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  • Sep2Fri

    Are You Playing Chameleon or Full Out?

    September 2, 2016
    Filed Under:
    The Warrior Way
    chameleon
    Last week I had a chance to listen to an audio blog post that made some great points but I disagreed with one main statement.
    He said that we should try to eliminate cognitive  dissonance wherever possible in order to reduce stress in the practice for the doctor and the patient.

    The definition of cognitive dissonance is "the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as related to behavioural decisions and attitude change." 

    His claim was that patients are not expecting a long term care plan from a chiropractor, so if we present one it will cause cognitive dissonance (or stress) to the patient.
    The solution was to give the patient what they expect and that will reduce the stress of the care plan presentation.
    Give them what they want (not what they need) and then sell them on more care in three months and then sell them on more care in 12 months.

    This reminds me of an event I was at about 15 years ago.
    Ed and I were presenting to a large audience in Toronto and the speaker before us talked the whole time about finding out what the patient wants and giving them that.   He said there is no stress in selling someone something that they already want. In other words, be a chameleon.  Change who you are and what you believe in in order to be accepted. 

    It was our turn to present next. By the way, we were seeing thousands of patients a week and were getting lots of referrals. We basically said the opposite.
    As an expert you need to tell the client what they need and give them a proper solution, which may or may not be what they want.
    If the patient needs 12 months or 24 months or lifetime care, then that is your best recommendation and what you must sell. 

    There was an example given that if you go to the orthodontist, you expect a 2 to 5 year plan that will cost thousands of dollars.
    Going to an orthodontist and getting a 3 month plan would cause cognitive dissonance. OK, that makes sense.  But how did the orthodontists get to the point where people expect to pay thousands of dollars over several years just to have straight teeth?

    They educated them on what was needed and then presented the entire plan that's how!  Once the public understood, it became normal.

    The public needs to understand that functional and structural chiropractic care takes time. The research is in, you cannot change a spine in 3 months so stop talking about 3 months.

    The solution is not to avoid stress but to train to take the stress out of the situation.

    The reason that Ed and I and hundreds of our clients can recommend long term care plans for patients that need them is because we have read and studied the research and we know that it works and it is what the patient desperately needs. If you go into a "sales" presentation and you genuinely know from your heart that what you are presenting is what the patient needs, then you will do whatever it takes to help that person reach their health goals.  You eliminate the cognitive dissonance and the stress that goes along with that.

    People know if you are there to help them or if you are selling them something. If you are passionate about serving and helping there is no stress that you cannot handle.

    The problem arises when you show up at a doctor's report and you want to get something out of the patient instead of pouring into them. Wanting something from them (money, power etc.) comes from a position of weakness.

    Typically at an examination or doctor's report, the patient is coming from a position of weakness. They are in pain or losing function and they are scared.  

    Wilder et all describe a weak person as either a predator or a possum.

    If the doctor comes into the report in a position of weakness, he will inevitably become either a predator or a possum.
    The predator will dictate what they want the patient to do from position not from compassion. If the patient pushes back at the recommendations the doctor will do one of two things; act as a predator and try to control the patient, or act like a possum and avoid being hurt themselves. They will relinquish control, take down preset boundaries, and let the patient do whatever they want. 

    If the doctor is coming into the situation in a position of strength and high joy she will act as a gentle protector. She will be able to relate to the patient, convey concern and compassion and offer a solution that will help. The problem is that it is easy to drop out of the gentle protector mode and become weak. It takes training to stay relational during the report and not get thrown off by what everyone else is doing.

    With training, every interaction in the workplace can be done from a position of relational strength, love and joy.

    If we focus on what the patient needs, not what they want, and train to be gentle protectors, then we can create an environment of joy and peace instead of angst and distress.

    It's not unlike doing physical training. If you try to avoid physical stress you will never get faster, stronger, better. If you train hard and submit to the pain of transformational stress then you will be able to handle more effort and strain in the future. If you train consistently in the gym and can clean 185 pounds, then when you are asked to lift 135 pounds, it's easy!
    Believe me there is more joy in lifting 135 lbs over your head or running a hard 10k if you are trained up.

    The conclusion is obvious. If you don't want to train, then you need to minimize the cognitive dissonance and the resulting stress and be a chameleon.
    Change to the flavour of the day depending on who is in front of you.  Baskin and Robbins Chiropractic.
    In the end this ends up being much more stressful and is impossible to do at a high volume.
    If you are willing to train to be a gentle protector and serve out of love and joy then there is no end to what you can do. 

