Category Archives: Do Differently

Why we believe in continued education

Stephen Owen

Growing up I learned that one can get great lessons from parables. What may appear, at first blush, to be just a simple tale can many times have a profound impact on its hearer.

Allow me to share one such story that I think encapsulates why, at SoundIntuition, we do what we do.

A very strong woodcutter once asked for a job with a timber merchant, and he got it. His salary was really good and so were the working conditions. For that reason, the woodcutter was determined to do his very best.

His boss gave him an ax and showed him the area where he was supposed to fell the trees. The first day, the woodcutter brought down 15 trees.

” Congratulations,” the boss said. ” Carry on with your work!”

Highly motivated by the words of his boss, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he only could bring 10 trees down. The third day he tried even harder, but he was only able to bring down 7 trees.

Day after day he was bringing lesser number of trees down.

” I must be losing my strength”, the woodcutter thought. He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.

” When was the last time you sharpened your ax?” the boss asked.

” Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my ax. I have been very busy trying to cut trees…”

Continued education is key and it’s why we offer this blog, it’s why we provide training and it’s the driving reason behind the conferences we host. We believe that good is not good when better is expected. We believe that sharpening our skills from time to time is the key to success.

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The origin of the quoted parable is unknown.
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We appreciate your interest in this blog post. The text contained in it is copyrighted by SoundIntuition as of the date of publishing. Contact us by leaving a comment on this post if you would like to use this text elsewhere. When used, we would ask that you cite this page, using the full URL (http://soundintuition.com/blog/continued-education), as being the originator of the content.

You are so much more than ‘just’

Stephen Owen

I once attended a local small business networking event that was based on the concept of speed-dating. I was sent to a table where I met another business person. I had thirty seconds to give the other person my business card, state the name of the company I represented and what I did there before my table companion did the same in return. It was then expected that we’d engage in three minutes of dialogue which was to include finding synergies and how we could work together or at least refer someone else to use each other’s services. The bell would ding and we’d move on to explore the next business ‘dating’ experience.

To this day I remember the gentleman who sat at my table on rotation number two. I remember him for a number of reasons. He was extremely quiet, had a weak handshake, handed me his business card almost apologetically and seemed to be uncomfortable with eye contact. But he really stands out in my memory because of his first words to me.

When he said, “I’m just a plumber” my trained networking brain screeched to a halt and started twitching uncontrollably. This man had absolutely no idea.

He had no clue that a few weeks earlier a plumber had saved my basement from destruction due to a busted water pipe that jetted water at an alarming rate.

This man had no idea the respect I had for plumbers and the service they provide. To me, this man was not ‘just’ a plumber at all.

Needless to say, following our conversation, when the event was over, my new plumber friend was sitting a little taller in his chair, was holding his chin higher and happily talking about his trade with a new-found enthusiasm.

Corporate People Having a Business Agreement

Conversely, I recall meeting a woman at a conference recently. I recall my introduction to her very differently. Her handshake had exactly the right firmness to it, she proudly presented her business card to me (face up, text towards me) and pleasantly told me what about the work she was involved in.

There was no ‘just’ in the way she presented herself. She was who she was and was very comfortable and proud of what she did in her chosen career.

When you meet someone for the first time or are talking to another professional or parent please don’t ever present yourself as ‘just a therapist’, ‘just a social worker’, ‘just a communicative disorders assistant’ or ‘just a teacher’.

The term ‘just’ devalues yourself and the care you are involved in. It is perceived as lacking confidence and conviction that the role you play is an extremely important one and that you have something integral to contribute to the assessment and intervention process.

Believe it or not, you’re someone’s hero.
Whether you know it right now or not, 
your influence is changing someone’s life.
They don’t think of you as a ‘just’ and neither should you.

I challenge you to straighten your back, walk taller, lift your chin a bit and ‘Do Differently’. You’ll be surprised how much happier in your career you become when you do.

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We appreciate your interest in this blog post. The text contained in it is copyrighted by SoundIntuition as of the date of publishing. Contact us by leaving a comment on this post if you would like to use this text elsewhere. When used, we would ask that you cite this page, using the full URL (http://soundintuition.com/blog/you-are-not-a-just), as being the originator of the content.

Focusing on the person between the ears

Stephen Owen

 

No matter what our line of business, there always seems to be such a multitude of things that require our attention, that we can easily lose focus of the things that are the core of what we do.

I know first-hand what this is like and often find myself pushing back from my desk, grabbing a coffee, taking a moment to re-focus on what it is that really matters.

This is one of those moments.

Sure, there are multiple e-mails to answer, phone calls to suppliers to be made, a team member needs a question answered, that presentation is coming up, website content needs to be reviewed and a video project is in need of a few moments of my time. And then there’s the daily practice schedule to manage.

Time for me to push back. Re-group. Re-focus. What is at the core of what SoundIntuiton does?

Ah, right.

It’s providing continuing education tools toward the big-picture goal of making the lives of individuals with communication challenges, like those with hearing loss, easier.

Tyler and Stephen hamming it up for the camera

So it is, I imagine, with our audience of professionals in their capacities as audiologists, speech-language pathologists and educators. Their realities have got to be much like mine.

I wonder if they too, get so focused on the trees of daily life that seeing the forest becomes something they haven’t viewed in a while. Does the focus on their day-to-day realities with issues (interaction with other providers/hospitals/doctors, funding issues, inter-discipline politics, bureaucracy, etc.) in their professional lives become such a distraction that they too run the risk of momentarily losing sight of the core of what they do? Is it possible that clients could inadvertently get relegated to being clinical cases as opposed to being seen as individuals? Is service delivery being compromised?

Join me in taking a moment.

Push back from your desk, step away for that current issue, go refill your coffee or glass of water.

Take time to re-focus on the person between the ears. Your clients will thank you.

We appreciate your interest in this blog post. The text contained in it is copyrighted by SoundIntuition as of the date of publishing. Contact us by leaving a comment on this post if you would like to use this text elsewhere. When used, we would ask that you cite this page, using the full URL (http://www.soundintuition.com/blog/focusing-on-the-person-between-the-ears), as being the originator of the content.