Use this one word for happier, more compliant patients…

one_word_centeredThere are an endless supply of books out there in the world on moving others to action. I recently read Daniel Pink’s To Sell Is Human, which I highly recommend. Another great one in this category, a classic really, is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert B. Cialdini.

Cialdini wanted to understand what types of techniques were most successful at influencing peoples’ actions and decisions. He focused his research on people who need to do just that- sales professionals, fundraisers, advertisers, and even con artists. He conducted hundreds of interviews, attended trainings, and read sales manuals. He even went so far as to work in those fields directly by answering ads for jobs such as encyclopedia, vacuum-cleaner, portrait-photography or car sales, fund raising, recruiting, advertising, etc.

Cialdini organized the thousands of tactics he observed down into a handful of basic techniques that he calls “weapons of automatic influence.” These most commonly used and most effective techniques are based on human psychological principles.  One of these is simply inserting a single word into conversation. The result produces an immense amount of influence.

The word? BECAUSE.

Use of the word BECAUSE ensures that a tangible, specific reason for considering info or taking action will follow. It seems rather obvious, doesn’t it? We will be more successful when asking someone to do something if we provide a reason. What makes his research notable, though, is that it appears that specific word – BECAUSE- is the catalyst.

But how often do we fail to do that in healthcare?

When patients and families engage with our personnel they are deluged by information. They are constantly given instructions and directives. How often do we forget to take that extra moment and include a WHY?

Here’s something to try: Observe the interactions people in your site are having with patients. How often do you hear the word BECAUSE? Make note of it. Track it. Identify all the times and places where a BECAUSE could have been added, or where a specific, tangible reason could be easily included.

It stands to reason that this powerful technique could cut down on patient frustration, dissatisfaction, and tension, simply through the power of more information. It also demonstrates a higher level of respect for the person on the receiving end when we take that extra step to include WHY.

So find ways to use this powerful word BECAUSE it will move others, produce compliance, and respects the customer in the moment.

Now it’s your turn! Take a moment to share your thoughts about this post BECAUSE those thoughts help drive an important conversation!


2 thoughts on “Use this one word for happier, more compliant patients…

  1. Some people are of the draconian mind set where they believe explanation is unnecessary. Given the conscious reminder to just use this one word can be very impactful. Loose the mindset that tells you “I should not have to justify my request” and replace it just by using the word “because” to educate! Brilliant!

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