situations, isn’t it? The pre coaching you and the post coaching you where the pre coaching you would catastrophize this thing and run it through your head, worry about possible consequences and the post coaching use is looking at solutions and and sort of almost like treating treating it as fun and I find fun is such a great word. You know the way I play that game with my kids when they don’t want to do something and say, well, whatever you do, we’ll do this thing in any way that you think would be fun. And suddenly they come up with all sorts of solutions, then they to yeah. The way to do that thing. I’m your what you call them coaches. Customers? Yeah. Yeah. Coaches. Your coaches that come to you now? Give me some of the standard things that they’re hitting sort of roadblocks that the the you know in dentistry it would be patient complains of pericarditis play pain upper right quadrant or lower left quadrant for pericarditis what where do they how do they present? Is the question I’m asking.

[00:40:42] Again, are we talking dental dental kind of client, some kind of people who are facing complaints or even GDC investigations and need some support with that aspect of of it, because it’s kind of become overwhelming for them. So much suffering from burnout and mental health and anxiety and so from panic attacks. That’s quite a common kind of situation. Some are relying on antidepressants. And I think that the problem in dentistry, I feel, and even myself used to, is fear. And where there’s fear, there’s no growth that happens because you’re scared. You don’t want to touch your. I mean, I’ve heard clients say I want to reduce my clinical duties because there’s less chance of a complaint or there’s a less chance of this. And you’re thinking, really? Is that is that really? I’m not so sure. Is it about volume or or or is it about performance or is it about you know, there’s some people who will see happily see loads of patients every single day and get no complaints. And there’ll be some that see a lot less and work part time and get loads. You know what I mean? Is it really is it really about how much clinical time? But I think more and more I’ve sort of I used to actually back in the days, I suppose what they call it, Boston Ash. So I used to do loads and loads of Udas every single year and it used to be sometimes six days a week and you know, it was kind of you’re young and you just need to keep going kind of thing. And I think as I’ve got older I’ve kind of realised that too much clinical dentistry can be damaging to your health both mentally and psychologically. So I’ve kind of got to a point where I do part time dentistry, whether that’s four days or three days a week, because I think you kind of, you know, you’re definitely sort of from burnout if you were doing five days.

[00:42:37] For sure. I mean, I’m a big fan of four days a week as a general for everybody in dentistry, but three days a week is better and two days a week is very good, very good. Two days a week. It’s interesting. I’ve done it. I did it myself for a long time where you kind of feel like, I think you need another job, you need, you know, you need a side gig then. Alright, so I had Enlightened, you’ve got this coaching thing, but two days a week of dentistry is interesting because you kind of it’s more like a hobby than a job, but you’re still in it, you know you’re still in it. One day a week’s a disaster. I did. I did that for a long time. And it’s not just not enough. The rhythm isn’t there enough for you to care enough to give.

[00:43:21] In two days, just to some extent can can do that as well. Because I think, like you said, with dentistry, it’s it’s it’s like, you know, you’ve got to practise and you’ve got to do it every single day to get better at it. But if you.

[00:43:32] Do this.

[00:43:33] Week to week.

[00:43:34] And two days, you know, maybe it’s different. People do different things. But like what I would say is, you know, six days a week, it’s it’s all well and good if you never want to progress in your career. Because if you work six days a week, like a lot of people do, by the way, you haven’t got time to think outside of that. What you’re doing. Of course, you know, let’s not generalise. There’s some people who do six days a week and they’ll manage everything else as well. But then this stuff that you’re talking about comes up panic attacks, mental health problems. I mean, one thing I’ll tell you for sure, there would be no enlighten if I was working five days a week as a as an associate. It was that four days a week. And then that other day where I had the chance to think, what do I want to do with my life? Ben, tell me this. Your qualifications. What are they? I mean, you said. You said. Let’s start with these coaches have a bad name. And I agree with you. It’s not it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But you get you get this feeling of, you know, is it real, isn’t it? Are people ripping people off? And then and then you’ve got I see people transformations like yours here, where someone’s just found their purpose in life completely. And that’s worth $1,000,000. Right? So give me give me some understanding of the qualifications and your position on, you know, the way coaches are perceived.

[00:45:05] So yeah, the coaching that I’ve done is in executive coaching and it’s really seven accreditation, which is the highest level approved by the International Coaching Federation. I also, by the way, I’ve not mentioned this, I’m also doing a part time in medical law and ethics, and I’m also undergoing some expert witness training with with someone. So that was an area that I kind of found interesting as well and things. So yeah, so the qualification I’ve got is that I’m doing is the alum seven in executive coaching.

[00:45:38] But yeah, expand on it. What is it.

