I had a medical checkup this morning.  I went into it prepared to be a little defensive. My past experiences have shown me that the questions I get asked sometimes are (a) framed to get a predetermined or otherwise very limited response, (b) not relevant to the current reason why I’m there, or (c) asked by someone who could probably benefit from taking the advice I am getting.

As an example, I appreciate that more than my height, weight, blood pressure, and heart rate are considered to determine my relative health.  I do not appreciate having the obvious stated, such as that my BMI is higher than “recommended.”

I prepared in advance today to respond to these types of standard conclusions.  I was going to ask why I wasn’t asked if I had any pets, or the last time I visited with a friend, or read a book, or laughed.  I think all of those are also good, relevant indicators of my overall health.  Instead, it turned out my blood pressure has dropped from “average” to “very good,” and my resting heart rate is also very good.  I have been working at managing my stress and getting enough rest, so this was nice to hear. My weight matched that of my home scale, so there was no surprise. There was no judgment or other statement of the condition of my overall health, so I was left to draw my own conclusions.  No Rx, no other recommendations. Just keep on doing whatever I’m doing.  Lab results should be back in a few weeks. How very clinical it all was. I was relieved there was no obvious bad news, so I didn’t ask a single question of my own.  And I left feeling like the appointment was incomplete.

The first thing I saw when I returned to my desk and the work that awaited was a folder for an upcoming proposal I will be submitting.  My medical appointment made me stop and think about whether or not I had asked enough good questions when I spoke to my own client, or whether there was more, relevant information I might be overlooking.  We had covered the standard background issues, and the client’s goals for the work to be done.

I’m going to go back now and re-evaluate if there are more good questions I should ask.  I had given the client a chance to add anything I might have missed, but I’m not sure if putting her on the spot yielded the best response. I’m also going to review my usual Q&A intake form to determine if there are other indicators of healthy working environment that would help me help my clients.  Some people get their inspiration while taking a shower; I got mine from the doctor’s office today.

If you have a good question you ask or have been asked, or one you wish people would ask you, I’d really like to know. Thanks.

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