9 Principles of Human Behavior Every Leader Should Know, Part 3

August 1, 2021

“Leadership is based on a spiritual quality – the power to inspire, [and the] power to inspire others.”
~ Vince Lombardi 

A team is only as good as its players. Skill and talent are important but should not be valued over passion, self-motivation, and team spirit. Any coach can find team members with the necessary skills and talent, but a coach who is a great leader is also able to inspire their passion, push them to be self-motivated, and foster a positive culture, buying into the team entirely. The same idea goes for being the leader at your dental office. The 9 Principles of Human Behavior[1] gives an excellent foundation for understanding how you can be a great leader for your team. Today we wrap up our 3-part series by sharing Principles 7-9.

Principle 7: Understand the Difference Between Prediction of Your Employees’ Behavior and the Prediction of an Individual Employee’s Behavior

As a leader, it’s important to be able to predict the responses of your team in any given circumstance or conversation. This allows for you to be able to communicate best with them. However, it is important to differentiate between your team’s reactions versus the reactions of each individual. No one wants to be generalized and it’s important as a leader that you look at each of your employees as the individual they are. This will help you be able to communicate more effectively with your team as a whole and with each member one-on-one.

Principle 8: It’s Better to Build Relationships on the Basis of Set-Boundaries Rather Than Power

At the base of every healthy relationship are boundaries. This is true for professional relationships as well. Using power to control your employees will likely result in lower employee satisfaction. Using power may look like a dentist shouting at an assistant to do something when that is really the job of the hygienist. The dentist is using his power to force a situation rather than creating and relying on boundaries. Set boundaries allow for clear expectations for what role each team member is responsible for. This creates smoother internal systems and less potential hostility between coworkers.

Principle 9: Clarity of Boundaries is the Basis of Freedom

Like Principle 8, clarity of these boundaries allows for creativity and safety. When we understand our boundaries and the boundaries of others around us, we are free to act creatively knowing where the line is drawn. When each employee, including the dentist, understands their role and the set boundaries of the practice, there is less anxiety and uncertainty in the workplace. Each employee can focus on their work because they understand clearly their role, expectation, tasks, and goals. Clear boundaries promote trust and collaboration, which should be a major goal of any leader.

Taking on the role of “leader” can be difficult. We encourage you to promote departmental leaders that you and your employees trust as well to support you and help operations run smoothly. 

Anyone can be a great leader; you just need conviction. 

We believe in you! Go out and be the best leader you can be!

Looking to improve employee buy-in?

We’ve helped practices grow positive cultures that employees and dentists alike are proud to be a part of.

Whether you’ve begun to grow your practice’s culture or are just realizing it may be time for a change, we can consult you through creating employee buy-in into your practice.


  1. Ian McDonald, Catherine Burke, and Karl Stewart. Systems Leadership : Creating Positive Organisations. Aldershot, England: Routledge, 2006. https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=270452&site=ehost-live.