[00:45:41] So, so basically it’s executive coaching, so it’s actually coaching people in senior positions within an organisation because coaching isn’t just I think people see coaching perhaps what life coaches do, people see coaching in a different sort of have their own perceptions of what coaching is, but coaching is actually the most effective leadership style and it’s what top companies use and it’s what corporates use to make decisions. So my coaching qualification is coaching people in at a senior level. So these are board of directors, these are people who are senior managers, these are people who are making important decisions for the company. And coaching is is actually a philosophy. So it’s about empowering people, motivating people, inspiring people. And it’s all about performance and maximising the potential of a person or an organisation. And that can kind of massively impact various things like productivity, like turnover, like revenue. So I think coaching has a huge place and it’s very, very widely used in the business world.

[00:46:58] And so what is the sort of the rhythm? How many times do I get to see you if I if you’re my coach and how how.

[00:47:06] Does it work? I think, yeah. So so the way I generally do is I always have a complimentary call to kind of obviously open up and sort of find out or reach out to the people that want to have a little chat about what they do. But I also think and I think it’s very important to have a sort of what we call a chemistry meeting. It’s very, very common amongst people who do true coaching because there has to be that chemistry between the coach and the coach. And, you know, there’s certain people that might just put you off straight away. And it might be that either you as a coach feel like, you know what, it’s like a private patient coming in to see you. Can, you know, the ones that have over the top expectations, you’re going to be like, I’m sorry, but I can’t. I don’t I don’t think I can help you or I don’t think I can. So I think it’s always important to have that chemistry meeting and see what the expectations of the coach is, as well as your own limitations and see whether actually can you can you help this person or not? And for me, it’s about being being ethical as well. So I don’t try to sell people something that’s a fantasy in a way, you know, telling them, you know what, I’m going to make you a millionaire because because I just don’t think that that especially people, for example, dentists and people, you know, they’re hugely intelligent people then, you know, they know that there’s no quick way to become a millionaire. It takes time and it takes steps to be put in place. But you’ve got to sort of almost open your door, open that door of opportunities and like yourself, yourself, you realise that, yeah, I needed to sacrifice my dentistry to create your business, but you know that in the longer term that’s what you wanted and you made it happen. But in the short term there was probably time you think, Gosh, I’ve given up my dentistry, I’m not really making the money. I thought with this and I’m sure right at the.

[00:48:58] Start, your.

[00:48:58] Entrepreneur journey, it’s a very, very lonely kind of journey. And those those are the kind of people that I like to help with, you know, the ones that are at the start where they start doubting their own decisions, they start doubting what they’re doing, they start kind of and most people then they end up giving up on their sort of and they’re probably very close to succeeding.

[00:49:19] Yeah. Yeah. Because the line between success and failure is very, very, very thin, you know?

[00:49:24] Yeah, yeah. But you have to fail to learn and be successful. And the most successful people, if you look at them, they’ve failed at so many different businesses before they became successful and failure. And that’s the thing about I would like to also add as part of obviously dentist listening is failure is the best thing because that’s when you’re going to learn. That’s when the best thing that happens to you. And that’s why I look back at some of my difficulties that I alluded to. It was the best thing that happened to me because I wouldn’t be here on this podcast talking to you and sort of hopefully influencing dentistry if I didn’t have all the issues that happen to me. And that’s the amazing thing about life that you can, you know, when you go in. Through difficulties. You know, you’re kind of looking for a quick fix solution. You’re trying to get out of that problem. But what you don’t realise is that problem was the best thing that ever happened to you. And you know, sometimes you get put in a situation that you never expected or wanted, but there’s always a reason for that and there’s always a positive kind of outcome to it. And I think that’s the difficulty of changing your mindset towards that growth mindset and thinking even if even if you feel like that at the moment. Think about the bigger picture. Think about the long game.

[00:50:36] Well, that leads us nicely onto my favourite part of this show, the the darker part of this where you tell us your actually let’s start with your your best day as a dentist, your best moment, and then tell me your darkest day, your biggest errors.

[00:50:58] I enjoy dentistry, I think every single day, to be honest with you. I’ve started to appreciate the people around me, appreciate the patients. I’m grateful to be able to serve those patients. And practising gratefulness is something that again is something new that I’ve learnt and it’s absolutely amazing that I feel honoured and grateful that I can help my patients. And, and I love the I would say 99% of them is please and thank you. Thank you for that. And one thing I want all dentists to think about is that the patients you see, you might have a ten or 15 minute window of that of their life. You don’t know where they’ve been before, what’s going on in their personal life. If you can make that patient feel special during those 15 minutes of even a check-up and even you know that that for them is amazing. And they will talk about that to their family, their friends and everyone. And I think just being able to understand and stand in the shoes of the patient and practise empathy is something a skill in itself. Being able to understand that a lot of the patients, even when they show aggression, the aggression is coming from fear, that the aggression is coming from the fact that they’re perhaps scared to see you most of the time.

