Just had lunch with three Colorado Springs chiropractors. The original purpose of our meeting was to discuss potential meeting space for a monthly gathering of local chiropractors.
I’ve felt remiss by not investing in the chiropractors in my own community. I’m hoping to correct this and our luncheon was scheduled with that agenda in mind.
However, the meeting took a more philosophical tack as we each weighed in on several fundamental beliefs that this trio of chiropractors had taken as truth. For starters, is one adjustment better than no adjustment at all? And, of course my favorite, is a subluxation a good thing or a bad thing?
So this is what chiropractors discuss over lunch!
And while nowhere near as important as solving the mid-East problem, it was stimulating to listen to these chiropractors discuss these issues and reach conclusions about them. But what I found most interesting was the fact that each one was stuck in the “seminar paradigm.”
What I mean by that is that if you want to educate patients, you need to educate chiropractors, and to do that you needed to get them in a room with a lecturer up front, preferably with PowerPoint presentation, and commence the education. And while I felt priviledged to listen in on their conversation, I couldn’t help myself any longer.
“This may sound strange coming from me,” I said. “And I beg you not to quote me unless you also include the explanation that follows, but I don’t think most chiropractors actually educate patients.”
As expected, my assertion produced expressions of surprise. After all, here was someone who provides patient education resources to the chiropractic profession!
“True patient education is the result of profound curiosity and enough love to be authentically interested in what patients believe so you can ask intelligent questions. Because it is their attempt to formulate an answer to your question that produces the critical thinking necessary to potentially shift a patient’s beliefs,” I observed. “And in my experience, there aren’t very many chiropractors truly interested in the beliefs patients.”
Ouch. I had just accused my luncheon host of lacking curiosity and falling short of sufficient love. Perhaps this is why these sorts of social invitations so rare.
Everyone at the table used the thoughtful pause to take another bite and mull over my point. Moments later there was enough head bobbing for me to believe that there was agreement at the table.
“So, what should we do? Not have monthly meetings?”
“Hold on,” I quickly replied. “Getting together is vitally important. But I think the notion that you can produce change at these sorts of meetings by having an out of town guest speaker and a roomful of listeners is pure folly. Consider what we’re doing here at this table. There’s give and take. Back and forth. The sharpening of ideas comes with sharing and having to articulate what you believe to someone else. Seems to me you’d want to create a safe place for a small group of chiropractors to test ideas, clarify their beliefs, reveal their doubts, expose their fears and show up coachable. That’s unlikely to happen with a speaker up front and chiropractors lined up facing him or her on folding chairs.”
By then, our lunch had been consumed and we began making our way to the door.
“Don’t get me wrong,” I continued. “Seminars can be effective at disseminating information. But they’re quite ineffective at producing change. If you’re truly interested in influencing someone, then a small, interactive mastermind group will produce better results.”
At least, that’s what I believe. It’s the foundational principle behind The Conversation, limited to no more than 10 chiropractors who first complete four weeks of assignments and self-reflection through journaling. Conversation number 14 commences in October 22. There are a few seats still available.