The Power of Language in the Dental Practice
What Can We Say? It's Important!
And when we practice using the right kind of language in the workplace, we can really make it a much happier and productive place. Here are some ways you can improve your dental practice atmosphere by paying attention to language:
Improve patient experience
By avoiding certain negative words that may invoke feelings of worry or stress in a patient, you'll be helping to provide a more positive experience for them. Words like "bad", "not great", and even sounds like "hmm..." can raise the stress levels in your patient. Instead, use positive and reassuring language, e.g. "you've been great with..."or "this can be improved by...", and refrain from doing or saying anything that may suggest that something is alarming as you're working on their mouth.
Improve staff productivity and mood
Positive language is conducive to a healthy work environment. It never hurts to flash a smile to a co-worker as they pass you down the hall, or compliment another on their great work ethic. By showing respect and appreciation toward others at work (regardless of how wonky the day may be going), it can really change the overall mood of the workplace and boost productivity and happiness!
Encourage commitment from patients
After explaining to your patient about any changes they should be making to their oral care routine, you can use your language (and body language) to communicate the importance of what you're saying, and to encourage commitment from them. Or, when you're securing a follow-up appointment with a patient, you can help to ensure their compliance by asking them politely if they will let you know if something else comes up in advance. Getting a verbal "yes" or "sure" from the patient secures more of an obligation or responsibility from the patient that has been acknowledged on both ends, which will help to encourage your patient to kindly comply.
Speaking the Language of Success
By communicating positivity and confidence to your staff and patients, you're setting the right tone for your dental practice, and setting it up for long-term success.
How do you use language to your advantage?