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No Expectations, no Limits

No Expectations, No Limits

By Tom Lecoq

“When you have no more expectations from life, how does it feel, mentally and spiritually speaking?”

This question was asked recently on an online forum. I’m not sure eliminating all expectations is a worthy goal. Wants and desires can give real zest to life, but expecting some sort of spiritual healing from accumulating them is probably not going to happen. In fact, an expectation unfulfilled becomes a disappointment.

In my experience, the problem with expectations is that the real outcomes seldom match the high you hoped for. Goals tend to lead to “stiff” thinking about how you must achieve them. Whereas, simply observing, looking out for opportunities, often leads to outcomes that surpass expectations. Even breakdowns reveal a chance to fix, overcome, deal with, produce a product or service.

In my 40 years of consulting, I have always emphasized how to hold conversations with people in such a way that elicits an opportunity, usually for them, while benefiting our client as well.

Clear the way for listening

It requires learning to set aside the internal “yakkity-yak” and truly listen to the other person. To hear not just what they are saying, but to perceive what’s behind what they say. A complaint instantly transforms into the seed of an opportunity. Which is where many people screw it up by trying to close a deal before the other person sees something really important to them in working with you.

This is subtle and quickly devolves into punctilious rules. ABC (Always Be Closing) is a terrible idea because if you do it too soon, or crudely, or obviously in your own self-interest, they close the conversation, not the deal, consider you a rude, manipulative person and speak badly about you.

For years I used to pinch my lips closed during conversations, so I’d not jump in with my solutions and great ideas and screw up the deal.

In WWII, American subs dove to 600 feet when depth charged. The Japanese set their depth charges to 300 feet. That is until a congressman had to show off how smart he was and share the information carelessly. The Japanese learned the secret, reset their ignition depth, and many men died.

"Loose lips sink ships" was the slogan then, and it holds true today.

YOU make the difference

So, I don’t encourage seeking to give up expectations, but rather to transform them into expectations of yourself and how you operate in the world. Sounds a bit esoteric, but taken literally, it’s incredibly valuable.

In vision therapy, the "deal" is to open up a universe of possibilities for the patient. A world in which learning and comprehension is easy and swift. A world in which the library (and its digital equivalent) becomes a treasure house where you can learn about and develop skills and abilities that make you a standout in life.

That’s the deal, and if you expect to be able to do that with a little hard sell and not much listening, you are going to chase people away.

After 40 years of observing the very most accomplished and successful VT ODs, I know that they uniformly had this ability, and those with mediocre, even failing VT practices, did not.

It's hard to convey this in a few words, not because it’s complicated. It’s actually very easy. But fixed thinking, expecting to be able to pick it up in an hour or two of class, or over lunch at a meeting, or reading it in a manual, always fails.

Mastery Requires Time, Dedication

It takes rehearsal and practice to get this method. It takes time to learn to take time for the conversation and process to ignite a burning desire in a parent or adult patient, for resolving the problems and issues that they have been putting up with.

How long did it take you to really learn to do and interpret the use of a retinoscope? Streak and or spot, doctors I speak with guessed at least working on 40 or 50 patients. That’s one fairly objective and discrete test, and you aren’t trying to have them understand the significance of what you’re seeing.

Why would it be any different to learn to communicate in a way that has people come to see for themselves that the issue is vision, and that without a trace of salesmanship or manipulation, you clearly have the solution.

A Curriculum for Mastery, Joy, Freedom

It takes time and rehearsal. It’s what we start with in our course, Mastering the Art of VT Communications. 2.5 days of coaching and working on the fundamentals, in a group course or privately in your office. If you’re a full client, we do more of it in your practice, with your staff so your message is consistent, powerful and effective. That means almost every person you evaluate enrolls in therapy. Paid in full, up front, with high compliance and near zero dropouts.

Our other course, “Mastering the Business of Vision Therapy” is a view of the structure required to ensure these conversations. Without the proper structure, the method can get rushed or brushed aside. The doctor gets to take up the slack. So long, freedom; hours you’d rather spend elsewhere (family, community and professional involvement) are now spent cleaning up little messes. Profits fall, staff turnover increases. Joy is stolen from the VT practice because it’s all about plugging leaks in your system.

Our full consultation includes the two courses, along with an onsite training visit and 1 year of support through scheduled calls.

Lecoq Practice Development emerged from working for OEPF as communications director four decades ago. I’d been a business writer and editor for five years and when I looked at the economic landscape, it was clear that practice development help was needed. I left OEPF to do that full time. So, for all these years, Amee and I have worked diligently to produce a reliable system for building an ideal VT practice.

Could you use some help?

Honestly, could you use some help getting your practice the way you want it? Have you tried this handy hint, and that practice pearl, but not much changed? One of our now retired clients, Dr. Julie Ryan said it in a meeting, “You don’t have to do this alone.”

We’ll help you get set up and get started or expand if you wish. It will cut years off your process, allow you to pay off student debt much faster.

But most of all, you will help thousands more children have rich and fulfilling lives that won’t be possible if they don’t get the VT you provide.

It's completely your choice. Set up a time to talk with Amee. We're here to help!

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