Perfecting Communication Skills for Peak Performance

“The object of education isn’t knowledge; it’s action.”

Thomas Kempis (from POP xii)


Historically dental professionals have focused on patient education, yet how often does our patient education really work – how often does it produce action?   While educating is important, the end result of acceptance and action is crucial, and simply educating does not always accomplish acceptance.  In fact, too much education can have the opposite effect of confusing and overwhelming patients to the point of turning them away (as in “I’ll think about it”.)   Simply stated, we succeed when the consumer/patient says “YES – yes I’ll take it”.

Success means giving someone, your patient, enough information to make a well informed decision. The key word here is “enough”.  Enough information for one person may be too much (information overload) for another, and still not enough for yet another. Dental health care providers typically know the clinical information (scientific facts, studies, etc)  but need a way to dispense this information appropriately. Too often patients get “overdosed” with “education” resulting in information overload, confusion, overwhelm and ultimately non-compliance.   Different patients require difference “dosages” of information in order to make informed decisions.  Your job is to figure out what is that particular patient’s “information dosage”.

The “Discovery Process” and “Focused Communication” will enable you to do this.