A great example of Fantastic Body Language

I always talk to my practices about the importance of body language when communicating with patients. In communication there are three key areas of importance. Surprisingly 7% is the words we say, 35% is the tone we use whilst saying the words and finally a whopping 58% is on body language placed behind the words and tone.

This week I had the most amazing communication experience at Apple in Solihull that reminded me how powerful this is and how body language really makes you feel.

I arrived for my pre-booked appointment to mend my iPhone screen. I was greeted by a deaf man who on introducing himself to me said ‘My name is Michael and I am deaf’. Although Michael was unable to converse with words, his body language was so positive that he gave me such an incredible customer service experience that I have been raving about all week. I left Apple and immediately said to my husband that my customer service experience with Michael was just simply superb.

Michael used an iPad to communicate with me; he was quick, confident and he used so many body language skills to give me a seamless experience. When I later arrived to collect my repaired iPhone Michael spotted me straight away. He came over and delivered my checkout experience; the experience ended as it had started and I was delighted to be served by him.

Now I am not easy to impress and I have already sent Apple an email to say how impressed I was with Michael’s excellent service. To coin a phrase it really was service with a smile. Some of you will be thinking that Michael has to use body language at a high level to communicate effectively, but that’s not true it is something to be mindful of at all times. Your own body language says so much of how you are really feeling. You may be saying what you are supposed to be but unless it is delivered with the right tone and with great body language it doesn’t deliver a 5 star experience.

Here are the top six body language areas for you to think about whilst you are communicating with your patients; trust me they make such a difference.

Eye Contact

So important that you look at someone whilst speaking to them. It seems so easy but so many people don’t do it naturally or at all.

Face

You need to really watch your face, it says so much. The look on your face relaxes people in all sorts of situations; get it working correctly and this can really create an amazing atmosphere or not.

Posture

The way you sit, stand and what you do with your arms is so important. You need to mirror postures and be open with your gestures so people feel comfortable.

Hand gestures

Really important that you get this right; pointing is negative, a great handshake is a very positive experience, if done correctly.

Personal space

So important to respect personal space; some people will naturally draw you in closer depending on the relationship you have built with them. You do have to learn from experience what the boundaries are, if unsure keep a good space between you.

Body contact

In dentistry this is normally minimal, but there will be occasions that you may hold a patient’s hand in surgery or you have a hug. This is something that you will know when the time is right and you can communicate with patients, ‘would you like a hand to hold’, ‘would you like a hug’. These situations normally arise with emotional questioning patients, understanding their situations and with patients who are nervous.

There is a lot to think about, not only do the words have to be right but your tone and body language are even more important in creating an amazing communication experience. Michael from Apple used this to his advantage; his eye contact was amazing, his face was so positive, smiling, encouraging and welcoming. He gave me two great handshakes with eye contact and his posture throughout was on point. It just goes to show you can do anything with the right attitude and meeting Michael was a total joy, so much so he became the inspiration behind this week’s blog post.

Michael Bentley

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