Thriving or Threatened? Time Will Tell
Dr. Nancy Haller
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Research shows that when you talk with your employees - and your patients - your words account for only 7% of the message. The remaining 93% is communicated nonverbally.
Humans are sensitive to things like body language, facial expression, posture, movement, and tone of voice. Is there ever any doubt in your mind as to the mood of an employee when they walk into the office?
More than words, nonverbals cue you into what is on another person’s mind. The most successful leaders are alert to the power of the emotions and thoughts communicated nonverbally.
As an example, read the sentence below out loud twice. The first time, say the words in a deep voice and finish in a low tone. The second time, use a high voice and read the words as if you were asking a question.
It’s important that you arrive to work on time.
Same words. Totally different meaning.
The first is a clear message said with credibility. But in the second, the words and the questioning tone do not match. This kind of discrepancy sends a ‘mixed’ message. The communication is confusing. And because language can be censored, your employee will not trust your words. Your questioning tone sabotages the real intention of the message. Not likely that your chronically tardy hygienist will be punctual.
The old saying, "It's not what you say, it’s how you say it" underscores the importance of nonverbal communication and believability. Even on an intuitive level you know that the influence of nonverbal communication. Think about the idioms we use:
It’s not what you say but what you do.
A picture’s worth a thousand words.
Talk is cheap.
Actions speak louder than words.
The ability to influence others continues to be the most important factor for successful leadership. To deliver the full intention of your messages, use the following nonverbal behaviors to raise the impact of your communication.
Your leadership effectiveness is directly related to your ability to win trust and gain respect through communication. You may think you have credibility but your employees and patients are the final judge. By aligning your verbal and nonverbal communication, you increase your power to influence. Yes, it is awkward at first. Choose to focus on improving one aspect of your nonverbal communication at a time. With consistent practice you will feel more natural. And you’ll be more successful in leading your team, and your patients.
If you are interested in registering for our two day, Leadership Training Lab email Training@mckenziemgmt.com.
Interested in learning more about Dentist Coaching with Dr. Haller email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jean Gallienne RDH BS
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The nicest, kindest, most giving employee in your office may be the one that affects your patient retention the most. It is not always what is said to a person that makes them like or dislike a particular practice or person, but many times it is how something is said. Whether it is on the phone, at the front desk, in the hygiene room, or the doctor’s room, voice intonations may make the difference of how accepting a patient is towards the treatment being recommended, keeping their appointments, and wanting to be a patient in your practice.
The tone in the senders voice can make the conversation become a negative or positive experience for both people just by a slight change in the pitch of the voice. Two people may say the exact same thing, but the tone that the message is sent will be what sets the attitude of the receiver.
When speaking on the phone, it is a well-known fact that speaking traits, barely noticeable when someone is standing in front of you, become more pronounced. Evaluation on the phone and in the office of the entire staff whose jobs require them to spend considerable time handling patients is very important. This may be done as easily as tape recording typical patient conversations and assessing their speaking delivery skills. In addition, team members should be given the opportunity to objectively critique recorded telephone presentations. (Most states require you to inform callers if you will be recording conversations.)
Evaluating conversations may be based on the following points:
Many people have a tendency to mumble, speak too loudly, or consistently use incorrect grammar. Others speak so softly; they are virtually impossible to understand. Consequently, the patient has to work so hard that the interaction with the office becomes a chore, rather than an essential experience.
The office will typically benefit from having prepared presentations to ensure that staff members are ready to handle objections, cancellations, and many other patient scheduling obstacles that arise during routine patient care. The objective of the preparation is to control the conversation, and the goals are to schedule the patient and educate the patient. The presentation needs to be known so well that it comes off naturally to any staff member using it. This will help prevent the dental team from speaking off the top of their heads, and create consistent messages that are being relayed to patients.
Below are some questions you may want to ask yourselves while developing the presentation:
Choose words, phrases, and questions that encourage patients to take the desired action and use words that express conviction, such as:
Patients buy the benefits of your services- not your services. They need to clearly understand how they will benefit from making and keeping their appointments.
However, no matter how great the script is, the tone of voice used while talking to the patient can make a difference. . Regularly record and assess the quality of your presentations and vocal delivery to ensure you do not fall back into old routines.
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