Ask about your patients’ lives. People love to talk about themselves. Simply using one’s name correctly and often perks up their ears. That’s a great place start. For a simple tool to help you think about how to start a meaningful conversation, refer to Dale Carnegie’s Conversation Stack below. If you are good at carrying on a conversation, this may come naturally. If you struggle with this, check it out.
Then answer the same questions about yourself. That’s all it really takes. It is not necessary to go too long or deep. When you commit to getting to know your patients while at the same time becoming vulnerable, you will find that the conversation becomes easier. You will also find that your relationships with your clients build from visit to visit. Imagine that? The conversation grows as the relationship grows.
But there’s more! You will also observe that this leadership by example will get your staff chatting up the patients. They’ll model your behavior and take care of the conversations so you can come in spend a few minutes building rapport or connecting and begin treatment. There is no need to rush in or out. The bottom line is to be vulnerable and create a culture of openness in your office.
Tip: Record WKY (we know you notes) in the patient chart so you can refer back to them at a later date. Even if patients know you wrote them down they are pleased with the effort and feel more connected to you.