Unintended Communication

Communication has been one of the largest components of the Telluride Experience thus far. My earlier post discusses the lack of thought I have previously put into outward, verbal communication. The same is true (if not more true) for the subtle, nonverbal side of communication. With that being said, it was quite a shock to have a wonderful presentation that happened to discuss nonverbal communication often being more harmful to the relationship with a colleague and how that can lead to harm to the patient. I think that the biggest solution to this problem is something rather simple and one that has also been tossed around a lot this week: being mindful. Be aware of the way you are talking to those around you. Your tone. Your body language. Take the time to actually get to the know all of the people on the team. There is nobody “too low” on the hierarchy to deserve your time, especially when you realize the necessity to rid medicine of the hierarchy itself. I still believe that most people medicine do not intend to harm others through their communication. The problem isn’t in the intention, it is in the lack of mindfulness to realize that every aspect of communication can have a significant impact on those around you.