...Then to be Understood and Experience Huge Increases in Patient Acceptance Within Your Dental Office
Character and Communication - How does one's character impact the effectiveness of your communication? Here is how, if you don't see my character matching what I am saying, it will be very hard for you to open up to me and trust me. If I don't understand you, how can you trust me? Don't rush the process of understanding. Read on to learn what I mean about "understanding".
Empathetic Listening - People rarely get "listening" training. We get lots of speaking training, but it often feels like manipulation, or what is called a technique. Most often we listen with the intent to reply, not understand. As a result, we are projecting our own values upon the person we are speaking with. My Mom recently was talking about her COPD and how someone said they understood. How in the world could they?? Do you think she felt as though the person truly understood her or even cared to?
Have you ever tried "empathetic listening?" Where you listen with a strong desire to understand how that person feels? Seeking to really understand them and their feelings and their soul. When you do this, you make huge deposits into their emotional bank account and you give that person psychological air. If the air was removed out of the room you are in right now, would you care about what I am saying? Your motivation would be survival only. With the air in place, are you motivated by it? Satisfied needs do not motivate. Only unsatisfied needs motivate. People want to be understood, affirmed, validated and appreciated. When you do this, it will feel to the other person as you care enough to help them solve their problems. Now you have a relationship that is really worth something.
Diagnose before you prescribe - Without understanding your patient's desires and them as a person, how can you help them to a solution for their health? It is easy to tell them what they have wrong (diagnose) and how you think it should be fixed (prescribe). But without knowing them, how can you be sure that is the best solution for this person? You are treating a person, not just a mouth!! We need to understand their goals and desires and make our prescription fit with their needs. Don't misunderstand that I think we should go with the patient's prescription, we need to influence their thoughts to make sure they have a healthy outcome. But without first understanding them, and making deposits into their Emotional Bank Account, we won't be able to influence them effectively.
Questions to ask your patients during this process:
What is important to you about your dental health?
How well do you understand the connection between dental health and overall health?
Describe your ideal dental health or mouth?
What is holding you back from this?
Then Seek to be Understood - Now that we have a full understanding of our patient and their desires, we can now start working toward communicating what our prescription is and why they need it. By this point we will have built up tremendous value in our Emotional Bank Account with them. This will assist us when we explain our position to them. Now we can Seek to be Understood.
Now if we can present treatment clearly, specifically, visually and most important contextually - in the context of a deep understanding of their paradigms and concerns - we significantly increase the credibility of your prescription. If we do this effectively with each and every patient, is there anyway our Case Acceptance Rate won't grow considerably? If we treat each patient this way vs hurrying through the process, is there anyway each patient won't start to refer others to our dental practice?
I personally think will this cause a grass roots firestorm of growth for your practice. It will take more time with each patient than perhaps you are accustomed to giving them now, but I think going slow will ultimately allow a far better lifestyle and profitability. You won't know until you try, so try it for a day!! My guess, it will be the best day of your week.