So there I was, lying on the sofa and clicking the TV remote control away when I chanced upon The Jeff Probst Show on Sunday morning. There wasn't much on the other channels and so I decided to stick to the show since the image of a bald lady being interviewed caught my attention a bit.
Long story short, it was an interview with Kelly (the bald lady) who survived cervical cancer and how she had "everything in her removed" - in her own words. After being declared cancer-free after the first bout of chemo, the cancer relapsed and she had to face the possibility of facing death in a matter of months.
What caught my attention wasn't just her courage in the face of death, it was a quote by Deepak Chopra brought up during the interview.
"Believe the diagnosis but do not believe the prognosis."
This quote got me thinking and reflecting throughout the rest of my getaway. First thing I did was to find out what's the defining difference between these two medical terms. For those who are curious here goes:
Diagnosis: The act or process of identifying or determining the nature and cause of a disease or injury through evaluation of patient history, examination, and review of laboratory data. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/diagnosis)
Prognosis: A prediction of the probable course and outcome of a disease. (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/prognosis)
In our work (and personal life), we are often hit with the negative (losing a deal, facing customer complaints and problematic co-workers etc). How often do we dwell on the negative aspects of such issues? My personal examples - a prospect not responding to my "call for action" email or phone call, a feedback regarding a recent negative client experience with a trainer, for example.
If we were to "conclude" based on such observations (not responding to my calls or emails, receiving a bad complaint), then we could have believed the prognosis.
Instead we should stop and just look at these observations as nothing but merely observations! They do not mean the end and certainly may not be as bad as you concluded or expected!
The prospect may not be responding because he is really busy or he is fighting a fire in the office and thus he has not responded. The client who wrote in to complain may actually be wanting to give you an opportunity to do better in the next engagement. He or she would like to do more business with you but wanted to make sure this particular gap is addressed before giving you more orders!
With that quote edged in my mind, I left Batam for home, determined that I will start to observe more and conclude less.