Crown Council Member Network

142 SKILL OF THE WEEK: Ask, Don't Tell

Asking the right questions is the most powerful and the most basic of case acceptance skills. Think about it. You can’t prescribe until you diagnose. In order to diagnose, you must ask. Understanding what patients want and what they perceive to need is even more important than being able to diagnose their clinical condition. Since people don’t buy solutions to problems they don’t perceive to have, the most important thing to be done is to ASK what they want or perceive to need. That’s why we say “Be interested, not interesting. ASK, don’t tell.” Patients are not that interested in what you have to say, but they are very interested in what they themselves have to say! Just ask!

Exercise: Write down at least a dozen questions you could be asking new patients that would help you define their expectations. What about existing patients? Make a list of your favorite questions.

Action: The only way you know what the patient wants is to ASK. Make the commitment today to ask more and tell less. Be interested, not interesting.

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