Peter speaks to Leadership and Communication in a recent Podcast with Andrew Wild and Andrew Ilieff

Peter speaks to Leadership and Communication in a recent Podcast with Andrew Wild and Andrew Ilieff

Listen to Peter Hislop, Andrew Wild and Andrew Ileiff – from the Wild Physio Fitness –  discuss physiotherapy, leadership and communications.

Listen to the podcast here.


Andrew Wild: Welcome to episode 18 of the Hybrid Physio Podcast with your hosts Andrew Wild and Andrew Ilieff. Welcome Mate.

Andrew Ilieff: It’s good to be back on air again episode two of season two.

Andrew Wild: I know, I can’t believe we’re here at season two episode 18. It’s been a smooth journey so far.

Andrew Ilieff: It hasn’t it was great being back last week.

Andrew Wild: It was we talked all things what we have planned, I suppose and we went through season one and went through a couple other things. It was exciting to be back on air after a month out.

Andrew Ilieff: They’ve the vocals needed that warm up though before we get into today.

Andrew Wild: Exactly. Exactly. And what do we have planned for today?

Andrew Ilieff: So today we have something a little bit different on the, than the health side. We’ve got Peter Hislop, who is a high performance executive leadership coach and he works with a lot of ASX listed CEOs and boards. And he’s got expertise in helping executives recognise their potential and their leadership power to build and grow their personal behaviour, skills and resilience. So we brought him in to talk about all things communication, and developing a team within the health environment. So good afternoon Peter?

Peter Hislop: You’re right. Nice to be here. Thank you very much. Two Andrews. That’s way too confusing.

Andrew Wild: Very good, good start. Good start. Thanks for coming on Peter. We’re really looking forward to it. And as Andrew said, it’s more on the side of the communication things today. Now, let’s just go through a little bit of a background with what you’ve done through your career. We did a little bit just then. But just give us a little bit of a background

Peter Hislop: As an executive coach, I guess is the important bit of the career I started off as a lawyer and, but the executive coaching I get started as executive coaching, which is helping people be better at what they do.

Andrew Wild: Sure.

Peter Hislop: We move that into leadership coaching, which is about leadership and communication, and how you lead teams. So that was the area that I found my real love in and so I’m privileged to be able to work with CEOs at the pointy end and their leadership teams. And so the sort of issues that Andrew and I got to talk about which led into this is how do you communicate between hierarchy or positions, whether it be of a practitioner in your case or CEO or a team leader? And how do you have the people to whom you communicate, create a bond with your relationship with you? And that’s as good outside the organisational remit as it is inside a practitioner remit?

Andrew Wild: For sure. And what’s your experience with physiotherapists in the past?

Peter Hislop: Up until about 12 months ago, I had very, very little experience with physiotherapy. That’s because at no stage did I put my body in any kind of stress. I then arrived at the practise down the day I met Andrew with a bad knee, which was more bad from lack of use rather than four years. And I’ve been working with him ever since. He’s convinced me to do some fitness stuff. So my experience of physiotherapy is positive with Andrew. And he’s also worked with my daughter and he’s done some sensational work.

Andrew Ilieff: And I think it’s worth mentioning that for a gentleman who had never lifted in his life earlier this year, Peter achieved 100 kilo deadlift.

Andrew Wild: Actually, I saw that. Did you put that on your Instagram?

Andrew Ilieff: I did. I did.

Andrew Wild: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Congratulations.

Peter Hislop: For all of those who are saying, “Oh, you’re boring.” I’m actually really old. So it actually means something.

Andrew Wild: Are you going to tell everyone how old you actually are?

Peter Hislop: Absolutely not.

Andrew Wild: That great.

Andrew Ilieff: So that was one of our goals and achievements. And we’ve got several goals we’ve set aside, but we hit the 100 kilo for one. But we’re now working on some volume, we’re going up. And we’ve also got some squat deadlift and bench… sorry and some are press goals.

Andrew Wild: Beautiful.

Andrew Ilieff: So they’re all set out for him and hopefully all going well. We’re going to compete in some sort of a power lifting or strong men comp towards the end of the year.

Andrew Wild: Seriously?

Peter Hislop: Yeah.

Andrew Wild: Awesome. That’s a good start.

Peter Hislop: But to get my in my experience of physiotherapy, it has been a real adjunct into changing my views about my body, changing my views about fitness, changing my views about, I sort of wrote off my knee, and I thought there’s always going to be bad. I [inaudible 00:04:17] to Andrew and Andrew said there’s an easy way of fixing that. And it was logical and it was easily communicated and we worked on it and it worked. So I’ve very positive experience now and the work you did with my daughter was just sensational.

Andrew Wild: Brilliant. That sounds absolutely amazing. So obviously you did some decent work there mate?

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah. No,

Andrew Wild: So we’re brought on a success story.

Andrew Ilieff: We have brought on a success story. It’s my only one.

Peter Hislop: I obviously got him on he’s good days.

Andrew Wild: Yeah, obviously, obviously. He is still practising so he’s obviously doing something right. Let’s be honest.

Peter Hislop: There’s hope for the young man.

Andrew Ilieff: There is, there is a little bit.

Andrew Wild: Now Peter, the importance of communication. So obviously with your experience with Andrew, the communication side of things as a physiotherapist is crucial. How important is communication for physio and for any health practitioner? And what’s your experience with trying to teach people how to communicate, especially at even that CEO level?

Peter Hislop: If you look at the problems of communication, you’ll always find a hierarchy involved. A power imbalance if you like. So for a doctor or a GP, particularly a specialist, there is a hierarchy or power. People come into a room particularly with a specialist medical practitioner, and they only answer the questions they’re asked. So for the doctors it becomes what questions do I ask? The problem there is and I think the same with physiotherapist is you’re so highly trained until I met Andrew. I didn’t realise just how highly trained you are, until you’ve done all this training. So you have all this knowledge. You can assess normally what’s wrong fairly quickly, so you don’t ask a lot of questions. And if you don’t ask questions, the power imbalance increases. The person sits there, answering whatever you ask, which is going to help you. But it’s not helping them. Because ordinarily, before they’ve come in to see you, they’ve practised what they want to tell you. And the same in organisations, people will come into their boss and say, and practise what they want to tell them, tell them, start talking to them. And the boss says he already know that that’s fine. Take off you go. And so the power imbalance remains.

Peter Hislop: If you want long term relationship with your clients, you’ve got to make the power imbalance at least equal or give them more power. And that’s the power of communication. It’s the power I think that is ignited if you show enough curiosity and interest, not just in the knee that hobbles into see you, but in the person who surrounds the knee. And what Andrew did was learn a little bit about me, about where the knee came from. And that was interesting too, because he started on the long slow process of educating me about it. And I would take that education, because he was curious, he was interested. So wherever you are, whether it’s you’re a parent and a child, whether you are a boss, whether you’re a physiotherapist, whatever, the communication must be equal. And I’ll just to give you an example outside your area. One of the main problems about airline accidents that occurred about 10/15 years ago, was it in many of the airlines, the hierarchy between the senior pilot and the junior pilot was such that the junior pilot couldn’t call out a problem that he could see or she could see to the senior pilot. It was just not the done thing. So as the plane flies majestically into the side of a mountain, the junior policy is there, “Gee, I wish I could tell him.”

Peter Hislop: The same thing I did some work in the couple of hospitals in the emergency section. The most junior nurse didn’t have a right to call out to the surgeon that there was an issue. As soon as you change that and you say everybody has an equal say in the whole process, communication starts to flow. And I would have thought for you guys, the more communication, the better. The more diagnostic depth you get, by asking more questions and learning more about the person. The other thing too is not stop talking to the sick, when they go away from you to do what you tell them to do. They’re only going to do it if they feel they’ve been part of the process.

Andrew Wild: Yes. 100%. And often we talk about with an assessment, we have obviously the subjective assessment, which is talking to the client, the client tells you what’s going on. And then you have the objective assessment when you’re obviously assessing the person and their body. Most of the time, I’d say 80 to 90% of the time, I would make a diagnosis before I’ve even done the objective. So the subjective assessment is crucial to make the diagnosis because normally the clients cannot tell you what’s wrong-

Andrew Ilieff: Absolutely.

Andrew Wild: … and how the history presents, the natural history of the injury, etc will give you an idea of exactly what’s going on. And then you’re using the objective assessment to confirm your initial hypotheses that you’ve gained from the subjective.

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah. And I think most of that is listening. It’s all comes down to listening and not budding in all the time. Too many times, and I think Peter, you can give some real context to this, younger practitioners will often cut you off. But a senior practitioner might sit there and listen to the, will ask the question, but then we’ll want to go through the whole story, and might not say anything for 10 minutes. But a younger, more eager clinician will always jump in with that next question and miss a lot of the fine details because they’re so keen to show their knowledge.

