I was sitting in my dentist’s office reading about 7 years of south Australian drought National Geographic when the office manager announced that Dr. John was running late due to traffic. When he finally came into the treatment room he was frazzled, and a bit upset over his traffic induced lateness. Not the mood I wanted him to be in while he was rooting around in my mouth with sharp pointy things and multispeed turbo powered diamond tipped drills!
After 21 years of hypnosis and NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming) practice I had developed the skills to nudge the good doctor into a better place to give me his best work. As I listened to his description of his commute I noticed one of the metaphors that he used to describe his drive. His “blood pressure went through the roof of his car.” Apparently there was no damage to the vehicle.
So, in a few moments I established rapport by mentioning how everyone in Atlanta knows about traffic delays, and then I got him laughing. The more he laughed at the idea of how entertaining the sight of blood pressure rising over the roof of his car must have been to the other drivers the better he felt.
When he had to go check on a nervous emergency patient I told Dr. John to cheer the guy up with the good news that I was doing just fine. Dr, John laughed again, and said, “I feel like my normal self again”. At that moment I was sure that Dr. John would do his usual excellent work with me. And, he did.