Empathy is Essential
Most people perceive ’empathy’ as some touchy-feely personality trait which people either possess or they don’t. This is not the case. Rather, empathy is an essential, and often overlooked, business skill that is critical to the success of any company. Empathy isn’t about being nice ; it’s about being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand their needs.
The success of innovative companies like Amazon, Apple, and others is deeply rooted in their expert ability to empathize with customers and create solutions they value.
Understand Your Patients’ Perspective
Before we can solve our patients’ needs, we must gain a full understanding of what they are, how they were caused, and what pain or inconvenience they create. This sometimes takes a lot of work; building empathy isn’t always easy or comfortable. Understanding someone else’s perspective is often challenging, particularly when their point of view is very different from our own.
I have seen that this can be especially difficult for orthodontists given our background and training. Practicing with only yourself in mind and steering patients towards treatments that you have been comfortable with since residency demonstrates a profound lack of empathy for your patients. We can do better.
The good news though is that when you put in the work you can develop a better understanding and empathy, and that is very good for your practice.
Mastering the art of empathy will allow you to innovate more, attract loyal patient base, build a thriving practice, and even improve how you manage your employees. Once you get out of your head and into someone else’s, when you learn to put yourself in their shoes, you’ll be well on your way to outpacing the competition.