Dr Hayden Richards is an emergency physician at University Hospital Geelong and a senior lecturer at Deakin University, Geelong. He is somewhat obsessed with the science and art of effective communication, and in particular: difficult conversations. He believes that we can all get better at having difficult conversations, and that the process of learning to do so can be seriously fun.
Comms Lab: The path to highly effective communication skills
Hayden shares all the lessons learned about how to communicate well as an emergency doctor, and a human being:
- 001 – Why Are Some Conversations More Difficult Than Others?
- 002 – Reframing: The Ultimate Cognitive-Emotional Superpower?
- 003 – De-escalating Challenging Emotions – A Battle-tested Approach
- 004 – How to Get Any Difficult Conversation Off to A Good Start
- 005 – Finish Well in any Difficult Conversation
- 006 – Why Adding Structure Will Completely Change Your Difficult Conversations
- 007 – Respond to Emotion by Naming It
- 008 – Respond to Emotion by Understanding the Driver
- 009 – 5 Things I’ve Learned About Using Respect, Praise and Appreciation to Build Relationships in the ED
- 010 – What’s a Supportive Statement, and Why is it the Only Thing That Helps Sometimes?
- 011 – Defusing strong emotions – how to consolidate your gains by exploring their story.
- 012 – Why Getting Better at Difficult Conversations May Be Easier (and More Valuable) Than You Think
- 013 – The Commonest Mistake in Responding to Emotion
- 014 – 6 Ways the Humble Signpost Will Enhance Your Communication
- 015 – Why Good Intentions Are Not Enough
- 016 – The KEY to De-escalating Aggressive Patients: PREPARATION
- 017 – How to Give Feedback that Actually Sticks
- 018 – Communication Skills for Difficult Conversations: EXAMPLES
- 019 – 5 Ways: How I Supercharged my Productivity with Better Communication Skills
- 020 – Be a Better Listener. How?
- 021 – Does it really take more time to be kind?
- 022 – How to PREPARE for any Difficult Feedback Conversation
- 023 – Difficult Feedback: How to START the Conversation
- 024 – The Power of BECAUSE
- 025 – Ethos, Pagos, Logos
- 026 – ETHOS: Leverage Your Skills to Build Trust… & Avoid the Pitfalls
- 027 – PATHOS: Build Trust at the Level of Emotion
- 028 – LOGOS: Leverage Logic to Make Your Point
- 029 – How to Change Someone’s Mind
- 030 – Changing Minds – Goals and Priorities
- 031 – 5 Strategies to Manage Your Emotions During a Difficult Conversation
- 032 – 5 Skills for Validating Other’s Emotion to Access Their Best Self
- 033 – 5 Lessons the Ocean Taught Me How To Deal With Angry People
- 034 – The Impossible Conversation: Changing Minds with Don’t-Know-Mind
- 035 – Negotiation: Positions vs Interests
- 036 – Negotiation: Adversaries or Partners?
- 037 – Mastering the Phone Referral: Comparing Structured Approaches
- 038 – Mastering the Phone Referral: 5 Things You Must Understand BEFORE You Call
- 039 – Dealing With Referral Pushback: 5 Simple Strategies
- 040 – Graded Assertiveness: What’s the Best Approach?
Highly effective communicators are not distinguished by their KNOWLEDGE of communication skills. They are distinguished by their ability to APPLY those skills. And while gaining knowledge is relatively easy, acquiring skills can be hard.
In the Comms Lab, we focus on creating the perfect environment for the rapid acquisition and consolidation of effective communication skills. Our area of specialty is “The Difficult Conversation”. We aim to provide a truly safe, low stakes environment in which to learn and practice the toughest conversations.
Just like any laboratory, in order to the most out of Comms Lab, it’s best to get oriented before you get to work. In this video, we’ll give you the tour.
Alphabetical list of references and readings from the Comms Lab series
Articles and publications
- Burgess A, van Diggele C, Roberts C, Mellis C. Feedback in the clinical setting. BMC Med Educ. 2020 Dec 3;20(Suppl 2):460.
- Levinson W, Gorawara-Bhat R, Lamb J. A study of patient clues and physician responses in primary care and surgical settings. JAMA. 2000 Aug 23-30;284(8):1021-7
- Mauksch LB, Dugdale DC, Dodson S, Epstein R. Relationship, communication, and efficiency in the medical encounter: creating a clinical model from a literature review. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jul 14;168(13):1387-95.
- October TW, Dizon ZB, Arnold RM, Rosenberg AR. Characteristics of Physician Empathetic Statements During Pediatric Intensive Care Conferences With Family Members: A Qualitative Study. JAMA Netw Open. 2018 Jul 6;1(3):e180351.
- Smith RC, Hoppe RB. The patient’s story: integrating the patient- and physician-centered approaches to interviewing. Ann Intern Med. 1991 Sep 15;115(6):470-7
- Stewart MA. Effective physician-patient communication and health outcomes: a review. CMAJ. 1995 May 1;152(9):1423-33
- Back A, Arnold R, Tulsky J. Talking about serious news. In: Mastering communication with seriously ill patients: balancing honesty with empathy and hope. Cambridge University Press; 2009: 27
- Christian K. Finding Confidence in Conflict. 2020
- Feldman Barrett L. Ch 4. The Origin Of Feeling. In: How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain. 2017
- Feldman Barrett L. Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain. 2020 [with Extended notes appendix]
- Fischer G, Tulsky J, Arnold R. Communicating a poor prognosis. In: Portenoy R, Bruera E (eds): Topics in Palliative Care Volume 4. Oxford University Press, 2000: 75-94.
- Luna T, Renninger L. The Leader Lab: Core Skills to Become a Great Manager, Faster. 2021
- Pendleton D. The consultation: an approach to learning and teaching. Oxford general practice series No. 6. 1984
- Skipper C. Your Brain Doesn’t Work the Way You Think It Does 2020
- Voss C. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. 2016