How do you get dental patients to listen to what you want to say, how do you get them to truly hear you and pay attention to what you have to say? I think we find this to be an issue in dental offices often.

We could be delivering bad news, big news or maybe expensive news and we want the patient to really listen to what we are saying. So, how do we do it? We need to scramble the brain prior to telling the patient the news we have to deliver, so they are more open to hearing it. You can "pre frame". This is when you tell someone in advance what to look for and what it means when they see it. You are essentially communicating about the way you think someone may feel. For example, for someone that is spectacle about the work they could need you could say "this probably does not make sense to many people" or to someone that is already sold on treatment and you want to connect with them prior to delivering treatment needs you could say "there is not one person that does not love this treatment solution, I know you will too". Or you can "re frame". This is when someone has a problem or an issue with what you are presenting and you can change what it means by a different frame of reference.

For example, for someone that is in need of having a full mouth rehab and has not eaten "real food" in years and are in denial about what is happening. You can say "I understand this is a lot to take in and you have a long road ahead of you, but lets focus on the fact you will be able to chew again soon". By presenting the topic this way you are recognizing their feelings yet trying to change their focus on something positive. Changing the way we discuss things with patients can be very powerful. I think you will find that you can connect with patients on a totally different level.


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