Do you ‘block’?

If you ‘block’, when you’re communicating with clients or workmates, then you could be considered to be;
less trustworthy
hiding something
nervous or insecure.

If your client ‘blocks’ during a consultation, then they too could be feeling insecure, nervous, defensive or not trusting of you or of what you are saying.
No matter the reason for the blocking – your message is not getting across and therefore the conversation will have less good outcomes.
Certainly not a win-win….
Learn more about ‘blocking’ in this week’s blog on Better Communication – it’ll only take you 3.50 mins.

Click Here to listen to the Podcast

See below to read the Transcript




Hi, it’s Diederik Gelderman here and Welcome to Week Four in our Better Communication series. 

Today, I want to talk about blocking and the HUGE negative power of blocking.

Imagine this book is a handbag, imagine this is a clipboard, imagine this is a book—which is it—I just picked it up, I mean it’s just a book. Imagine it’s a computer, or imagine it’s any physical object, and if you walk into the exam room like that, we talked in week one about visible hands, so my hands aren’t visible, especially my thumbs, and that’s a really important negative first impression. But, the other thing that this object is doing, is that it is blocking me from the client, and that immediately decreases your trustworthiness, your likeability and the respect that the client gives you. 

Let me just put this book down.

The same happens—and I’m hoping I don’t muck my mic up—but if you walk into the exam room like this or stand like this (crossed arms and hands up in armpits) in the exam room.

Whether you’re cold or not, it doesn’t make any difference. If you’re cold and you stand like this, you’re blocking, and immediately, there is a decrease in rapport, a decrease in the ability to communicate, a decrease in the ability to get the message across. 

So, whether you’re crossing your arms because you’re tired or because you’re cold, or because this is the way you normally stand, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter one tiny little bit. 

The message is not going to get across, as well as the client is going to trust you less, and therefore you’re going to be able to do less with their pet. 

It’s really, really important to NOT block, either accidentally or deliberately, if that makes sense, and by deliberately, I’m talking about holding a clip board or something like that.

Put the clip board down on the table or hold it out to one side so that it’s NOT between you and the client. Don’t hold it between you and the client. 

Exactly the same thing happens from the client’s perspective. 

If a client is blocking, there are some very important things that are going to happen: 

  • they’re going to receive / understand less of message from you when they’re blocking, and even if it’s accidental—if they’re holding their handbag in front of them, they’re protecting themselves from you, as it were. If they’re holding the pet between you and the them, it’s the same sort of thing. 

There are all sorts of strategies that you can use to unblock – both yourself and the client. 

Obviously, from your own perspective, you can unblock by putting that object down or not walk in with it in the first place. 

If you’ve got a client that’s blocking, whether it’s like this or whether they’ve got a hand bag or something like that, with a handbag or something between you, come around to them and stand next to them and that will lessen the impact of that block. 

If they’ve crossed their arms, give them a model to play with, like of the skeleton if you’re talking about a skeleton, or give them pen and paper and suggest they take notes. 

Do whatever it is that you can do to get them to uncross their arms and to unblock.

It is really, really important to get better communication between the team member and the client, because once again, a blocked communication is going to mean that they are going to take up less of your recommendations, and therefore there are going to be poorer patient outcomes.

A really simple, short message today, and something for you to practice between now and when we catch up again.

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