Peter Senge, author of The Fifth Discipline famously said, “People don’t resist change, they resist being changed.” And that idea represents the central truth behind Bob Barkley’s Co-discovery method.
Minor changes to what we believe, called “assimilations” by Jean Piaget PhD, are easy for us to make because they are low risk. Paradigm-shifting major changes, he called “accommodations” are a different matter, as they require a major reorganization of our thought structures, and hence how we see and operate in the world…thus high risk and requiring a much higher level of trust.
When we have a new patient who approaches us with a broken tooth, and who is completely unaware that a significant loss of vertical dimension due to bruxism is the driver behind their problem (or a sleep-related / airway-driven problem), WE are confronted with a problem as well. We must decide if we should simply repair the tooth and let the patient proceed on down their slippery slope, or should we attempt to facilitate an “accomodation.” Are we going to make an attempt to get this person to see their situation differently, and therefore reorganize their belief system relative to their problem and its long-term implications -or not? Are we going to “live and let live,” or are we going to try and positively influence this person in such a way that it facilitates their making better decisions for themselves going forward?
Because people resist change, “telling” rarely leads to a significant adaptation to their existing belief system. Hence, co-discovery with its emphasis on self-learning and personal relevance is the key to change in these complex learning situations. It is the pathway around a person’s inherent desire to maintain the status quo.
This of course takes both time, and a belief in the inherent value of the Codiscovery process. And that is a cultural thing – a culturally-driven choice based on our Purpose. So, what we see as the Purpose of our practice drives our thinking and our systems. And our thinking and our systems influence how others respond to us. And how others respond to us influences their health – and ours.
What is your Purpose, and does your practice culture and it’s systems support it well, or not?
Paul A, Henny, DDS
Read more at Codiscovery.com