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The Problem With Empathy

empathy Oct 02, 2020

Is empathy or people-pleasing exhausting you? Do you re-live the day and all the ways patients didn't like what you said or did?  Do you have trouble receiving feedback because it leaves you full of self-doubt for days?

Sound familiar? This is a common experience in physicians and humans. We often think that external validation is required to be worthy.

The good news is that's simply not true.

Doing coach training is how I learned to overcome this.  I learned 3 very powerful techniques that helped me and I now teach and coach physicians to help them in their clinical day.

1. Self-confidence: Knowing that I could believe I gave great value and did an awesome job no matter what the patient decided to think about the encounter was the number one thing that helped stop/reduce the 'people pleasing'.

2. Other people's opinions are nothing to do with me: Good feedback, bad feedback, none of it are my thoughts, it's their thoughts. For me that information is neutral. It's my thoughts about their words/actions that creates my feelings. I am 100% responsible always for how I feel. That is a game-changer! When you understand this you can change how you show up. No longer scared that someone will ruin your day.

3. Holding space: The ability to get your story about them out of your head and show up completely non-judgemental. You're just there to hear the news, and offer your expert opinion, education and advocacy (in a patient encounter). Can you imagine going to your doctor and they walk in holding a story about you in their head that is saying "this patient is too demanding, they're a non-compliant patient....".  Whatever the story, even if the doctor is thinking "..what a mess, what a sad, sad situation my patient is in", is that the doctor you want?  I want to say no. You want them to leave their story at the door. Listen to you, have compassion but not pity, do their damn job.

That's when I truly learned to lead my clinical encounters and manage my mind around other people. I love my patients more and I let them be them. Game changer!

Join us in Charting Champions, I will help you learn these tools for yourself.

xx Sarah, the Charting Coach

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