As a mental health professional, you’ll often be in sticky situations with clients, colleagues, and other stakeholders. The odds are even more grim when you can’t get a client to see their problem for what it is.
The best sales courses say negotiation skills can help you get patients to soften any hardline stances they might have taken. Here are four of the best negotiation skills to help you achieve the best outcomes as a mental health worker.
According to a top sales course, it often takes many lengthy negotiations to reach a middle ground. The bar can be even higher in the mental health field because the people on the other side of the table are usually in the grip of stress and anxiety and your goal is to help them through that. With patience, you can create an environment where clients can feel relaxed enough to be open to solutions.
That comfort is vital because mental health conversations often involve sharing personal issues. It might take some clients longer to open the door wide on the problems they are facing. If you bear with the slow burners and let them share at their own pace, they’ll likely build more trust with you.
The Risks of Lacking Patience
If you find you’re mostly on pins and needles with patients, your performance can be marred by drawbacks, such as:
- Hasty decisions that spring out of half-baked judgments that may lead to wrong diagnoses and adverse treatment outcomes.
- Stress and burnout, stemming from patients’ failure to respond to treatment.
- Client dissatisfaction as a result of spending little time with clients and taking their concerns with a grain of salt.
- Lack of empathy, typified by being dismissive and callous.
Patience is Medicine for You, Too
Mental health patients can often exhibit erratic behaviors. On your part, prolonged exposure to this behavior can throw you into the jaws of burnout.
However, the patience skills taught in any world-class sales course can help you keep your head in such trying moments. These chops can arm you with the grit to build supportive relationships with your clients without losing steam. If you can take the time to nurture a cordial bond, you’ll be more likely to work toward better treatment outcomes.
Levenson and Ruef define empathy as the ability to know, feel, and respond well to what others are feeling. Mental health studies agree that empathy has a way of leveling the ground for better treatment outcomes. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), empathy can do wonders for those working in the mental health field by perking up treatment adherence and patient satisfaction while dialing down malpractice complaints.
All these findings show that empathy is an integral part of therapy. It can help build trust and rapport to form a relationship that’ll fan the embers of the healing process. Mastering the kind of empathy taught in sales courses can be the key to feeling the pulse of your client’s fears and anxieties. This insight can lay the ground for helpful negotiations and pave the way to more positive results.
Empathy Enables Personalized Therapy
Besides facilitating deeper conversations, empathy can help you offer a more tailored therapy experience. Before sharing their deepest thoughts, mental health patients often long to know that you can feel and understand them. They yearn to hear you say their emotions and experiences are valid. That’s the kind of safe space they need to open up in a way that will enable you to develop a treatment plan that will work best for them.
Lack of Empathy Undermines Mental Therapy
A mental health provider that lacks empathy is like putting a square peg in a round hole. Remember that mental health patients are already going through tough times. As such, an insensitive health professional can be their worst nightmare.
Here are some ways a lack of empathy can prevent you from offering effective mental therapy:
- A dysfunctional doctor-patient relationship due to failure to build rapport.
- Causing miscommunication due to shallow sharing and wrong reading of non-verbal cues.
- Stalled therapy because patients are defensive or up in arms.
- Poor treatment outcomes as a result of perceived or real negative attitudes.
Mental Health America defines emotional intelligence (EI) as the ability to see and manage your own emotions. This skill also involves being aware of and influencing the emotions of those around you. This explains why the concept of EI graces most world-class sales courses.
As a mental health provider, you often negotiate with people that are deep in an emotional black hole. EI can help you stay on top of complex talks despite such straits. Besides guiding the often-hard one-on-ones, EI can help you connect with your patients at an emotional level. This bond can boost your ability to offer effective treatment.
Lack of Emotional Intelligence Can Breed Failure
Emotions are usually the seat of mental health clients’ woes. As a mental health provider, failing to recognize your emotions and those of your clients can double a burden that’s already too heavy.
A lack of EI can cripple your performance by causing you:
- Emotional breakdown
- Collapse of open communication
- Inability to solve conflicts
- Failure to hit treatment goals
The best sales courses define effective communication as the process of sending and receiving information clearly and coherently. Indeed, from trading pleasantries to managing a workforce, the very hope of understanding each other hinges on on-the-ball exchange.
Through clear expression, you can help your patients see their conditions more easily. This tuning into the patient’s wavelength can foster cooperation and improve the ability to embrace coping strategies. This is the recipe for better treatment outcomes.
Effective Communication Leads to Effective Treatment
As a mental health practitioner, effective communication can help you:
- Build rapport with clients.
- Do accurate diagnosis.
- Roll out treatment plans.
- Simplify complex information.
- Avoid misunderstanding.
All said, negotiation skills can help you strike a chord with clients and colleagues. This harmony can open up a pathway through hard talks. In the end, you’ll reap big with on-point diagnoses, fewer tiffs, and positive treatment outcomes.