A collision comes out of nowhere. There you are having a great conversation during an adjustment or with friends and bang, “it” happens. The “it” is a collision of world views. And when world views on health care collide your role is to turn the collision into a coalition.
Let’s put this in context. I’ll bet you are getting more than a few comments and questions about H1N1. Patients may even ask you whether or not you and your family are going to get your vaccination.
Comments are words in passing and do not warrant rebuttal. Yet questions are an important gateway to understanding and need to be addressed. As a leader one of your responsibilities is to discern when and how to influence the other person and when to simply shut up. When you hear a comment or get asked a question your first step is to check your attitude. Do you want confrontation or cooperation? Remember, this is not about H1N1, it’s about different world views.
Here’s an example of what I am talking about.
A week ago I had a friend tell me that our golden retriever, Midas, would make a great candidate for visiting terminal patients in a local hospice. I asked her to send information on registering him. I imagined how remarkable it would be to watch Midas connect with a suffering patient. I could imagine the deep emotional impact and how the patient would be so caught up in the moment that they would forget about the fate they faced. I must admit a tear formed.
My trance was rudely interrupted when I read the application. The first requirement was, as you might have guessed, current vaccination records. Midas has never had a shot and at ten years of age he has never been ill and had only one visit to a vet for a scratched cornea. By the way this vet was sympathetic to our no vaccination stance. I forget sometimes just how out of sync I am with the world. I bet you do as well.
The next time I saw my friend I thanked her for sending the application and told her Midas was not eligible because he was not vaccinated. Her face turned from friend to foe in a flash (the collision). She tried to hide her disgust but, surprise, it came through the mask. She defaulted to her programming and a dogmatic discharge erupted, “Well, my dog has a good vet and he is vaccinated. Don’t you believe in rabies?” I bet you can just hear the condescending tone can’t you? I knew where this was headed and logic would not move this confrontation towards a meaningful dialogue. I simply said, “We will agree to disagree on this point.” I continued and answered her question, “Of course a small population of animals at Tahoe have rabies it’s just I don’t accept the science behind vaccination as a valid protection for my dog.” I then shut up (coalition).
If my friend had taken a different tack I might have shared my view more fully and pointed her to other sources of information. But I have learned the philosophy, art and science of influence. I choose who, when, where and how I will influence. I have learned that dogmatic polarization only leads to entrenched emotional belief systems on both sides of the disagreement. My inside voice simply says, “Next. Move on.”
You are asked for your opinion everyday about the H1-N1vaccination and flu shots in general. You are asked what medications and pain relievers are best. You are asked what other than chiropractic might be able to help. You have the opportunity to influence a generation, not a society. It is imperative you learn the art of influence. It is the skill that will close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
Learn, live and prosper!