Recognize the power of silence

Listening to what people say really saves time. Staffers and doctors who feel you don't pay attention to them will tune out the conversation at hand, making it difficult to get your point across on the first try. Plus, those who know that you're really listening to them feel valued. This in turn makes them more likely to hear and consider your point of view.

However, sharing your side doesn't mean interrupting others mid-sentence, as managers often do—especially when they don't agree with what someone is saying. Instead, wait until your partner has finished speaking—and you're sure you truly understand what they have told you—before offering your thoughts.

Summarize comments or ask clarifying questions before responding. Check to see if you can restate what the other person has said to you. For example, ask, "So you are telling me that Tuesday afternoons are crazy because Dr. Jones always runs 15 minutes behind?"

Have questions? I’m here to help.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.