The relationship between the doctor and the patient is one of the most important problems not only for the health care system, but also for society as a whole. Ineffective communications in medical institutions is a major obstacle to achieving public health. This implies an urgent need to improve the activities of medical organizations in matters relating to the resolution of conflicts arising during medical care. An effective solution to the problem is long overdue, so the purpose of this work was to study the features of the use of Socionic typology in medical organizations to improve interpersonal interaction between doctors and patients.
Communication style; Effective communication; Info type, Small group; Socionic typology; Supporting technology
It is well known that doctor-patient relationships strongly influence the quality of medical care. With regret, we have to admit that the negative resonance of conflict situations that arise in the case of misunderstanding between medical personnel and patients is very noticeable in society . This fact implies the need to search for innovative approaches to the improvement of the communicative skills of medical workers aimed at preventing problems and conflicts that still disturb the public peace. An effective solution to this issue is long overdue, so the aim of the study was to examine in detail the typological basis of the ethical aspect of doctor-patient cooperation.
Each of us has individual characteristics and personal history; therefore it is advisable to differentiate relations between people:
• Interpersonal relations, where an important role is played by social development, education, etc. • Intertype relationships because each person has his typological features.
The key role in this study is assigned to intertype relationships. Knowledge of the mechanisms of influence on the infotype can considerably increase treatment efficiency and speed up the healing process. The doctor who understands the Socionic structure of his mentality is able to realize and thereby supervise his state and his actions. If he feels irritation or discomfort, he should understand both the internal and external causes of this condition. A person who is aware of himself and the interlocutor can eliminate the source of the conflict or avoid it. In many cases in order to compose yourself you only need a comprehension of the situation. Socionic thinking gives the person more confidence.
In the post-Soviet space, Socionics acts as a counterpart to the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) test, widespread in the United States and Western Europe. Socionics does not require any obligatory actions from us, but it offers additional tools that can help us in any specific situations. When communicating with patients, the doctor will be able to distinguish where the problem of interpersonal incompatibility is hidden, identifying features of the patient’s behavior that seem offensive to him, but in fact are not. Knowledge of yourself and others allows you to ignore small conflicts connected with psychological incompatibility but to act in a wider range. Medical professional should know in advance whether it is possible to make a joke in a particular situation, how the patient will react and whether it will help establish good communication. The issues of personal compatibility are the most developed and verified in Socionics. Its use is most effective and reliable in this area.
It is irrefutably proven that bad relationships, regardless of whether they are related to the characteristics of the type's information metabolism or to the personal qualities of the individual, have a detrimental effect on people's health. However, modern deontological techniques do not help at all, since they are not linked to the info types who should use them. Accordingly, it remains unclear: to which people, in what specific situations and how should these techniques be applied? The process of conflict management in medical organizations is still dependent on a set of parameters, among which ethics and intuition are given much less importance than logic and facts.
The study used the method of modeling the behavior of people and their relationships, based on Socionic typology. Multidimensionality and systemic nature were its advantages. It is also characterized by formalization, as well as context-based implicit algorithms, which provide an opportunity to objectify the diversity and variability of interpersonal relationships. However, the complexity of the subject area and the impossibility of practical application without the guidance of an experienced mentor do not allow us to expect the widespread use of Socionics in health care; even though this is an amazingly powerful tool. Meanwhile, obtaining initial information in typology and mastering elementary skills of working with info types could well be considered necessary professional competence of a doctor or nurse.
It is well known that knowledge remains dead without practice. In this regard, we have applied the so-called Supporting Technology, which is quite practical and easy to learn. This technology was invented by the famous Russian business trainer and the head of “Living Socionics”™ Studio Eleonora Berdutina and was successfully applied during her coaching sessions and consultations of top managers of various enterprises and organizations [2, 3]. It was also tested many times in clinics. It is based on an emphasis on the communicative phenomenon called Communication Styles. In Socionics, the term Communication Styles is assigned to one of the so-called small groups: R24 . Communication style is a complex indicator of communicative activity, which determines the usual way of contacting people with each other at close distances .
The distribution of info types to logicians and ethics, intersecting with the distribution of extroverts and introverts, forms 4 groups: Extroverted logic, Introverted logic, Extrovert ethics and Introverted ethics.