Andrew Wild: I completely agree.

Peter Hislop: I think also the older practitioners, if you take some of the medical practitioners around, the neuro pathways of them being the knowledge authority in the room means that they ask fewer and fewer questions.

Andrew Wild: Yep.

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah.

Peter Hislop: And that becomes a real problem because people come in they want to talk to the practitioner of whatever sort. But the person is just asking questions and they’re halfway through writing the prescription or advising what’s going to happen. That creates that imbalance. And there’s not true communication, without true communication, there isn’t that mutual respect, which you need, I would have thought, with your patient, particularly if you want them to come back next time they do something dumb.

Andrew Wild: 100%. You need to be on their wavelength and you need to be on their level. And you can’t, the seniority of it, you don’t want to be the person sitting on your high horse. And the other thing about it and this is actually, I forget exactly the stat, but I think on average, a client, a patient of a doctor, dentist, physio or whatever, will get cut off within 10 to 20 seconds of them starting to speak as soon as they see their clinician.

Peter Hislop: I think that’s probably right.

Andrew Wild: It’s probably on the money. I forget exactly what it is. But often always ask, “What can I do for you today?” Or something like that, and I’ll just let them go. They might talk about four minutes, and then I’ll ask them one more question, then I might go for another three or four minutes. And the power of not talking and listening is so important.

Peter Hislop: And have a look at where it comes from, you’ve done all this training, you’ve got all this confidence, you’ve suddenly got the confidence to go out and operate in a clinic. Your need to be right is pretty furious. You need to be right, and to show how quickly you can do it, how so syncly you can do it, is there on show, and you want to show it, whereas the need to be right for the client is a shared experience. It’s not just watching you being right, and they don’t care how quickly you are. They want to know the diagnosis is right. And if they get to query that diagnosis, if they feel that haven’t been listened to, because they’re going to go back to their spouse or their parent and say the parents or spouse get to say, “Did you tell them about that?” “No, no. I didn’t.”

Peter Hislop: Well, now there’s a lack of confidence in the people around your patient in the diagnostician pro or the diagnostic process. So communication anywhere is really important. And it’s an equal thing. The need to be right, particularly in professionals has come from the depth of your learning, and how clever you are, and how you’re able to remember stuff and apply it. So you naturally have this need to be right to cut that off and say, “I don’t need to be right anymore. I’m just going to listen, I’m going to be curious,” is a really hard thing to do. And you won’t do it easily. Trust me, you won’t. We’re also in a culture of tell rather than ask. All the culture that surrounds is about people telling, so if you see people debating on television, they tell. They tell, they don’t ask. People around us tell. And we celebrate that. That’s not going to work in a process where you’re building a relationship between a practitioner and a patient, in the same way as it doesn’t in the corporate world.

Andrew Wild: Yeah, that’s great advice.

Andrew Ilieff: It is, isn’t it?

Andrew Wild: Yeah, for sure. Now in regards to nonverbal communication, what’s your take on it? And also, how would you expect a, say a practitioner in the health space to use nonverbal communication for the better?

Peter Hislop: And I know that some of you are going to think, “Oh, that’s that’s ridiculous. That’s not relevant.” But please don’t have your mobile phone anywhere near you when you’re talking to a patient.

Andrew Ilieff: I agree with that one.

Peter Hislop: It’s amazing the number of people who do, or look over at the mobile phone while the person is talking. So that’s the first thing.

Andrew Ilieff: And I’ve got to interject because we’ve dropped just before you go into that deep work on this podcast before, that is actually one of Peter’s books and suggestions on his reading list, which I give out to all [crosstalk 00:13:48] that’s what I’ve been, I’ve been going a bit. That was one of the first things Peter always said, got me to read when I met him when we started to build not only a relationship with the client, but then as a friendship was what, and it was game an absolute changer of my life. So and I think that goes into that first point there with this stupid thing.

Peter Hislop: Yeah, and you shouldn’t have it anywhere near you, you shouldn’t have it ringing, you shouldn’t have… So that’s the first thing.

Peter Hislop: The second thing is almost no one really has a poker face. You’ve got to, no one has a poker face, most people are able to read your face. That having been said, your client’s going to read your face too. And the client is going to know when you look bored, or when you’ve gone somewhere else in your head. And if any of the people listening to this think, “No, no, no, I’m really good at this.” Go home tonight, speak to your spouse or best friend and simply say, “How do you know when I stop listening to you?” And your spouse or good friend will know exactly when you stop listening and going somewhere else in your head, and your patient is going to know that too. So the depth of curiosity and interest is important. Let it show on your face. Be curious, wait for the person to listen. Let them finish a sentence and count to three before you jump in, because they’ll probably give you another sentence.

Peter Hislop: Lean forward. Show the interest, show the curiosity. That’s the most important I think. It’s the mobile phone, is the facial expression and training yourself to stay in the moment with the client. It’s really difficult. It’s taken me years to be able to stay. And if I’ve got a one hour coaching session with a client, I can stay with a client for 15 minutes, and then my head will go somewhere else. But I train it to become back. And sometimes I’ll make a joke and say, “Hold on. I’ve just gone somewhere else. I need to come back.” Yeah. That’s pretty good, that’s a lot of training. So you need to be able to hold yourself in there and shut that part of your mind out and just be with the client. And let them see that you are, but don’t think you’ve got a poker face, but very few people do have one.

Andrew Wild: I completely agree and being in the zone is something that I love about what we do.

Andrew Ilieff: It is.

Andrew Wild: You get into that sort of tonic sort of state where you’re just in the zone and nothing will take you away from that goal, and that goal is to help that client.

Peter Hislop: But what about the client who’s come back for their fourth visit, has clearly not done anything you’ve told them to do in between sessions, is there to tell you a piece of information that you simply don’t want to know anyway? Or talk about how wonderful they are or how bad you are. Are you able to stay in the moment with them?

Andrew Wild: Look that that is definitely something that is a little bit harder official for sure.

Peter Hislop: So they’re your practise session.

Andrew Wild: Yes.

Peter Hislop: They are the ones to look forward to because that’s where you can practise.

Andrew Wild: Yeah, for sure.

Peter Hislop: And you’ll know when you’re doing it because it’ll make them uncomfortable.

Andrew Wild: Yeah.

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah.

Andrew Wild: I completely agree.

Andrew Ilieff: It’s finding that in the zone, professional athletes talk about being in the zone. Physios, maybe that’s something we have to educate young physios is to be in the zone. Professional athlete going out on the football field, when they don’t go out in the zone, guess what happens? They get injured or they have a terrible game they lose. Same thing happens with physios, but that might be a great way to cue young physios is stay in the zone, let’s get in the zone-

Andrew Wild: Find the zone.

Andrew Ilieff: … before you go into a consult, let’s get in the zone.

Andrew Wild: And I think the zone is something that I’ve found over the years with sport.

Andrew Ilieff: Oh that’s right.

Andrew Wild: And if you’re an athlete, and then you’re finally going into something like physio and you need to be in the zone with say a client, if you’ve had that experience at the sporting level, especially at a really high level, that’s going to hold you in good stead for when you’re in your professional career.

Andrew Ilieff: That’s right, and I think in Peter, you can add something to this. You’ve worked with some professional teams, some sporting teams, have you noticed that around the traps with some of the work you’ve done in the zone?

Peter Hislop: Yes, but the longer they are out of the sporting zone, the worst they get at it.

Andrew Ilieff: Okay.

Peter Hislop: It really is a practise thing and they start reinterpreting, and they start moving back to their own ego. Being in the zone means you let loose your ego for a little while, you’ve actually left it outside of the door. And if the ego creeps back, so does your ability to really be in that zone. So I’ve seen professional athletes who move further and further away from that, as they move further and further away because they attach it to whatever they’re physically doing.

Peter Hislop: So to attach it to your mental process is quite another thing. So you’ve got again, continue to reinforce that. And some of the coaching that was done with the professional athletes. I mean, I was coaching one of Australia’s great swimmers, Olympic swimmers, and he really did start to lose that ability to focus, and the ability to be in the moment, the longer he was outside the swimming.

Andrew Ilieff: All right.

Andrew Wild: And why do you think he lost that focus?

Peter Hislop: Because in the focus, when he was in the focus for him, he got immediate results.

Andrew Wild: Right.

Peter Hislop: He was in the water. He knew that he was in performing, the half of the world was watching him. He knew all of those things. And I think when he was out of that, he lost that. That was part of the adrenaline rush. And he knew we had to stay in and outside that there was low… and there were more people around. He wasn’t the centre. It was a very solitary sport, a swimmer.

Andrew Wild: Actually, on that topic, so a lot of athletes after they finish their career and they retire from whatever sport they’ve competed in, they struggle a lot.

Peter Hislop: Yes.

