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The Possibility Session


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Lesson #4: CORE Lesson #4 – The Road Choice

About This Lesson

Instructions coming soon..


Action Items

  1. Use the road analogy or another powerful analogy that you can rely on repeatedly during the process to show the limitations of reacting to disease vs the power of creating health!
  2. Practice, practice, practice making this analogy conversational!

Full Video Transcript / MP3

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Hey, what's up everybody? This is Dr Steve Schluentz, so I want to welcome me back to another video on the Possibility Session. I almost said episode, get a dental practice for your radio. You guys have not listened to that and I'm still launching and using that podcast. By the time you are listening to this, you should go check that out. Shameless plug. But we're on another video of the Possibility Session and I want to tell you that this is one of my favorite concepts and it's so simple to use. Again, this is just like the last video we talked about where you can have your hygienists talk about some of these things. This is something that I encourage my hygienist to use and all of my doctors to use because it's so simple. It's so easy to understand and especially for me being from Michigan originally, I really, really resonate with this concept.

One of my mentors told it to me, and it's not a new concept, it was around even before that mentor, but it was the first time that I've heard of it and I use it all the time. That is the concept of giving the patient an analogy about a road. This is tenant number four of the Possibility Session and we've now discovered the why of the session. We revisited patient's goals, we compared health, disease, and current state and you can use four or five interchangeably. Even four, five and six. I don't want you to think that these tenants ... you can play around with it. As you get really, really good with the process, you're going to figure out what makes the most amount of logical sense for you. I think you could probably flip number five here and number four and I'm doing current risk assessment pyramid versus desired risk assessment pyramid.

But I use the road choice first because I want them to get an overall picture of what's possible. I've done a lot of revisiting of goals, I've talked about their current state in relation to health and disease and I just want them to get thinking differently about their health for this particular point in time. When you're going through the PowerPoint slides, you're going to see this. This is how I use the road choice. This is a analogy that I think is so powerful and it shows you the power of analogies.

I've [relatable 00:02:17] and described some analogies that I use in my practice and I'm thinking of new ones all the time. I always tell people don't memorize, memorize. You want to have two or three analogies that you can always go to. But think about the most important thing you can do. This side track off of this and when we get back to the road, but think about who your patient is and then use that in your analogies.

For example, I was talking to just somebody on Instagram about thinking in a results, which is a program that I have for dentists and non dentists. That focuses on mindset. This person reached out to me and was talking about Bob Proctor and some of the things that this person had been studying. The first question I asked them was, "Just tell me about your current position. What do you currently do?" They were titles for real estate and things like that. But she's feeling burnout and she's felt that way for a while and she's looking for something new. I need to know what it is that person does because A, it helps me understand how they think. And B, it helps me when I start to craft my own analogies and stories so that that person can connect.

Your patients are exactly the same way. You've got to find analogies that stick. I have some doctors that are in Michigan, so this is a great, great analogy because everybody understands it, but I found that this analogy works incredibly well for everybody because everybody knows what I'm talking about. The road choice is simply this. You have two paths. As a patient, you have two paths. You have a road that when it breaks or busts and has problems with it, you get potholes and you patch the potholes. That's the fillings and the crowns and all that stuff. But if you're patching something that inherently breaks, ultimately you're going to continue to have problems and you're going to have to patch more. Eventually you're going to patch so much so that you no longer can patch anymore and then you're not going to be able to drive on the road.

That's like having your mouth in such a state of disrepair that you literally can't chew. You can't function, everything hurts, and you're either going to take all the teeth out and do dentures or you're going to decide, "Hey, now I want to build a new road." That's going to cost a lot of time, energy and money and you've spent all this money patching stuff without ever creating a new road in the first place.

The second option is understanding how to build a new road from where you're currently at by putting the foundation in place. Not only do we build the new road, but we have the right foundation for the road. We understand what causes the problems in the road and then we build a new road that you can drive on for 20, 30, 40 years and have no issues.

