August 21, 2023

Influence of UDA - Dr Steven Mugabe

Influence of UDA

Dentists must learn to influence What do Cristiano Ronaldo! Kim Kardashian, Elon Musk, Jose Chameleone, Bobi Wine, President Museveni and Sheila Gashumba have in common that dentists are lacking in Uganda? It’s called influence. Before you counter with the professionalism argument, hear me out! A quick check on Instagram reveals Ronaldo followers to be over 464million and Sheila Gashumba at 896,000. Further research revealed that the most influential voice in the Ugandan medical field is Dr. Kasenene (76,400 twitter followers) who I have challenged before for ‘bad mouthing’ Dental Amalgam. Is Dr Kasenene adding value to people or being unprofessional? What would happen if we intentionally decided to educate and add value where the people are hanging out in the social media spaces?It would probably be easier for us to have a seat at the presidential investors round table, be on boards of organisations across the market and be heard for all the wonderful life saving knowledge we possess. As the Uganda Dental Association celebrates 60 years of existence, its time for the dentists to engage another gear in being relevant and visible in the Ugandan market place and networking space. For this reason I am making a case for the need to learn to influence. The Cambridge dictionary defines influence as,“the power to have an effect on people or things, or a person or thing that is able to.”American dictionary as well,“to cause someone to change a behavior, belief, or opinion, or to cause something to be changed. “ John Maxwell defines leadership as influence. How do we get to be seen and heard in all spaces? It starts with influence.Robert Cialdini in his book, Influence The Psychology of Persuasion makes a good case for how we can learn to  use our authority as dentists because of the knowledge and experience we possess,  to help people accept treatment that they would ordinarily refuse. You can apply influence positively to help patients accept the treatment they need (not manipulate). When presenting large cases like dental implants and veneers, its important to wear that white coat as it sends a message of professionalism, competence and experience. Why? Patients psychologically associate it with doctors and instructions on how to get better when sick.   We can learn from the big dental brands in the US like Invisalign on how to use psychological principles for example  association, to get people to widely accept the treatments that we offer. Invisalign uses influencers who are usually athletes or artists to make the brand associated with success. What can we do to stop being associated with pain and psychological trauma? Our profession is  associated with torture. We must get out and start adding value to the community by improving people’s dental IQ through all available platforms. Obviously the standards and ethics of our profession must be respected and not used as scapegoat for failing to lead on this front. If we don’t fill the void, the wrong people will do it for us. Let’s make the next 60 years of the Uganda Dental Association great such that we are visible in every space in Uganda including politics that most affects us .   Dr Steven Mugabe Founder @CODE Clinic Twitter: @mugaven Instagram: drstevenmugabe  

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