Andrew Wild: Obviously, mentally, they struggle with post-sport life. What’s your take on it? And why do they struggle so much with it?

Peter Hislop: Because we don’t properly prepare them. We don’t do this sort of work down at the Australian Institute of Sport. We don’t really prepare them for life after sport. We don’t show them the what’s in it for me for them to continue their high performance, and to be able to translate it from one to the other. We don’t have anyone who I can think of who’s been an elite Australian athlete who is now an elite Australian Business individual. There are a couple who’ve been part of elite teams. So Rob Scott now running with Wesfarmers was one of the elite rowers. But that was part of a team. So he would be the one that I could most select. There are very few others who’ve been part of that.

Peter Hislop: Now, quite often they do it the other way around. Executives become good sportsman, in order to relax or unwind, they become great marathon runners or triathletes, that sort of thing. And they bring that level of concentration to their work because they had to suddenly learn it. The other way around doesn’t work because we don’t care enough. We allow these elite athletes who’ve done everything to their body that we could ever ask them to do. Once we’ve lost interest in them, once they stop giving us a fix watching them on television, we don’t care that they wander away. And I think it’s appalling.

Andrew Wild: It’s like a meat market. Especially at that sort of League and IFL level you, they find you, they use you, and then they spit you out.

Peter Hislop: Yes. Yes, I think that’s right. And even though, even where they’re sports where you think there is more camaraderie, there is more unity of people, it doesn’t work there either. And I think it’s a shame. And I think we lose some really good people. The leadership of some athletes of their teams, is often said to be the great transition for them into the corporate world. If they’ve led a team, if they’ve led the cricket team or the Australian rugby team, into the corporate world they go, they will be fantastic. No, it doesn’t work, because no one’s properly transitioned them. And I don’t know why we don’t because some of them are charismatic. Some of them are quite empathetic. Some of them are great at execution to a strategy albeit on a field. We don’t, even though we’re very bad at that as executives, we don’t take that skill and knowledge and bring it into the executive world. And we should, if for no other reason, these people have made more sacrifices of young people in their time and their energy and their schooling than any of us have ever considered. And we don’t properly thank them

Andrew Wild: For sure. There was a, forget what, it was one of those episodes on the ABC and they had a, they had Barry Hall was on there, do you remember Barry Hall, he used to play for the Swans and he struggled immensely after he retired to the point where he couldn’t get out of bed and finally something sort of clicked. He was saying something about it and his new focus was the gym and just getting as big as possible. Now for you going into what you’re doing now with your body, how has that helped you in regards to your professional and also business side of things with your work? How’s that helped?

Peter Hislop: I think it’s, the physicality of it has helped me to sit for longer periods, so I have to, when I’m doing one on one coaching I have to sit almost immobile for quite long periods to hold someone in a room. When I’m doing a workshop or doing an extended speech, being fitter means I move a lot easier. It’s also helped me with the amount of plane travel I do. And that’s probably, I’m still frustrated because I have very, very low self discipline. So I’m still carrying too much weight. And your little mate sitting on the side of view is driven crazy by the fact that I still haven’t lost any weight. So for me also, I can’t see any of the muscle that I’ve built because it’s all behind me. And one of his younger physios pointed out to me, I’m not going to say it because it build the muscle at the front is covered in fat. There was a level of ill subtlety in that.

Andrew Wild: Oh, I was going to say, he said that, come [inaudible 00:23:58].

Peter Hislop: He didn’t. It was one of his trainees, but quite right. But quite right. So I think it’s helped me in what I do, not necessarily in how I do. But it has taught me the importance of discomfort to train. So if you’re going to change at all you have to go through a discomfort. And for you guys it’s moving away from the need to be right, moving away from the subject matter expertise, letting your client have some power in the conversation, you don’t have to be the smartest physiotherapist, even though you probably are. And that’s uncomfortable for you. It’s uncomfortable for any executive, but you have to move through that in order to get to the other side, and that’s one of the most important lessons and the gym stuff has taught me that. I have to be really really uncomfortable in order to get to a place of improvement.

Andrew Wild: Exactly.

Andrew Ilieff: You know one of Peter’s favourite things, I’ve got to tell a little story here is, Sam, one of the trainers down at beef it one day Peter is in there with me. And this other young guy comes along wait in front of him and goes, “Ah, I might go down to a lower weight.” And Sam says to him, right in front of Peter, “Don’t embarrass yourself.” And the buy in Peter got from that moment-

Peter Hislop: It was great.

Andrew Ilieff: … it was just like, that’s big Peter, and then the guy did it got through it fine, no issues. And Peter went without the motivation he needed.

Peter Hislop: But, also the interesting thing, the way Sammy delivered that was, there was no ego from Sammy at all. It was just don’t embarrass yourself by going down in weight, and he just kept walking. And it was the classic piece of communication because it’s stuck. That’s the important thing about communication, it sticks.

Andrew Wild: It’s funny, you mentioned that because last night I have a girls group that I coach and it’s a strength training class and one of the girls came back after a period out and she was in last night and she did a first set on hip thrusts, eight reps, go to the [inaudible 00:26:02] and I said how close to fatigue were you there? Probably only had two more, and I said, “No, no, you had about eight more up your sleeve.” Next set. I want you to hit 15. Hit 15 easy. She had two up a slave at the end, last set, hit 14. And I have to constantly tell these girls that you can do more. You’re stronger than you think. They always underestimate themselves. And is that something you’ve done in the past with the exercise side of things? Have you underestimated what you can actually do?

Peter Hislop: I still do.

Andrew Wild: Yeah.

Peter Hislop: I still do. Yes, I’ve underesti- But I’m weird because I managed to struggle through the majority of my life avoiding any kind of fitness. I mean, I’ve done various sports, but I’ve avoided any level of fitness. So that’s a huge underestimation. But now, yeah, I suppose I do, but I still find it challenging. And I still find it slightly. I mean, I go to Andrew’s BeFit down at Double Bay. And it’s like the geriatric has arrived. I mean, all these people down there are super fit, they’re young, they’re doing everything in a million miles now I have to find some way to put the kinds up on the walls, deals then hobble down the front, you know, take my little chair down so I can have a sit in between exercise. It’s embarrassing, but that level of discomfort keeps me coming back, I guess.

Andrew Wild: Is it embarrassing or is actually empowering?

Peter Hislop: It’s embarrassing.

Andrew Wild: Okay.

Peter Hislop: But for me, that’s, that pushes it forward. The other interesting thing is the growing realisation that as embarrassed as I am by my lack of fitness and age down there, nobody else cares. And that’s a really interesting lesson to learn.

Andrew Wild: It’s an interesting lesson to learn for everyone that goes to the gym because people are often worried about what people were going to think when they’re in the gym, but no one actually gives a shit.

Peter Hislop: No.

Andrew Wild: They don’t.

Peter Hislop: Mm-mm

Andrew Wild: I go to the gym and I’m looking around and yeah I might say some poor form here and there and I’m tearing my hair out. But other than, the fact that people are in there, that’s great.

Andrew Ilieff: It’s all that matters, unless they’re doing some sort of cable twist, kicks it row, then it’s a different story.

Andrew Wild: The triple?

Andrew Ilieff: The triple, that is a different story.

Andrew Wild: We’ll get into that next podcast.

Andrew Ilieff: But don’t worry Peter. We don’t do any of those moves.

Peter Hislop: Excellent.

Andrew Ilieff: We do standards and conditioning basic-

Andrew Wild: Fundamentals.

Andrew Ilieff: … fundamentals with some sled push.

Andrew Wild: Exactly.

Andrew Ilieff: One of Peter’s favourite.

Peter Hislop: I actually quite enjoy a sled push.

Andrew Wild: Do you?

Peter Hislop: I don’t know why, I just, I just do.

Andrew Wild: There you go. I hate it. Anyway.

Andrew Wild: So in regards to communication in a team environment, how important is that and how can you get better at communicating in a team environment?

Peter Hislop: You’ve got to firstly look at the makeup of your team and how you put the team together. And I’m a great advocate of putting people in a team who are best for the purpose of the team. Not best for you, as the leader of the team. A lot of team leaders say, “Well, I want that person because I can work well with them. And I think they’ll work well with everybody else on the team,” which is fine, unless the purpose of the team needs someone who nobody likes and nobody can work well with. But their presence there changes the dynamic from a low performance to high performance team and it becomes your problem. And the way you deal with that is by communication. You open up the communication with everybody, you teach everybody how to share it in a non-hierarchical way, what they’re feeling, what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it.

