Healthcare professionals need to be astute in their observations in order to make timely clinical assessments. But being too quick to judge others may be more of a detriment than a help.
Research shows that it takes just 7 seconds to form a first impression when face-to-face and as few as 4 on the phone. That’s the speed of judgment about someone as well. In our “Power of One” class we show attendees a series of photographs of people and ask them to write down the first word that comes to their minds. With just a glance, they form a story about the person. After hearing their reactions, we tell them a different story about each person – one that warrants empathy and compassion. It’s amazing to see how their perceptions change in an instant. Most are shocked to realize how quickly they pass judgment and how quickly it effects their attitude toward another.
One thing that I’ve learned over my decades in healthcare is that if we can assume a neutral position and suspend judgment of patients and families, we have a much better chance of engaging with them on a deeper level in partnership.
Consider these words of wisdom:
Beware of your thoughts, they become your words.
Beware of your words, they become your actions.
Beware of your actions, they become your habits.
Beware of your habits, they become your character.
Beware of your character, it becomes your destiny.