This last week I was at a specialist appointment and was watching the way that Dr Bromley delivered his message. He was the specialist and we were there, paying him good money, for his advice and expertise. However he did not start with giving advice. He did not start by telling us what we needed to do. He was a lot smarter than that.
The first thing he did was to listen. He asked open questions like “how have you been feeling since your last visit?” I was impressed at the way he got us to talk. This did two things. The first was to gather more information about us to ensure that the advice is the best advice possible. The second thing that listening did was to open us up to feel comfortable and to be ready to listen.
The next thing the doctor did was to explain things to us and educate us. He discussed the test results from the previous tests and explained how the body works. With this information it helped us to better understand what was happening. He took us on a journey from where our understanding was to where our understanding needed to be.
Then and only then did the doctor give advice. Even the way that he delivered his advice was good. It was not a “I am telling you because I am smarter than you.” The advice was delivered through the development of a plan. It placed us in charge and control of the process through the doctor providing recommendations and steps to take. He lead us to the end result and outcome.
I reflected on the way that Dr Bromley delivered his advice and thought to myself… I too often am too quick to give advice to others. Even when people come to ask you for advice it is wise to follow these steps:
- Ask open questions and listen
- Bring the other person on the journey with education and explanation
- Deliver your message through developing a plan with the other person and as a set of recommendations