By – Pleasure Chizoba
Diagnose before you prescribe is a correct principle manifest in many areas of life. It’s the mark of all true professionals. It’s critical for the physician. You wouldn’t have any confidence in a doctor’s prescription unless you had confidence in the diagnosis. This principle is also true in sales. An effective sales person first seeks to understand the needs, the concerns, the situation of the customer. The amateur salesman sells products; the professional sells solutions to needs and problems. It’s a totally different approach. Diagnosing before prescribing is also fundamental to law. The professional lawyer first gathers the fact to understand the situation, to understand the laws and precedents, before preparing a case. A good lawyer almost writes the opposing attorney’s case before he writes his own. A good engineer will understand the forces, the stresses at work before designing the bridge. A good teacher will assess the class before teaching and a good student will understand before he applies.
We don’t really know, but we are all biased by our past, by our experiences and relationships. We all wear colored lenses and see the world in different colours. Our perspective of others cannot be fair or correct except we are first willing to take on their lenses and see through their eyes. We must learn not to fall into hastily judging. We must be willing to start out understanding that our views are not the absolute; we must be willing to be influenced by the point of view of others. One of the most significant deposits you can make in the emotional bank account of another human being is investing in understanding them. This is where diagnosis lies. Now, let’s consider this scenario. A patient needs glasses , so his optometrist gives the patient his own glasses because they work so well for him. Unfortunately, they make it worse for the patient and the patient politely tells him so. The optometrist responds by saying the patient was ungrateful because he knows the glasses work perfectly. Clearly the doctor didn’t try to diagnose before he prescribed a solution and was using a one-size-fits all approach. The doctor failed to understand. Do you get the picture? Consider all of the days , money and resources wasted when you don’t seek first to understand. Different people will see the same challenge differently and this is a good thing. I might be creative you analytical. Many of our values may also be different. Nevertheless, you should first take time to deeply understand the problems presented to you. Unless people trust you and believe you understand them, they will be too angry, defensive, guilty or afraid to be influenced. The skill of empathic listening comes in handy because you listen with intent to understand the other person’s frame of reference and feelings. Empathic listening is deeply therapeutic because it gives a person “psychological air”. Every human being desires to be understood, to be affirmed, to be validated and to be appreciated. As you go into this day and the rest of this week, practice diagnosing before prescribing. Look for the other person’s perspective and let your lens go once a while.
Have a blessed week!