As a dentist-owner, do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
- You get stuck over how to advise your associate dentist that’s received negative feedback about over diagnosing.
- You perseverate over how to help your office manager deal with team members.
- You hesitate to offer support to your hygienist that’s struggling with family issues.
According to a NYT article by Jancee Dunn the best way to handle these scenarios is to ask this question:
“Do you want to be helped, heard or hugged?”
Dunn’s inspiration originates from her sister, a special education schoolteacher at an elementary school. Dunn’s sister observes, ““Some need a box of tissues, or they want to talk about a problem on the bus, and I’ll just listen.”
You might think that this question works best with school-aged children. But Dunn says, “It struck me that this question could be just as effective for adults.”
How often do you vent to a trusted colleague, friend or family member and all you want is to be heard, or maybe even hugged? In fact, the last thing you want is advice!
The next time you are in the position to listen to your friend, family member or colleague think about these 3 “H” options: Helped. Heard. Hugged.
➜ By asking them this one question: “Do you want to be helped, heard or hugged?” you will then know how to navigate the conversation.
My best bet: you’ll be a great listener without providing any solutions unless solicited.