Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Morphing “Will I?” into “I will.”

Morphing “Will I?” into “I will.”

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A story in HR Insights caught my eye. Like many studies, the conclusions are fairly common sense; but we often need scholarly validation of that which is intuitive. Here is what I am talking about.

A recent psychological study suggests that reframing self-talk from the indicative to the interrogative (from "I will," to "Will I?") helps people develop a stronger motivation toward the goal or outcome. In one experiment, participants were asked to solve word puzzles. Those who asked themselves, "Will I?" before the test solved 50 percent more puzzles in the allocated time than those who told themselves "I will." In short, the study's authors found the interrogative form of self-talk can lead to more goal-directed behavior. I do not think anyone is advocating adding to self -doubt.  No, the point is to determine how much time is required to learn the new task, to take on a new challenge, anticipate hurdles, etc., and to then find and pursue ways to accomplish the task

A dose of humility is a good thing, along with the concept of counting the cost before charging into something. “Will I?” can morph into “I will” right before our eyes—as we see we are prepared for the challenge and experience success.  An application for this might be in our goal to increase collections by 6 percent in FY14.  Of course, it sounds good to say I will. But, great benefits may come from thoughtfully answering the question, “Will I?” When we answer this question with thoughtful reasoning, “Yes — if  we reduce denials, increase cash collections, file claims in timely manner, and so forth …” the conclusion becomes the more confident statement, “We will.”

I hope that each of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving. In many ways, Thanksgiving is the grandest of all holidays — no pressure or presents — just thankful hearts and lots of food. Now, Kliff Kingsbury might not agree to the no pressure part since we have a little contest Thanksgiving evening. Thanks to all of you for making this practice the successful enterprise that it is.