Off The Schneid
For anyone unfamiliar with the phrase “getting off the schneid” (pronounced shnod), it’s a phrase common in sports to mark the end of a losing streak, or to signify a player or team’s first points. In certain golf formats, the term is common when a player scores their first points under head-to-head competition. In other sports, a team that scores its first win after beginning the season with many loses is officially “off the schneid”.
Recently, I was asked to help train some folks as an independent contractor outside of our office, which is something I do enjoy. The opportunity to visit other practices is always a welcome one for me, and to be honest, I usually learn as much from them as they do from me. Out of this experience, a conversation arose about a young lady recently hired who was perhaps to be considered for training in Vision Therapy, and perhaps not. At the moment, she was serving in an administrative role and it seemed no real decisions were made. The hope was for me to offer my two cents and see if she “would fit” in Vision Therapy.
If you’ve never actually met me, let me be the first to admit that my intuitive side with respect to people is pretty strong. I don’t have any rhyme or reason to how I “size people up”, I just get a sense of them and go with it. Perhaps it comes from my years working in EMS, perhaps it comes from the Vision Therapy room, or maybe it’s just an innate process, I don’t really know. What I can tell you is I rely on it heavily and rarely has that intuition been misguided. Many people I’ve been around know this about me, and for better or worse, my opinion was sought.
After the initial pleasantries that come with visiting a practice, this young lady and I found our way into a quiet room and began to chat. A recent VT graduate herself, she mentioned quickly that she had been shown a few parquetry procedures (beyond those she did as a patient) and was interested in learning more, so we pulled out the blocks. As we progress through the initial levels, it became obvious to me that she may have been taking her mistakes a bit harder than she should, which prompted me to make two statements. The first was to reassure her I was not here to decide the future of her employment; rather, just to explain a few things in hopes she gains a better understanding of life in VT, so she could relax. And secondly, there really are no wrong answers (stop me if you’ve heard this one) so let’s just play and see what happens. I just wanted to walk through some things and see how they went.
I’m sure she tried to believe me, but clearly, she did not.
One of the toughest parts of training a new therapist, particularly in a one-on-one type environment, is the building of trust. You must trust I am headed in the proper direction, and I must trust you will speak up if something goes awry, is unclear, or perhaps is just beyond understanding. There’s not necessarily going to be any judgement, at least on my end, although there will be some adjustments made as we glean the good, and not so good, parts. If the phrase “perception is everything” is really true, then your perceptions of me are important, as are mine of you. My perception of this young lady was she is someone of incredible intelligence, although she seemed highly guarded against allowing anyone to know just how smart was. When I took a moment to “lay my cards on the table” and ask if my perceptions were correct, she admitted to me they were. What I didn’t realize until later, was why…