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Enhance Productivity with Better Listening Skills

  • Date: January 24, 2014
  • Author: eDentalImage
  • Comments: 0

Let’s say you ask a hundred dental practitioners for a list of the top ten techniques to improve any business. Listening would probably not make the the top list. One reason for this is because most people think of “listening” as “hearing,” and they think that they are good at it. Well the truth is, majority of us could use some improvement in our listening skills, and investing in listening skills comes with huge perks for your office.

Why Rock Great Listening Skills?

In any area of  business, you will need the right tools in the toolbox to get the things done. While sometimes disregarded or overlooked, communication is the most significant tool in business success, and listening is the first and most essential element of communication. Improving listening skills improves many aspects of your dental practice including:

  • Improved relationships with patients and coworkers
  • Increased productivity
  • Gained meaningful feedback
  • Avoidance of costly misunderstandings
  • Display of concern for others, helping them feel valued which leads to increased patient loyalty
  • Better insight into any issue, which in turn, allows you to solve problems more efficiently

How to Improve your Listening Skills in 8 Easy Steps

There is always room to improve your listening skills. It takes some purposeful effort though because listening is not a passive activity as you might imagine.

  1. Listen with the intent of understanding. Most of us listen with the intent to reply to the listener. While we are formulating an answer, we miss 90% of what the person says! Make understanding the focus, and it will change the way in which you listen to your patients.
  2. Minimize external distractions. External distractions not only make it difficult for you to follow what someone is saying, but they also makes it difficult for the speaker to formulate thoughts.
  3. Use active listening techniques. Try repeating back to the patient or co-worker what you heard him or her say; this assures that you are on the same page as them.
  4. Pay attention to non-verbal communication. Non-verbal cues make up a huge portion of communication. Listening involves looking for those unspoken cues.
  5. Encourage open communication. Co-workers should be encouraged to voice their opinions about the office environment and express their ideas. Open communication is important for team building and increasing morale.
  6. Respectful of yourself and others. Be respectful to your co-workers and patients by listening to their positions and responding in a professional manner. Respect yourself by staying in control of your emotions and using your best judgment when working towards any sort of conflict resolution.
  7. Be willing to compromise. Compromise involves each party getting something that he or she wants so that everyone wins.
  8. Get to know your coworkers. Share personal interests during lunch, and find opportunities to spend time with co-workers outside of the dental office. An office that is close will be attractive to potential patients.

Building listening skills takes ongoing effort, but it is well worth your time. Once co-workers and patients see your efforts, they are likely to follow your example which will help everyone be a more conscious and productive communicator!

Don’t forget to follow eDentalImage on Facebook and Twitter!

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