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Do you sometimes feel anxious about speaking to someone else, especially getting to know an unfamiliar person in various settings as School, Corporate, Healthcare, Recreational environments etc.? Given our various individual personalities, past and present ideologies, and the ever-advancing communication technology, effective communication that result in genuine connection and trust development have eluded many in the general population resulting in mistrust and poor relationships. More than ever before, many of us palpitate from unreal fears on attempt to speak to and get to know others. This guidebook highlights the several factors which affect effective communication. Book content is based on Godly Principles and its guidance for overcoming reservations and communication anxieties to genuinely interact and build trust with one another.
Please permit me to say that I procrastinated for a while about writing a book. When I finally decided to write a book (by the way, this is my first one ever—yeah!), I did some research to see whether any other book in circulation explored clinician-patient communication and that relationship. This is a very important topic, so there had to be, right? If you guessed yes, you are right because I came across several books. This made me wonder whether I should even bother writing another to add to the circulation. However, as I further researched the other books, I did not come across any books with direct insight on this important topic from my perspective. My perspective is one of a practicing clinician who, as a recent patient, had the experience of interacting with various medical staff and other clinicians in several specialties during my period of recovery from a major surgical procedure. As a practicing clinician, I have interacted with many patients with different traits and personalities in diverse health care settings. Despite the attempts of many books to explore and identify factors and barriers that influence communication between patients and clinicians, many patients still do not feel comfortable talking freely to their clinicians. Thus, they find it difficult to have honest, open communication with their clinicians. In a recent online article at Live Science, statistics show that America’s trust in the medical profession has decreased in recent years, well below other countries’ public attitudes toward doctors. In a polled survey in 2012, fewer people said that they had great confidence in the leaders of the medical profession (only 34 percent of adults) than in 1996 (76 percent). Also, reports of a similar survey of people across twenty-nine countries show that the United States ranked twenty-fourth in public trust of doctors, well below Switzerland and Denmark (Harding 2014). When I reviewed these results, I said to myself, “Wow, this is such a staggering number of unsatisfied patients.” To the best of my knowledge, most (if not all) clinicians strive to maintain a decent and acceptable level of professionalism during clinician-patient consultations. So what could be the problem? Why such a staggering number of dissatisfied patients? The reality is that the common communication style of most clinicians, although polite, pleasant, professional, and nonthreatening, has been insufficient in improving current statistics. Regardless of how nonthreatening a clinician’s approach is, many patients still view the clinician as an authoritative figure, and thus they are more likely to feel intimidated by the clinician’s presence. This can become a contributory factor to the patient’s reservations during consultation visits. It means that more information needs to be made available to assist clinicians in developing specific communication skills that are applicable to the various patients they encounter each day in the health care system. With funny illustrations of clinician-patient scenarios and simple dialogues, this guidebook highlights several patient personalities and the effects of those personalities as either strengths or barriers to forming a meaningful clinician-patient relationship. It provides the clinician with the needed communication tools to connect with all patients regardless of a patient’s personality. This is the key to having honest communication that results in a productive clinician-patient relationship. Clinicians must refrain from using a one-size-fits-all communication approach because patients have different personalities, and they typically perceive and react to the same information differently. For effective communication to be accomplished, the communication style must be tailored to each patient’s personality.