What type of client, customer or patient are you? When you walk through the waiting room door does the person on the other side flinch, tense, or otherwise prepare for attack? Do you disappoint, discourage, or offer a disgruntled impression? Is every statement or question voiced one punctuated by an undergirding of subtle disrespect, disinterest or distrust? What exactly is your attitude saying about you, your words notwithst&ing?
It used to be that physicians had to memorize the Hippocratic oath, the most memorable line laypeople remember being, First, do not harm.” Nowadays, this pledge has been updated to make more practical sense in our modern high-tech society. Still, the underlying message remains the same. That is, one individual is making a promise to do his or her level best to help another person in need.
Honestly now, aren’t we thankful that the majority of doctors & other professionals from whom we seek aid do abide by this long-st&ing motto? If we didn’t trust that person sitting on the other side of the desk (or across the room) to make a positive difference in our lives, we wouldn’t waste time seeking out their expertise, right?
Unfortunately, though we continue to seek out expert help from these professionals we’ve similarly begun to tote along with us an attitude of consumer elitism. Truth to tell, we’re ever-ready to assert our rights even when they’re not being compromised. We get angry when our appointment is pushed back. We feel frustrated when a promised contract doesn’t materialize. We complain & fret & moan about every little inconvenience without taking time to consider that our minor grievance could very well transform into another’s good. How so?
Consider this; the next time you’re left waiting for an hour because of an unexpected emergency & your friendly neighborhood professional begs your pardon upon greeting you…give it. Think about how you feel when your best-laid plans go wrong. We’ve all had those days when we started out on time armed with a solid plan of great intent & then we were interrupted, stalled, & thwarted. How did we feel? We were discouraged, weary, & wanted to give up.
In the coming days, do yourself & everyone else a favor, hone that memory of yours that never forgets an offense against you for good of someone else & take the “oath” to keep others from harm. Purpose to never rattle someone’s already fragile emotional cage with your unrelenting dem&s or unrealistic expectations. Rather, tell them you underst&. Tell them you appreciate their diligent service. Tell them, thank you. Guaranteed, you’ll begin to see the person behind the professional façade & we all know how terrific it feels to have someone see the “us” behind what we “do.” It can’t do any harm.
Michele Howe is the author of ten books for women & has published over 1200 articles, reviews, & curriculum to more than 100 different publications. Her articles & reviews have been published in Good Housekeeping, Christianity Today, Focus on the Family & many other publications. Michele’s newest title, Still Going It Alone, was released last year. After having undergone four shoulder surgeries, Michele saw the need for an upcoming women’s inspirational health-related book co-authored with her orthopedic surgeon, titled, Burdens Do a Body Good: Meeting Life’s Challenges with Strength (& Soul), to be released Spring 2010. Michele also writes a parenting column .