[00:52:20] And people behave strangely when, when, when. And you might misinterpret that that aggression as something else. And being able to understand their body language and understand where they’re coming from, I think is a skill in itself. But for me, it’s just being able to to be part of that patient’s journey and then leaving with a smile on their face. And, you know, you might not feel like you’ve done anything. But to me, I spend now a lot more time talking to them, making them feel special. And it might just it might just be something simple by asking them how their family is doing, how are they doing, how are they coping? And maybe especially the elderly, it may be the only person they’ve seen for a whole week sometimes. And those conversations are like gold dust for people. So yeah, I kind of enjoy that aspect of, of dentistry.

[00:53:12] It’s funny, when I stopped being a dentist, that was the piece I missed the most by a long, long way. I certainly didn’t miss the injections and drilling and all of that, but I wasn’t the guy who hated that stuff. I was quite into my, you know, at the time, cutting a lot of veneers and all that. But the bit I missed was that interaction and I was I was in private lens, cheap throughout the whole thing. But in private dentistry you got to have those conversations anyway. And so you go into it with, Oh, what? I’m to, I’m going to be a nice guy and I’m going to be. But then within that, you go from a child who’s trying to be a nice guy because he knows he’s heard. That’s what’s the right thing to do to building real relationships with real people, finding out and what you said there about the you know, it’s that famous thing. I get to do this instead of I’ve got to do this kind of way of looking at your life and gratitude. You still haven’t told me. What’s your hardest day, though? What’s your darkest day? Your biggest mistake? It doesn’t have be the worst, although just just give me some give me some of that people can learn from.

[00:54:16] Something happened very early on in my career. I think it was my first obviously job after it was a it was a patient who wanted to look like Cheryl Cole because back then Cheryl Cole was the big thing and wanted veneers. And I was there a young dentist thinking, you know what, I’ll be a hero and I can I can sort this out. And she brought loads of printouts of what Cheryl Cole looked like. And over the.

[00:54:37] Years, was she anything like Cheryl Cole or.

[00:54:39] Not? No, I don’t think so. But I think she’d need a lot more than in years to look like Cheryl Cole. But.

[00:54:46] But, yeah, yeah.

[00:54:50] So, so, so. Anyway, I was trying to be a hero, and it was just before Christmas. And I thought, you know, Well, get in there, I’m going to do this private case. And the problem was that we put the train videos in. And they looked amazing. And to try and cement. The only problem was they were slightly darker than her other teeth that she’d had whitening done on them. And, you know, in my head, I was like, look, we need to send these back because they’re not right. And you know what? These aren’t right. And the patient spent half an hour or whatever loving them and whatever. And for some silly reason, she then decided, Just put them on. I really love them. And I naively decided, okay, fine, you know what? I’ll show you, show. You really want that? And this was like very early on in career, you know, you don’t know. And I ended up cementing them for her. And then obviously over Christmas, the email comes that I don’t like the way my body is look, because they’re not the right colour and blah, blah, blah and stuff. And in the end we had to sort them out in January, but it was one of those that in hindsight I shouldn’t have been railroaded by the patient in terms of doing that. And it was all right and we sorted it out in the end. But I think now I’m far more sort of cautious about people like that who have perhaps unrealistic expectations, as well as sort of as well as being able to say no, because I think that’s a difficult thing to do, especially when especially when patients can sort of convince you otherwise because you think, you know, this is what they want kind of thing.

[00:56:27] But did it go I mean, did it go wrong beyond that? So you said, okay, I’m going to I’m going to change these veneers for you.

[00:56:33] I think for me, it was the fact that the labs were closed. So it was it was first time, obviously, I’d received an email from a patient saying, you know, I’m not happy and you didn’t know where it was going to go. So there was a good two or three weeks.

[00:56:44] You stressed yourself about that.

[00:56:46] In and back and stressed yourself out. And then obviously we sorted it out in January. But there was you know, there was that kind of yeah, yeah. It was that dramatic email. You know, my teeth are horrible for Christmas, blah, blah, blah and stuff like that. So it was kind of stressful for you because you thought it was time off for you, but it was two weeks of stress and worry to get the patient back in and get that get them sort it kind of thing in Indian. But obviously we saw it out, but it was kind of through that. I kind of learnt that, you know, you don’t need to be a hero and you really need to assess every case on its merit kind of thing.

