What are Behavioural Styles, and How Can They Fix the Doctor-Patient Relationship?

Have you ever paid a visit to the doctor, only to feel a huge sense of disappointment when they fail to connect with you, or everything they say irritates you? Sometimes it can feel as if they have no idea of how to build a positive relationship with you.

On the other hand, Doctors: have you ever had a patient who comes in and you simply don’t know how to relate to them? Perhaps you just don’t ‘get’ them, or they seem to rub you up the wrong way?

If that sounds familiar, don’t worry – you are not alone. It’s human nature to click with some people straight away, and others not so much; as they say, we are the way we are. But what if you could do something about that? Wouldn’t it be great if you were able to…

  1. Click with people from the word ‘go’?
  2. Find a connection with someone as soon as you start talking to them?
  3. Understand why people do certain things, and find a way to relate to them regardless of their actions or behaviours?

It’s important to remember not to take things too personally – it is an individual’s behaviour that we respond to, not their personality as such.

Let’s take John, for example. He comes into the surgery and begins going into great detail about his ailments, explaining every minute thing that has happened. As a professional doctor, you would of course like to listen to every detail; but you’re also aware that you only have a five-minute consultation and are already falling behind.

What do you say? How do you act? What we have to understand is that this is John – he is like this with everyone he meets and in everything he does. There is no use getting frustrated, because this is just his behavioural style. What we can do, however, is adjust our own behaviour to accommodate John and provide him with the best possible service.

First of all, you need totell your receptionist to note on the CRM that when John books in, he should be booked for a double appointment. The next thing you need to do is take a deep breath, be patient and ask John the right questions so that he doesn’t ramble on for too long. By understanding his behavioural style, how to communicate with him and the best words to use, you are going to make your life much, much easier.

“Once you truly know about people, you will succeed at work and in life.” To find out more about how to successfully relate to your patients, colleagues, and even friends and family, I can come and coach your team in a safe, comfortable environment that is conducive for learning.