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2005: Issue 21

Can You Hear ME Now?

When cell phones were initially introduced, it was common to hear, “Can you hear me now?”  Whether it was you, the person on the other end of the line, or the person walking the street, shouting it into his phone, we heard it and said it repeatedly.   Fortunately, the expansive landscape of cell towers has minimized this problem, yet every once in a while, I find myself repeating the phrase, and I am actually thankful for the reminder it provides.

The reminder that half of communication is hearing – what the other person is saying to us, or the sounds and cues of the environment around us.  Most of us are fortunate to have the ability to hear, and yet, we so rarely use this “gift” to its fullest potential.

How often does a patient walk out of your exam room wondering if you heard him?  Or better, how often do you start to dictate (for some, perhaps a thing of the past) the note and have difficulty recalling what was said?  Or saying the proverbial, “yes dear” as you walk out the door, and walk back in the house an hour later without the object in hand? 

I hear many in my generation of baby boomers attributing such “oversights” to early Alzheimers…maybe, but probably not.  Yet it sure is easier to blame an illness, than admitting we truly were not listening.   

In the busyness of our lives, many of us have developed the habit of dividing our attention, as evidenced by the frequently touted strength – ability to multitask.   Do you ever wonder then why you are repeating the same question or answer twice; or why the staff member didn’t do what you asked so you end up doing it yourself; or why you are unclear about something and have to call someone for explanation – all examples of rework with many possible causes.  Yet, from practical experience, I will contend that the majority of rework is a result of not listening – not giving your undivided attention to the conversation.    

We have a tendency to minimize the importance of listening and as a result, create conflict, waste time, compromise our relationships, and minimize our success.  

One of the most important skills for a health care professional to master is the ability to listen and hear not only what the patient is saying with his spoken word, but also with the unspoken.

So next time you hear, “can you hear me know”, let it remind you that what most of us want, is to know that you can and that you do. 

1. Clear your mind by consciously silencing your mental meanderings before you engage in a conversation.
2. Resist the urge to multi-task. 
3. Recognize everyone deserves your undivided attention, and that you benefit from providing it as much as they benefit from receiving it. 

ABOUT Extra Ordinary Living

Taking their learning from 20+ years in corporate healthcare, Janet Crawford and David Scheiderer, MD formed Extra Ordinary Living, Inc. in 2003 with an intention of helping physicians, other healthcare professionals and their organizations identify possibilities and opportunities, remove obstacles, and ultimately, optimize results.

Usually the first question we are asked, is why Tiberius? Our trivia friends usually can identify the references……yes, Tiberius was the 2nd Roman emperor, and yes, Tiberius is the middle name of James T. Kirk from Star Trek. One of our life mottos and business principles is “to learn from the past, look to the future but live in the present;” thus, Extra Ordinary Living.

As Executive and Professional Coaches, we are trained to listen, to observe and to customize our approach to our client's needs. We provide tools, support, structure and accountability to help our clients unleash their full potential and optimize results. There are so many reasons for physicians in particular to feel disenchanted with their chosen profession, their calling. Having a coach helps them get back in touch with their passion for being a healer.

The best thing about coaching is that it is all about you and what you want. We may share our opinions and give you advice, but it is up to you to pick and choose what you want to accept. We suspend judgment and will support you in your decisions.

As Professional Speakers, our messages are inspirational while imparting useful, practical and memorable information in a fun and dynamic way to help you in your pursuit of authentic happiness, and the enjoyment of deep life experiences.  

David Scheiderer, MD, MBA
Executive Coach

Janet Crawford, MHA, MBA
Executive Coach

Tiberius Rx ... written for physicians and those who love them, work with them, or befriend them, and want to explore, experience and excel in all aspects of their life.

To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation.
– Francois de La Rochefoucauld

It is the province of knowledge to speak and it is the privilege of wisdom to listen.
Oliver Wendell Holmes



Nov. 3rd & 4th
On November 3rd & 4th, Janet will be the guest speaker at the Virginia Association of Medical Staff Professionals annual meeting providing the keynote address Afterall, It is ALL about Me, and a workshop, Leading with HEART

Nov. 10th
On November 10th, Janet will present a workshop at the Virginia Association of Free Clinics, Managing Yourself in Time & Space.