That's what your mouth is like. We can choose to simply patch things as they happen without ever looking at underlying problems. There was actually a road in Asheville near my practice that I used as an analogy. I said, "Do you remember on 26 when you drove down that road, there's a pothole that has been there three times now and they patched it and then literally three months later, that's the same pothole? That's how your mouth works. See if you try to patch something that's in a diseased state and you don't treat the underlying cause of the disease, three months later, six months later, three years later, whatever that is, it's going to break again because you never address what caused the break in the first place." The foundation and understanding what causes the problems in the road and then addressing those problems and rebuilding the road so you don't have those problems anymore, it's going to give you a much better path to success over the lifetime that here you are here in this practice.

Does that make sense? I know it's hard to describe. It's a great analogy. You should be able to get the picture, but it's so much more powerful when you actually have the slide that I'm showing you and you can use any road slides. One with pawn holes, one with a clean road and give them the choice. I want them to understand the health disease concept and creating health versus reacting to disease in a way we can all understand. If you start to go into health and disease, too much of wellness and disease and a patient doesn't have a clear image, we work with images. You have to understand that if the patient isn't clear in the analogy being used or the concepts a little bit higher level, which that is a higher level concept. Most people assume that when they get a crown, they get a filling, there are going to be more inherently healthy and that's not necessarily the case.

You have to use an analogy that's simple to understand and those potholes are the simplest thing to understand about not treating underlying problems leading to more and more potholes. You have to get them to understand a much more difficult concept into a much simpler concept. If you remember the videos that we did, we use kind of like bridges. Okay. I learned this from Russell Brunson and I use kind of like bridges all the time. If I was explaining health and disease in this way, I'd say, "It's kind of like this. It's kind of like choosing a road." It's kind of like, it gets them to think this is how it's going to be in a very simple to understand manner. I want the patient to understand that they have a power of choice here and I respect any direction they want to move, that they need to know the limitations of each.

This is so powerful. I cannot stress this enough. I tell them at the end of this, "Listen, I don't care if you want to just patch the potholes or if you want to build a new road, it doesn't matter to me. My job is to help you understand that you have a choice. I can take care of you at either level. You have a choice here though, but the choice you make has some benefits and some consequences to it." That's going to go in further when we start to talk about the pros and cons of each approach, the disease care approach versus the wellness approach. If you work as a doctor, there is pros and cons to the wellness approach. There's a con to the wellness approach and I clearly define that even in the Possibility Session as well. They need to understand the choice they're making.

When you start to do it this way, it is so powerful, guys. I cannot stress this enough. You've got to get them thinking about longterm dentistry and what this means 5, 10, 15 years from now. Your action steps is to use the road analogy or another powerful analogy that you can rely on repeatedly during this process to show the limitations of reacting to disease versus the power of creating health.

Listen, practice over and over and over and over and over and get it down. Understand what you're saying so you can say it with power and conviction. This is the practice, drill, and rehearse part. You've got to know something cold. You've got to know these analogies cold and you've got to get your team to understand some simple to use analogies so that when they're talking about some higher level concepts, especially occlusion, tooth wear, neck pain, shoulder pain, things like that, you have to be able to use analogies to make the connections.

There's other tools that you can use. ‎BiteFX is great. I talk a lot about ‎BiteFX. I highly encourage you guys to check that software out if you haven't already. That allows you to paint some powerful pictures that you can come back and hit with analogies. Practice, practice, practice making this analogy conversational. It is so key. The more conversation that you can get with your tonality and the speech patterns that you have, the higher your case acceptance rate will be. You'll just be more comfortable. As you get more comfortable in this process, you're going to be focusing more on the patient and not necessarily on yourself. See, when we start this process, we're so focused on the process itself, ourselves, are we going through the right steps? Are we doing the right things? Are we doing this? Are we doing this? Did we miss this?

Listen, you have to focus on the patient. The more you practice this, the more this gets ingrained in your behavior pattern, the less you think about it and the more you can start to listen to what your patient is actually saying. It's only when you listen to what your patient is actually saying, can you respond accordingly and make sure that you can get them through this process and lead them on the path that they ultimately want to go on and hopefully be able to close a higher, a higher level cases so you can do more and more meaningful dentistry. Hopefully you got value out of this video. I'll see at the next one.