Physicians Must Have People Skills

You won’t find a real life doctor with zero people skills, like TV’s “House,” around the clinic these days. Future physicians are learning new techniques for achieving people skills and teamwork, according to a recent article in the New York Times. New thinking about medical outcomes emphasizes that doctors need clear lines of communication between the medical team, nursing staff and especially patients. Beyond medicine, executive coaching stresses first-rate people skills as an important factor in team and business-management.

What do I mean by “people skills?” For starters:

  • Talking without interrupting
  • Listening with empathy
  • Calmly and diplomatically handling disagreements

The social lessons being taught to doctors can easily be applied to executive coaching.

Here are a few tips on people skills and proper teamwork:

  • Dominating a brainstorming session or meeting hurts everyone when you don’t let others add to the conversation. Be thoughtful of your team and if you’re leading, make sure everyone has a fair say.
  • Make clarity a priority. Nothing ruins a project like a failure to communicate. Open dialogue will help keep focus and prevent confusion.
  • If there’s a problem with someone on your team, don’t single them out in from of everyone. Take them aside and quietly let them know what’s wrong. For all you know, they might not even be aware of the issue. Also, try to let them know what they’re doing right.

People skills don’t demand that we all become social butterflies. They ask us to be patient and understand those around us. Keep these concepts in mind, and you can be a better people person.

What people skills are the most important to you?



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