With all of the nurses, doctors, social workers, therapists and other medical experts coming in and out of the hospital room, my confidence in their abilities was greatly affected simply by how they treated my daughter, my wife, me, and other people in the room. The more empathic they were, the more I trusted in their ability and advice. The more indifferent they were, the less faith I had in their prognosis and their prescription.
How good is your bedside manner with your patients (i.e. students and their parents)? No, you're not a doctor, but you do diagnose, prescribe and advise students and their parents. You use your expertise to inform on the progress of student learning. Your ability to communicate that information, AKA your Deskside Manner, matters.
So How Good is your Deskside Manner?
Do you give it the attention it deserves? Here are 7 secrets to consider before you make your decision.
1. Do you make your guests feel comfortable or uncomfortable when you enter the room?
2. Do you greet people with a smile and positive tone in your voice or a pensive posture?
3. Do you speak with a confident or condescending tone?
4. Do you communicate progress using parent friendly terms or educational jargon?
5. Do you cut people off when they're talking or asking questions, or do you allow them to finish their sentence before speaking?
6. Do you validate people when they ask stupid questions or do you make them feel stupid for not asking a valid question? (BTW, there are no stupid questions.)
7. When the patient is stressed or anxious, do you calm their fears or amp their attitude?
The bottom line is this. How you treat people matters. People will pay attention to your intellect after you validate theirs.