Why it’s Important for a Dental Assistant to Have Good Listening Skills

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Today we’re sharing some tips and tricks that will hopefully help you in your dental career.

The topic: listening skills

…and why it’s important for a dental assistant to have good listening skills.

Well…it’s very important because you deal with customers all day and you deal with your co-workers and dentists and everybody all day and it’s important that you listen so that you can respond and take action when you need to

And I do want to make a distinction between listening to respond and listening to understand.

There is a very big difference and some important distinctions and it’s important because most people can tell the difference between if you’re listening in order to if you’re just waiting for your turn to talk or if you’re listening because you really want to understand what the person is trying to convey to you.

There’s a difference between waiting your turn to talk and listening to understand.

There is a very big difference so we want to make sure that when we’re listening to something we’re listening and trying to understand instead of waiting for a turn to speak because people can tell the difference

So a couple of tricks to ensure that the person that you’re speaking with knows that you are listening to them and trying to understand what it is that they’re trying to tell you.

Active Listening

So one way to engage some active listening skills is to validate the other person’s feelings and the way that you do this is to repeat the situation back to the person.

For example: “Oh wow, Mr. Smith, you’ve had a toothache for a week and you couldn’t get off of work until just now to get it looked at. That must be frustrating.”

So when you validate the other person’s feelings you it lets them understand that you empathize with them and that you’re listening to what it is they’re trying to tell you.

Communication Style

Another tip is: “What I’m hearing is…”

So if you’ve worked in customer service for any length of time you know everybody has a different communication style and sometimes those styles don’t exactly jive.

Everybody has a different communication style

Sometimes there’s a disconnect. So one of the ways that you can still let the person know that you are listening and trying to understand what it is they’re trying to tell you is by saying, “What I’m hearing is…”

For example: “Miss Adams, what I’m hearing is that maybe you have a little bit of a phobia surrounding needles.”

So that gives the other person the opportunity to say, “No, that’s not what I’m saying,” or “Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.”

And even if you don’t get it on the first try, at least they know that you’re trying to meet them where they are.

So that’s basically why it’s important for a dental assistant to have good listening skills and those are just a couple of tricks to let the person know that you really are listening to them and trying to understand them and trying to resolve whatever issue they come to you.

What’s your trick for good listening skills as a dental assistant?

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