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My Way or the Highway!

January 29, 2021
by Judy Kay Mausolf, Speaker, Author, and Dental Culture Specialist


Our relationships in life are the result of how well we communicate and collaborate personally and professionally. When we communicate openly, positively and effectively, we inspire connections and build sincere, strong, sustaining relationships. What often sabotages successful relationships is our personal beliefs of right and wrong.

Most of our beliefs can be traced back to our early years. I’m the youngest of seven and am blessed with a great family. I grew up on a farm in North Dakota. My past experiences will differ greatly from those who were not raised in the same environment and our expectations of right and wrong will vary.

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When we interact with others, our expectations differ because of our individual beliefs, opinions and assumptions. These expectations become our personal truths upon which we base judgments of right and wrong. To help you remember the concept, see the first letters of each word: B.O.A.T. – Beliefs, Opinions, Assumptions, therefore, are Truths based on our experiences.

We all have unique experiences, yet we expect each other to think, act and respond the same. These are some false expectations that can get us into trouble:

  • Others must behave in the same manner as we do, or their behaviour is wrong.
  • Another person’s behaviour must mean the same as ours if we did that same behaviour.
  • We get in a disagreement because others disagree with our opinion (after all we are right and want it our way)!

Once we understand that our personal truths are based on personal experience, we can no longer believe that our answer is the only right answer.

I used to love listening to Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story,” a radio program consisting of stories presented as little-known or forgotten facts on a variety of subjects with some key element of the story (usually the name of some well-known person) held back until the end. The broadcasts always concluded with a variation on the tag line “And now you know the rest of the story.”

Be open to the moral of the story instead of stubbornly attaching to your beliefs. Avoid filling in the gap based on your B.O.A.T.! Here are some questions to ask when you are in disagreement:

  • Where did you learn this belief?
  • Tell me why you believe this to be right?
  • Tell me why you feel so strongly about this?

More importantly, do a little soul searching to understand your own beliefs before you question others. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where did I learn this belief?
  • Is this belief based on truth or illusion?
  • How important is this belief?
  • How is this belief affecting me?
  • Do I still need this belief (how relevant is it now)?

Once we become too attached to an idea, we lose respect both for ourselves and others. Sometimes a belief can even become more important than the other people. It is the root of extremism and fanatics.

The world is filled with different beliefs and different ways. Who says we all have to always agree? We need to respect each other and work together for the better of all mankind.


About the Author

Judy Kay Mausolf is a speaker, author, and dental culture specialist with expertise in helping others get happier and more successful. She coaches dentists and their teams how to become better leaders, communicate effectively, work together better and deliver service with more focus and passion. She is past President of National Speakers Association (Minnesota Chapter), Director of Sponsoring Partners for the Speaking Consulting Network and a member of the National Speakers Association and Academy of Dental Management Consultants and recognized as a leader in consulting by Dentistry Today. She is author of three books; “TA-DAH, Delivering W.O.W. Service, and “Rise & Shine!”, and a contributing author for many dental magazines. She also publishes a monthly newsletter entitled “Show Your Shine”. Judy Kay lives in MN with her husband Steve and Zoe, her 7-pound Yorkie.


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1 Comment » for My Way or the Highway!
  1. VR says:

    Excellent thoughts! This is truly helpful in this day and age of staunch beliefs with no back up. This is the first way to fight bigotry!

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