Pointing Out Positives

Build rapport and trust by noticing and pointing out positives. Take care not to pander by giving generic “praise” that is not specific to the individual. People can tell when someone is giving an insincere compliment. Pay attention to the positives so you can give genuine positive feedback; point out health-supporting behaviors and acknowledge health-related knowledge. This demonstrates to your patient that you appreciate them for who they are as an individual and that you are on their side.

Examples of patients’ positive behavior to point out:
•    Insightful questions they’ve asked
•    Condom use consistency
•    Adherence to a birth control method
•    Exercise consistency
•    Diet improvement
•    Smoking cessation
•    Weight loss
•    Ways in which the person is knowledgeable about health-related topics

·     Whenever they know about contraception, STDs or health
·     If the person is in the field (an RN, MA, dental assistant…)
·     If they are studying biology or any science

•    “It’s great that you were so strong in standing up for yourself during...  [fill in a situation...]”
•    “You’ve clearly thought about this a lot...  so what do you make of this situation?”
•    “You ask really great questions...”
•    “I’m impressed that even with all of those challenges, you’ve been using a condom every time."
•    “You are clearly interested in protecting yourself.”