How to improve client listening and information retention
Have you ever found yourself frustrated when clients forget or misinterpret important information you’ve shared with them? It’s not uncommon for people to forget a significant portion of what they were told within a short period of time. However, understanding the factors that influence information retention can help us improve communication and set ourselves up for success. In this blog post, we’ll explore strategies to optimize both the listener and the speaker, ultimately enhancing client information retention and listening.
Setting the Listener up for Success:
1. Lower the stress of the listener: High levels of stress can hinder a person’s ability to listen effectively. If a client is highly stressed, it’s important to delay communication until their stress level lowers. Offer support and provide a calm environment for them to collect themselves.
2. Invite the listener to record the conversation: Encourage clients to use their smartphones to record important discussions. This allows them to review the information later or share it with others, ensuring better retention of crucial details.
3. Ask clients to put their phones on silent mode: Distractions, such as text message notifications, can disrupt a listener’s focus. Request that clients silence their phones during conversations to maintain engagement.
4. Consider the client’s schedule: Ensure that the client has enough time available for a meaningful conversation. If they are pressed for time, it may be best to reschedule the discussion for a more convenient moment.
5. Provide comfort and nourishment: Offering a glass of water and, if needed, some crackers can create a more comfortable environment for the client. Hydration and satiety can enhance their cognitive performance and attentiveness.
Setting the Speaker up for Success:
1. Make a conversation plan: Prepare and structure your conversations to avoid rambling or overwhelming clients with excessive information. Focus on the top 3-5 key points and use handouts for additional details.
2. Speak clearly, confidently, pause frequently, and ask open-ended questions: Use plain language to communicate effectively. Pause frequently to allow the listener’s brain to process information, and ask open-ended questions to keep them engaged.
3. Avoid going on tangents: Stay on track during conversations and address off-topic questions later. Taking notes of topics to discuss can help you stay focused.
4. Minimize distractions: Eliminate sound and visual distractions in the environment to maintain the client’s concentration on the conversation.
5. Provide visual aids: Visual tools, such as drawings, handouts, or models, can aid comprehension. Check off discussed points with a red pen to reinforce information.
By applying these techniques, we can foster effective communication, resulting in better patient outcomes and client satisfaction.