In my travels, around various wellness practices I see this all the time. Practice owners push and prod their team in the hope they will get into action and see more patients.
The more they prod the less result, and the more resignation from both sides.
If you think about this for a second, it makes perfect sense.
How do you feel when you feel like you’re pushing someone? Angry, tired, resigned, resentful, upset, frustrated… I mean why are you pushing them in the first place? Most likely they’re not performing in the way you want them to and you want them to be successful so you’re successful and then maybe, you’ll retain them for longer.
How do you think they feel when they’re pushed? Angry, tired, resigned, resentful, upset, frustrated…you get the picture.
This is not a win-win, far from it.
So, what’s the cost? Less productivity, quieter appointment books and ultimately a practitioner who leaves, costing you valuable time and money you’ve spent ‘trying’ to invest in them during the start-up period. A missed opportunity all round.
What’s really happening here is what we call ‘Friction’ as opposed to flow. Think about dancing with someone. When they move back you move forwards and visa versa. What would happen if you both moved forwards or away at the same time? Friction, not flow.
This is the same as ‘push’ energy. It negates the fundamental universal law of Attraction.
The tragedy is push energy requires heaps of effort when you’re already feeling like you’re micro-managing and burning out. So, if a practitioner leaves after you’ve expended all this additional effort ‘pushing’ them to build their practices, this has the potential to lead practice owners to breakdown and ultimately give up.
My good friend and mentor, Marcus Bird from The Wellness Leadership Academy talks about ‘pull’ energy. This is when you get out front (and stay out front) and lead and inspire your team to follow. You set the example, raise the bar and then keep moving forwards.
When I took this on, it was like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I literally felt lighter. I could breathe again for the first time. The pressure I had been feeling for so many years was starting to dissipate.
I started to almost immediately notice changes.
My practitioners started to ask me for advice, tip and hints; they wanted to book time to get mentored on specific subjects like ‘scheduling the follow up appointment’, ‘how to review your client’ etc.; patient numbers started to increase; my team appeared more responsive, more engaged, happier to be in my space; they seemed more coachable and eager to do whatever it took to elevate their practice.
So, let’s talk about the three keys to move your practice towards the ‘pull’ model rather than the ‘push’ model.
- Mentor your team: If you want to run a successful wellness practice you need to be the leader. Your team are looking for leadership and you’re it! So, you may as well be the mentor they need you be. Now but here’s the catch! Not all people can be or want to be mentored. Just like the dance, they need to move towards you, they need to be teachable. My mentor, Marcus Bird always said, if you need mentoring, help, advice, support…it is your responsibility to speak up, book a call, book a meeting, and be really clear what you need. ‘The Squeaky wheel gets the oil’! This is ‘pull’ not ‘push’. Only give your energy and time to those team members stepping forwards otherwise you will get frustrated, upset, angry, resentful…you get the picture. We’re all adults, and we’re all accountable and responsible for ourselves. It is each team members responsibility to reach out and take action. It is not yours to chase, push, force anyone to get stuff done. Your role is solely to lead out front, inspire, create opportunity and respond if they want help. The trick here is to train your team to say help when they need it. You want them to hide. And this takes trust in you and your practice to convey this message. They need to know that there are no mistakes, and they don’t have to get it right. It’s about how quickly they realize they’re off track and how fast they correct.
And their mentor or practice principal you will respond to the call.
- Recruit your avatars: One day back a few years in my practice evolution, I came to realise ‘yours truly’ was going to burn out fast if I didn’t create more “yours truly” clones. At this time, I was covering everything: Practice principal; Practitioner; Finance Manager; Accounting Manager; Bookkeeping; Administration; Reception manager; Business Operations etc.
It was getting tough managing all of us and see patients. I had leave plenty at the back door if you get my meaning.
So, one day I was watching the movie, AVATAR and something clicked. I realised I needed to create more of me, not so much clones, but Avatars. I needed to segregate all the different tasks and assign to different roles.
I imagined sitting around my board room table with a team of avatars who all looked like me. Each one was head of something. I then created their job descriptions and started wearing just one hat at a time.
Once this was in place I set about recruiting. I needed a team to replace all my clone-avatars so that I could focus on what I do best, lead and inspire!
But here’s the catch. I needed to be the leader to attract the avatars I needed. I needed to ‘be’ inspiration, aspiration, motivation to ‘pull’ the right team to me.
- Attract using a ‘best practice’ model: To create a ‘pull’ energy you need, we recommend the ‘best practice’ model, “…a method or technique that has been…accepted as superior to any alternatives because it produces results that are superior to those achieved by other means….” Wikipedia
The current consensus is a ‘patient centred’ management model is ‘best practice’. This is where the patient is provided with all the necessary information to make a well informed consensual decision about their treatment. This includes both cost and anticipated duration of treatment.
The end game is help our patients actively participate in their own health management plan where the practitioner(s) become part of the patient’s model as opposed to the start position where the practitioner is directing the process. The patient is presented with a range of choices which may or may not be available in your practice. This encourages the patient to plan their health management. The initial practitioner may assist in the planning by providing balanced, ethical, unbiased information and referral options with the patient’s end goal always paramount. Ultimately patients move (pull energy) towards a preventative, inter-disciplinary way of thinking rather than pain motivated (push energy).
The hope is the patient centred, preventative, educational message will spread to the wider community by way of networking, word of mouth, social media, blogging etc. thereby raising the collective consciousness not only within the practice community but the local demographic as well.
In the beginning this wasn’t my natural way of thinking or being. I had to learn the skills necessary to create a ‘pull energy’ and with persistence it became easier. This is why we run the Practice Leverage Revolution, to show you how to create more ‘pull energy’ and less ‘push energy’.
CLICK HERE to find out more
It’s never been a more important time to develop a wellness practice that runs itself so you can have both time and financial freedom…and you need the right team that’s going to get you there! Ultimately, it’s about getting your practice scalable and saleable.
The Practice Leverage Revolution does not focus on any single modality but rather, on the creation of wellness teams working together to grown exponentially and leverage results for practitioners, support staff, clients and you the owner.
It’s not just about creating an office procedure manual but rather, helps you develop and implement robust systems, inspired team and empowered marketing practices so that you can help move the world to wellness.
The Practice Leverage Revolution is founded on 30 years of clinical experience in all areas of private, allied health practice. Our models empower you to develop a business that works for you.
This is what we are going to do at our 1 day training for wellness practice owners.
We’re going to break down the myths, complexities and the language so you can build a clinic that not only serves you, your clients, but your entire community.
It’s time for change! The question is being you going to be the driving force or be dragged under and lose your dream?
I would love to help empower you to grow your thriving practice, actualize your practice dreams and create a business that’s both scalable and saleable.
P.S: Remember when you book your ticket you get one ticket on me. I recommend bringing your manager, a practitioner or someone from your reception.
P.P.S: If you have been before we invite you to come back as we’re always updating our content and you will learn it at a whole new level.
About the Author:
Dr. Andrew Arnold (Chiropractor) is Founder of the Practice Leverage Revolution, Principal Chiropractor and owner, Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Centre; Wellness Coach and Founder of Million Dollar Wellness Practice. Andrew is married to Dr. Linda Wilson, the Stress Specialist and has two children, Isaac and Bella. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.