[00:57:20] I mean, cosmetic dentistry has got that aspect in it, doesn’t it, where it’s opinion based? A lot of it. And I used to tell I used to tell patients that you’re going to go off and even though you love them yourself, someone else is not going to love them. I used to warn them about that and it actually helped a lot because, you know, you’ve got you’ve got in the patient’s head sometimes they’ve saved up for a long time to pay for these things and they’ve put a lot of emphasis on what their life’s going to be like later. And then if a loved one says they’re not great, it’s such a terrible situation for the patient because, you know, I’ve saved up for it. I’ve gone to the dentist, I’ve done all this and someone’s telling me they’re not great. It can cause problems for sure and cause problems for sure. What about your best day? When did you feel like, Wow, I love my job every day.

[00:58:13] I would say every day after after I suppose after being coached and having my coaching and I’m enjoying my dentistry now and I’m kind of, I think being that sort of relaxed mindset and being able to sort of, you know, you’ve done it for a while, you’re kind of confident with doing most things. And now I look forward to the day I enjoy going into work. I enjoy seeing staff, enjoy seeing the patients. I suppose you know, the problem that a lot of dentists as well that they make is they focus on the clinical aspect of it all the time. And you’ve got to kind of almost, you know, you’re thinking about the injection and then you’re thinking about what I’m going to do next and what I’m going to do, what shape I’m going to, you know, prep that tooth or whatever. But the patient isn’t really interested in all that. And I think now I’m far more considerate of that and far more kind of. For me, it’s all about the patient experience. It’s all about making the dentistry as enjoyable for them because having relaxed, happy patients makes you happy and relaxed and you can perform at an optimum level that way as well. But yeah, I’m enjoying my dentistry now.

[00:59:25] And but you do you actually have teams in the NHS to, to have those conversations. And you know, because I remember I used to, I used to think to myself I’m going to have a ten minute conversation before any procedure and the ten minute conversation after any procedure I kind of I was pushing it a bit too far, I think it was, but it worked like hell. It really worked in terms of people would refer patients to me all the time about I’ve heard you’re brilliant. But it was, you know, someone walks in and says, I’ve heard your brilliant. Yeah. I mean, you’ve you’re sold that you’ve already sold whatever you’re going to say to them. And I wasn’t the best. I was a young dentist, you know, not not the best dentist in the world at all. But my previous guest, Na Hutchinson, mentioned and we’ve all come across them. Right. The dentist who not the best dentist in the world, but patients think they’re amazing. I might have been I might have been that. And then the opposite. The dentists are just technically amazing, but they don’t have that patient experience side fixed and dentist patients don’t get it. So patients don’t get it. What do you think?

[01:00:37] Yeah, I think, I think we’re all got a blend of both haven’t we, in terms of, you know, some dentists are really, really good clinically. But then like you said and I think there’s there’s nothing I suppose there’s no hard and fast rule. It depends on on yourself, you know what I mean. You know, again, it depends on your personality. Like, again, this is something that obviously coaching as well teaches you that there’s people who are, for example, of dominant personality or dominant characters and we’ve come across them. And if you if you have those kind of people, for example, on reception, for example, and this is what I’m saying about the importance of having the right people in the right places. If you’ve got a dominant character on reception, the person going to say, You know what, we’ve got no appointment, see you later by kind of thing. You don’t want that kind of person on reception. This is why I’m saying that you’ve got to understand that, whereas having somebody like that as a manager completely perhaps changes the dynamics of things. And that’s why I think even even dentistry, we’re all we’ve all these 16 different types of personalities out there, we’re all very, very different in the way we think and the way we analyse things, the way we see things. So our people, people orientated people, so my task orientated people, so there’s different types of people. It depends on what you see as what you enjoy being and what your philosophy of of dentistry. And I don’t think there’s any hard and fast rule about that. I think everyone should do dentistry the way they the way they enjoy it. But obviously, if it’s a the impact of affecting patient care, then that’s when that that’s when I would argue that obviously that should be your core value or that should be the thing that you put at the centre of of importance.

[01:02:15] Definitely, definitely. But by the way, for anyone who hasn’t seen it, there is a website called 16 personalities dot com and it asks very simple questions and then gives this detailed thing about the kind of person you are. And we our whole team went through that process and it’s so amazing how accurate it is by asking you these very simple things. Now, I actually have anyone who’s applying for a job do that first so that I can just figure out who it is I’m in front of what other little hacks are there in this sort of way.

[01:02:50] I mean, these form part of psychometric testing and these are very, very commonly used. And if you look at the top companies in the world, there’s so many different kind of tests and ways your Thomas pay is is another one what is it people may have heard of Thomas pay just like your personality profiling and obviously we have a work. Kind of sort of trait. And we have a mask, work mask and a home kind of mask, and there’s lots of in-depth kind of testing that you can do. And the surprisingly accurate that’s what I find really, really kind of how did they know that and how do you work out that? And people can be very kind of, you know, sort of they don’t mean anything kind of thing. But I think for me, when I when I’ve had mine done and done other people, it’s surprising how accurate they are and how you can almost predict people’s behaviours, how they’re going to think. And and that’s what I sort of find interesting, how we’re all wired up differently and how we, we think differently and, and different people require different skill sets to sort of connect or engage with them. And I think that’s the important thing to be able to understand that we are all wired differently and we all have different personality traits.