Peter Hislop: And I think that becomes a really important cultural side. And I don’t like to use that word. But if you look at the makeup and the way a team operates, it’s how they do things, which is really cultural. It’s the way they’ve been taught, how they find their own way of doing things, and how evolution develops as they move forward, and how they do things. So the communication must be absolutely open. You must be include people who are the quietest in the room, you must make sure that they say whatever they need to say. Because just because they’re quiet doesn’t mean they have nothing to say. And they are often the most important. So everyone needs an equal voice, make sure the communication reflects that, make sure it reflects, that it brings down the person who’s got the loudest voice. So it becomes equal.

Peter Hislop: So the communication binds the team together. And part of that communication is teaching the members of the team, how to deal with conflict, and how to deal with conflict by open conversation, having difficult conversations as it may be. So against communication flows around there. If you’re leading the team and you want to lead it, rather than being part of the team, then you get to watch it. If you want to be part of the team, then you have to be part of that communication flow. And it’s teaching people about how to talk to each other, getting them into a team environment and away from the stakeholders in the team and say, “How do you want to be spoken to? How do you take feedback best?” So Fred over here, takes feedback in his face, Federico over here want a more subtle type of feedback. So reflect and respect the different ways people want to be spoken to, spoken about and who want to speak.

Peter Hislop: Remember, the biggest the highest level of diversity you can bring to the team, the more performance orientated is going to be and the higher quality it will do. Because if you are bringing a diverse team to have a diverse set of customers, then you’re going to be successful. If you bring a team that’s not diverse, they’re all the same. But you have a diverse set of customers, you’re only going to appeal to one slice of your customers. So the greatest diversity in the team, the greater you’re able to deal with the diversity in the clientele, that answer the question?

Andrew Wild: Beautiful.

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah. And what do you think about a title such as you know, you often go to a lot of physio clinics and it’ll say senior physio, junior physio. Is that something that we should be moving away from because that automatically creates that hierarchy and that imbalance or do you see a need to have that sort of language with the [inaudible 00:32:09]

Peter Hislop: The way we do it in coaching is you have coaches and you have senior coaches.

Andrew Ilieff: Okay.

Peter Hislop: You don’t have junior coaches.

Andrew Ilieff: Yep.

Peter Hislop: So that’s the way I do it. You have two levels, and senior coach has a different level of accountability and responsibility. The senior coaches, the mentor, the senior coach or physiotherapist in your case, is the advisor, maybe the supervisor, so they have added responsibilities. They’re not better necessarily. I wouldn’t have junior coach or junior physiotherapist.

Andrew Ilieff: So having seen your physio and physiotherapist is it something that we should be looking to employ? Because I just find that interesting. I’ve often been through that. We went through as interns in the hospital system and you get called an intern and then-

Andrew Wild: You did?

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah.

Peter Hislop: I didn’t do it in hospitals.

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah, you go up through the grades. So that’s always something when you listen to a lot of physios they often price their physios based on experience as well, which is something that I think reflects that senior physio sort of mentality.

Andrew Wild: We’ve actually talked about it before in season one with Michael Rizk, the fact that in terms of physiotherapy, it doesn’t really matter how senior you are in regards to the actual outcome for each client. And the research tells us that it doesn’t matter whether you’re 20 years out, 10 years out, five or one year out, if the person knows you, likes you and trusts you, they’re typically going to get a good outcome if you do a decent job. What’s your take on that and experience? Because, Andrew and I, about eight years into our journey, and I feel like we’re sort of at the top of our game now. What’s going to happen to us once we get into 20 years out of uni, and then what’s going to happen to us when we’re 30 years out of uni? Do you think that it’s kind of that sort of a threshold you hit and then your performance is actually starting to decline at a certain point.

Peter Hislop: Have a look at it this way. After 10 years, do you have 10 years? That’s 520 weeks of experience? Or do you have one years experience 10 times?

Andrew Wild: Yeah.

Peter Hislop: So what you want to have is 10 years of experience, and diversity throughout that whole 10 years of growth and development challenge different areas. If you’re going to have 10 years of doing the same thing every year, that’s great, but you’re not going to develop, and after 20 years, you’re only going to be a physiotherapist for a certain sort of client. And it’s going to be quite limited. So you’ve seen this in the corporate world too, you have people who have been in the risk areas, and they’ve been doing the same thing for 10 years or 15 years. And so I got 15 years of experience. Now, you don’t. You’ve got one year experience, which you’ve repeated 15 times.

Peter Hislop: So it’s a really, that’s the first part of the way I’d answer that question. And the way you increase that is at the edges, you start doing some stuff with the edges of physiotherapy or the edges of your practise that will give you texture, that will give you experiences that you can draw on to do other things. What I’m not getting a sense, is that anyone is looking at physiotherapy and saying, “Well, what are the soft sounds at the very edge of what physiotherapy is capable of, and why aren’t we going there and having a look?” Where else could physiotherapy make it different? Who is at that real, that cutting, that sort that far away edge of medical treatment, where physiotherapy could move?

Peter Hislop: Because that’s the way you develop the profession. And for you, that’s the way you develop your professionalism. So where could you go? What could you have a look at? And I have no idea because I don’t know the area, but what about physiotherapy in dental? What about physiotherapy in any sort of long term medical practise? I mean, I was telling Andrew I was bowled over by a client of mine, who told me that her sister is the only physiotherapist in Australia who is qualified to be called a paediatric…

Andrew Ilieff: Key oncology?

Peter Hislop: No paediatric… I’ll Come back to it. [crosstalk 00:36:20] A paediatric palliative care-

Andrew Wild: Oh there you go.

Peter Hislop: … physiotherapist.

Andrew Wild: That’s random.

Peter Hislop: It’s extraordinary.

Andrew Wild: Wow.

Peter Hislop: She has her qualifications in the UK. And there was one hospital she’s practising in. Now by that very nature has pushed it to the edge in there, where are the other places that you can take and don’t look at physiotherapy as a title, look at the physiotherapy in terms of what you’ve been trained to do and what you’ve been trained to teach. Where can you take that? And now after 20 years of your playing with that in your spare time, you are an enormously valuable for the physiotherapy market, but also for just general people. You’re an extremely valuable individual. And suddenly life is very different I would have thought.

Andrew Wild: So you’re saying long term you want a niche, find your niche?

Peter Hislop: No, don’t find your niche.

Andrew Wild: No?

Peter Hislop: I’m saying never find your niche, find something that constantly challenges you.

Andrew Wild: Right?

Andrew Ilieff: Continue to be uncomfortable.

Peter Hislop: Yes. And go to the edges of where physiotherapy is. I mean, I spent a lot of time reading about really elite sports coaches, to find out the little bits that they can do, that I can take in my practise, and use for clients. And sometimes it’s just little things, it’s sometimes like a checklist or how they create a checklist for the client, how they deal with a client morning or afternoon, I was fascinated by the guy who coached Tiger Woods up until the time of the scandals.

Andrew Wild: Hank Haney.

Peter Hislop: Yeah, and this guy had a doubt, he could provide a challenge to Woods and he had to wait four months before Woods would come back and say, “Okay, let’s try it.” And then it would take six months to try, and the way he did that coaching, that was extraordinary. So I’ve learned a lot about that.

Peter Hislop: So can executive coaching go into sports? It’s something that I’m looking at now, can we add to the coaching regime of elite sports people in order to maybe move them into the corporate world, but also make them a little bit better, make them understand the bigger impact of what they’re doing? And how they have it, because someone runs on the fields, he’s a rugby league player. They think they have the impact for the team and the club, and the supporters. It’s much bigger than that. It’s the kids somewhere who look at that and say, “Maybe.” It’s the kids who look at that and say, “Maybe not,” and why do they think that? It’s huge, the impact that sporting people can have.

Peter Hislop: Where is that in terms of coaching? And where’s physiotherapy in terms of other areas? I’ve been thinking with, since I met Andrew, how can physiotherapy form part of the coaching I do for clients? And I notice the posture of most of my clients is pretty bad. So how do I incorporate that level of physiotherapy knowledge with clients? So I keep pushing the edges. And that keeps you thinking and increases the level of texture that you have and you bring to each of your clients every day.

Andrew Wild: And that’s what we’re trying to do, is we’re trying to get our voice heard, and try and push the industry into a position where it’s healthier than it was when before we started what we’re doing here. So-

Peter Hislop: So a little bit, can I just say, you’ll never push the industry anywhere. You have to lead it somewhere. So you have to go first.

Andrew Ilieff: Hmm.

Andrew Wild: We’re trying.

Peter Hislop: Yeah. Don’t think you’re pushing it because it’s a wrong feeling. Lead it.

Andrew Wild: Lead it, yeah.

Andrew Ilieff: And in terms of what we do, we’re finding a lot of like-minded physios reaching out to us now.

Andrew Wild: It’s nice.

Andrew Ilieff: It is nice and that’s what it’s about.

