"What Did You Do To Me!!

Updated: Jan 26

Here's the problem:

Sometimes patients get made at us. If we handle this badly, bad things happen. We lose patients, we get bad reviews and we may get a nasty letter from a lawyer.

The good news is that if we use precision communication skills, none of this happens. We just need to know the right words and how to use them.

Where do we go wrong?

What doesn't work is trying to fix the patient's problem while she's still angry. Angry patients can't hear us. Premature "problem-solving" must make the patient more upset. We first need to help the patient become calm.

So what do we do?

We use two sets of "magic words." I call them that because they're amazingly effective. Patients who hear them find it almost impossible to stay as angry. They'll still be upset at the situation but won't be as angry at us. That opens the door for resolution of the problem.

What are the "magic words?"

A simple "I'm sorry." is powerful. But those same words said twice are even more effective. I suggest sandwiching a brief restatement of what you believe is the situation and the patient's feelings about it between two "I'm sorrys." This is the basis of the Strategy of the Two Sorrys discussed in Astera Master Class.

Be aware that "I'm sorry" is different from "I apologize." The latter says that you're responsible for the problem which may or may not be true. The former simply acknowledges that you recognize that this is difficult for the patient.

The second set of magic words are:

"If I were you, I'd feel exactly the same way."

These words are incredibly effective at defusing tense, stress-filled situations.

If you've enjoyed this post and think that it has value for you, please go to LinkedIn and like, share and especially comment with your thoughts and ideas. Thanks so much. Michael

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