It is so interesting to me that I believe I’m pretty good at communicating and then I find myself “slap dab in the middle” of a communication breakdown that blows me right out of the water. My internal dialogue starts, “What just happened? Was I alone in the room? I thought we were on the same page, we weren’t even in the same book!” And on and on it goes, with me beating myself up, making the other person wrong, and wasting my time and precious energy because I THOUGHT I was good at communicating!
What are the ground rules for communication? What do you do when the other person doesn’t have the same rule book? I was reminded AGAIN at a recent check up with my “health care” team member.
Here is what I see as the “issue”. She is anxious. I am anxious. She is scattered, me too. I don’t know what her agenda is, I can only guess it’s to get me out of the room in 12 minutes without too much whining and complaining. MY agenda is to be not just heard, but listened to, acknowledged, and satisfied with information. Was I clear about that? Heck NO!
This is what I’ll do next month.
- Have my list ready and well written
- Ask her how much time she has designated for our appointment
- Have her do my vitals and discuss lab work first
- Ask her to let me know when she is complete
- Share my agenda with her, what I expect from our visit
- Ask her to not interrupt me until I complete my thought or question and then reflect what she thinks she heard me ask or say before she speaks
- Not leave until I am satisfied and have all my questions have been answered and requests fulfilled
That feels pretty good. What do you think? What do you do when you are not satisfied with communication with health care providers? I would love your feedback and suggestions — please post your comment on my blog!