Does Your Dental Team Listen To You?

When learning to Seek First to Understand, we reach an "AH HA" moment within ourselves. The moment of "I really wasn't listening." This Habit will require your undivided attention as we understand how to seek first to understand in all of our relationships. One of the most crucial Lifelines within your Dental Practice is COMMUNICATION. Fundamentally, it is the most pertinent skill in life. It comes in many forms yet the impact is crucial. We have spent most of our lives in the early stages learning to speak, read, and write. Very little attention to the imperative "listening skills" necessary for communication to be balanced. By listening, we develop a deeper understanding of the other persons views. In order for the entire Dental Team be effective in communication amongst one another or with patients they must learn to balance the communication.

The biggest influential part of us that gets in our way 99% of the time is ego. It's very common that when communicating with anyone, you want to be understood. Whether it is a member of the Dental Team, Patient, or acquaintance; you want to get your point across. While in the midst of the conversation the tendency to tune the other person out becomes a reality. It is not intentional to ignore the other person. This happens because we have not practiced our "Listening Skills." While we might hear the words, we miss the entire meaning of what has been said. Our intent is to reply as we hear the words instead of actually listening to the other persons view and genuinely understanding the conversation as a whole. The unfortunate result is that you are only listening to yourself prepare the response that you deem appropriate. Therefore, the communication is broken.

An example given is our focus on the words being said. Do the following phrases sound familiar to you and the Dental Team? "Oh, I know just how you feel. I felt the same way." "I had that same thing happen to me." "Let me tell you what I did in a similar situation." They often occur due to our strong ability to listen autobiographically. Our tendency to respond is typically one of four ways:

Evaluating: This happens when we judge and decide to either agree or disagree.
Probing: Typically, when the questions being asked are based on your own frame of reference.
Advising: Your response becomes more on how to solve, you find yourself offering counsel, advice, and often solutions to their problems.
Interpreting: You form a hypothetical analysis of the other persons motives and/or behavior often based only on your experiences.

Communicating effectively is so vital within your Dental Practice. I encourage you and the Team to practice listening more and genuinely seek to understand the other persons view.

When this is done effectively, we have a better chance of actually resolving issues instead of pretending that everything is fine. This will ultimately create a healthy working environment as well as strong relationships. These crucial skills require practice. The approach of focusing, listening, logic, and reasoning must be understood when communicating. Remember to present your thoughts and ideas very clearly. This will help provide a deeper understanding throughout the process of developing creditability. When creditability is developed the ability to be influenceable is established. The act of appreciation now becomes a two-way street. When these skills are practiced our differences are no longer stumbling blocks....they become stepping stones. Therefore, when practiced proactively amongst you and the Dental Team the synergy is profound.  

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To learn more watch the video below.