[01:04:07] You should make your life’s work. 16 Dentists dot com ask ask 30 questions and say this is the dentist you are.

[01:04:19] Yeah definitely. That’s something to someone.

[01:04:21] Needs to do that I consider.

[01:04:23] Yeah yeah yeah definitely. That’s something to consider.

[01:04:27] We’re coming to the end. But I want you to discuss about the group. I’m not a fan. I’m not a fan. Self-admitted, we were just talking about as far as the most I know about football is Sir Alex Ferguson and Renaldo. So but but I know people I mean, I’ve got a real problem. My best friends from school every time we meet is because there’s a big football game on and I’m like, Why the hell are we meeting if we’re watching the football? But for them, it’s like so important in that in that sort of minute I sort of try and ask some questions and find out. But tell me, what does football mean to you? Who do you support? What does the group mean to you? I mean, running a group is quite difficult. I run a couple of groups. Is it has it gone off by itself now or do you still need to do work on it?

[01:05:18] I think I instilled the the main contributor to the group.

[01:05:22] Which is. Which is correct. That’s the way it should be, dude.

[01:05:25] Yeah, yeah, yeah. I suppose I’m the leader. I’m the coach and the person who but again, this was part of my coaching journey with my coach because we were trying to unlock what what do you actually love? What do you enjoy, what’s your hobby? And football is one of those things that I have always loved from a very, very young age, playing as well as watching. And Manchester United is, is, is, is my club. And I absolutely love it. And it’s for me, it’s, it gives me that release from everyday life. It gives me that release from, you know, just generally I just love the emotions that that brings you and the excitement and yeah, so, so I wanted to sort of for me it was more a sense of, I’ll be honest, I was a bit of a loner for a long time and I didn’t know many dentists and I didn’t know many people. So I thought myself, How do I talk to people without talking to people? In a way, it’s almost like you’re trying to find a topic that you really enjoy, but you might have something in common. And I think if you randomly message someone, they’re going to be like, Who’s this dude asking me about whatever kind of thing? Yeah. So it was more a sense of like, I want to engage with like minded people who have the same passion or similar passion to me, but I also for me.

[01:06:43] So for me it was a way of engaging with people and engaging with dentists in particular, and sort of being able to, I suppose, build connexions with people. Because when you can relate to people, whether it’s through football or whether it’s some other kind of thing, it’s, it’s, it’s not as as awkward or as kind of thingy. You know, people are happy to talk about football in the group and you might not be talking directly to you. So for me, it was a way to network, a way to engage with dentists and sort of be able to use my passion in a positive way. And, you know, a lot of people comment about my group being inspiring, motivating. I try not to make it like other fan groups where it’s just one fan group calling the other and that the other. And there is some of that that goes on. But I try to show that football can actually unite people, can actually bring people together. You might support a different team, but you’re still humans at the end of the day. And there’s so many football stories that I, I try to share with people just to try and inspire them or motivate them and show that football can be a force of good.

[01:07:50] Yeah. How come you’re not an Oldham fan? Because they weren’t winning when you were when you were a kid.

[01:07:56] Right. In fact, they’re completely out of the league now. Completely rare. Yeah. Yeah. They got completely relegated out of the league this year, but I’ve never really been an older sort of fan or anything. I’ve always I’ve just grown up with Manchester United. I’ve always been a United fan.

[01:08:14] Cause you have. So, listen, what’s your view? It’s interesting what you said about uniting people. Yeah, we’ve got a very divided profession. What’s what’s your view on how we can unite the profession? Because it’s amazing how much we we sort of back bite and and you know you’ve got the different organisations that represent us and even them they’re divided right. You’ve got the media on one side or the back and bap types on the other side. Now this associates kind of British action group thing that’s come along and what would you say? How can we unite? Because I remember as a youngster, I remember just thinking, hey, man, we should all be together. We should all love each other. You know, we’re one profession and all that. But now, now that I’ve been in it a while, it’s just, you know, it doesn’t seem like it’s getting anywhere nearer to United.

[01:09:09] Yeah, I agree with that. And I think it’s becoming more and more divided. In fact, one thing again from my coaching experience and I think generally in life and if you look at every aspect of life or even business or anywhere, the person that matters the most are the leaders. They’re the people at the top that are influencing change at the bottom. And I think in times like this, we need to have strong leadership. We need to have strong leaders that represent the profession as a whole. Once you get strong, influential leaders, you then start seeing changes within a profession, within a business organisation, within any setting. And I think that’s where dentistry I feel really falls down on in terms of strong leadership in these challenging times.

