Do's and don'ts for interpersonal communication

2016 11 18 14 42 01 206 Practice Success2 400

Social media, online shopping, and many other aspects of modern life have greatly reduced the amount of face-to-face contact between people. As a result, many of us forget that what someone is thinking or that feelings are often communicated not so much in words but in one's body language. Your work as a dentist puts you in direct personal contact with patients, so you should learn to "read" what their body language is telling you.


Study the patient. Body language can be complex, and a person's ability to read it can range from rudimentary to masterful. You can find several online courses and videos on the subject. You may want to start with some basic instruction, then practice "reading" the body language of patients, staff members, and others in your life.


Don't forget about your body language. You also send out messages -- probably without realizing it -- with your body language. With training, you can control the subliminal messages you're projecting, which can give you an advantage in dealing with conflict resolution, case presentations, and other interpersonal situations.

Dr. Roger P. Levin is CEO of Levin Group, a leading practice management and marketing consulting firm. To contact him or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit or email

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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