Andrew Wild: Definitely. It’s interesting going back to that point with that physio that’s doing the paediatric palliative care. So, with something like that, that’s so niche, like she’s doing something that’s very, very, very specific. Now for us, we’ve kind of made our “niche”, we’re merging the physiotherapy and strength conditioning world. That’s what we’re trying to do. Now, that’s not necessarily niche really, is it?

Andrew Ilieff: No, I think it’s just common sense.

Andrew Wild: We are, we are very much common sense.

Andrew Ilieff: Because it’s, our basis is of, if you think about human behaviour and human evolution as adaption, resilience and change?

Andrew Wild: Yes.

Andrew Ilieff: That’s what we’re doing through strength and conditioning. Our Avenue is physiotherapy.

Andrew Wild: To get people moving.

Andrew Ilieff: To get people moving.

Andrew Wild: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew Ilieff: So we were using our profession, but then applying I think, very simple concepts to do that.

Peter Hislop: But sitting here on the other side of the table looking at the two of you in strength training and conditioning training, you two are sitting happily, wallowing in the nice warm milk of a comfort zone. This is your place, you’ve been there all your life, you’ve been lifting things, moving things, carrying things around all your life, you’ve been comparing muscle time, all your life, you just happen to be physiotherapists. So you’re sitting happily in the comfort zone.

Andrew Ilieff: And I think where that goes for us is sometimes we might dive into a little bit of pain science or that sort of cognitive physio where we actually get away from our biomechanical side. So you know, your discomfort scores, because this isn’t working that way, that bad actually, because of what the brain does, and we’ve talked about this sometimes, is that that’s our discomfort.

Andrew Wild: Yeah, it can be and one of the things that I tried to do in my first sort of six, seven years as a physio is I wanted to say as much as I possibly could, and I wanted to put myself in positions where I was uncomfortable and prior to me opening up my clinic, I actually had, I think it’s nine or 10 jobs, I worked at about eight clinics or something ridiculous like that. And I love the fact that I did that purely because I saw what was good about the industry and I saw what was bad about the industry. I liked certain things, and I didn’t like certain things.

Andrew Wild: And I finally got to the point where I was comfortable in my own practise where I thought, “No, no, there’s a certain way things should be done.” And I feel like I have a good grasp on it. And we’ve talked about it just before, it’s the simplicity of it that I like. And we don’t need to over-complicate things. And the fact that I did all of this training, prior to me opening up has made me a better practitioner, and I know what I want long term because I know what’s out there.

Andrew Ilieff: Absolutely.

Andrew Wild: So, do you find that people that start a job and they stay in that job, or they stay at that business for 20 years, as opposed to someone who has multiple jobs throughout a 20 year period. Do you think that the person that stays at one business is going to have a better outcome in terms of their professional development or someone that jumps around a little bit?

Peter Hislop: In the current world, it’s the person who jumps around. Because we’re looking for now knowledge and experiential diversity, as well as any other sort of diversity. We’re looking for people who have a range of experiences to call on in order to answer the more complex volatile questions, businesses is faced with. The day of the rock sitting in the organisation who can always be relied upon to do things, that’s almost gone now. It’s just, and it’s unfortunate. Probably because business can normally buy that somewhere. They don’t need that experience because they can hire that experience.

Peter Hislop: So no, I think that going forward and they say and I think it’s horrifying, but they say that, for instance, my daughter who’s who’s 20, 21 will have five or six different careers in her lifetime. Well, that boggles my mind because I’ve struggled with two. But if that’s the world, then she will either adapt or fail. So I think yes, you do have to have a wide range of experience. Some of the more interesting employers now Google’s and Amazon’s, and people like that at the [inaudible 00:44:24] of there, look for people with a wide range of experience necessarily outside the industry. So I think if you want to go and work in a bank and think you’re going to work there for 50 years that, the way some of the people that I knew did, it’s not going to happen anymore.

Andrew Wild: Yeah. And I’m from the country and that’s very much something that people do is they get a job and it’s this sort of job for life. And-

Peter Hislop: But look at the farming community, some of the extraordinary people who’ve been on the land for so long, have had to adapt so much. They’ve not only had to adapt themselves, they have actually had to adapt land to meet the current requirements and to meet the current issues. So if it’s as fundamental as there, it’s pretty easy in the euphoric world of the central business district in Sydney or Melbourne.

Andrew Wild: So true. So true. We need some rain out west.

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah, I hear they do. So, some advice to practitioners is how do we improve our communication skills?

Peter Hislop: Curiosity and interest. Ignite in yourself your curiosity and interest in people. So wherever you go, when you go and buy your coffee, when you go to the supermarket, when you meet people become interested in them and become curious about them. You will learn a whole lot of stuff you didn’t need to know. You’ll learn a whole lot of stuff you didn’t want to know. You will learn a little bit about people that you find intriguing, and you will start developing as I keep talking about the sort of fabric and texture in your experience that you’ll be able to call on. And it becomes quite natural.

Peter Hislop: But it is difficult, clients will say to me, “Ah yes, but I don’t think I can ask those questions of my staff because it’s too intrusive. Or what if they tell me something that is upsetting?” Well, most people are able to say I don’t want to talk about that, which you can respect. If they do tell you something that’s mind boggling about themselves, then all you have to do is look at them with a soft face and say thank you for sharing that and move on. You don’t have to be a rescuer.

Peter Hislop: People will push back, maybe one or two times when you are curious, but just keep learning. There was a classic example of a banking client of mine, who rang me at one Friday afternoon and said, “Peter, you’ve been all wrong about this thing.” He said, “I’ve been up in Brisbane, there’s an area of the bank. I haven’t been responsible to me. I haven’t spent much time, and I met this young girl. She’s 24 years old. And I was talking to her this afternoon. And I asked her what she did outside of work. And she said, “Are you really interested?” And he said, “Yes.”

Peter Hislop: And he was saying no, but his [inaudible 00:47:03] really interested that I’m really interested. But he said yes with a good organiser. And you know, I run a charity for derelict and homeless musicians. And he was so flabbergasted that he said, tell me about it. And she gave him a story about what she didn’t. She got blankets, and she organised food vouchers and so on. And he left that conversation and rang me up all proud that he had had this conversation. The problem is, he wasn’t curious enough. Because real curiosity would say, Why you looking after homeless musicians. And he went back. The reason she lost her father to alcohol, and he’d become homeless, and she couldn’t find him.

Andrew Ilieff: Wow.

Peter Hislop: That’s why she was doing. And he learned more about her in those moments, and about what she wanted, and he’s now become a mentor and sponsor for her career. That’s leadership. That’s what happens when you get curious and interested in people. All sorts of things open up to you. So communication comes from the curiosity and interest. And we are so busy. We live in this tell culture. We celebrate people achieving tasks, we don’t slow down and talk. We spend too much time, when we look at people in the city, they walk around staring at their mobile phone. We don’t talk to each other. You need to be curious. Otherwise, people won’t be led by you. They won’t follow you and they won’t follow your advice. Because the worst thing is that they get home, and they Google what you said. That’s what you don’t want.

Andrew Ilieff: And that’s such a great point leading into how we treat clients, isn’t it? Treat the whole picture because that story there. How often do we hear that is that the pain source and then we find out that there’s something going on well beneath the surface of a back injury, that if we didn’t listen to the client, we were going to miss all that and just treated it as a mechanical issue, which is there, but missed the whole human.

Andrew Wild: I completely agree. I often, how are things at home? That’s something I’ll ask, or how’s work? How are your kids? And they often come back and they’re like, “Oh my husband’s pissing me off. My kids aren’t sleeping, I’m not getting any sleep.” And then that’s another question I would ask, “Okay, how much are you sleeping? Where are your stress levels out of 10?” These type of things and these often internal factors and also external have a massive influence on someone’s [inaudible 00:49:37] but potential for injury?

Andrew Ilieff: Absolutely.

Andrew Wild: So these are questions we need to ask. And I’ve found it a little bit tough at times, just purely based around the model of the half an hour physio appointment. It’s not very long. By the time you get them in you having a chat how everything’s going, and then tell you how their things going and then there’s a goal for the probably the session and we need to achieve that.

Andrew Wild: It is tricky to get a lot done in terms of, I suppose getting to know the person a little bit more. What do you think we should do in that half an hour block, especially for someone that’s a new grad or something like that, where they’re struggling to, I suppose, build that rapport with the client? Is it the same thing, just build that curiosity, they will have curiosity and listen, and all that sort of thing?

Peter Hislop: Yeah, have curiosity and be interested and send them out to practise that wherever they go. Get them talking, particularly the younger people don’t know how to talk anymore. I mean, they have their SMS-ing each other and they’re, and everyone laughs about it, but it’s becoming a significant problem, particularly in organisations, and it’s certainly becoming a problem. I’ve got a friend who is in the medical profession, and he talks about the problem with some of the younger doctors coming in, simply don’t have the skills to take decent histories.

