As more of our compensation depends on us being able to influence our patient’s behavior, it becomes important to use the tools of influence.
And a key tactic is to leave your patients on a positive note.
Humans associated their impression of an entire encounter with their last impressions of the interaction
And if they have a positive impression of the encounter, they are more likely to do as you recommend.
Old doctors know this—I can’t tell you how many of my professors told me “always leave them laughing.” They didn’t mean this literally, but even the sickest patient, with the grimmest prognosis can be left on a high note.
Comedians know this, politicians know this, even George Costanza knows it.
Even a simple anchoring word or phrase such as “get better” has enormous power.
Try it. For one day intentionally end every encounter with a positive expression or phrase.
The first thing your experience is the feeling that you’re doing a great job.
Before you know it, your attempts at altering your patient’s behavior will show improvement as well.