So many times I hear people talking to someone else, and all they talk about is themselves.

That’s not a conversation, it’s a monologue.

The best conversations are the ones where one person asks questions about the other person in such a way that the person doing all the answering is actually unaware that they are being spoken to with this purpose.

Years ago I heard the story about a person who jumped on a flight from New York to Los Angeles with the sole purpose of having a conversation with the person next to them on the plane where this person only asked questions of the person he sat with.

When they disembarked from the plane, the passenger who was asked all the questions was interviewed.

He was asked:

“What did you think of the person you sat next to on the plane?”

He answered:

“I thought he was the most interesting person I had ever met.”

He was then asked:

“What was his name?”

And the man replied:

“That’s funny… he never told me his name…”

What’s interesting here is that when we set out to ask questions of the person we are talking with, we actually get them talking more about their favourite subject, which is themselves.

And that engages them immensely.

And this is what happened on the plane…

At the dental office…

At the dental office, staff and practitioners can be very guilty of talking at their patients and talking about themselves.

Instead, all dental office employees should be focused on getting the patient to relax… and the easiest way of doing that is by getting the patient to talk about their favourite subject, which is themselves.

When we help our patients to talk about themselves we help them to reduce any dental anxiety they may have, and in so doing, the patient then feels similar feelings to the man on the plane… the patient says:

“The people there [at the dental practice] are always so interesting…”

Don’t overshare…

There are things that we hear and see going on at dental practices that really don’t need to be heard or said.

As you know, we listen to live recordings of incoming phone calls from actual patients. So we hear what’s being asked, and we hear what callers are being told.

And often callers are being told things that they haven’t asked to be told…

On the phones we often hear:

“Do you mind if I put you on hold, I’m just out the back…”

The caller doesn’t need to know whether you’re out the back. Or eating your lunch. Or in the bathroom.

Or this one:

“That’s Dr Smith’s day off.”

The caller doesn’t need to know that Dr Smith has a day off. The caller only needs to be told:

“I don’t have any available appointments with Dr Smith on that day. The next available I have is at 2:30pm tomorrow…”


“We’re very busy….”

“We’re fully booked up for eight weeks…”

The caller doesn’t care that your office is so popular.

What they do care about is that you’re telling them that you don’t care that they have to wait a while to see the dentist.

There are really good ways of helping patients in these situations without using tones of superiority.

The caller doesn’t need to be told this:

“Bear with me, I’m only new here and I’m still learning the software.”

Let me tell you a secret… the caller expects you to be competent. So stop telling them that you are untrained…imagine getting on the bus and the bus driver says:

“This is my first day of bus driving. I’m still learning…”

Sorry to be so brutal… but your customers expect you to be able to do the job you’ve been given… remember, it’s all about them [the customer] and not about you.

There’s no need to share or OVERSHARE anything with your patients that tries to gain acceptance for your lack of skill, or for your business’s lack of training you.

When you go the theatre and before the show they announce that the lead role will not be being played by the headline star, but rather by the understudy, do you feel disappointment, or are you emotionally neutral to that announcement?

Of course you’re disappointed…

So stop disappointing your customers with excuses.

When things don’t go to plan, don’t wish that things were better…

Wish that you were better.

Make yourself better.

Make yourself the best possible version of you that you could possibly be….

And when you do that, you’ll make your customers happy that they choose to business with you…


Dr. David Moffet BDS FPFA CSP is a certified CX Experience coach. David works with his wife Jayne Bandy to help SME businesses improve their Customer Service Systems to create memorable World Class experiences for their valued clients and customers. Click here to find out how David and Jayne can help your business