Tag Archives: Letting Go: What should medicine do when it can’t save your life?

Those First Few Seconds – This Is When You Can Move Towards Winning, Or Lose Entirely

This is short, and to the point.  You don’t have long to make that good first impression.  And that first impression is close to the whole ball game.

Or, let me put it this away.  You may not “win,” (the job, the girl, the contract, the sale) in those first few seconds.  But you can certainly “lose” in those first few seconds.

Here’s the latest reinforcement for this.   It is from the gripping, lengthy article by Atul Gawande in The New Yorker: Letting Go: What should medicine do when it can’t save your life? (If you read this blog much, you know that I am a raving fan of Atul Gawande’s work). The subject is dealing with end of life issues.  It’s not an easy article to read.  But, I suspect, it is an important article to read.

But this blog post is not about the article itself, but about those first few seconds.  The quote comes from Sarah Creed, a nurse for a hospice service.  Here’s the quote:

The initial visit is always tricky, but she has found ways to smooth things over.
“A nurse has five seconds to make a patient like you and trust you. It’s in the whole way you present yourself. I do not come in saying, ‘I’m so sorry.’ Instead, it’s: ‘I’m the hospice nurse, and here’s what I have to offer you to make your life better. And I know we don’t have a lot of time to waste.’ ”

Here’s the life/business lesson:  in every encounter, ask yourself – “how do I set myself up to ‘win’ in those first few seconds?”