Dynamic Chiropractic – July 26, 1999, Vol. 17, Issue 16

May I Ask?

By Stanley Greenfield, RHU
May I ask you a question? Who is in control of your office?

May I ask you another question? Who is in control of your life?

Did you hesitate before you answered the first question? If you did, then you definitely are not in control of your life or your office.

You may not agree, but if you were totally honest with yourself, you would see that I am right.

It amazes me, the stages we all go through during our life. All of us start off in what I refer to as the "ask" stage. We are taught this from the moment we are young children, and throughout our school years: Excuse me; may I be excused; pardon me; please; I'm sorry; thank you; and so on. We are taught to be polite. Believe me, I am not against that at all. In fact, it is something that seems to be missing in today's educational agenda.

During this "ask" stage, we always ask: Can you please help me? Can you tell me where this is? I think you get my point. We are looking for someone else who can tell us what we need, where to go, or how to get there. In effect, we are followers, not leaders.

At some point in our lives, it's time to move on to the next stage that will change us from followers to leaders. I call that transition moving from the "ask" stage to the "tell" stage. We stop asking and start telling. I know, you have kids who you feel are already at that stage! That may be true, but for the most part, it is because you are still in the "ask" stage.

Now I will ask you the questions again. Who is in control of your office? If it is a CA, or some of your patients, then I am sorry to inform you that you are still in the "ask" stage. You may have a "coach," as they like to be called these days, who is telling you how to run your office. Coach is such a softer and kinder name for someone who is really telling you what you need to do. If you listen closely, you will notice that they never really ask you what you want out of your life. They tell you!

Okay, so what is your answer? Who is in control of your office? You? Are you being totally honest with me and with yourself? Do you still have patients telling you what they need? How about your CAs? Who works for whom? How about your practice management person, or should I say coach? Are they listening? Are they really coaching, or just driving? Whose office and life is it, anyway?

Maybe it is time for you to make the switch from "ask" to "tell." Maybe it is time for you to take control of your office, your finances, your future and your life. Why not start by letting your patients know who is running this office. Do you have a patient who just drives you nuts and is really not worth the time, effort or aggravation? Maybe it is time to tell them what the treatment plan is going to be. If they don't like it, maybe it's time to invite them to take their file to another doctor.

What about new patients that you have trouble at the report of findings getting them to make a decision to start treatment? Maybe instead of letting them leave the office to go home so that they can "talk it over" with whoever they talk these things over with, ask them this one question: "When was the last time you felt bad about making the right decision? You know that this is the right decision, and the time to start this is now!" Doesn't that sound like a quantum leap from an "ask" to a "tell"? After all, you are the doctor, and they came in to find out what you feel is best for them. If that is the case, then tell them! Don't ask them if they would like to start treatment.

The truth is, they wouldn't like to start because it will cost them money; it will be something else for them to do; they are already busy; and based on the way you presented it all to them, they are not even sure if you have the ability to really do what you say you can. The truth hurts, but it is better that you hear it from me than never understand what the patient really feels.

When people come into your office, they need your help. They come in because either they are in pain, or in some way that we will never understand, the innate intelligence of the body said, get thee to a chiropractor. Now it is up to you to show them that they were right. Don't blow it!

That brings me to another area that will hopefully remind you of this point on a daily basis. Normally, when you ask something, the sentence ends with a question mark. When you tell someone something, it can end with an exclamation point. Think about those two symbols for a moment. The exclamation point looks like this: ! It looks strong, and it stands very straight. It does this to make the point.

The question mark is quite different. It looks like this: ? It is not straight and strong. It is bent over, and if you think about it, it looks like an exclamation point that has a subluxation! That's it! A question mark (?) is an exclamation point (!) that has a subluxation. Based on that fact, when you are in the tell stage, you are in line with where nature wants you to be. In the ask stage, you have a subluxation that needs to be corrected! I now base my entire thesis on a basic law of nature. Get adjusted and get rid of the subluxation that is keeping you in the ask stage, and get corrected so that you can truly go out and tell the world what they need to hear!

Click here for previous articles by Stanley Greenfield, RHU.


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