Sunday, January 07, 2007

How to Communicate Constructively

How to Communicate Constructively: "Complete messages include four components:

Observations: neutral statements of fact
Thoughts: your own opinions and beliefs
Feelings:descriptions of your emotions
Needs: a statement of what you need or want from the other person"

Most doctors simply hear the patients observations and then try to jump to a diagnosis and treatment plan. They are bent on "fixing the problem". They need to stop and think about what the patient's underlying needs are, so they can fulfill these. Until they do this, they will not be able to take good care of their patients.

Unfortunately, many patients are not good at articulating their feelings - or their needs. You need to be able to ask questions cleverly in order to find out what these are. Being curious about your patients helps !

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