The Power of Humour in the Practice

You can sometimes have a draggy day or week or (yikes) longer period of time at your practice. Sometimes there is a sad event that happens and the team loses a bit of their perkiness. As this is less than optimum for your clients or patients to perceive, different practices have adopted different solutions. The following story is an extreme example of what can be done to turn the practice back into a fun place, but I think you’ll catch my drift.

Years ago, I met with a doctor and his wife about his practice and found out they had been struggling with a huge sadness for a long period of time and it was killing the practice. They wanted some help with it.   One of their daughters had been seriously injured in a car accident and everybody in their town had heard about this.   When they came to the practice for treatment, they would always sympathize with the wife who was the receptionist and also with the doctor when he was treating them. The patients would then “share” with them their own stories of people they knew with similar tragedies. The well-meaning but misguided efforts of the patients kept the doctor and his wife in constant sadness. Bad news, bad news, bad news.

My suggestion was that they tell each patient that they will have a dollar off their bill that day if they told either the receptionist or the doctor a joke or funny story, but conversely it would cost them an extra dollar on their bill if they mentioned any bad news.

It was magical how just doing that one thing turned the practice completely around! The doctor and his wife regained their bounce and interest in life and in their practice, and their statistics reflected this by soaring back up.

The patients also felt happier because they were creating a happier atmosphere with their unique senses of humour instead of perpetuating sadness.

I am not suggesting that this needs to be done for an extensive period of time. Just long enough to get everybody’s bounce back.

Your patients or clients need to come into a happy office and feel better when they leave than when they entered.


For help with ideas for practice improvement, contact us!

 

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to The Art of Management Inc. and a clickable link back to this page.

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