Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Meet People Where They Are

You have to meet people where they are. You just can't make any progress until you do.

Sometimes it’s hard to understand where someone is. Sometimes when you get to that point, we tend to stop listening. We get so focused on trying to get the person to where we are that we can’t hear when they tell us where they are.

When you don’t meet people where they are, they can’t hear you. Walls come up, defenses set in, the conversation becomes a stalemate, or worse, a battle. No progress is made. Both parties walk away frustrated and the original goal of coming to a common understanding is not met.

People truly don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. You have to listen. You have to hear where they are. You have to be present for the person you’re talking to. In truth, listening gives someone all the power, all the control. When you hear what they are saying, you hear where they are, you hear what they need, what they want; then, and only then can you help them.

Communication is so extremely important; especially with healthcare. It is our responsibility as healthcare providers to educate, to explain, and to equip families and patients with information so that they can make appropriate choices, so that they can do what they need to for themselves, for their patient, for the peace they are so desperately groping for.

When we argue, when we fight, when we don’t listen, when we dismiss, we lose, the pt loses, no one wins.

In truth, it only takes a moment.

Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Mark 4:9

1 comment:

Phil Sanders said...

Tara, real listening (so as to understand) takes work. It is perhaps the hardest but the most needed skill of life. Much of the conflict, almost all the misunderstanding, much of the hurt, and much of the feeling of smallness, comes from being unheard. The person who has the lowest self-esteem is the one who is never allowed to speak or is dismissed when he does speak. Thanks for a great post. Love, Dad.