[01:10:04] When you say strong, you mean quality.

[01:10:07] Well, what I mean is, I mean, who is dictating what’s happening within the profession? Which organisation can say that? I represent every single dentist that’s out there, which I don’t see any I don’t see any organisation out there that that represents the best interest of every single dentist out there. And that’s where I think we’re lacking because, because there is no organisation like that, there is no unity, there is no leader, because we’ve all created our own little division, our own little organisations who are all have different agendas. Then how do you get unity? Because you’ve all got different agendas and you’re all creating your own little sub communities. And this is why I feel like either certain organisations like the BDA need to reform and look at, you know, look at their performance during the pandemic and look at things that they did and sort of, you know, that’s what good businesses do. That’s what good leaders do. They reflect back and see, well, did we actually make the right decisions? Did we support, for example, private dentistry during the pandemic? Did we support associates during the pandemic? Are we acting in the best interests in terms of the NHS contract? Who are who are we acting in the best interest of our be conflicted in terms of where we’re being funded from? You know, these are important questions and that’s what coaching does is is ask these kind of questions to sort of really bring about change. And I feel well.

[01:11:37] Before.

[01:11:37] Before we.

[01:11:38] Before we got on this answer, some of those questions go on.

[01:11:41] Which question in particular?

[01:11:44] Are the ones you just asked.

[01:11:46] I mean, these are questions that I feel like me, myself, I’m not in that influential position.

[01:11:52] What’s your opinion? What’s your opinion?

[01:11:54] My opinion is that I think there needs to be an organisation.

[01:11:59] I don’t know whether it’s what’s your position on it? Does the BDA represent private dentists or did they represent private dentists in the pandemic?

[01:12:09] I think that the answer is definitely, most definitely not, because the media is very much nature centred. It’s very much practise owner centred. And even the contracts that they draw for associates are very much in favour of practise owners. Now these, these, these are inequalities. Even though you mentioned at the start there’s more associates than there are practise owners. So so so these inequalities kind of then pan out with, with, with the issues that associates then then face. And these these are these are things that.

[01:12:41] We need to. But also, at the same time, let’s give them their dues. What did they do right?

[01:12:48] And again, I feel like obviously they’re an organisation that, you know.

[01:12:54] Specific pandemic wise, but I mean that 80%, I mean they negotiated that didn’t they. And that’s that saved a bunch of associates, skins as well as principal skins. In the end.

[01:13:06] I don’t know about associates, I don’t think that they didn’t go far enough in terms of their guidance. For example, the NHS we recommend and then the associates that were in trouble, a lot of them, they turned away because they wanted more money from them and they turned them away and those are the people that will never join them again because they know that it was during that tough time that they pretty much threw them under the bus and they’ll argue that they didn’t. But at the end of the day, these were shocking stories where people lost their jobs overnight, where people were really, really mistreated. And those are times when you need organisations like the PGA to step up and say, Hold on, mate, we’re not accepting that kind of behaviour, even though you might be a practitioner or you might have a contract. But these these people have families to support. These people have you know, we’ve we’ve guaranteed your contract. And out of that, you need to show goodwill and be able to pay your associates properly.

[01:14:04] But what did you expect those do you expect the BDA to do?

[01:14:08] To to almost. Well, I would say they can’t legally enforce it, unfortunately, but I feel like they’ve still not been vocal enough. And to be honest with you, if I would say I would go as far as if a practise owner has been demonstrated to not follow NHS advice and pay an associate correctly, then they should no longer be allowed to be part of the BDA. Why should they be part of the BDA? Because you’re going against the principles and the guidance of this organisation that are so called there to represent us in negotiating fair deals. And that’s why that’s why I say that, yeah, you can’t do that. But you can either you can single them out and say, by the way, you know, this many practises didn’t do this or and B, you could, you could say, look, you didn’t follow our guidance. You don’t follow our rules. I’m sorry, but we don’t want you part of our organisation and that’s I know that’s more than enough to show that we’re on your side. Yeah. And that’s, that’s what we wanted as a society. We wanted the BDA to say, look, we can’t, we can’t get you your money, we can’t make them do anything. But what we can do is we’re not going to allow them to be part of our part of our organisation because they’ve not followed our guidance or our advice.

[01:15:22] And you’re right, even though even though practically, you know, someone would have just left the BDA and a story for because of that, that would send a signal out, a stronger signal out that, you know, pay your associates. Right.

[01:15:34] Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I think that.

[01:15:36] The vast majority did get paid and I know. I know several. You’re not the first to tell me about people who didn’t get paid, because I know several who didn’t get paid as well. And I know some principals who used actually that excuse of it’s advice. It’s not it’s not law.

