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Is your patient marketing to you from the chair?

Can you motivate a dentist with compliments?  This interesting theory is offered by author, Tyler Cowen, in his book, Discover Your Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist.

The following is an excerpt from:  Economics for Humans: Tyler Cowen on Using Incentives for a Better Life; Published: December 06, 2007 in Knowledge@Wharton:

Knowlege@Wharton: In your book, you write that you try to motivate your dentist by complimenting her. Is a good rule of thumb, then, that when you want performance from people, whether they are your employees or your children or your boss, you should start out by praising them?

Cowen: It is a good rule of thumb. But in terms of dentists, the most important point is just to realize that you have to motivate them. They don’t treat all their patients the same way. They’re not always inspired. They’re not always equally careful to minimize pain. As patients or consumers of care, we tend to shy away from that thought, because we feel if we admit it to ourselves, we’ll get very nervous. But just by thinking about it at all, you’ll probably get better treatment.

Knowlege@Wharton: So you need to make yourself special to your dentist.

Cowen: Whatever you do, whether it’s chatting about a mutual hobby, bringing a Christmas gift or writing a thank-you card, you need to make yourself stand out in their emotional lives.

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