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Here’s WHY People Won’t do What is Good for Them! And, 2-words That FIX IT!

Here’s WHY People Won’t do What is Good for Them! And, 2-words That FIX IT!


Hey, everyone, this is Dr. George Birnbach and I wanna give you a five star management minute. And what that is, is just one little simple concept that can be life-changing for a practice or a practitioner.

So this is what I wanna talk about today. Have you ever noticed that when you walk up to the front desk or you grab an assistant or you maybe even a patient and you say, “Hey, I want you to do this, “in order to get better, you have to do this thing.” Or, “Hey, I heard how you answered the phone, “this is how you have to answer the phone.”

There’s a psychological, a knee jerk, negative reaction, to being told what to do, that happens subconsciously in our brain, it’s called psychological reactants. But that’s besides the point. There’s a reason why people bristle when a manager walks up, and asks them to do something. T

here’s a reason why they go, “Man, they’re micromanaging me.” There’s a reason why you can look at a patient and say, “Look, every time you eat a donut, you feel terrible. “You have to stop eating donuts.” And they say, “I absolutely, “I’m not gonna eat donuts anymore.” And then they walk out of your office and they go, “Just one more, I can eat a donut if I want to, “I worked out this morning.” That is the craziness that happens in psychological reactance. We hate the feeling of being bossed around. We hate the feeling of being told what to do, even if it’s something that’s good for us. And in the management world that can be just mentally fatiguing. You know, how do we get around this mental reflex? But you have to understand what it is. It kicks in, whenever we feel that our freedom or our autonomy is being threatened. Let me say that again. Anytime we feel that we can’t do things our way, the way we want, when we want, how we want, we feel that our autonomy is being threatened, and we have this negative psychological reaction. The funniest part of this, is it’s not just you as a practice owner, telling a staff member something to do, or asking a patient to do something differently, we do this to ourselves too that’s the irony of it. Because if we scheduled ourselves to work out today because we knew it was gonna be good for us, but we did it two weeks ago, well, you know, today I’m looking at my schedule, I’m not gonna do that today, what was I thinking? Because the person who put it on your schedule is your past self, not your current self. It’s kinda crazy.

See, psychological reactance is challenging but it’s not inherently bad. If people are too compliant, they’re vulnerable to manipulation. And that’s one of the reasons why it’s protective to us. But psychological reactance can at times get in the way of a patient moving forward. It can become something where they even agree to do something, but then change their mind when it comes time to do that. And it can be very frustrating. We can say, what’s wrong with my staff? They’re all adults. They’re all adults. Why aren’t they just doing what they’re supposed to be doing? Because they wanna do it their way. That’s how it works, you see? But don’t worry about it, there’s still hope.

The way you have to get around it, is by changing two words.

Instead of I have to, I have to change that to I get to. And I can walk up to my staff and in one way, “Hey, on Wednesday you have to make “your reactivation calls.” Or our COA marketers and say, “Hey, you have to be calling these HR directors.” And we’re gonna change that to a different vision. And we’re gonna say, “Hey, Mary, the front desk of this office has a great job. “They get to help people get and stay on their care program. “And that’s really exciting. “So when you make those reactivation calls “you get to share with them the possibility “that care can provide to them “and really help them live a better life.” You know, “Hey marketer, when you call these HR directors, “you get to be a part of getting “the work we do in this office out into that world “and helping people who don’t know how to get rid “of their addicts at work find that answer. “Isn’t that fun? You see, you have to change the vision, from have to, to get to. Because now their freedom isn’t being threatened, it’s being exercised by them. They’re still being autonomous, they’re just now willing and capable of doing what we need them to do, all right?

So, don’t worry about whether psychological reactants is there, it’s there in everybody.

Let’s just change how we teach it and how we motivate people through it, all right? Disarming this reflex takes practice but it’s worth learning, right? It’s worth learning how to deal with this uncomfortable feeling that everyone has, when they’re being told what to do, all right?

So, that’s how you get past it, here’s your management minute bye-bye.

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