How Can You Achieve Results That Matter?
I never thought I’d ever-in-a-million-years hear myself say this, but I loved my doctor’s appointment last Friday. It’s a weird experience to love something you’ve always dreaded. It left me feeling a bit confused. I had always known what to expect and now I don’t. And I think that’s the one of the greatest gifts someone can give us – to alter our expectations in a good way and change the trajectory of how we see. Of what is possible.
Now that my husband are both boldly rooted in the start-up world, we’ve recently changed our health insurance and finding a doctor who takes our new policy wasn’t as easy as I expected. After hours of calling around and reading what little information I could find on-line about the doctors in our network, I finally settled on one who seemed to have good reviews. When I walked into her office in the Bronx, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I drove to the address, and nothing around me screamed “medical building” so after a few blocks I parked and called, anxious that I was in unknown territory. It wasn’t what you’d call a “bad” neighborhood – it was just a very urban neighborhood – and it left this former-Montana-girl feeling a bit out of my element. You can do this, I coached my inner-child, as I dialed the number trying to figure out where I went wrong with my directions. The friendly voice on the phone guided me to the building and I stood out front bewildered, nothing making sense. I had never been to a doctor’s office located in an apartment building, so I was…leery… my senses on high-alert. I felt a little bit like I was a character in a movie – observing myself from a bird’s-eye-view – not in my own body.
I pushed the button for the “suite” in the old apartment buildings foyer, was buzzed in, and shuffled into the once-beautiful-marble lobby like a scared little mouse, not knowing where to turn. “Ummm….Do you know where suite LA is located?” I nervously asked a tattooed resident in a tank top who was fetching his mail. “You mean the Doctor’s office?” he said with a thick NY accent, looking at me like I was a total fool. “It’s right there.” He pointed to a beat-up door behind me, clearly marked “LA” on the front. I took a deep breath, opened the door, and immediately felt like Alice in Wonderland. The brightly lit office was warm and inviting. Women were sitting on the antique leather couch and surrounding chairs reading magazines and watching the flatscreen TV like women do in doctors’ offices everywhere. The reception desk was buzzing with activity. “You must be Kimberly” a nurse said smiling, as she passed through the reception area on her way to see another patient, “You made it!”
As I sat in the chair, in Dr. Pali’s office, after talking with her for well over an hour, I felt the emotion bubble-up inside of me. “You do realize you’re not like other doctors” I said to her, still a bit dazed by our conversation. She hadn’t even examined me yet, but she knew me. Already I trusted her. I felt safe with her. I felt seen.
“I’m nothing special” she said, smiling warmly, “I just love my patients.”
That was it. That was what I was feeling. It was love. It was so visceral. The entire time I was with her – the entire time I was with her staff – all of them…they…they brought love. They cared so deeply about what they were doing and the people they were serving. They seemed to innately recognize the vulnerability in their patients and the immense responsibility they held.
“Whenever you find a culture where results are humming, values are working, and people are energized, you will find love at work.” – Brady Wilson
The cynical might look at the concept of “love at work” as soft. They may roll their eyes and say, “Isn’t that kind of “fluffy-bunny” stuff?” They prefer to think of themselves as “results-driven”. And yet, what I know to be true is that great results in today’s business environment can only be achieved if we dare to do what the command-control-leaders-of-old dare not – bring love to work. It is not soft to care – when caring is what makes all the difference in the results. People only give their very best – go the extra mile, bring all their ideas, their loyalty, their trust, their full commitment – if they truly care. And if we want to move past a transactional-relationship with our employees, our clients, and with each other, we must find the courage to move past old-ways-of-being and invest more of ourselves.
How could love alter your experience at work? If you were so invested in what you were doing that you would dare use the word love to describe it? If you so invested in the people you served, your employees, your clients, your colleagues, that they would experience your caring on a visceral level? That they would feel seen and safe and would in turn trust you completely? How might that impact your results? What might be possible?
Dr. Pali and her team are a perfect example. For my insurance may change, my address may change, my income may change, and my health may change – but one thing is for certain, for as long as I’m living in NY, my doctor will never change again.
And if I were a doctor with a practice, I’d say that would be the sign of pretty good results, wouldn’t you? Results that matter.
©OnStage Leadership, 2014
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