Building rapport builds relationships. In the healthcare industry, building a good rapport through effective communication skills can positively impact your relationship with your colleagues. Mastering verbal and non-verbal communication skills can help increase efficiency and quality in the healthcare industry.
To build good rapport in a healthcare setting, you should practice the following verbal and non-verbal communication skills:
- Clear verbal communication
- Body language awareness
- Active listening
Clear Verbal Communication
When verbally delivering information to someone, it is important to keep your message clear and concise in language the other person will easily understand. Having a clear understanding of the topic will help the other person feel at ease and will promote a more efficient work environment. This can help build good rapport as it will aide in emphasizing your clarity, skill, and understanding of the topic, making you more credible.
For clear communication:
- Answer questions the other person may have throughout the conversation
- Think through your thoughts before speaking
- Use positive language and a suitable tone of voice
- Use verifiable facts and refer to credible sources when needed
This skill is especially important during patient care. When working alongside other health professionals, it is important that all members of the team are well-versed in the patient’s condition, treatment plan, and allergy information so that the team can effectively produce positive patient outcomes. When speaking with colleagues in patient care settings, be sure to have all the patient information readily available for reference, use facts and in-depth explanations of the treatment plan, and ensure you have the names and assigned roles of the team members involved for efficient care.
For locum tenens this skill will help reduce confusion during the onboarding process at a new facility and will help build good rapport at a fast rate.
Body Language Awareness
Your body language is one of the biggest key factors in effective communication. According to Edward G. Wertheim, author of The Importance of Effective Communication, nonverbal communication can strengthen your message, contradict your message, act as a substitute for your message, complement your message, or accent it. Knowing the ways to properly use body language when having a conversation can help build your rapport.
Positive body language includes:
- Keeping direct eye contact during conversation
- Nodding when the other person is speaking
- Tilting the head slightly to the side
- An upright position with arms at the waist or tucked into pockets
- Feet facing forward with weight shifted to one hip when standing or legs uncrossed when sitting
Practicing these habits helps signify your interest in the conversation and will help the other person feel comfortable speaking with you.
Being an authentic communicator helps gain the trust of others and will help you better relate to their viewpoint. Authenticity helps in better understanding new hospital initiatives, resolving conflicts between colleagues, and opens the door for honest feedback. This is especially important for physicians on locum assignments as it will help build trust with colleagues.
To be authentic in your communications:
- Admit when you are wrong
- Avoid using ambiguous, technical, or specialized language when speaking to others who are not aware of the terminology
- Ensure that you are clearly getting your point across and take responsibility when this is not achieved
- Only refer to facts, data, and outcome ranges if they are accurate and provable
- Show empathy and understanding concerning the other person’s viewpoint
When communicating with others, keeping an open mind is needed for positive relationship building. Hospitals are prone to be hubs for ever-changing policies and patient care techniques. When experiencing a change, it is important to get all the facts by speaking with colleagues and hospital administrators prior to assuming the change is a negative one.
By entering situations with an open mind, you will:
- Be seen as more approachable and it will be easier for your colleagues to come to you for advice or to discuss the changes
- Be seen as understanding
- Have a better idea of how these policy changes can benefit not only you but also the hospital operations
Contrary to popular belief, to have effective communication, your words are not the most important aspect. According to Edgar Dale’s Cone of Experience, on average an adult only remembers between 25-50% of the information they hear. This societal problem of listening to react rather than to gain the other person’s information can be curved by active listening, the act of consciously making an effort to hear and take in the other person’s entire communication.
Active listening can increase your rapport with those around you and help you to be more aware of others’ feelings and viewpoints for more effective communication.
To enhance your active listening skills, you should:
- Avoid mentally wondering or preparing a remark while the other person is speaking
- Look the person in the eyes during the conversation
- Nod and make verbal sounds to acknowledge you are listening
- Provide natural feedback with reference to the speaker’s viewpoint
Effectively communicating your needs, questions, and patient care requirements can help build good rapport and can also lead to more efficient patient care and better outcomes. By working to understand your colleagues’ points of view, speaking openly and honestly with them, being aware of body language, and thinking through your thoughts prior to speaking, you will be able to foster a better work environment and better work relationships.
If you are a physician interested to help the facilities and communities with increasing COVID cases, please contact Galaxy Medical Staffing at 734-237-8107 or click here.