Figure 1: Small group R24 – Communication Styles.
On the one hand, awareness of the interlocutor's communication style allows us to hear him correctly and, therefore, understand him better. This alone is enough to prevent conflict situations. On the other hand, the doctor can also communicate with the patient in the most convenient form for his perception.
Reliance on the Communication style of allows you to consciously connect to the melody of speech and the construction of phrases in such a way as to best fit the person’s info type and present the information in a familiar and accessible manner. This greatly reduces the likelihood of conflicts that develop due to a banal ignoring the principles of communicative interaction. Patients usually do not comprehend their Communication style, but thoughtful adjustment to the interlocutor is very important for the doctor. He needs to quickly determine which group of Communication style the patient belongs to. This is not as difficult a task as info type diagnosing, which can only be done by reputable Socionic experts. The health care provider will not have to exert excessive efforts and adjust the form of presenting information if his Communication style coincides with that of the patient: rapport may appear by itself. Communication in a naturally inherent style provides us with confidence and a sense of inner freedom, and knowledge and skillful use of the features of our info type, its advantages and disadvantages, allows us to perform our duties as effectively as possible for others and comfortable for ourselves.
The innovativeness of the Supporting technology consists in appealing to the ability of people to master, besides their own Communication style, two adjacent styles according to one of their characteristics. A business-inclined info type will be able to adjust to passionate and cold-blooded info types of people with high probability, passionate one – to business-inclined and soulful persons, cold-blooded info type – to soulful and business-inclined info types of people, soulful one – to passionate and cold-blooded persons. A completely alien Communication style is based on 2 distinctive characteristics of the “Logic-Ethics” and “Extroversion-Introversion” dichotomies. However, it should be noted that the dual info type refers to such an alien style. In this case, the task of using a suitable Communication style for the patient is simplified due to the compatibility effect of Communication styles with each other by the supplementing influence. The dual pair is united by common life values and has the ability to use all the advantages of complementary intertype interaction, and therefore, a conflict situation can be resolved with the awareness and goodwill of both parties. But when the doctor and patient are not duals, we should not expect a favorable prognosis [6, 7].
Thus, supporting technology paves the way for the partners to achieve empathic and cognitive resonance. Therefore, the doctor at the initial contact is recommended to make an adjustment to the Communication style of the patient. This will come out easily and well if the styles coincide, but with a mediocre result, if the styles are congruent only in one of the characteristics. If the patient’s Communication style is completely contrasted, adjustment will be impossible except in the case of dualism. When a doctor and patient belong to different groups of styles and in the absence of duality, the task of counteracting conflicts is complicated by the need to accurately determine the patient's info type. This is required in order to communicate with the patient with the help of peculiar and familiar semantic structures. Unfortunately, the task of the selection of words and expressions of a suitable context and semantic coloring can be solved only by an experienced consultant in Socionics .
Supporting technology is described in most detail in my book “Socionic vision on Bioethics and Deontology”. In particular, the monograph describes the secrets of using this technology to build a “lean medicine” system in large Russian medical centers. Certainly there is no one universal methodology . Consensus and conflict always coexist, and physicians will inevitably continue to find suitable tools to regulate relationships, explain their position, summarize experience and implement plans and projects in accordance with the situations that arise. Understanding the needs of opposing sides and the capabilities of methodologies can help choose effective means to manage conflict in a concrete situation .
In reference mastering the above recommendations will contribute to the integration of Socionic typology into the production activities of medical institutions; it can help to restructure the context of professional interactions of health workers and to orient their thinking in the direction of communication modeling. Satisfaction of a person in need of medical care and social support cannot be a matter of chance; it must be predicted and systematically achieved as a result of strictly verified actions of competent professionals. First of all, this is an exact scientific calculation, and not a mythical flair or psychological balancing act. This material will also allow all people to take a fresh look at medical ethics and deontology from the perspective of Socionics; it will also undoubtedly be useful to students studying medical and psychological specialties. It is important to emphasize once again that if the doctor knows his own Communication style and patient style, then he can predict with a high degree of probability which obstacles will interfere with their productive communication. The use of supporting technology based on communicative styles will help you to plan, competently manage the course of the dialogue, defend your position, take into account the opponent's motives, timely and competently influence him, foresee his reaction.