While I was at the MD Expo last week I had the chance to speak to so many interesting people. After my presentation on dealing with confrontational customers someone came up to me and said that he actually looked at the presentation from a different perspective. He realized that he himself may be viewed as the confrontational one. He confided that he has little time and patience for people when they just don’t get it. He doesn’t mean to come off as intolerant or annoyed, but he was sure he did. He felt he had a lot to think about after attending the class. It was interesting to be reminded that as service providers, we should be putting ourselves in our customer’s shoes, and remembering that we are here to serve them.
I was glad to hear that, but I thought I would also share some insight into why it may be really hard for some of us to communicate with emotional people.
Our behavioral style has a lot to do with it. As techs I imagine many fall into the conscientious or dominance behavioral style. You see things very logically and unemotionally. Sometimes it’s hard to take it back a step and allow people the time they need to vent and let their emotions out. We would rather just fix the problem and not deal with the emotions.
Likewise, when you don’t agree with something it’s hard for you not to say how you feel, and in a matter of fact way, without regard to how your comment may be perceived. It is… what it is, right? Well, there’s nothing wrong with saying how you feel, but you are going to be more effective if you also think about how the other person will receive your message, especially if it’s a customer or coworker who depends on you for patient care.
Let’s first talk about the great qualities of your behavioral style. You are detail oriented, persistent, orderly, precise, and logical. But when you overuse those great strengths you can come off as a perfectionist, critical, resistant, and picky. Just like you would prefer to hear just the facts or the bullets with specific data, your customer or coworker may have the behavioral style that needs to discuss things in more detail, and tell you everything they are feeling about the situation. Neither is right or wrong. It’s just the different ways that people behave. They don’t mean to be difficult, (just like you don’t,) they really need to understand every detail to be comfortable, and it may take them more time because they don’t have your technical expertise.
As the service provider, it’s our job to meet their needs. We need to become more aware of how we are perceived, regardless of our intent. When we de-personalize and understand it’s really not about us, it’s about them; we can focus on what they need regarding communication and modify our behavior accordingly. If you modify your behavior even slightly to communicate better with your customer’s behavioral style, I think you will find you are perceived more positively and your conversations will go much better. When your interactions are positive, you build relationships. Good relationships help you and your customers have better days, which helps your department have a better reputation, and helps the patient have a better experience. Win, win.
So try it next time. Instead of thinking about your needs, really think about what the customer or coworker needs. And then modify your behavior to meet those needs.
Thoughts…….. Contact me at abbe@TECResourceCenter.com
© 2020, TechNation Magazine. Site designed by MD Publishing, Inc.