Sensationalism and outrage hurt productivity and generate bad feelings. The provocation may be our unprecedented political situation or internal decisions that suddenly become unnecessarily difficult. Let me give you a simple, unemotional example. (more…)
Massachusetts is suffering from a serious drought. Town water supplies are low. Reservoirs sport wide gravelly necklaces on every shoreline. Private wells are drying up. The grass is brown and crunchy. And the gypsy moths are destined for a banner year in 2017 because their only natural predator, a fungus, requires moist conditions to thrive. Millions of trees devastated by drought and gypsy moths this year are unlikely to survive another horrendous year.
Nonetheless, the weatherman on my radio says, “Not a great forecast today. You can expect lots of clouds and rain.”
Not a great forecast? Where have you been? We need every drop of moisture those clouds can deliver, as well as the reduced evaporation the same cloud cover can provide! Think before you speak! (more…)
“Thank you for calling Cooley-Dickinson Health Group – Hadley Family Practice. If this is a medical emergency, please hang up and dial 911.”
“Thank you for calling Tufts Medical Center and Floating Hospital for Children. We are dedicated to providing high quality care every day. If this is a medical emergency, please hang up and dial 911.”
What’s wrong with this picture? Why on earth aren’t the medical emergency instructions given first?
This rankles me every time I get an answering machine at a medical facility. I can’t possibly believe you are dedicated to providing quality care if you would rather talk about it than do it by getting me off the phone as fast you can in an emergency.
- Distinguish between the need to build rapport and the need to get to the point.
- When it is time to get to the point, do it quickly.
- Don’t copy others when they are doing something stupid.
- And please don’t seize every opportunity to tell me how wonderful you are. Actions speak more loudly than words and spouting platitudes during a medical emergency will not convince me of your dedication to quality care.
P.S. While writing this, I wanted to see if other facilities had even longer messages than Tufts. That experiment didn’t last! Baystate Health and Mass General answered the phone!
If this is a medical emergency, don’t call me! But if you need clarity, dial 617-939-9654 ASAP!
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
– George Bernard Shaw
This is so incredibly true! We listen for what we want to hear, hear it, and act on it. In the workplace, this happens all day long. Stop and clarify! You will save yourself bucket-loads of trouble and wasted time!