Idea Exchange: Don't burn out on client communication-create your own handouts


Save the client lecture-try handouts instead.

It's easy to get burned out repeating the same lectures to clients. As soon as I find myself internally rolling my eyes because I am repeating the same talk for the third time in one day, I know it's time for a handout.

I prefer to write my own handouts because I think they are received better by clients when they're in my own words. With the commercially available handout packages, I always found myself doing major editing because they sounded too clinical and impersonal. And I learned from my first boss, Dr. Stuve, to add humor to my handouts to keep the client's attention.

During the appointment, I put the title of the handout (e.g. "Litter box blues," "Cats are carnivores") on the invoice, so the front office team knows to give the clients a copy of the handout when clients check out. That gives us one more chance to acknowledge the problem and offer potential solutions. It also creates a record that this handout was given to these clients on this day.

Dr. Susan McMillan

Burlington, Vt.

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