There’s a game I like to play with friends that I sometimes initiate during those moments of awkward silence after the catching up and small talk are complete. I call it This or That? It’s simple to play. You pose two choices in the form of a question. Let’s play.
Rice or pasta?
Gold or silver?
Friday or Monday?
In other words, if given the choice, which would you prefer?
Uncovering someone's preferences a fun way to get to know them. Sometimes the distinctions can be quite small or reveal nuances that most of us rarely consider, opening up new topics to explore:
Sherbet or ice cream?
Tennis shoes or sneakers?
Dog or cat?
This little diversion and handy icebreaker came to mind as I was thinking about what a typical chiropractor would consider most important in their patient relationships. For example, how would your prioritize the following pairs?
Adjusting a patient or educating a patient?
New patient or reactivating patient?
Symptomatic patient or nonsymptomatic patient?
Referred patient or spinal screening patient?
Your choices reveal much about your motives, interests and the type of practice you have manifested. (Even more revealing is how many of your preferences would be shared with your support staff!) Shall we continue?
Getting patients or keeping patients?
Pediatric patient or adult patient?
Morning appointments or afternoon appointments?
Insurance or cash?
Knowing what the most important value you wish to communicate to your team and practice members is of paramount importance. Knowing can produce some surprising insights and powerful breakthroughs. It can help you become more mindful of what’s really important. It helps avoid majoring on the minors.
Consider the various Disney parks around the world. You might think that the highest value is entertainment, cleanliness or wholesome family fun. Nope. It’s guest safety. When you’re playing host to millions, this unglamorous, largely hidden, quality comes first before anything else.
What comes first in your practice? What’s the one, most important aspect of your patient relationships?
I’m guessing most chiropractors haven’t given it too much thought. Or they’ve assumed that a great examination, report of findings and a reasonably effective adjusting technique will pretty much take care of things. Nope. Granted, they’re important, but I’m guessing they may not be the most important.
Not convinced? Here are a few more pairs that might help clarify my assertion:
Results or satisfaction?
Certainty or curiosity?
Trust or respect?
Compliance or understanding?
Short term or long term?
Words or pictures?
Asking or telling?
Keep going. This is just a start. Resolving these and many other distinctions can fundamentally change how you practice and help attract that which you value most. If your practice is falling short of your dreams, chances are you have failed to make some important distinctions:
Adjust or restore?
Fix or reduce?
Change or maintain?
Heal or facilitate?
Adapt or react?
Lead or follow?