Home is where the heart is, as they say. There are many wonderful aspects about traveling and being away from home: seeing new sites, tasting new food and meeting new people.
Another wonderful aspect of traveling is coming home. Coming home to your own bed, your own kitchen, your own familiar space and welcoming friends, family and pets! This has become more and more clear each trip I’ve taken.
There is something special about “coming home.”
As I have mentioned, I have had the wonderful opportunity these past 6 months to travel both for motivational interviewing trainings and for personal adventure. What is clear to me is the comfort of “being home.” Being in my “community”, shopping at my local grocery store, going to my usual gym.
It provides a feeling of balance and centering.
This makes me wonder, how do we make our offices, clinics and community health centers feel like coming home for our patients and clients?
We do this.
I have seen this demonstrated in health care centers, clinics and offices. What is it that works? It is all about making a connection!
How we make connection, we:
- Call individuals by name: not honey, sir or other label.
- Smile and look them in the eye.
- Pause and give them space to talk, even if it is for 30 seconds.
- Listen with our eyes, ears and heart. Just listen.
- Know a little bit about them because we have taken a few notes and ask them about what is near and dear to them.
- Affirm and thank them for coming in, for taking time out of their day to make their appointment.
- Look for behaviors patients are doing well and affirm rather than what is wrong.
This is a short, yet an important, list. Perhaps this list is a game changer for connection.
- What have you found that connects people?
- What is one item you have done to connect people?
- What is one thing you will add to your connections with people to help them feel like they are welcome at your clinic, health center, or office?
Transform conversations. Transform healthcare. Transform lives.
Dr. Becky Lang
Please feel free to forward to Colleagues!!