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Patients Don’t Want to Be Happy, They Want This

Patients Don’t Want to Be Happy, They Want This


Hey everybody. Well, we are talking about retention this year, and with retention we’re building retention programs a lot of things that we think of is how can we make people happy? How can we make our patients happy, how can we keep our staff happy, how can we keep ourselves happy? And we think we want to be happy, but the research is saying that’s not necessarily true.

Many of us are working towards some other end, and our patients are thinking about their relationship with us in a different way. And this is really important because even though we think we’re working towards happiness, what we’re actually working towards is satisfaction. And the differences between happiness and satisfaction are quite distinct. Happiness is a momentary experience that arises spontaneously and is fleeting, while satisfaction creates a long-term feeling. It’s built over time and experience, and it’s based on actually achieving the goals that you wanted to achieve and having the life that you admire with yourself, right, with yourself. So, let me give you an example of this. When we’re talking to patients we can make them happy in the moment, right? Hey, this’ll make you happy, here’s this thing, here’s a discount. But what keeps them connected to us is the idea that we have a history of attainment together.

We have a history of satisfying goals together. We can look back and say this is what we’ve achieved together. And thus, when we’re starting a new patient we want to talk about the fact that we are on a program, we’re on a path, but the goal is to achieve something together, to get them to a point where they can look back at their timeline and feel really satisfied that they did something very, very well. You see, most people don’t maximize happiness that way. They’re either happy and then in another moment they want to be happy, and then in another moment they’re happy again. But with satisfaction it lasts, and people want to maximize their satisfaction with themselves in their lives. And so, that leads to a different type of relationship. The key here is memory. Satisfaction is retrospective.

Happiness occurs in real time. So, they found in the research that if people tell them a story, themselves, a story about their life it may or may not add up to a current state of happiness, but if the day-to-day experiences showed that they accomplished what they were working towards in some way it will yield positive feelings and create a more enduring memory, a more enduring reason why they want to stay connected to you.

Because feelings pass. Sad days go away, happy days go away, but your memories of accomplishment, well, they stay together with you for a long, long time. And so, that’s what I want to focus on this week. I want you to look at your conversations with patients, and are you anchoring the process you’ve been through and what you’ve accomplished? Are you putting your language out into the future as this is what we’re going to do in order to accomplish this thing that will be a memory for you, that will make a difference for you? You see, it’s always worth asking if we’re happy if we want to be happy, you know?

Are we happy with the situation around us? But if you want those feelings to create a positive, lasting memory you have to see what you’re accomplishing because that’s really what we’re going for, all right? So, there’s a retention tool for this week. When you’re talking about your report of findings show people what the goal is that we’re going to accomplish, and how we’re gonna celebrate that accomplishment. It’ll keep much better, much stronger retention programs around you. All right, my name’s Dr. George Birnbach, I’ll talk to you real soon. Buh-bye.

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