    Become an expert on dealing with stress by stepping into the GAP.
    In Warrior Coaching we define the GAP as the distance between where you are and where you want to be. To get into the GAP and train there you have to step out of your comfort zone.
    Many coaching programs suggest that because the GAP is so uncomfortable you should avoid it except for short periods of time. In Warrior we suggest that if you want to get somewhere you need to get in the GAP as often as possible and actually train in the GAP. That is the foundation of our Agape training philosophy.
    Physically train in the pain, train the soul by stepping into fear, and train the spirit by working on a foundational relationship with God.

    All training is followed up with adequate recovery. If you get this rhythm right, natural organic growth occurs spontaneously.

    In their book, Joy Starts Here,  James Wilder et all suggest that we can create and propagate joy when strong individuals with good relational skills relate to the weak in a gentle protector manner. Their focus is on creating joy in the family, schools and churches. I strongly suggest (and my experience bears this out) that the marketplace is perhaps the most important place where we can create joy. 

    One thing is for certain, doctors and business leaders need to train on being strong gentle protectors.

    Too many doctors and business owners don't know how to put aside their fears and their masks and they enter into the doctor/ patient or business owner/ client relationship out of a position of weakness.
    From this position they cannot become gentle protectors and they cannot propagate joy.  Subsequently, they will be stressed and the patient/client will not get what they need, they will get what the seller thinks they will buy. This leads to high stress and failed practice and business.

    How do you train on being free to enter into and train in the GAP? How do you take off the masks and false selves and be yourself? How do you transform into the person God created you to be?
    You have to hang out with people that are already doing it. You cannot learn this from a book. You have to experience it. That's why we go to Camp. 

    Come to a Warrior Coaching Camp #1 and experience how to be free and be who God called you to be.

    See you at Camp!

    Coach Yurij










    Comment

    On Tuesday, September 13, 2016, Yurij Chewpa said:

    Hey Trevor thanks for your insight. I'm glad that my post has challenged your thinking, that is why I wrote it. Your point is well taken though. We still do suggest a second best recommendation especially for doctors that are new to correction and may have low confidence.

    However I stand firm on my main point; in order to be able to make the right recommendations and have them accepted by the patient you need to train. Train to get out of your own way and worry about the patient and not about yourself. Surrender doesn't come naturally. The patient/client needs to know you care about them and that you have their best interest in mind.  The problem is that most chiropractors are unwilling to train and therefore are weak in many areas, but especially week in their soul (mind, will and emotions). If they are weak then they will always have a hard time leading patients through corrective care because they are more concerned about what's in it for them or what the patient will think about them (fear of man) and patients can smell that a mile away.

    This is not just my personal opinion. It is based on 30 years of practice and 15 years of coaching hundreds of chiropractors. Talk to any of our clients that are serving at a massive level and they will agree with me 100%. The reality is that if you do 3, 6, 9 month programs for someone who needs long term corrective care you will frustrate yourself and your patients. Our clients move to 12 month programs as soon as they are ready because it is the best thing for the patient and for the practice. With shorter recommendations you are constantly reselling and this causes stress and confusion. It is much better to create agreement around a 12 month program with the understanding of lifetime spinal stewardship up front. 
    Short term recommendations unfortunately lead to a feeling of bait and switch. 

     

     

    On Monday, September 12, 2016, Trevor Kilian said:

    Yurij, to be honest, I like Paul, am challenged by your post. What happened to the 2nd best recommendation? Especially for Doc's that are new to correction. Its been my experience that giving a 6 month or perhaps a 3 month recommendation (these plans are almost identical at the beginning anyways) does not mean your compromising what the patient needs but it will definitely require further education to assist them in seeing the need for continued care (or the truth). Education is never a bad thing. Not all doctors have the confidence to recommend a year care plan, patients will see right through it! As confidence/density grows, perhaps the length of the care plan can grow proportionately.

     

    On Wednesday, September 7, 2016, Yves Laliberte said:

    Great post Yurij and something that I am very passionate about. It took me a long time to match personal business success and joy when I was focusing on getting something for me first. Once I focused on serving the clients and not on selling, everything changed. When you become a subject matter expert in a field, you will often know more than the targeted clients and part of your role to serve them is to educate them on what is in their best interest and why. Many of my clients tell me that they don't know what they don't know and rely on expert advice to guide them and tell them the truth. How you deliver the message of course makes a difference. As always, grateful for the wisdom Yurij. Thank you!

