Body Language

Use Body Language To Improve Communication in Your Dental Office

Lauren Tighe Blog, Dental Coaching, Team Building 1 Comment

In your practice, it is key to understand body language. This can not only improve the connection with your team, but it can also make your patients feel more comfortable. Simply, body language is everything that is not spoken. As people, we use this skill when we talk to others — even if we do not realize it. More specific examples of body language are: smiling, eye-contact, distance, hand-movements, voice tone, and facial movements.

1. Say What Your Body Language Shows

Body language can show what you or someone else is really thinking and feeling. For example, a team member may say they know how to do a task, but their body may say otherwise. This is why you should understand body language. If you could see the team member did not know how to do a task through their body language, you could explain it further. Keep reading for more tips on how to use body language in your practice.

2. Be Friendly Not Superior

The way that you stand and hold your body shows a lot about your background. For example, if you are talking to a patient and you stand tall over them with your hands on your hips, they may perceive you as overbearing. However, if your practice is from a rural area and you sit too close to them, they may feel invaded and uncomfortable. This is because, typically, people who are from big cities have developed a smaller amount of personal space where people from less populated areas need more space. To develop a closer connection with your patients it is best to avoid power poses, like putting your hands on your hips, and focus on friendly gestures. The best way to do this is by acting friendly and interested in the patient, turning your body and feet toward the patient, and using appropriate smiles and eye-contact.

3. Act Confident in Uncomfortable Situations

When having hard talks with patients or team members, you may feel nervous or uncomfortable. But, as the dentist, it is important to keep your composure and act confident yet understanding. During these times, remember how your body appears to the other person. Act calm and still during these conversations. If you begin to fidget the other person may also feel nervous or they may think you are uninterested. Other tell-tale signs of nervousness is crossing your arms in a self-hug or grabbing the back of a chair.

Body Language

4. Opened or Closed?

Extroverts usually have open personalities while introverts have closed personalities. People with open body language are more interactive, but they can also be seen as aggressive. On the other hand, people with closed body language are seen as composed, but they may also be seen as secretive. There is no one way that you should act all of the time. However, it is important to be aware of what your body language is showing other people. For example, a person with open body language will have uncrossed arms and legs, while a person with a closed body language will cross them.

Body language can reveal a lot to our team members and patients, even when we don’t want it to. The first step to using good non-verbal communication and interpreting other’s is to understand the basics. Now, whether you want to be open and friendly or collective and respectful, you know how to do that. For more information or to talk to one of our dental marketing experts, contact Lucent Spot Marketing on our website or social media.

Comments 1

  1. That’s a good point that your body language would reveal a lot about you to patients. I would think that it would be good for a dentist to be able to tell the patient’s body language as well since it would be a bit hard to communicate while you have a drill in your mouth. I’ll have to keep that in mind if I ever decide to become a dentist.

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