I was recently asked if I would be interested in speaking to 500 staff from a pharmaceutical company about attitude, drive and going that extra mile. Can we apply the same to patients to achieve better health outcomes? We can talk about the ingredients needed to perform in our workplace or to achieve a better health outcome, but how do we trigger change?

We live in a world made up of people with different ideas, beliefs, cultures and nationalities. Some people are leaders and achievers while others are the workers that thrive on direction. We have positive people that will always find a solution and we have negative people that constantly get bogged down. As patients these people are likely to approach chronic disease the same way they approach life and thus have different outcomes to their disease.

Today we see technology driving so much of our lives its sometimes daunting trying to keep up. New software, apps, treatments, medicines etc., so how do we keep our staff/patients motivated and engaged without finding it all to overwhelming? It’s called the TRIGGER! What is it in someone’s mindset that will make them change their attitude and go that extra mile either for their boss or to better improve their health.

We can offer all the technology, tools, and expertise but we cannot make someone do something they feel they can’t do. Motivating inspiring people can stand up and tell the story of their achievements, their adversities and how they overcame everything to achieve what they have. A successful entrepreneur can let you in on their strategies and secrets to success. These approaches don’t always trigger a person to act, how many walk away saying that was really motivating but never use the experience?

What we need to do is engage people to look inside to find what really makes them tick. An example of this is a respiratory patient I help, we’ll call him Max and his wife is Mary. Both knew they had to give up smoking, but couldn’t do it. You would think that a respiratory patient in serious decline would have enough motivation to quit, not the case. Problem is that Max’s wife smoked as well and he couldn’t resist when she would light up. So first we had to convince Mary to quit smoking, to do that we had to find the trigger for her to do so.

Like any Grandmother she was very fond of her grandchildren so I made it pretty simple. I asked Mary if her grandchildren’s life depended on her giving up smoking would she do it? She quickly answered back of course! My response was your smoking is killing your husband, so what’s the difference? It was blunt but made her look at the situation very differently, they have both been cigarette free for 6 months. We found Mary’s trigger and have improved her husband Max’s health.

My own experience is born from necessity, once I figured out that eating healthy and lots of exercise would give me a better quality of life then it was full steam ahead. Like most staff and patients, I have my good days and bad, knowing how to engage my mind and push through to achieve is the key. Day after day of training and repetition of sessions toughens the mind and gives you strength on those days that aren’t going so well, that mindset can be applied to a workplace or patient scenario. Now days I’m also motivated to help fellow patients in any way I can, my trigger is knowing I can make a difference by sharing what has worked for me.

A great workplace culture or a patient achieving better health outcomes very much comes down to a positive mindset and working as a team to achieve the common goal. For staff it involves working harmoniously with others for a patients working with their healthcare team. We can all be motivated and inspired but that is not always enough. Sometimes we need to find that trigger to engage the motivation. In work and in life we need to find the TRIGGER and use it!



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