Peter Hislop: And that’s a huge problem. So I think getting them to talk and also judging, when they come to see you, you already know their qualifications. You already know how clever or not they are, you already know the experience. Make them talk for the majority of the interview. See how curious, see how many questions they ask about you. And about the clients. And what they ask, are they more interested in the money or are they more interested in the clients?

Peter Hislop: So with the younger people, and send them out, if you’re going to take them on, send them out to have discussions and come back. Who are five new people you spoke to? What did you learn about them? It’s that curiosity and interest that always bridges the gap. And if people believe you’re being authentic and honest about it, they will step into it. Really for no other reason that it’s happened so rarely now, people are quite surprised that someone’s interested.

Andrew Wild: That actually someone gives a shit.

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah. Which is, I mean in our job, arguably 50% psychologist now, 50% physiotherapist.

Peter Hislop: Well and it seems to me that you find most of what’s wrong with the person once you get the hands on them. So if the initial stuff is a bit of a conversation, but then to talk about what the pain means to them, and what are the restrictions of the pa- that, all of that sort of thing I think will give you a bit of a texture about the person. I think with all due respect to Andrew, he took a long time to get to understand why I was there. It is, but if I can just at Andrew’s and this is a mild, mild criticism of Andrew. But let me-

Andrew Wild: We like criticism.

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah we do. We do.

Peter Hislop: One of my problems, when I first came to see you, it was because of a knee. And quite often during our training, something to do with a knee comes up. Normally it’s pretty good. Sometimes it’s the other knee, but I would think that He would have understood now that I have low confidence in my knees. And I have said on three occasions because I’ve actually made notes of these. I would feel better with a knee brace. Andrew’s response is “Not in this place, you’re not. We don’t do knee braces in this gym.” Now I’m a fairly resilient individual, and that sort of flows past me.

Andrew Wild: This is funny.

Peter Hislop: But imagine if I wasn’t quite so resilient, how many people would not come back to the gym and he’d never know simply because he didn’t allow them to wear a brace or I could wear a long tracksuit pants and wear the brace so that I wasn’t seen doing it-

Andrew Wild: Sneaky.

Peter Hislop: … or he could have me do that, if that was a problem. Imagine also last week when I was in the gym, there were three people with knee braces on and didn’t that pay me off a little bit?

Andrew Ilieff: They were with me. Yeah. Yeah.

Peter Hislop: So it is, the curiosity and interest, and he is curious, he’s interested, but you still got to be careful of the blind spots where your subject matter expertise or knowledge authority are not going to have that in this gym cut you off.

Andrew Wild: Yes. And I would agree with that wholeheartedly at times I have been a little bit brutally honest with things and a lot of people will believe certain things, they’ll believe in knee brace will help or they’ll believe that rubbing something on their knee will help or whatever. And when I was younger, I was probably a little bit more brutal with it, but now I’m more along the lines of, “Okay, if you think it’s going to help, do it,”

Peter Hislop: Where’s your gym?

Andrew Wild: It’s in the city. The reason why is because if people believe that something’s going to work, it probably will even if there’s no physiological reason, if they think it’s going to work and they have that placebo effect, I don’t give a shit. Do it.

Peter Hislop: But the interesting thing about, and the reason I told you the story about Andrew was only that in your curiosity and in your interest in people, there will be little roadblocks occasionally and that’s one of the ones for him where he has stopped listening to me on that issue because it would make me feel a little bit more confident if I could wear it, and if the gym culture was okay I will wear long trouser, but it would make me feel confident because I really do feel fragile. So you just got to be careful about those small road bumps if you like.

Andrew Ilieff: And that’s part of my challenge is also though educating Peter about positive and negative pain experiences. So that’s why we’ve got a two way street challenge, is mine is accepting that from Peter and Peter’s mind is saying back from me to him, this is okay. This is all right. This level of pain is not catastrophic-

Andrew Wild: Or it’s part of life.

Andrew Ilieff: … and trying to work through that. So we do have a two way challenge here.

Peter Hislop: Can I just also tell you that one of the things about and I’m in the service industry, and this I learned very early on to it as you guys, it is very difficult in terms of scale to get a new client versus keeping an existing client. It’s a lot easier, a lot more economically viable to keep a client rather than getting a new one. So when you lose a client, you’ll almost never know why because the you guys you often don’t know that you’ve lost one. You don’t know that they’ve gone somewhere else when something else has happened. You assume that you’ve made them better and etc, but they never come back. And that’s a loss for you. And that’s a loss that really is, can be a hard loss, as well, because it’s a highly competitive area. It’s for me as well. I don’t know why someone doesn’t come back. So be very careful that your relationship with the person is strong enough for you to know why they’re not coming back.

Peter Hislop: So I got a call late last year was a sensational call from a CEO client who said, “Peter, I’m going back to some coaching, but I’m not going to come to you. And these are the reasons. I didn’t want you to hear that I had another coach. I wanted to be able to tell you first.” Now, the disappointment, the irritation about that was there for a little while. But then the realisation, hold on, that was a relationship that I can be proud of. And so that should be you. “I’m not coming back to you because I’ve moved to Linfield,” or “I’m not coming back to you, Andrew because you don’t listen to me about my knee braces,” whatever it might be, but at least you know, it’s the ones you lose and you don’t know why, and you will almost always lose them 80% of the time because of a breakdown in the communication.

Andrew Wild: And I think this is a good lesson for all of the new grads and the younger physios out there. Sometimes people just aren’t going to click with you. And that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. And don’t, I think you want to try and obviously hold on to your clients and obviously get them better. But some people just won’t like you and they won’t click with you and you can’t, sometimes you just can’t take that to heart. Because I know I did early on in my career, I took it to heart way too much, and potentially I still do a little bit, but you kind of have to just move on and know that you’re not going to be for everyone.

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah, absolutely you’re not.

Andrew Wild: Personalities clash sometimes.

Andrew Ilieff: You know, I almost lost Peter in the first 20 minutes of our consult.

Andrew Wild: What did you do?

Andrew Ilieff: I said this was going to be easy-

Andrew Wild: Oh, is that what you said? Right, okay.

Andrew Ilieff: … which was a mistake. What Peter then understood is the work we’re going to be doing is not easy. What we have to do is easy. But that almost, then I got some feedback from Peter later on. And I refrained and changed a lot of my consultations around that because what we actually were doing was not easy, we were straight over into the gym working on things. And Peter was pushed to his levels of uncomfortability, however when I said to him this is going to be easy, Peter almost went, “I don’t want it easy.” Like, “I didn’t come here for easy.” So that changed, in that brief moment there and he gave me that feedback straightaway. I changed the way I approached a consultation and I said this is there’s no longer ‘This is easy’, because it’s not changing your body, changing your mindset, changing everything is not an easy task.

Andrew Ilieff: But I think actually to us, it’s easy. We do it all the time. To Peter doing all that is not easy, but I almost lost that in the first 15 minutes. It was only then we went on to explain through communication I think when he got an idea of what we were going to be doing that it actually brought it back around, he went, “Okay, it’s actually not that easy.”

Peter Hislop: I think what you should tell your graduates is when they’re having the discussion with the clients is ask questions, how is this going? Are you comfortable with this conversation? Do you feel this is fulfilling what you thought would happen? Are there any questions I’ve not asked you? Are there any questions you thought I’d ask but I haven’t? Let me know what they are, and I’ll tell you that that was a great question, I wish I had asked it or the reason I haven’t asked it, is this.

Peter Hislop: So get them to be able to open up they don’t have to be this superman superwoman physiotherapist, who knows it all. He asks exactly the right questions, diagnoses and cures all in the first two and a half minutes. Because quite apart from anything else, nobody wants that. They literally don’t want it, because they certainly don’t want to pay for it. If it was that easy, why am I paying you? So and they don’t create the relationship. The other thing too is it gives them more texture when they get rejected. And I don’t know about you, you might be over it. But I’ve been doing this coaching for 15 years. I still take rejection badly.

Andrew Wild: Oh I’m not over it-

Peter Hislop: last week and I’m still getting over it.

Andrew Wild: I take it better than I used to. Put it that way.

Peter Hislop: But I don’t.

Andrew Wild: You don’t?

Peter Hislop: No.

Peter Hislop: I do all the things in my head like this profession has nothing to do with you Peter. But when you put a lot into a series of interviews, and you decide you can bring benefit to that person, and then suddenly you get feedback now they’ve gone with someone else. My ego is healthy enough to say, “Oh, I’ve got to go out and for a walk around the block.” I still don’t take rejection very well.

Andrew Wild: Well, it’s good to hear though. Because you’re human. If you do take rejection like that.

Peter Hislop: Yes.

Andrew Wild: Are you not?

