Archive | April, 2016

The Power of the… Pause

24 Apr

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Those of us who have had a career in dentistry have been taught and conditioned to present a solution as soon as we hear a problem. Listening without speaking actually runs counter to the instincts of not only our communication with patients, but to sales in general. In fact, we live in a society where it’s a habit for many people to interrupt.

How you feel when you’re interrupted before you finish your thoughts? Do you feel frustrated? Annoyed? Like you are being sold to? Listening carefully to patients isn’t easy but the rewards are great.

Here’s a powerful tip for successful case acceptance – the pause. This means waiting, and not jumping in at the first opportunity.

Reasons to pause:

• Your patients may be simply stopping to take a breath, or to gather their thoughts.

• They may be gauging your interest in their point of view, to see if you’re listening or simply waiting to jump in. When you resist the urge to jump in, you are often pleasantly surprised to hear that there’s more, and it is important.

• Most people feel uncomfortable with silence, so they rush in to fill the void. Instead of you rushing in, why not let your patient fill the void?

• Your patients feel validated and important when you give them a chance to elaborate on their thoughts.

• Pausing gives you time to think before you respond to a question or objection.

How to pause –

• Minimize distractions. Focus on your patient! If you look out
the window, or think about lunch, or the patient that is waiting in the next room, your mind will jump and you could completely miss valuable information. Your patients know when you are distracted.

• Use the most natural reason to pause, which is curiosity. If you really want to hear what your patient has to say you will pause naturally as you wait for them to elaborate.

* Ask a question with the intent to get an answer. And really listen to the answer, paying attention to what motivates your patient rather than making assumptions or trying to ‘plant’ answers. Asking ‘What else?’ can always get you to the next level of information with your patients.

Eat That Frog!

20 Apr

Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction ofScreen Shot 2016-04-20 at 2.43.40 PM.png
knowing that that is probably the worse things that is going to happen to you all day long.
Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.

If You Have to Eat Two Frogs, Eat the Ugliest one First  –This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else.

It Doesn’t Pay to Sit and Look at it for Very Long  – The key to reaching high levels of performance and productivity is to develop the lifelong habit of tackling your major task first thing each morning. You must develop the routine of “eating your frog” before you do anything else and without taking too much time to think about it.

Take Action Immediately – Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete. “Failure to execute” is one of the biggest problems in organizations today. Many people confuse activity with accomplishment. They talk continually, hold endless meetings, and make wonderful plans, but in the final analysis, no one does the job and gets the results required.

Develop a Positive Addiction – You can actually develop a “positive addiction” to endorphins and to the feeling of enhanced clarity, confidence, and competence that they trigger. When you develop this addiction, you will, at an unconscious level, begin to organize your life in such a way that you are continually starting and completing ever more important tasks and projects. You will actually become addicted, in a very positive sense, to success and contribution.

No Shortcuts – Practice is the key to mastering any skill. Fortunately, your mind is like a muscle. It grows stronger and more capable with use. With practice, you can learn any behavior or develop any habit that you consider either desirable or necessary.

Action Exercise – What is your “frog?” What is the one task that you despise doing each day? Once you have chosen your “frog” make it a habit to wake up every morning and do that task first.