Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald: Practice Makes Perfect--June 30, 2008
A matter of manners
Our relationships with our clients are very delicate. We must be good listeners, we must be concise and readily understood, while at the same time we must be compassionate and caring. How do you come across to your clients? Hurried and harried, empathetic, gruff? How would you rate yourself?
Think back to a physician of yours that you really admired or related to, to a dentist that was kind and reassuring, or to a fellow veterinarian whose bedside manner you really respected. What did they have in common?
Chances are it was partially body language, or clothes, overall knowledge and experience. But probably the one thing these professionals all shared was good manners. It should never be considered a sign of weakness to be civil. We must be respectful of our clients and be very careful with what impression we make. We must approach them professionally, almost formally. We must try to be calming and instill trust. We must take the time to earn that trust. This means being respectful and attentive and having good manners.
How do you approach a new (or even old) client? How do you enter the exam room and introduce yourself? Good posture, gum in your mouth? How would you like to be greeted? Good manners are never quaint or out of style. Good manners are at the basis of our relationship with our clients. Good manners signify respect. You are showing the clients that you value them and take them seriously. How do you speak? Rushed or mumbled? Do you breathe and enunciate as you explain your game plan in the care of their animals? How are you dressed? Clean and professionally? If you think back upon medical professionals who put you at ease and made a good impression on you, if you really look at it, good manners reflecting respect was a big part of their professional demeanor. It opened the door for your trust and calmed you. Start off on the right foot. Bring your best game to every exam room that you enter. Good manners aren’t just for the other guy. It will go a long way to great client relations. Be on your best behavior.
See you next week, Kev