Dr. Phil's Gifts

If you've ever seen Dr. Phil on his super-successful TV show, you'd think that he's always been a smooth-talker, someone who'd be the life of any party, the type anyone feel perfectly comfortable speaking one on one to. After all, he's a counselor, right? Actually, Dr. Phil considers his one-on-one skills to be a deficit. In high school, he was very quiet, finding difficulty in starting conversations. After completing his Ph.D. in Psychology, he went into a private practice and found difficulty counseling people one-on-one. He considered himself a failure at that approach. Even to this day, in his own words, "If I have something structured to do, you put me in front of 10 million people with an agenda, a job to do, that doesn't bother me at all. You put me in a cocktail party making small talk, and I'd rather get a root canal." (Jan Carl, "One-on-One with Feisty Dr. Phil," ET Online (August 26, 2002), available from http://www.etonline.com/celebrity/a12001.htm . Dr. Phil found that his nich was in front of groups rather than sitting down with individuals. He still uses his Psychology, but as a group counselor rather than a personal counselor. He had to find his niche to find success.

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