The word Crucial Conversation itself hears to be heavily loaded and brings in mind the image of top notch highly influential people discussing the future of the world. But in fact these heavily loaded words belong to each and every one of us and have a very important significance in our lives. Crucial conversations are actually those conversations that take place on daily basis and have a greater impact on our lives.
Crucial conversations are all about hard-hitting issues. It’s a human nature to avoid conversations that are thought to result in either hurting someone or in simple words that make things worse. Crucial conversation takes place when stakes are high, opinions vary and emotions run strong. In our usual life whenever we are in middle of crucial conversation there are three possible solutions from which we choose the one that suits us. The commonly adopted one is to avoid that conversation, Second choice is to face the matter that results in poor consequences while the third one is to face the matter which results favorable.
Crucial conversations helps in spotting those conversations that are keeping you away from what you desire for and thus breaks silence. Violence is highly not advisable during crucial conversations. Always share your feelings, opinions, ideas and facts honestly and openly. It is very important to be clear about how you are going to manage your stress when in crucial conversation. Listen carefully and be clear about what results are you looking for, maintain a proper dialogue. It is always important to understand the motives than can twist the conversation crucial. Always tell your story, so that a proper link generates between your story and your behaviour. Important point to be noted at this stage is that the stories should be free of any criminal, victim and helpless tags. Speak believably while putting your point of view in front of the other person. Always give a proper margin to help other communicate his mind to you
In any case if you feel threatened and you find your safety at risk, Stop the conversation right away and see how to let it continue while looking for a feasible solution. Once the safety is done return back to the conversation. Always do crucial conversations on mutual grounds and put skills and principles together to make it work and end up at a desirable result.
For example, in case of diabetes the doctor and the patient gets into a crucial conversation where a doctor diagnosis patient with diabetes mellitus and breaks the news to him. The patient is in denial and also under grief. He does not believe that he has become victim of this lifelong disease and thinks that he is at the verge to die. Than the diabetologist starts crucial conversation with him letting him realize that he is not going to die rather he needs to start living a healthy life. He needs to take a proper diet, need to do walk or exercise regularly, should learn skills for stress management and will power and lastly, timely intake of insulin should be regularly followed. One of the questions that patient asks the doctor, that my will power ability is low and I have always been bad at it. The doctor tells the patient that will power ability can be increased by learning some very effective skills, it is something from nature that we nurture. Finally the meeting ends at mutually deciding some goals in order to manage Diabetes Mellitus. The doctor also refers the patient to counselors to help him learn some important skills in order to manage his disease.
Around the world many health professionals get banned because of the medical mistakes done by them. Interestingly the research has shown the other sides of the picture where patients’ often do not share their concern with their health professionals and thus the professionals alone have to face the music afterwards. The major reason for this is that patient doesn’t want to offense their health professional and thus they don’t speak up.
Interestingly there are some very effective communication skills that if adopted can result in reduced medical errors and at patients end it would become easy to share medical history and the current symptoms.
Whenever you are in a crucial conversation with your Diabetologist, always follow the following guidelines that can help make the communication smoother and easier:
- It is a myth that our doctor knows each and everything about us (patients) and hence he/she is responsible for helping us get rid of our disease. In actual it is totally wrong because you are the expert of yourself and no one else on earth could better explain you than you your ownself. So point to be noticed here is, whenever you visit your doctor always explain your medical history so that whenever he/she starts treating you they are in better position to take accurate decisions about your treatment. Even in between a treatment if you face any undesirable symptoms always share that with your diabetologist at your earliest.
For example you are visiting your diabetologist in order to take help, manage your diabetes. It is your first and foremost duty to share your medical history with your diabetologist such as if you are a heart patient or you have stents placed in your heart or you have some kidney problem always inform your diabetologist well before the treatment starts. This will result in an informed decision and a chance of success drastically rises.
- It is always recommended to speak before the situation becomes crucial. Getting angry, worried or upset results negatively and thus should be avoided. Before these harsh behaviors attack you, talk to your doctor. We (Patients) often take doctors for granted without realizing that it is a hassled profession and doctor always tries his/her level best to treat patient under any circumstances.
For example, if you have observed a pattern of getting angry on regular basis, talks to your diabetologist as this could be one of the symptoms that you sugar levels are not maintained well. Not giving importance to your increased anger pattern can have horrific results.
- Being respectful to others is not only a good habit but also in return you are being respected by others. It is a give and take relationship and it always results into a healthy association. The same rule applies to being respectful to your doctor, which shows your trust over your doctor’s potential and position.
For example visiting your diabetologist for the very first time you can always say a word of praise to him/her, ‘Doctor, I am lucky to come under your supervision and I know that I am in good hands’
- Always share the true facts with your doctor. Never present yourself with a vague statement. Presenting facts helps your doctor dig to the real root cause of your problem and thus helps recommend the best possible treatment for you.
For example, if you are a heart patient and you have been through a serious surgery and you have not shared this fact with your diabetologist than there is a high possibility that some medicine recommended by your diabetologist un knowingly that you are a heart patient could have negative effect on your management of heart disease.
- When the diabetologists ends informing you about the disease and its management now it’s your chance to ask a question. This helps in two ways, first if you have any doubt regarding treatment you can always ask and remove them; secondly it shows your interest and seriousness towards treatment hence helps in strengthening the relation between you and the diabetologist.
For example ‘Doctor, the skills you have taught me to control diabetes, will it really work for me?’
In a nutshell, the above mentioned points would work immensely if practiced properly and is an antidote to crucial conversations