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Bedside Manner

So what does a doctor do to have good bedside manner?  Empathy is what researches are zeroing in on as a top component of bedside manner, wherein empathy is the capacity to share and understand another’s state of mind (basically stand in another’s shoes).  It deepens the relationship and helps people feel more comfortable to ask questions and share details.  Other components to bedside manner (and arguably empathy), are:

1.       Focusing

2.       Truly listening

3.       Being aware of body language (relaxing, smiling, making eye contact, nodding in interest, tone of voice)

4.       Being slow to form judgments or conclusions

5.       Using open-ended questions to stimulate more than “yes” or “no” answers

6.       Choosing positive words, and

7.       Offering reassurance.

Although bedside manner is a descriptive term used for doctors, doesn’t bedside manner sound like it could also be applied to business interactions?  From working with coworkers to providing service to a customer, how might improving bedside manner improve our relationships?

I am going to start making a conscious effort to improve my “bedside manner” again.  The more tired and stretched out I get, the harder it can be some days.  But with more practice, the more second-nature it becomes.  Before long, that’s just a part of every day.  What do you say—will you join me?