Dr. Kaminski has been a family physician for 30 years and currently a medical director for AtlantiCare Physician Group in southern New Jersey. The Washington Post reported about one of his patients:
“A tall, lanky man with an air of quiet dignity at age 88. His legs are swollen, and merely talking makes him short of breath. He suffers from both congestive heart failure and renal failure — it’s a medical Catch-22: When one condition is treated and gets better, the other condition gets worse. His past year has been an endless cycle of medication adjustments carried out by dueling specialists and punctuated by emergency-room visits and hospitalizations.
The doctor was unsure of how he could help the man so he asked, “What are your goals for your care?” and “How can I help you?”
“I would like to be able to walk without falling,” he said. He went on to say he wanted to stay in his home.
Instead of more tests, hospitalizations, or complex treatments, he just needed physical therapy and eventual hospice care. The patient was happy and the doctor’s task was easy, after asking a simple question.
For the full article go to A doctor discovers an important question patients should be asked
The important question is ….
There is a similar question that has saved me 75% of my time and it has done the same for many others.
Just as the doctor is tempted to look at the illness and issue to find the best solution … those of us who are problem solvers instinctively look for opportunities to solve every problem set before us … and we wonder why we are so busy.
When someone wants your time, ask them “What do you need from me right now?” You don’t need to listen to the build up or guess where they are going in their conversation. You just ask.
My experience is most people want less from me than I thought they would or they quickly became more accountable for the issue rather than asking me directly to solve their problem. If the response to the need is quick it only takes a couple of minutes. If it is bigger requirement, we can schedule time or suggest another direction.
It saves you time to be clear about the other person’s needs right now. Conversely, you can save others time and get more of what you want by being clear up front what you need from them in a conversation or meeting.