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A weekly kick-off e-message from Katherine Eitel

to breathe life back into your practice, your team, and you!


August 1, 2011

Everything's a Test 

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Certainly there are times, especially in healthcare, when training someone on a procedure there are only two options:  This way or ... no way.  Exactly this way.  No exceptions.  Patients' healthcare outcomes depend upon it.  

my way or no wayHowever, much of the time, the things we teach such as verbal skills, organizational systems, software paths, may seem to us like the only way but, in fact, there can be many ways to the same outcome. When we are rigidly attached to that one right way, we create a 'right or wrong' dynamic which we must then defend... or be "wrong", which humans will go to the ends of the earth to avoid.  

If we acknowledge to our students (and ourselves) that there could be several, if not many, "right ways," we have essentially removed the fight, effectively eliminating the unnecessary and counter-productive teacher/student tug-of-war I often observe.  Which brings me nicely to Tip #5 in our series of effective training techniques: 
  1. One Bite at a Time
  2. Discovery vs. Delivery
  3. Play vs. Push
  4. Review and Test
  5. Remove the fight
Whenever I can, I try to preface my trainings with a brief statement designed to "remove the fight." I acknowledge there are other ways to answer the phone, negotiate a financial arrangement, present treatment, write a complete chart note, manage a team meeting, etc. and the way I am suggesting today is one way which has a history of working well and accomplishing what they wish to achieve.  I tell them that everything "is a test" and their feedback will help determine our permanent decisions about the skills.  I request they try the new skill or system for a period of time and report back on results, roadblocks, challenges, and their own comfort level.  We agree we will make adjustments if necessary at that time.  

By acknowledging there is not just one right way and by considering students opinions and experience in the final decision, I get much better buy-in and overall compliance from participants creating quicker, deeper results.    
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"Stay committed to your decisions but stay flexible in your approach."   


~ Tom Robbins


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