Be Specific and Clear
Part of speaking to people is, well, speaking to people. To avoid miscommunication, speak clearly and stay on topic. If you are curious or need clarification about something, don’t hesitate to ask, ever. You never know when a patient’s life will be saved by you thinking to ask. If you are feeling frustrated by a fellow nurse’s point-of-view, in the interest of a win-win situation, try to look at the big picture and, if you must, excuse yourself from the conversation altogether. The quickest way to lose respect in the hospital is to let your emotions take over your professionalism. Being kind and courteous should always win out over your efforts to be right.
On that note…
Say Exactly What You Mean
No one likes to listen to someone drone on. Often, the more you say, the less is heard. Keep things specific, use facts, and be conversational — not confrontational.
Listen — REALLY Listen
When you’re talking, show other nurses and patients that you hear them and that you understand. Most times, people just want to be heard. Prefacing your comments with a rephrasing of their last statement will both put them at ease and make them more open to listening and understanding your stance and possible solution. This works wonders on patients!
Don’t Feel Guilty for Being Assertive
It’s more than okay to stand up for yourself, your ideas, and opinions. Being assertive is, in fact, very important when communicating with fellow staff members, patients and doctors. Practice, assess the situation and use confidence to emphasize rather than provoke. Remember, in the end, it’s respect you seek.