Written by: Bob Spiel, MBA
Over the next two days, more courses will be taken, networking will occur, ideas will be fostered, hearts will be motivated, and then…Monday comes crashing back into our professional lives. Within a week or two the lessons from the training get dimmer, the present realities loom larger, and the good intentions we had on the way back home become memories in a notebook. We catch a bad case of “conference-itis”.
What can each participant at OPIE Con do to immunize themselves from this chronic condition so that the good intentions turn into goals, and the goals turn into results? What can we do to “Keep the Change”? To borrow a word from my key note session this morning, the answer is SIMPLE, UP-FRONT CLARITY. In my experience as a practice coach, the action items from this conference have a 90% chance of success IF you invest the mental and emotional energy – sometime between now and Monday morning — to gain crystal clear answers to the following questions:
- What do you really want and why? Whether we like it or not, genuine change begins at an emotional, and not an intellectual level. Emotions drive people, and people drive performance. Tapping into this level begins with knowing exactly what you want, and, more importantly, why you want it. This is the starting point of clarity, because after these two answers are in mind, the rest of the answers begin to fall into place. Without these answers, change doesn’t stand a chance. With them clearly in place, more than half the mental work is done.
- How important is this? Once the “why” is determined, the next question to consider is its level of importance. What impact will this change have on your organization; on you personally; on your patients? How big a deal is this…really? These thoughts help sink the answers to question one further into our hearts, and also into our minds.
- What will success look like? With this change firmly in place, can you describe how things would run, look, feel, perform? How will you know when success is reached and what the finish line looks like…if there is a finish line at all?
- How am I going to make this happen? Shifting to action planning is the fourth step. For each point in this step keep in mind that you may not know the answer, but if you did, what would it look like? Give yourself permission think out loud and start from where you are. These three simple questions keep the clarity going:
- What are the steps?
- How do I/we go about making this happen? Who would be involved?
- What is your goal completion date? Remember, time is one of our greatest allies in getting things done. If we don’t set realistic deadlines, tomorrow never comes.
- What’s the reward for getting there? For each major step in the process, what reward(s) could be put in place as mile posts for celebration? If this is a team effort, could you employ a grab bag (a bag full of 5’s, 10’s, 20’s and a 50 dollar bill that each gets to grab into and see what they get)? What would also be a fitting, ultimate reward for achieving this change/goal? A trip, cruise, night out, CE event, or time away? The answers are only limited by our creativity.
- What’s the penalty for not nailing this? If the change isn’t sticking, is there an appropriate way to reinforce it by setting up negative reinforcers as well? A client of mine has some very specific fitness goals, and each time he forgets to nail one of his commitments he puts $5.00 into a fishbowl in his office. What’s the big deal about that? He’s a loyal University of Georgia Bulldog, and the hair on his head stands up when he thinks of Auburn University. The five dollar bills in the jar will be donated to Auburn’s booster club. The money isn’t the big deal; the thought of promoting Auburn is.
Make sure you sign up for the post-OPIE Con coaching sessions! They are another means of helping you ensure you don’t leave what you learned at the conference. Sessions are free for all Choice members! Register Now!
Providing time-tested insights into personal and group teambuilding and leadership, Bob Spiel brings audiences a refreshingly unique take on the core actions and mindsets needed to unlock the talents and gifts inside each of us. Drawing on his experience as a practice management and leadership coach to doctors and practice leaders throughout the country, Bob helps participants discover new ways to challenge old limitations. Spiel is a personal and business coach to healthcare practice leaders and owners from Portland to Boston.