In the Seinfeld episode called “The Frogger”, one of the sub-plots is about Jerry dating a girl who has the annoying habit of completing his sentences.
Before Jerry can complete saying them.
And it annoys him.
It annoys him so much that each time she does start to complete one of his sentences, Jerry goes on to correct her and complete the sentence with dramatically different verbiage that is way more different than what the girlfriend and we the viewers were thinking.
Are you doing this in your Dental Practice?
Are you completing your patient’s sentences?
Before they get to complete their own sentences?
Are you second-guessing your patients?
Are you getting it wrong?
The answer is you *ARE* getting it wrong if you are finishing your patients’ sentences before they have the opportunity to complete them.
Stop doing this!
Firstly, you may think you know what they are going to say.
You may think that you can anticipate your patients’ thoughts.
You may believe you are helping them by finishing their sentences for them.
But some times, we can be wrong.
And being wrong once is too many times.
And that is not really very clever.
Let your patients speak until they stop speaking.
Its not very clever is trying to anticipate what your clients are going to say.
Hear them out.
Let them speak until they are finished.
Stop being the master of your own voice.
There’s a good reason why we were given two ears, but only one mouth.
And that’s because it was intended that we should listen twice as much as we speak.
Don’t be in a hurry to complete your patients’ sentences for them.
Allow them to speak.
And when they finish, ask them a question.
About what they just said.
To continue their momentum.
It’s very difficult to find out exactly what our patients need if we are the ones telling them what we think they will need before we listen to them tell us what they need, completely.
So ask another question.
To ensure complete clarification.
Rather than jumping in because you *think* you know what they are going to say.
Or you *think* you know what they are meaning to say.
Patients who feel that they have not been listened to will leave your practice and go elsewhere.
They will go looking for a dental office where everyone takes time and listens to them.
Rather than lectures them, and talks back at them, or interrupts them
So take some time out and reflect on all the communications that your office has with your patients.
At each interaction who is speaking more?
Is it the patient?
Or is it you?
And are you allowing your patients to finish their own sentences?
So that you can find out exactly what it is they expect?
Or are you the one finishing off their story?
Are you telling them what you think they need?
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