A weekly kick-off e-message from Katherine Eitel
to breathe life back into your practice, your team, and you!
October 24, 2011
Listening and Giving Hope
Whether on the phone or in person, you have two basic responsibilities when it comes to interviewing patients: To listen really well and give them hope. It really all comes down to that.
Listening well sounds easy but few people are masters. It requires being totally present and in the moment with the patient. It means clearing your mind, if only for a moment, of what you'd like to say next or what's happening in the other room, etc. Active listening includes good, strong eye contact, leaning forward slightly, positioning yourself in front and at eye level. Learn to repeat back what you think you've heard or learned about this patient before proceeding. There is no feeling like being the focus of someone's complete attention when we are trying to convey something we feel is important. It makes us feel important and worthwhile.
Second is giving patients hope. You don't have to solve all their problems. You may not be able to. But giving them hope about their future is what paves the way to them putting their faith in you. Before you start to educate or outline options, tell them you are glad they came to you. You can help them. There are many options and today we will begin to discover what those options might be. But one thing you already know is that they've come to the right place and together you will be able to formulate a plan of action that will work best for them.
Hope and faith are the cornerstones of optimism. And everyone can use a little more of that!
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"Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out."
~ Vaclav Havel,
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