Posts tagged giving advice

Issue 11: Thinking AND Listening : The Ultimate Juggling Act!

As health professionals, we are trained to use our minds in the listening process to listen evaluatively. Listening evaluatively enables us to perform two very important functions within the medical model of patient care:

1. Assess our client’s nutritional health

2. Formulate an appropriate intervention, education or prescription.

Our skill as evaluative listeners is a hand in glove match for performing the role of helper in the medical model. However, when we start to segue into the client centered model, evaluative listening can often prove to be something of a hindrance. Let’s explore why.

Through our training, we are often oriented towards spending valuable listening energy formulating responses and advice whilst our client is talking. Our busy and eager ‘helping mind’ can really get in the way of effectively attending to our clients’ messages. This can cost us valuable engagement and can also set us up to work much harder than our client.

Let’s consider too that when our clients are struggling it can be so tempting to step out of listening and engage in some quick ‘installation therapy’ i.e. telling the client what we know to make them ‘better’. And we often know a lot of really useful stuff! But as many of us have learned the hard way, installation therapy rarely works……….

…….our client may simply not be ready to hear what we know
……what we know may be irrelevant (ouch)
………..or our client may have a much better idea of what they need to do!

So when we need to be listening, what are we to do with our expert knowledge and urge to help? Neither are wrong, it’s just how we harness them that keeps them useful. As a place to start, it can be helpful to remember the power of keeping our client front and center and our ideas second place. Read on for some tips on this challenging process…

Read Issue 11

#active listening #giving advice

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Issue 2: How Do We Give Advice and Stay Client Centered?

Thanks for all of your great feedback from Issue 1 of Practice Pavestones. Following on from this issue I had a number of readers ask a very similar question regarding how to remain client centered whilst also providing advice. This is such a great question I thought I would feature this in Issue 2.

To start, let’s imagine this (real life) scenario.

A client Mary, is nearing the end of her session with her Dietitian. The Dietitian enquires as they are winding up:
‘Mary, I’m wondering what stood out for you today in our discussion? What felt helpful to you?’
Mary reflects, takes a minute and responds
‘You listened to me and you didn’t’ tell me what to do, it is such a relief!’

The client goes on to describe a couple of ideas she has taken from session she would like to work on or pay attention to.

How was this achieved without leaving the client feeling advised? Given the Dietitian is traditionally there to give advice and probably did during various stages of the session – how are we to understand this comment? What is going on!?

Giving advice can be a vital part of being helpful but depending on HOW we do it we can run the risk of disempowering our client or rupturing our working alliance. If you are called upon to advise in your work with clients ………you are encouraged to read on!

Read Issue 2

#client centered #giving advice

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