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Create Leverage for a Person to Take Responsibility

Uncategorized Sep 24, 2017

In my last post, I began expanding on the second step of the 7 Steps to Enabling Your Clients to Master Change. (The first step was to understand someone, to speak that person's language.)

In my last post, you saw how I worked with a patient who was a bricklayer, when I used responsibility questions that can completely change someone's perspective. Here's another example: the patient who responds to everything you say by saying to you, "You're the doctor."

When a patient simply says that he himself knows nothing, and, "You're the doctor," this is another negation of personal responsibility.

For example, if I show a patient the normal curve of the neck and spine, and then show the patient his X-ray, which indicates something wrong, I would ask, "What do you see?"

"I don't know," this patient says. "You're the doctor."

That's a no-responsibility statement. How can you create leverage? You can't. With this answer, your patient is not going to move or take empowered action. So you work with the patient so that the patient gives you an answer that will move him closer to you.

A great coach never gives the answer. The answer has to come from inside the other person so this person embodies it. A great coach also embodies the feeling, otherwise they can't take empowered action. That's responsibility.

"I don't know, Doc. You're the doctor."

In response to that, I would say, "I'm pretty sure that you know the difference between shapes. We all went through high school geometry. We all had math at some point. You know the difference between a square and a triangle and a circle. You know that, right? You put little pegs in holes in kindergarten."

I'm using a pattern interruption. You might call this confrontational. It is, but it's also something the patient will accept from you if you've developed a rapport. I'm breaking the patient's pattern of non-responsibility.

I would say, "You know the difference between this shape over here and this shape over here. Why don't you tell me the difference?" That's responsibility.

If the patient says, "Oh, well, I don't know. You're the doctor," that's too much uncertainty. You're going to allow them to be in uncertainty, and then you're going to ask them to give you their life with a program and then put money into it. But you need to get past that uncertainty, that lack of responsibility. And eventually, by providing that opening, the patient will accept the responsibility and you will move him closer to you.

I'll share another example in my next post, to help you further see how to "pattern interrupt" a patient, and enable that patient to accept responsibility. Do you have other examples of patients who refuse to see their part in how they feel? What were your responses to that? How did you resolve the issue?

Thank you for sharing.

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