Peter Hislop: Yes, that’s right. But you’ve got to learn to professionalise a little bit. So that’s true, you can’t be as bad as I am… sort of just let it flow in. But with your grads, if they’re going to be rejected, then let them be rejected for a constructed reason. Let them know why. They’ll be, “I don’t want someone this young, I don’t want male, I don’t want female, I don’t want a senior physiotherapist.” Yeah, if the more they ask, the more they communicate and they ask questions, the more they’ll understand why the person said no.

Andrew Wild: I think the other thing new grad physios and young physios are too eager to get is diagnosis rather than worrying about the person. As soon as they see the client and say for instance, your knee, as soon as they hear knee, the first thing that the new grads going to think, okay, meniscus, ACL, whatever it is, they’re going to think pathology and diagnosis before they think, “I wonder what Peter does for a living. I wonder what his wife’s like.” Do you know what I mean? Like, that’s how a physio’s brain is going to work especially early on in their career, they’re going to think about the physio stuff. And it takes a very, very worldly type of new grad physio to see that it’s not just about that-

Andrew Ilieff: Exactly right.

Andrew Wild: … you need to have those other’s skills and the communication skills and the personal ability around the actual assessment, rather than just whining about getting that diagnosis 100% right.

Peter Hislop: But if you look at communication, Andrew had me see one of his young guys and I turned out to be, I really like this young. I trust him enough to work with me occasionally when Andrew’s having one of his long holidays. But when we first met, he spoke completely in physiotherapy jargon. And I had no idea what he was talking about. And he didn’t even understand that I had no idea what he was talking about. And we were trying to do this complicated move for my scapular or something. And I said, let’s just put it in plain English. To me, this means this. And he’s and they went off in jargon, I said, “No, put it in plain English.” Forced him to, and then he said, “Okay, now I get what you want.” And his whole face, all right, okay. Because up until then, he was speaking in if he was treating one of his fellow graduates.

Peter Hislop: So communication is getting rid of jargon. And you know, when I came up in computers and mobile phones, the IT people protected their turf by jargon. And you’ve got to be careful you guys don’t do that as well.

Andrew Ilieff: We often like to seem more intelligent by using jargon. And I find it the other way.

Andrew Wild: You need to simplify for sure.

Andrew Ilieff: Simplify it. It’s far easy for you to simplify it, or it’s actually far harder sorry to simplify it, but it is easy for the client, but to actually break something down so that the layperson understand it. That’s very difficult often for a physio.

Andrew Wild: Yes, exactly. And I often use I have posted some on my Instagram before as well, the use of extrinsic cues rather than intrinsic. So rather than saying you need a switch on your scapula here, rather than doing that, just tell them to push the weight straight up over their head or something so simple like that, that they just get and I just really, it frustrates me when I’m at a personal training studio or a gym and I hear a personal trainer saying, “Make sure you don’t go into extension or switch your glued on or keep your abs tight and all these people just don’t get it and they don’t care.

Andrew Ilieff: That’s a long time to understand those sorts of things.

Andrew Wild: Yeah, I love the use of those extrinsic cues like a squat, say for instance, sit down onto a dirty toilet seat and hover above it.

Andrew Ilieff: Don’t talk about box squats to Peter.

Andrew Wild: Something like that is a great extrinsic cue that everyone will get straight away. Rather than being like, hinge from the hips then sit down and then switch it goes on and all this he [crosstalk 01:05:41]

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah, and he hates box squats.

Andrew Wild: You hate them?

Peter Hislop: Yes.

Andrew Ilieff: Hate them.

Andrew Wild: Oh, you know why you hate them because they’re a knee-dominant movement. You love dead-lifts don’t you?

Peter Hislop: Yes.

Andrew Wild: Ding, ding, ding.

Peter Hislop: It does look like I can do them.

Andrew Wild: And you did 100?

Peter Hislop: Yes, I did.

Andrew Wild: 100 kilos.

Andrew Ilieff: Absolutely hates them. So Peter another thing we just want to ask because a lot of people often ask is for our reading list, is some books that you would recommend not just young physios, but health professionals to go out and read.

Peter Hislop: The most important book and it is a difficult book to read, but it’s quite thin is Humble Inquiry. That’s the book, and that will teach you about asking rather than telling. So that’s the only book I recommend on that. If you want to then start pushing your practise into areas where you are thinking about the soft side of technology and where physiotherapy is going then Deep Work by Cal Newport is the book, and that teaches you how to think that way. And then there are any number of books that then talk to you about go find the soft side.

Peter Hislop: And I think that for the industry, you need to find a blue ocean. At the moment you’re competing in a red ocean of market share. You’re competing against each other, you’re competing against the physiotherapists who are your competition. You’re not competing to find a new way of physiotherapy. That’s what I’d like to see. A new place for physiotherapy, a new place for the disciplines that a physiotherapist has learned that he or she can take to do something else for people. And I don’t know what it is. But that’s the interesting bit and you will not going to get it until you understand how to work deeply.

Andrew Wild: It’s interesting you say that because a lot of people have asked me since we started this podcast, “Why are you doing a podcast with someone that doesn’t work with you? He has his own practise elsewhere in Sydney that’s reasonably close.” And to be honest, I haven’t even thought about it.

Andrew Ilieff: Don’t think about it.

Andrew Wild: I just don’t care. Like he’s got his clients. I’ve got my clients happy days. We’re trying to make the physio world a better place. And we’re working together to achieve that, even though we have separate businesses.

Andrew Ilieff: That’s right.

Andrew Wild: So, yeah, that’s a great point.

Peter Hislop: So where can you take it in the future? Because it’ll get, it’ll dry up like a flower out of the ground if you continue to do what you’re doing. We don’t know how the human body is going to change. We don’t know what the human body is going to need over the next few years. I’m horrified by it because for instance, if driverless cars come in, there are a whole lot of things the human body is not going to be doing once it has a driverless car. That’s going to, it’s about concentration, it’s about hand eye coordination, it’s about hearing, it’s about sight, all of those things suddenly will be switched off completely. We won’t be doing any of those things because of driverless cars. So what’s going to happen to the human body there?

Andrew Wild: More like robots.

Peter Hislop: Well, what’s going to happen to their neck? The easy exercise of driving a car uses, I presume, the head and neck a lot? Yeah? Or it should.

Andrew Wild: Look at the neck have any Formula One driver, Lewis Hamilton’s neck I think has increased in terms of circumference since he started versus now by about five to six inches or something ridiculous like that. He’s neck is just so much thicker because obviously it requires a lot of strength.

Peter Hislop: So if we’re not going to be driving, what’s going to happen to my neck if I suddenly don’t drive? What’s physiotherapy doing about that? Where are you anticipating that you’re going to be needed in that area, the whole body is going to be sitting rather than leaning forward into driving. Your arms are no longer going to be the steering wheel, what’s going to happen to your arms? Are you starting to say, “All right, let’s start people on some exercise programmes that will gradually move into that?”

Peter Hislop: I had an old aunt who had to stop driving when she was 90 and the diminution of her physical function, when she stopped was accelerated and her mental function to some degree, the loss of independence. What’s physiotherapy doing about that? What can you create for us to do that will pick up that area? It’s the unintended consequences, which is the classic soft noise at the periphery of our world. What are the unintended consequences of stuff? And how can the discipline you’ve learned as physiotherapists, how can you add to that area? How can you march into that area and take part of it and say, “This is what we can do?” And you’re not going to have the mental discipline to do that until you learn to really sink deeply into issues and challenges and find those complex answers.

Andrew Wild: Future problems.

Peter Hislop: And they’re not all that future.

Andrew Wild: True that. What we should do is just jump on that bandwagon an open a practise called the driverless physio or something like that.

Andrew Ilieff: Just have the [inaudible 01:10:56] is what you’re saying?

Andrew Wild: Yeah, actually that [crosstalk 01:10:58] a really good idea. [inaudible 01:11:01]

Andrew Ilieff: Getting them like a little, that’s how-

Andrew Wild: We would kill it.

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah.

Andrew Wild: We would do physio-

Peter Hislop: Don’t forget the amount of stuff that’s now going to be done in homes that used to be done in hospitals. So there’s chemotherapy in homes, there’s palliative care in homes. What are you guys doing about that? How are you taking a part of that? Now I know because I coach and work in a couple of big health insurers. I know who are racing, to get the health insurance to support them to be part of that home process and take it away from the hospitals. Physiotherapy isn’t one of them.

Andrew Wild: There are home base physios that, have companies that drive around Sydney or whatever.

Andrew Ilieff: Probably not advocating to the [inaudible 01:11:40] bend is what we’re saying here.