[01:15:52] I think they did get paid, but I think there was no consensus in terms of how much they should get paid, what they should get paid and things like that. And there’s a will, there’s a way. And I think some practise on is abused abused the system.

[01:16:07] But again, how do we fix this? Because, you know, there is no overarching organisation. Are you suggesting we make one?

[01:16:14] I’m either suggesting that the that somebody like the BDA reform and act more like the BMA. You know if you look at the way the BMA they support their doctors with the with any issues they face including you know it’s almost so even in cases where they’ve had to go to the GMC and they’ve challenged them about cases for doctors and things like that, I don’t see the BDA helping, you know, people who are under investigations. I don’t see the BDA really reaching out for the vulnerable people in our profession. And the vulnerable people, for me is, you know, includes associates include, you know, include people who who need help.

[01:16:54] Yeah. I think part of the reason for it, though, is that, you know, dentists are fiercely independent, you know, practise owners. They that sort of being a small business owner thing means that you are independent. You can make whatever move you want as opposed to doctors, many of them aligned with massive organisations, hospitals, GP practises and so forth. And what that ends up creating is a situation of lots of independent minded people who aren’t united in the same way as doctors are. By the way, I don’t know if we get really get into it is is the BMA as good as we say or.

[01:17:34] I think a lot of, I don’t know, just very, very, very kind of highly of the BMA and they would say that they yeah they would really but I’m not sure you would say the same about dentists talking about the BDA. If you if you did a survey about how many dentists are actually registered with the BDA compared to as a percentage of the whole country, it’d be interesting to see how many dentists are engaging with the BDA or how many dentists also support the BDA in terms of or feel like they’re an organisation that supports them. It would be interesting to to to find out those kind of figures.

[01:18:08] I think whatever the figure is, it’s a declining figure, that’s for sure. Yeah, but it is a shame. I mean I, I’m, I left the BDA years and years and years after I stopped being a dentist. But when I did leave, it was on purpose. It wasn’t, it wasn’t like I didn’t want to pay the subs or something. It was that it was what you said about communication. I just found their communication so, so incorrect. And, you know, when you when you when when you feel like, by the way, I wasn’t even a dentist at the time, but but I can understand why this BPD and things came about because when you feel like the association that’s supposed to be representing you is actually working against you, that’s that’s when you start, that’s when you start creating new organisations, you know, same thing with Chaz’s group, the British Dental Action Group.

[01:19:06] Yeah, yeah.

[01:19:07] It’s interesting, but well we always end it on the same questions. You’re. On your deathbed. Let’s hope you’re very, very old. But at this point, you’ve got your friends and family, your loved ones around you. What are three bits of advice you would leave them?

[01:19:30] Oh, that’s a difficult one. I think, number one, I live your life with no regrets. Make every every moment count and live it as though it’s your last day. And that would be my number one piece of advice. I think the second thing would be to build deep, meaningful relationships, whether that’s with your family, whether that’s with your friends, whether that’s with your colleagues, and build a legacy. You want people to talk about how amazing you are wherever you go. Leave those footprints behind for people to remember you in a in a good way. And I think the third thing would be to serve humanity, something that I feel really, really passionate about. And I think it’s important to always encompass and serve other people, whether that’s through charity work, whether that’s through volunteering, whatever that may be, always encompass that in your life because I feel like there is a sense of the more you help people, the more good it will draw in your life. And I genuinely believe that.

[01:20:38] It’s very achievement. It’s very, very true. How much of your belief system is not dictated by, but informed by your religious side?

[01:20:51] I would describe myself as a somewhat religious. Obviously I’m a muslim and yeah, I would say that I feel like religion itself gives people a moral compass. And all all religions teach people to be good human beings. And that’s why I think religion should play a part in everyone’s life. It doesn’t matter what what religion you you follow, but it teaches you to be a good human being and it teaches you life skills. And those you know, even some of my sort of coaching philosophies and ideas do loosely stem from a religious point of view as well. But I feel that religion has a really, really good purpose because it gives people a purpose for their life, and there is a purpose for why they’re here.

[01:21:45] He’s. And give me. Our final final question. Some fancy dinner party. Three guests. Dead or alive. Who would you want?

[01:22:01] So I think you mentioned two because we discussed two of them anyway, coming from Alex.

[01:22:06] Ferguson.

[01:22:06] Football, sir. Alex Ferguson. Yeah.

[01:22:10] Of course. There’s a manchester United guy. Yeah.

[01:22:13] And as a coach. As a coach as well. Have you read his book?

[01:22:17] Have you read his book?

[01:22:18] Absolutely. Yeah, I’ve read his book. But you also made a documentary on Amazon. That’s really interesting as well about his life, that that is a really good it’s amazing.

