How to Win Friends and Influence Patients


Do you ever wish you could cultivate deeper relationships with patients to help them really improve their health?

Do you ever wish you could cultivate deeper relationships with patients to help them really improve their health? Pharmacists can use motivational interviewing, but the process can take some time.

When it comes to leadership training and interpersonal skills, no one has done it better than the late Dale Carnegie.

His bestselling book How to Win Friends and Influence People was first published in 1936. In it, he described principles that started the self-improvement conversation.

Whether it’s using motivational interviewing techniques during a medication therapy management (MTM) consultation or speaking with a difficult patient, pharmacists can use Carnegie’s principles to improve their day-to-day interactions with patients.

Here are a few of the principles that can help pharmacists interact with and serve patients more effectively:

  • Don’t criticize.
  • Make sure the patient feels important.
  • Motivate the patient using his or her wants. “Bait the hook to suit the fish” -Lloyd George
  • Be genuinely interested in the patient and his or her interests.
  • Smile!
  • Use the patient’s name.
  • Encourage patients to talk about themselves.
  • Warm patients up by engaging their interests.
  • Offer honest appreciation.
  • Avoid arguing.
  • Calmly disagree.
  • Listen and identify areas of agreement.
  • Promise to follow through and consider the patient’s point.
  • Respect the individual.
  • Admit when you are wrong.
  • Let the patient do the talking.
  • Guide patients to a compromising agreement, but let it be their idea.
  • Provide patients with a personal challenge.
  • Praise the slightest improvement.
  • Give patients a reputation to live up to.

Identifying your patient's biggest interests and concerns can help you guide the conversation and influence a real change.

What principle would you add to this list? Join the conversation on Twitter @BTPharmacy and @PharmacyTimes!

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