Compliance vs. Contribution

I am often inspired by things I read. This was one (thanks, Seth Godin, as usual). I love the idea of substituting “contribution” for that yucky word “compliance.” It really works in diabetes because compliance means doing what someone else wants, which simply doesn’t fit when managing a lifelong disease like diabetes. The person living with diabetes is the one who makes decisions and takes action to manage it daily. Therefore, we are talking about their contribution to diabetes management, rather than their compliance with someone else’s demands/rules/expectations.

I would take it a step further and suggest that “engagement” might be another replacement for “compliance.” When someone is truly partnering with their health care providers, when they are in agreement with the plan and taking action toward it, they may actually be doing more than making a contribution. They are engaged. And “engaged” is so much more more empowering and strengths-based than “compliance.” I can feel my energy level fall when I hear “compliance,” whereas it rises when I hear “engage.”

Words matter!

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