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Do Starbucks Employees Have More Emotional Intelligence Than Your Physician?

Fri, 01/25/2013 - 6:47pm
Editor

A cranky customer snaps at his barista, lodging an unjustifiable complaint about the service, the temperature of the drink…about anything and everything.  He came into the store angry (and in pain from a chronic illness) and he needed something–or someone!–to take it out on. He is met by a well-trained smile, the barista doling out a few words of sympathy while bending over backwards to make sure he knows she has taken his complaint seriously.

Meanwhile down the street, a cranky patient snaps at his physician, lodging an unjustifiable complaint about the service, the temperature of the exam table…about anything and everything.  He came into the clinic angry (and in pain from his cancer) and he needed something–or someone!–to take it out on.  He is met by indifference: The doctor is focused on the patient’s lab values and doesn’t have time to deal with these complaints which, frankly, irk him because he knows the patient’s criticisms are unjustified.

Why are Starbucks employees often better at responding to their clients’ emotional needs than experienced physicians?  It comes down to training.

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