Peter Hislop: They’re not and what they’re doing is what is needed, rather than inspirational. So that’s your challenge. But I think playing around in the unintended consequences, which is where I like to play, for you guys is a place I mean, you’re ridiculously young, you’ve got a huge number of years to go. And you’re going to have years where there’s huge change. The population is going to do less and less. We’re going to walk less, we’re going to use our arms less, we’re going to have mobile phones that we can activate in our head, we don’t even pick them up anymore because we wear ear things, so we just leave them in our pocket. We don’t dial anymore. No one even dials a number anymore. So what’s happening to the fingers? This is an area, this huge area for you guys to be able to take the early march in and become the at the very least thought leaders.

Andrew Wild: I just thought when you said we’re pretty young, I was like, asking him about wedding crashers… they’re on the stairs after wedding season and they go, “We’re not that young.”~

Peter Hislop: It’s all comparison.

Andrew Ilieff: It is.

Peter Hislop: I’m 4,000 years old. Anyone is younger.

Andrew Wild: Well, you’ve done well to get there.

Andrew Ilieff: Yes.

Andrew Wild: Well, Peter, have you got any final thoughts for either us or our listeners or the new grads or whoever you want to talk to?

Peter Hislop: I think look outside the standard form of practise. Look outside what is easy, if it looks easy to do, don’t do it. Because that’s a comfort zone, keep you for young grads, and I suppose for everyone, move into a position of discomfort at all times, because that’s where you will learn. Force your mind into a place of discomfort and become curious. And for some people that will be uncomfortable, become curious and interested about everybody you meet, so you practise that for your client. And that’s the way you build relationships and it’s all about relationships, and even then they’re going to be hard because we’re cutting out relationships more and more.

Peter Hislop: Facebook has destroyed relationships. So you, I don’t know whether that means it’s easy for you to create relationships because people don’t have a myriad of them because of Facebook, or harder for you to do it because people have lost the skill. Maybe if you’ve got to lead them into it. I’m lucky I deal with people who are around my age or 20 years younger, who are the leaders of industry, they don’t necessarily have that problem. I’d hate to be, well coach occasionally, but really coaching 20, 30 year olds, because one of the things I do notice when we coach high potentials is the lack of ability to build relationships. And that’s sad because they spent their entire life on the internet.

Andrew Ilieff: Probably I have to say one thing that helped me in my career, not many people know this, but I spent a lot of time in HK.

Andrew Wild: There you go.

Andrew Ilieff: And guess what you learn in HK? Empathy and how to talk to people, because you’re not doing therapy. Now, there’s a reason why I did it. We can go into that in the podcast. But I spent a lot of time there and I attribute that to a lot of my communication skills to that environment.

Andrew Wild: It’s funny you say that. When I first was a physio, back many years ago, I thought that I wanted to be a sports physio.

Andrew Ilieff: And all of us did.

Andrew Wild: I wanted to go into that world.

Andrew Ilieff: Glamour, girls, fast cars.

Andrew Wild: I travel the world with a sporting team or whatever, but I did some of that work and actually didn’t like it. I actually prefer to do general population. And it’s funny you say that, I actually really do enjoy 45, 50 plus-

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah, there’s a different challenge in there.

Andrew Wild: There’s a completely different challenge because, 3 to 10% change with someone like that is going to change their life, but then the athlete expects these ridiculous standards. So I find that it’s a little bit nearly more rewarding with the older clientele purely because it’s not just about performance, it’s life changing. And you would agree with that, Peter, with what Andrew has done with you?

Peter Hislop: Absolutely. And that’s why I don’t really understand why he’s not all that interested in me. No, he is.

Andrew Ilieff: I frustrate Peter a lot because he is getting to understand programming.

Andrew Wild: Yeah, he’s a smart guy probably just picking, he’s a mini physio, is he?

Andrew Ilieff: But he, he dislikes, he goes, “Why are we doing more reps today? Why are we doing less?” And he’s starting now to get to the grips of understanding why we do something versus why it’s just not always lifting 100 kilos every week.

Andrew Wild: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Andrew Ilieff: Which is what Peter wants to do. He’s come around recently to this.

Peter Hislop: And it is the detail, and it’s the slow build. And I understand that. And I understand also not going to look like either one of you two without taking some stuff I shouldn’t be taking. So that’s dawned on me, that’s a bit of a disappointment. But anyway, we’ll see.

Andrew Wild: You’re living in your line. Sometimes you just got to swallow that pill.

Peter Hislop: But I tell you what? All my kids now are going to be coming to and being involved in gyms from right now onwards, because it teaches you so much.

Andrew Wild: It does. It really does, and I’ve talked about this a lot especially on Instagram, people often complain about spending money on a gym membership and how much it is. But if you spend the money now then you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars when you’re 40, 50, knee replacements, etc. heart valves, blah, blah, blah. So spend the money now it’s an investment for the rest of your life-

Andrew Ilieff: Exactly right.

Andrew Wild: … that’s a huge one. Just this is a little quick trivia. Have a guess how many steps on average people take at the moment in society per day? How many steps they take per day?

Peter Hislop: 5,000?

Andrew Wild: Less.

Peter Hislop: Is that right!

Andrew Wild: 2 to 3,000 per day is average. Now people, what do we need to hit? I don’t really care as long as it’s roughly over 8,000. I normally ask for about 8 to 12,000, 2 to 3,000… come on.

Andrew Ilieff: I have 10,000 for back pain.

Andrew Wild: Yeah.

Andrew Ilieff: 10,000 for back pain is my is where I like to get people to go to.

Andrew Wild: Do you know where the 10,000 thing came from?

Andrew Ilieff: No, I don’t care.

Andrew Wild: I’ll tell you quickly. This is pretty random. So Japanese Government, I forget when it actually was, realised that the people that had a lower BMI and were less obese and they were fitter typically hit 10,000 steps per day. So they brought it in as a government initiative. And guess what? The Japanese people have the lowest BMIs in the world. And they have the lowest rate of cardiovascular disease in the world and a place called Okinawa has the highest rate per capita of 100 plus year olds in the world. Ding ding ding, what do you need to do? You need to move more, hips and [inaudible 01:18:30] pretty non exercise activity thermogenesis.

Andrew Wild: The other thing about it is the Japanese people think about what they do with their diet. It’s all portions. Portions are small. They eat a lot of high protein, e.g. the fish, it’s all about portions. So their portion control is great. They need up a lot when I say need up, non exercise activity thermogenesis. So the take home there is move more, get your 10,000 steps in every single day. Peter are you getting your 10,000 steps?

Peter Hislop: No.

Andrew Wild: How many can you get?

Peter Hislop: I think I probably around the 7, 8.

Andrew Wild: Yep. That’s good. That’s on the lower threshold of where I want people, but that’s a very good. How many think you do?

Andrew Ilieff: I think back in the day when I had an apple watch on this was another topic. I got rid of that. I was hitting 20, 30,000.

Andrew Wild: Yeah, my-

Andrew Ilieff: I don’t wear that anymore because of Peter.

Andrew Wild: My knee is pretty hectic. I’m looking at, yeah I’ll probably hit about maybe 15 to 20,000 every day. Hence why I probably struggle so much to foot wide.

Andrew Ilieff: Yeah, but that’s right.

Andrew Wild: Anyway, so Peter, thank you so much for coming on. It’s been an absolute pleasure. We’ve had a blossom, a little bit of a left field topic but very important in our industry. So thank you.

Peter Hislop: No, thank you for the opportunity. I really appreciate it.

Andrew Ilieff: And Peter just for those out there. Where can they reach you? Is there a website I know there’s no Instagram but website?

Peter Hislop: Hislopgroup

Andrew Ilieff: .com .au or?

Peter Hislop: .com.

Andrew Ilieff: .com. So

Andrew Wild: Can you spell hislop just quickly.

Peter Hislop: H-I-S-L-O-P.

Andrew Wild: That’s right.

Andrew Ilieff: Yep so no Instagram for that one. And Wild where can we find you mate?

Andrew Wild: is my website and all socials is worldphysiofitness. You mate?

Andrew Ilieff: I’m at for Instagram and Don’t forget about the Hybrid Physio Podcast on Instagram and Wild is going to say thank you to the pod hub for a change.

Andrew Wild: I was good at the end. I was good. So we are down at pod hub in Edgecliff. It’s a great facility. So if you ever wanting to start your own podcast, get in touch with them. We’re obviously on iTunes and Spotify, the Hybrid Physio Podcast. Please have a listen. Leave a five star rating and a review we love listening… not listening, reading the reviews.

Andrew Ilieff: And the reviews are really important so that we keep getting found.

Andrew Wild: Exactly.

Andrew Ilieff: So the more reviews come out, the more people are going to listen to our podcast and they’re going to get the same information that you’re enjoying.

Andrew Wild: Exactly. So thank you for listening to episode 18 with Peter Hislop. Thanks again Peter. We’ll have to get you on again, that was unreal. As always, stay Hybrid.