     

    On Wednesday, September 7, 2016, Stephen Lippitt said:

    I was already excited about camp, but now I'm even MORE excited. "Gentle Protector" is awesome.

     

    On Tuesday, September 6, 2016, Dr. Ed said:

    " Truth is not something you conclude; Truth is something you BECOME"

     

    On Saturday, September 3, 2016, David Covey said:

    Love the post! So true!! I'm having so much more joy and peace and less stress when I just share what I believe is best for the patient and the rest is up to them. So incongruent to give them less what I know I need. The longer I practice I understand how long correction actually takes. I and my family are getting adjusted for life because I want to maximize my life. If I love my patients, why wouldn't I tell them to do the same?

     

    On Saturday, September 3, 2016, Yurij said:

    Hey Paul, thanks for your response. Happy to post your comments. The answer I'm sure lies somewhere on a continuum as we learn to walk out our own unique God given identity. I think we can both agree that the most important thing is not procedure but joyful, loving relationships. Love you too. Yurij

     

    On Friday, September 2, 2016, Warren Garda said:

    Pretty cool, just had this conversation with my coach this morning. And here's what i got: it's been congruent with my belief, and my belief should not come from my own limited experience but from the research. And then recommending what the patient truly needs which is based on my research proven belief. And then training to remind myself to be consistent in that. It was a good day to get refocused. :) thank you everybody!

     

    On Friday, September 2, 2016, Paul said:

    Hey Yurij

    You were very gracious to give me the heads up on your counter argument and letting me post my response.

    There are a few points I made that need clarification.

    “Sell them what they want and then educate them on what they need” is a common bait and switch edict in sales and marketing…and it creates the same nauseous feeling in me as it does in you.

    Stressful indeed…trying to “read” everyone and present “Baskin Robins Chiropractic” – every flavor available. Blech.

    Perfect example this week was a police officer who transferred to my office from another well-known corrective care chiropractor in Ottawa. His schedule was 1 visit every 6 weeks “as needed”. What did he want? Seamless transition – more of the same. What he got was 36 visits in 12 weeks. What he needed. He accepted.

    What I was advocating on the podcast was not wetting your thumb and feeling for wind direction but rather giving them what they need and presenting it in a way that is more digestible (mentally) AND in a way that doesn’t create incongruity in the doctor (me).

    I can only speak for myself but I challenge 12 month care plans at first contact. How does the doctor know what is going to be necessary over the 12 months? It’s impossible to know in advance that they will be ready for 2x/wk in 12 weeks and then 1/wk at 6mo. Maybe in another 10 years and few thousand more patients I will have the capability to look down the corridors of time and be able to accurately predict what they need 12 months in advance…but I don’t buy it.

    Without typing out the entire ROF, I tell them that “the corrective phase can take 12-18mo or more but I don’t know you or how you heal, so we will start with a shorter care plan of 3 months and see how you progress before making further recommendations…” etc.

    When considering making this change from 12 to 3 months I hesitated because I didn’t want to become a symptom based doc and that patients would quit after 3 months because their symptoms were gone.

    It never happened.

    In hindsight I think most of the cognitive dissonance I have ferreted out over the last year or so has been in the form of procedures that were incongruent with what I believed…that is, ferretting out cognitive dissonance in me.

    As for the orthodontist example. There is no mental stress there because they are a relatively homogenous group compared to Chiropractors. It’s pretty much the same story no matter where you go. In contrast we are all over the place. Those of us who present 12 month care plans are a small minority despite being used for decades. That procedure has done nothing to unite us into something that the public would recognize. Result…confusion in the marketplace and a 5% utilization rate. Confused buyers don’t buy. That’s the cognitive dissonance in them.

    I love the “gentle protector” approach…what a great place to operate from. You are a great example of that kind of person. I’ve seen it up close. ;)

    Love You Yurij.

    Paul

     

    On Friday, September 2, 2016, Erin McLaughlin said:

    Gentle Protector is really resonating with me as I read this post. As a Mother and Chiropractor, that mindset translates well for me from home/kids to practice/patients. Training with Warrior all these years has grown my certainty, confidence, and belief when I present my recommendations. Thank you!

     

    On Friday, September 2, 2016, Mark Foullong said:

    Great post coach! I remember that seminar 15 years ago quite well. Love the gentle protector mindset. See you at Camp!

     

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