How do you get people to act upon requests or messages whether we are talking to one person or many?  Perhaps there are times when you question if a patients will ever follow through on an agreed upon decision.  As healthcare professionals, the ability to communicate effectively is imperative.

Whether you are speaking one-on-one or to a small group, wouldn’t you like patients to remember your message?  What if after leaving your office they remembered your key points long after their office appointment?

If you provide patients’ with the tools and knowledge in a non-threatening and engaging manner, the understanding of your instructions will be ensured.  The simple solution is to speak with confidence and be aware of what your body language projects/communicates.

Body language is critical to good communication. Unconscious physical movement can either strengthen communication or damage it.

How you hold yourself and use your body has a lot to do with how commanding and charismatic your presence will be, and hence how powerfully your message comes across.  Body language, eye contact, posture, voice tone and inflections relay communication signals to your audience.  Eye contact should be direct, your voice well modulated, clear, easy to understand and project confidence.  Posture should be hip-width apart if standing and leaning forward if seated.

Be aware that your body language communicates a message on a mental and physical level.  The mental level is the unspoken words your body language communicates and the physical level is the unconscious signals your body language conveys.  Be aware that your unconscious physical movement can either strengthen communication or damage it.  “Even if you are sitting completely still, you may be unknowingly communicating a powerful message about your real feelings.”

Effective communication is essential to building patient trust and reinforcing strong communication skills that will allow you to express you thoughts clearly.

Marsheila DeVan, MBA  Communications Specialist