State Matters More Than Script

Curiosity is a great way to shift your emotional state

As a leader of one or many, your state matters more than your script. You can say the same thing but those words will be interpreted differently by the listener depending on your emotional state.

Whatever your leadership position is, you are at the centre of the energy that others around you experience. That influence may be one person, the patient you are interacting with, a group of people in a clinic or inclusive of others you deal with, with respect to the patient you’re managing.

The moment that defines a person’s ability to positively influence others is that point when they elect to be in a particular state, rather than be affected by it

Most people fail to realise that you do get to choose your state, and that choice then affects how others feel. 

Nobody can ‘MAKE’ you feel anything. They may influence you but ultimately you have the choice whether to take on that emotion or not.

Especially for new graduates, it’s important to understand that who you are being has a more significant impact on others than anything you say or do.

Therefore if you are interested, curious, and genuinely care about the person you are with, most often they will respond positively to you. Similarly whether you are an experienced or inexperienced clinician, you may not always have all the answers. But, if your patient comes back because they feel connected with you, then you have a great opportunity to help them, to learn and make a difference in their lives.

‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’

Maya Angelou

When Managing Patients Or Staff:

  • Are you aware of your current state?
  • Can you choose a different state?
  • Can you read the other person’s energy and state?
  • Are you a slave to your state or master of it?

A word of caution: we all need to take care when reading the energy of others. Furthermore make sure that you are not projecting your state onto them, or misreading their state.

With assumption being the mother of mistakes, take time to ask questions before making statements with regards to another person’s emotional state. It serves to remember the following when reading another person’s energy:-

“When I tell you something about me, it’s my truth. When I tell you something about you, it’s an opinion. Many people are unaware of their own state and may become confused and confronted by your seeing of them.”

Matt Church

How Can Your State Be Adversely Affected By Your Self-Talk?

Be aware of what you are saying to yourself when you are about to go into a situation that challenges you.

If your self-talk is along the lines of:

  • “I don’t know what to do with this patient” – helplessness
  • “This person just doesn’t want to get better” – frustration
  • “What if this person doesn’t think I can help them” – anxiety
  • “This person rubs me up the wrong way” – frustration or anger
  • “They just don’t see my point of view” – defensiveness
  • “I’m not getting anywhere with this person” – hopelessness

All of these emotions will be transmitted to the other person through you physiology and tone. You probably won’t even realise you are doing it. 

You get a negative response from your patient, one that you expected and the situation perpetuates itself.

One thing you can do to change your emotional state if you choose to, is to change your self-talk.

Here are some suggestions to adapt the self talk above:

  • “What options can I try to help this person?” – curiosity
  • “How can I better connect with the needs of this person?” – curiosity 
  • “What is one thing that I can do that will make a difference today?” – hope
  • “What can I change about myself to better engage with them?” – engagement
  • “I am going to listen more than talk to hear what this person has to say rather than force my point of view.” – curiosity 
  • “What am I missing with this person?” – curiosity 

As you can see, curiosity is a great way to shift your emotional state and can work in an instant.

You are human and will have good and bad days with respect to your emotional state. The important thing is to realise the impact that a negative state can have on your personal and professional relationships. 

Plan in advance

An option you have is to consider in advance what you best respond to in order to adapt your state. 

Have a plan that fits in with different situations you find yourself in. Changing your self-talk is one of the simplest to implement but will need practice. There are many others.

Changing emotional state is a skill and needs both a willingness to adopt the skill and commitment to work on it.

It is worth repeating the following quote by Maya Angelo:

‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’

curiosity is a great way to shift your emotional state 

To learn more about motivational tools through effective communication download my eBook:

“Improving Patient Motivation In Physiotherapy”

I wrote this eBook in response to the most common question I get asked and that is “How do I motivate my patients?”

If you would like to fine-tune your communication skills when working with resistant patients, you might consider working with a coach or mentor.

Or perhaps your staff would benefit from training in this area.

Contact us, and find out more about what we can offer you.

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