Do you find yourself in a battle with certain patients? The proposition for effectively handling resistant patients is to take on the same attributes and skills as that of a leader. In order to get a patient to believe in you, and your recommendations, they need to trust that you are the expert.
 
Leaders are not necessarily born; they aspire to that role and then learn information and skills to get them there. Leaders first form relationships with their followers and then concretely (and with finesse) offer them their best guidance. 

A leader understands the concept of collaboration, the art of partnering with people. Before a professional can become an effective Leader, certain obstacles must be removed.


Obstacles To Being A Leader: 
  • You neglect your own needs by putting the patient (and everyone else first)
  • You stereotype people
  • You have a need to be "Boss"
  • You lack effective problem resolution skills
  • Your communication skills are either passive or authoritarian
  • You do not know how to influence or motivate
The Leader:
  • Takes time to listen and understand the patient
  • Willing to give credence to the patients point of view
  • Treat Patients as equals
  • Identifies and solve problems
  • Communicates openly and honestly
  • Speaks with authority and from the heart
When developing a relationship with a resistant patient it is important not to talk above the head of the patient or to take a passive approach. Either of these two styles will encourage a power struggle where inevitably the patient wins the battle but loses the chance to look and feel better. Authoritarian and passive communication includes overt and subtle manipulation, coercion, and control. That is the stuff resistance is made of.

Patients who are not happy being treated that way move on to another facility and take their business (and their referrals) with them. Learn the skills of a leader and your potential for growing your client base increases by leaps and bounds.

Here is what works:   
  • Create an imaginary boundary to prevent patient resistance from activating your annoyance.
  • Stay positive at all costs. If you do take their “No” personally, you have lost.
  • Work on your self-esteem. 
  • Tell yourself that you are not the target.

It is their insecurity that is preventing them from understanding and appreciating the value of your services.       
                  
The most important fact you can learn about dealing with patient resistance is that every human being has a need to feel secure. Whenever security is threatened by a loss, a wall of resistance comes up. Patients worry (but don’t necessarily share their concerns with you for fear you will outtalk them) that they will lose money and control of making their own decision or lose “face.” 
 
Relationship-Building Skills are what it takes to circumvent and alleviate anxiety and create rapport, respect and trust, the keys to being a Leader. In essence you become a Mentor, a Coach and a Guide to your patients.

Here are the four concepts that may help to transform your reluctant, resistant patient into an open willing listener for you to provide information to:


Connection: A smile, eye contact, a firm handshake, genuinely saying their name, leaning slightly forward when you talk with them and remember  you earnestly want to work with them). All these “psychological” techniques create the “Bond” that make your clients feel secure with you. It is the beginning of loyalty. It is the beginning of credibility and trust.
 
Conversation: Keep the focus on the client. Chitchat before you investigate what they want. It helps them to relax. It will be easier for you to understand what they want and how to give it to them.

Client-Centered Communication: Really listen to their needs. Turn off your mental radio station and tune into theirs. Repeat business comes from 90% listening and 10% talking. They will know you understand them, not when you say, “I understand how you feel.” But when you repeat in your own words what they have said.
 
Collaboration: The joining together of two minds for the sole purpose of working together to find a solution to a challenge, problem, issue, conflict or difference of opinion. This means the two of you are interacting to make the discussion the most pleasant and productive it can be. Patient collaboration is a fait accompli when you know what they want and what they need. They want to look and feel better and they need to feel secure. Make them feel secure with you. All you have to do is be kind, courteous and considerate of their needs and if you can fill them why would they want to go to anyone else!