LAUNCH™ in Action: The amazing process that WILL change your life!
My granddaughter Maya was at our house for a five-day visit—exhilarating for the grandparents. Maya is a precocious five-year-old who often acts/talks like a graduate student! On this particular visit she was suffering from an injured wrist—the little explorer had fallen off a fence at my son’s house. Seemed like it was just a sprain, so all we did was ice and monitor it.
Now, something you absolutely need to know about Maya: she is deathly afraid of doctors and anyone else who audaciously thinks he’s going to medically treat her body. So the thought of having to bring her to a doctor terrified me, too.
Friday morning rolled around and my wife had to go to the hairstylist, which takes a half-day. She left and I had Maya all to myself for the next five hours. I didn’t have a clue what trauma awaited me.
Maya was watching TV in her little rocking chair. Out of the blue she did a backflip and landed on her injured wrist. Her screaming was probably heard ten miles away; I thought I was going to burst an eardrum. Flying like Superman would have been easier than trying to calm this kid down. In the middle of all that yelling, my son calls to see how his daughter is doing. Before I could tell him what happened, he tells me that I should take her to the doctor to have the wrist looked at. (Yeah, sure, easy for him to say—he was four hundred miles away!) I then told him what was going on, but I probably didn’t need to: she was still screaming loud enough for him to hear, so now he commanded me take her to the doctor. (Again, easy for him to say!) Considering the child’s emotional state and her fear of doctors, a visit to the doctor was pretty much impossible, but I told him not to worry, I’d make it happen by using LAUNCH™.
LAUNCH™: Listen, Ask, Understand, Need, Create, Holistic. I’ve used this amazing process in sales and business organization/personnel management, but implementing it to calm a screaming child was the last place I ever thought I’d use it. I immediately went into Listen and Ask mode.
“Why don’t you want to go to the doctor Maya?”
“Noooooooooooooo,” she wailed.
“Do you realize that if we don’t get your arm looked at, Honey, it’ll only get worse?”
Phew! I left her alone for five minutes to hopefully cool down (yeah, right, good luck with that, Grandpa). Time to figure out how to get my sweet granddaughter into the Understand phase.
“Maya, do you know how much I love you?”
She tried to say something, but only managed to nod yes. She was beginning to understand that I was actually listening to her, and I could see she was starting to listen to me!
“Maya, why don’t you like to go to the doctor?”
“I just don’t,” she said.
A lesser salesman would have asked, ‘Well, why don’t you?’ However, I was the inventor of LAUNCH™, so LAUNCH™it would be!
“Do you think the doctor is going to hurt you?”
“Yes,” she whimpered.
“How do you think the doctor will hurt you,” I asked?
“I don’t know….”
“You know I love you Maya, do you think I would let the doctor hurt you?”
On to Need.
“Maya, do you understand why the doctor has to look at your arm?”
“It hurts,” she said.
“Do you want it to feel better?”
“Do you know I can’t make it feel better, but I can have the doctor make it feel better?” (Trying to move on to Creating.)
“I don’t know,” she said.
“I would like you to consider letting me take you to the doctor, so you can feel better and you can play again without it hurting. Will you do that for me?”
Now comes the Holistic part.
I continued, “Maya, I can’t make the decision to go to the doctor for you, but we can make the decision together. Do you want some time to think about it?”
“Yes,” she said.
I told her I would give her ten minutes to think about it and come back for her decision. She was okay with that. When I returned, I didn’t have to say a word—she looked at me with those big hazel eyes and said, “I’ve made up my mind—let’s go to the doctor.”
The next two hours were quite remarkable. She had a small fracture near the wrist, so the doctor casted her arm. The doctor and nurse both opined she was the best little girl they’d ever treated. I could tell that they weren’t just giving us a lot of hype—Maya was incredible throughout the entire experience. I really think the bond that we developed using LAUNCH™was the key.
When my son and daughter-in-law heard I not only got her to the doctor, but how well she behaved, they were astonished. “Not our little girl,” they said. My wife’s response was similar: “How could you have possibly done this on your own!?” she asked Maya.
Maya said, “And you know what, Grammy, it didn’t even hurt an inch.”
A customer is customer, even if it’s your five-year-old granddaughter!