Every conflict boils down to one key formula: E – R = C.
The letters stand for expectations, reality, and conflict. Conflict occurs when there’s a gap between expectations and reality. The bigger the gap, the bigger the conflict.
If a problem arises, it’s usually because someone set expectations too high. When expectations are too high, reality will always disappoint you.
Let’s say a patient comes in for a hygiene appointment. You tell the patient it’ll only take about 30 minutes. But during the exam, you notice heavy staining on their teeth. Your hygienist needs extra time to remove the stains, which puts the appointment closer to an hour. The patient leaves very upset that the appointment took longer than expected.
How can we fix this?
Start with lower expectations, and communicate them to the patient. That way, reality will always be a pleasant surprise. A patient will be very pleased when their hour-long appointment only lasts 30 minutes!
One last thing: reality can change. Expectations have to change with it.
Still not sure how it works? Check out this short video to see the formula in action!