This just struck me as ironic.
I had just spent nearly the entire Saturday night cooped up alone in my room, reading of all things, books on communication skills.
Shouldn't I be outside instead, practicing communications skills with real actual people?
But truth to be told, communication is not as easy as what meets the eye. Consider the snippet below:
Customer: (deep sigh) George had been sick for so long, sometimes I wonder if he's every going to get well. I don't know if I can keep my spirits up much longer.
Pharmacist: Now, of course, George is going to get well, and you can keep your spirits up. You've been so strong about it.
Customer: But it's been so long. It seems that Dr. Johnson should be getting George well pretty soon.
Pharmacist: Now, you know Dr. Johnson is a good doctor, and you shouldn't be questioning his care of your husband. It's important to trust your doctor.
Customer: Well, he's certainly not getting anywhere with George!
Pharmacist: How long has it been now that George has been sick?
Customer: Thirteen months. (note: this is why I chose this example =P)
Pharmacist: Sometimes these things take time. Maybe you just need to get away more. I think it would do you good to have someone come in and stay with George, say one day in a week, so you can get out more.
Customer: I don't want to get out more. I want George to get well.
Pharmacist: He will, believe me. He is getting the best care possible.
The way the pharmacist replied seems reasonable, right?
Wrong! Confused? Well the book where I got it from did tell me why. The first response was a falsely placating response, the second was too judgmental, the third probed about irrelevant info, the four offered a stop gap solution to a long-going, deep problem. The pharmacist response was supposed to be understanding and emphatic.
So now do you still think communication is easy?
If you are wondering why I am reading all these, I have a "failure is no option" oral exam on the 8th of October, which examines my communication skills.
I'm not reading them for fun. But reading them was a fun process.
Ah, the intricate art of communications. Next time I really need to think before I speak.
Maybe you should too.
Oh no, I shouldn't have said that. That was an advicing response. The book said I shouldn't be so caught out in my role as 'expert' that I lose sight of the limits of my expertise.
Anyway go have a think about it.
Snippet copied verbatim from Tindall, Breadsley & Kimberlin: Communication Skills in Pharmacy Practice.