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Feb
25

How To Increase Patient Compliance

How do you persuade your patients to follow through with actions that promote their health?

Try the meaningful conversation.  It’s a tool that helps you translate the psychology of persuasion into action and increase compliance.

Imagine a  conversation as a song you and your conversation partner sing together. In the meaningful conversation, you let your conversation partner determine the key of the tune.

When you attune yourself to your conversation partner, you increase your chances of having your conversation partner attune to you.  Said another way, the best way to get what you want is to give others what they want.

Here are the three steps of a successful meaningful conversation.

Step #1: Give your full attention.

Give your conversation partner the experience of being fully heard . For just a few minutes, make your conversation partner the center of the universe.

Eliminate distractions.  Other can tell when your attention drifts off.

To build rapport, mirror your conversation partner’s body language, rate of speech and vocabulary.

Step #2: Ask key questions.

As you listen, consider these questions:

  • What is their unmet need?
  • What keeps them up at night?
  • What do they really, really want?

Remember the main point from the psychology of persuasion: Emotions drive motion.

Identify the unwanted feeling state; thatʼs like the arrow on a map that says, “You are here.”

Then discern the desired feeling state they seek.  Do they want control?  Do they want to be right? Do they want to be admired?  Do they want to belong?

Step #3: Reflect back what you hear.

Say, “This is what I heard you say.  You don’t want to take your medication because the problem we’re treating  does not cause you any problems, and you’re experiencing unpleasant  side effects. Did I get that right?”

You are successful with the meaningful conversation when your partner says, “Yes, you  get it!”  You might see their body physically relax.

Once somebody feels heard and understood, you’re in a better position to influence them.

Get what you want by helping them get what they want.

  • If they want control, you say, “Let’s think about ways that you can control your blood pressure  so you can watch your grandkids grow up.”
  • If they want to be right, you say, “You are right; on the  surface it looks like the medication makes things better rather than worse.  Let’s think again about why controlling your blood pressure is the best choice for you.”
  • If they want to be admired, you say, “It takes courage to have this conversation, and to rise up to meet the day-to-day challenges you face.”
  • If they want to belong, say, “You don’t have to do this alone. Together we’ll get this sorted out.”

Be willing to be influenced by others. If you meet resistance, step back and reevaluate. How well are you listening? Are you missing an unmet emotional need? Do you need to ask for more feedback?  Are you headed in the smart direction?

You will find amazing things happen at home, at work and at play as you enhance your powers of persuasion.


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