Secret Sauce Service
The indispensable condiment
Keywords:practice management, communication
Humans determine our status as indispensable. The designation is often subjective. It is earned and revocable at any time. Clients can be hard to understand. Humans are emotional beings. Though our species is distinguished by a highly developed pre-frontal cortex - the 'thinking brain' - many of our choices and preferences are profoundly influenced by the deeper limbic brain. When activated, the limbic brain overpowers logical thinking. The limbic structures contain our motivational motor, our memory center, and are where the dopamine reward circuitry resides. I suggest that if we endeavour to become indispensable to our human clients, then we have to offer more than technical acumen; we should strive to be rewarding if we want to build a meaningful, trusting, ongoing relationship. Research on physician-patient communications has revealed that patients want 3 things from their doctor: 1) competence in data collection and decision-making; 2) a relationship; and 3) coaching. Our training and expertise are centered on 4-legged animals. As trained observers we are very good at 1, above. Our professional destiny is affected on our skills at 2 and 3. There is scope for most of us to get more training in soft skills as we strive to become indispensable.