Considering How I Phrase Things

There is a prescriber at work who has made an interesting impact on me and I’m not sure if she is even aware. I have become much, much more conscientious about now I say that I don’t actually know the answer to one of her questions. When I first started working at the ATU I received some feedback from a coworker basically saying that this prescriber was more or less pissed that I was okay with saying those three words “I don’t know.” It was unprofessional and unacceptable. Since then I have learned, especially when speaking with her, to make sure that I always answer with something else. this usually means things like, “you know, I’m uncertain about that but I think so and so may know. It has also forced me to pay a lot more attention to what people say about a clients behavior or what’s going on with them because I don’t want to be caught saying anything resembling I don’t know if it’s at all humanly possible.Her opinion of me and my capabilities have shifted over the last six months or so. I don’t believe she is hesitant to hear what I have to say about what’s going on with a client. She trusts that if she asks me to do something I’ll get it done or at least do my darnedest to make it happen. I’m surprised sometimes when I consider what her opinion of me was a year ago and what it has become and it makes me realize how much changing one small bit of speech can really do for you. methinks it’s a lesson that can be applied to multiple parts of my life. Now just to figure out what other key phrases I need to be way of.

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2 thoughts on “Considering How I Phrase Things

  1. I’m a little late reading this, because I’ve been way behind the blog stuff in general. I find this interesting, on the one hand because you can see real changes in your relationship with this person from considering you “unprofessional” to trusting you with stuff – that’s cool. But on the other hand, it is a major pet peeve of mine when people get mad at hearing “I don’t know”. Are they mad that you phrased it badly (that’s dumb, are you supposed to lie? make up a bunch of BS about “being uncertain” just to avoid a simple phrase?) or are they mad that you don’t know something you ought to know (more reasonable, but why were you supposed to know it?). These are different problems. I’m overly sensitive… I got the “you should’ve known better” lecture a few too many times as a kid… so I’m very skeptical of anyone who tells me I should or should not know something. Anyway, seems like you’ve worked out something that suits you, I think that’s what matters. /endrant

    • I got lectured about saying, “I know,” all the time to get people of my back or to stop talking to me. Then I guess I went the other way. It probably didn’t help that it was a new gig and I felt really uncertain about everything after being the go-to person for several years. That really messed with me. I’m just happy that my relationship with her had gotten better and that I have learned a lesson on how some people perceive that phrase.

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