flip the complaint

rose bush in bloom

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. – Abraham Lincoln

Human beings seem hardwired to complain. To breathe is to complain, it seems. No one on earth is immune to complaints, or complaining! Unfortunately, the landscape can be so inundated with criticism, the more serious issues may be overshadowed, and left without the necessary ‘space’ for meaningful discussion.

In the healthcare arena, superficial complaints, which are a dime a dozen, are mixed in with well founded complaints. In the past, physicians usually held the most power in healthcare. Now there are many stakeholders, each viewing themselves as having a lot to lose (or gain). With the new empowerment of patients (called ‘consumers’ by some), and increasing power of government and industry, comes more engagement, more disagreements, and more opportunities to make suggestions or criticize.

Empowered customers are more demanding than ever….One of the ways businesses provide value is by doing the little things right…and that includes handling complaints. – Stan Phelps

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the art and skill of listening

Listening

The skill to listen and to give ourselves the time/space to reflect on what we observe is central to a good life. Quality listening allows personal and professional growth, sustains our relationships and promotes learning. Without the ability to listen, we place ourselves out of range of others, and thus unable to gain valuable insights from them, or to provide help and answer needs. For a fulfilling personal and professional life we must acquire the skill of honed, effective listening.

Although most of us recognize the value of listening, human nature possesses a strong impulse to share, and, even, to be first to speak and to voice our opinion! Despite both a need and desire to listen, humans have a nearly irrepressible urge to interrupt in order to share their own point. Such impulses can, and do, crowd out the other personsʼ words, insights and desires whereby they may never be heard.

Listening in Healthcare

Recently the topic of listening has been getting a major public airing in discussions regarding doctor/patient communications. Continue reading