[01:22:27] The number of people who mention Alex Ferguson outside of football that, you know, like the business people, people who’ve who’ve made it and got giant organisations and they say, oh Alex Ferguson, it’s made me who, who does not care about football one little bit. I want to read his book and figure out what is it about, is it the way he talks to his team and motivates them and all of that? So give me put it for me in 10 seconds. What is it about him? That’s amazing.

[01:22:54] I think it’s the fact that you could influence some people who basically made Manchester United as a club and being able to influence people who are very average and make them into world class kind of players and just being able to influence and impact a team in the way you did.

[01:23:12] Your second one.

[01:23:13] Ronaldo Yeah, Cristiano Ronaldo. For me, he’s the greatest player ever. But I think for me it’s more his discipline, his desire, his determination to be the best in the world and the sacrifices he makes even now to perform at top level. He’s a he’s a winner. He’s a winner. He’s a determined winner. And he’s somebody who will will absolutely everything into every single game and even is off the pitch kind of habits. And the way he looks after himself, you know, means he can perform even now at the age of 37 is phenomenal player. Definitely. Yeah, you’re kidding. Absolutely. Yeah.

[01:23:57] Wow. Normally they’ve burnt out by 37 on a.

[01:24:01] Exactly. Exactly. But this guy has really looked after himself and doesn’t look out of place at all playing in.

[01:24:07] Is he still does he still top level must be right. Yes or no.

[01:24:11] Please regularly for my money and I it as well.

[01:24:15] So the third guest.

[01:24:18] The third guest maybe somebody had made some people may not have heard of him, but it’s called Abdul Sattar Edhi. He’s a philanthropist who’s passed away actually now, but he created the largest volunteer organisation of ambulances in Pakistan and well in the world, actually. And he’s basically a humanitarian and he basically served the poor and needy and spent his life dedicating himself towards that. And that’s something that I feel really strongly about, people who who sort of do that kind of thing.

[01:24:54] I’ve just I’ve just pulled him up on my other screen. Who found the world’s largest volunteer ambulance network.

[01:25:03] Yeah.

[01:25:03] Yeah. Along with homeless shelters, animal shelters, rehabilitations. And what a great guy. What an interesting guy. I’m going to I’m going to go on a on a Wikipedia. On a Wikipedia on him. You know, I got a Wikipedia sort of mouse hole. Just keep on going. Who was his dad? And that gets me really good. Excellent. But him. Him and Ronaldo and Ferguson and you at a dinner party. It’s going to be a good one. Certainly be interesting with him. He’s got a good beard, but he’s got a good, good. Yeah, well, but it’s been a real pleasure to have you on.

[01:25:40] Yeah. Thank you very much for having me on the show. I think it’s a prestigious thing to actually be on this show. There’s been some there’s been so many great people who’ve been on this show. And for me, I feel really honoured to to be invited on and be able to hopefully change and transform and hopefully have a positive impact. And this may resonate with some people and they may end up thinking, you know what, we do need to change as a profession. We do need things to improve and we do need better leaders who can sort of drive dentistry forward.

[01:26:13] Definitely. But definitely, if someone if someone’s going through a hard time in dentistry and they want to reach out to you, what’s the best way to get to you? Is it on.

[01:26:22] Facebook? Yeah, I’m quite active on Facebook. Obviously, I’ve got a website. It’s very easy to remember. It’s Mudassar Hussain dot com. So my company’s Clarity Coaching International and obviously there’s a form there that they can fill in active on Instagram as well. I’m active on LinkedIn as well. So yeah, if anyone needs any help advice, just want to chat. I’m happy to do that because you know, I’m here to help people and that’s my purpose.

[01:26:51] It’s the one thing that’s come through with with you that I’ve we’ve had a couple of other conversations and and and it’s, you know, people hear coach and they hear, Oh, he’s going to make all my money and all that. And and one thing I’ve noticed with you is you’re a lot less interested in the finance side of dentistry. You’re kind of purpose led is if you were a company, I would say you’re a purpose led company, you know, and purpose led is always the best way. It always is.

[01:27:21] When you enjoy what you do and you love what you do, life becomes easier. And that’s the thing. You’ve got to sort of I think your passion, you know, what you’re passionate about is something that you should really do as well. Follow your passion.

[01:27:32] Absolutely, man. Thank you so much for doing this, buddy.

[01:27:35] Thank you so much for having me on the show.

[01:27:38] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts Payman, Langroudi and Prav. Solanki.

[01:27:54] Thanks for listening, guys. If you got this file, you must have listened to the whole thing and just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it.

[01:28:09] If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing. And if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it, too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks.

[01:28:19] And don’t forget our six star rating.


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