As I've expanded in the last several blog posts on the second step of mastering and enabling change in your clients—building a base for them to accept responsibility—I've provided examples of patients who resist change by sticking to old ways of thinking.
Here are other examples: "I don't believe in chiropractors," or, "my kids are too young."
I'd respond, "Really? That's really interesting, because you just learned in the workshop that from the time children are born, the first year of life is when their spine develops. And as they grow, how many times a day do you think your kid falls? A hundred? When they're that young that's when they probably have the most trauma that they ever will have—all while their spine is growing and developing. I'm pretty sure that as a parent, you feel you want to give your child every opportunity to have a strong, healthy life. Would you agree? Isn't that your first and biggest concern, as a parent?"
They would say, "Yes."
"If the way their spine is developing right now can determine their health for the rest of their life, would you want to just take a look at it?"
It's tough to say no to that.
They might offer a further objection, though: "Well, I'm concerned about the money."
I'd say: "You know what? We're not even talking about money here. First of all, kids correct so fast that you catch it when they're young it's almost nothing. Second, some of them correct with even home care. Third, would you feel better as a parent if we checked them and you knew that their spine was developing normally? Would that make you sleep better at night?"
I've convinced many parents who've brought their kids in, but who were concerned about the cost, to work with us by asking these questions: "What if you knew they were healthy? Would you feel better?"
They always say: "Yeah, I would. Okay, I'll bring them in."
These are all responsibility questions that are interrupting patterns, which redefine how the patient/client feels about the choices he's made.
It's not just information. I'm dealing with patients and potential clients on an emotional basis. I'm speaking to their internal language. I'm not dealing with their frontal lobe. I'm dealing with their heart. I deliver a message that they feel inside because I know as a coach they have to embody it.
I say, "Would you feel better? Would you sleep better at night?"
You talk about their life. "Would you feel more at ease? More calm and peaceful if you knew your kid was developing in a healthy way?"
I pace and lead them. That's responsibility. Understand their world. Validate them. What needs are they trying to meet? A person doesn't want to bring their kids and their spouse, they're trying to meet certainty.
Take responsibility, create leverage, create a base, and interrupt the pattern. This is step three to bringing your clients toward the point of mastering change—which I will begin to explore in my next post.
In the meantime, I'd love to hear from you about your work with your patients: how do you help them try to meet certainty, in order to continue with you? What were the circumstances of their objections, what did you do to change their mind, and what was the outcome?
Thank you for sharing.