A recent study by the National Institute of Health found that good doctors communicate effectively with patients—they identify patients’ problems more accurately, and patients are more satisfied with the care they receive. “Good” doctors are those whose patients adjust better psychologically and are more satisfied with their care, they have greater job satisfaction, and less work stress. The study posits,
“When doctors use communication skills effectively, both they and their patients benefit. First, doctors identify their patients’ problems more accurately. Second, their patients are more satisfied with their care and can better understand their problems, investigations, and treatment options. Third, patients are more likely to adhere to treatment and to follow advice on behavior change. Fourth, patients’ distress and their vulnerability to anxiety and depression are lessened. Finally, doctors’ own well being is improved.”
- Eliciting problems and concerns
Establish eye contact, maintain it, encourage people to clearly describe their problem or status. Doctors who use active listening are helping patients clarify and explore their concerns. If we all did this in the workplace, we would have a higher rate of connecting with others and validate their concerns and workplace challenges.
- Give Information & Prioritize Concerns
In the medical study, doctors that check what patients consider might be wrong and helping them prioritize all of the data they have been given. Now let’s try this in an organization. If you help your team members prioritize their concerns, you can get right to resolving the highest priority concerns first.
- Discussing Options
Just as doctors learn to properly inform patients of treatment options and check if they want to be involved in decisions, we can use this tactic to become more effective communicators with every meeting and interaction at the office. Encourage a discussion of options. This will help your employees work through the best choices by bouncing them off of you in an informal discussion.
- Be Supportive
Doctors are actually trained to use empathy to show that they have some sense of how the patient is feeling. They are trained to give spontaneous feedback about how they think the patient must be feeling. Of course, talk of feelings in the office is limited. But a little understanding will go a long way.
At EDSI, we have found that these core skills are assumed to be regular practice, but most people don’t use them, and therefore aren’t able to leverage the effective communication of their colleagues who have embraced these essential skills. Communicating to Manage Performance, Increasing Personal Effectiveness and Professional Presence in a Casual World are all programs that integrate learning these (and many more) important workplace productivity and effectiveness practices.
Contact us to learn how we can help increase productivity and profits in your organization. 800-282-3374.