Most of us are poor receivers. Given the choice, most of us would prefer to give than receive. We're taught early on that it is better to give than receive. That seems to be especially true of professional caregivers.
Giving without receiving is a form of spiritual subluxation. It breaks a cycle similar to the efferent/afferent nature of the nervous system. Dysfunction results.
Just as there is artistry in choosing the perfect gift, so too is there an art to receiving one. "Oh, you shouldn't have!" condemns the giver. Especially if you believe the gift requires reciprocity and the feelings of obligation. No art there. Instead...
"Thank you. How thoughtful of you."
"Thank you for being so generous."
"What a wonderful gesture. I really appreciate it. Thank you!"
When you are a gracious recipient, you open the door for even more blessings.
I often observe at my chiropractic seminars that few people are inclined to attend a listening seminar, even though most of us confuse hearing with listening. Instead of a seminar, here’s a book. Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston. Don’t be put off by his professional discipline of being a psychiatrist! This is a practical book with dozens of techniques any chiropractor could use to enhance their consultation, report of findings and dare I say, marriage. Especially helpful are his descriptions of “mirror neurons” and the concept of “emotional exhaling.” Each bite-sized chapter begins with a quote. Like Chapter 21. “To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well,” John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, 1801-1835.
Abstract: Far too much emphasis is placed on the script used to answer the telephone. The real gatekeeper of your practice is at the front desk! Here are the seven principles to keep in mind as you evaluate how your telephone is being answered. Do you have the right person at the front desk? Are new patients an interuption? Do new patients mean more work? 7:59
Tags: gatekeeper, answering telephone, telephone script, first impression, last impression, chiropractic staff training, set point, healing at the front desk, chiropractic supplies
Many incorrectly assume that the key to attracting new patients is to mimic medicine and become less controversial. Still others imagine that their practices would flourish if only chiropractic was less "alternative" and more mainstream.
Don't fall for it. The rebellious nonconformity of chiropractic is what makes it so attractive!
If you round off the sharp edges and dumb down chiropractic so it's "acceptable," you lose the polarity essential for attraction. Beige, lukewarm and neutral don't attract. Attraction requires having a charge. Just as important, to attract you must be willing to repel.
Are you repulsive enough to be attractive?
Do you have the courage to take a stand contrary to the popular beliefs perpetuated by the mainstream medical-industrial complex? Are you willing to suffer an occasional rejection in exchange for being a change agent? Do you have the confidence to risk popularity so you can witness a patient's enlightenment?
During the Q & A at the end of my speaking gig this past weekend, I became present to an issue that seems to constrain many chiropractors from experiencing the practice ease they deserve: worrying about what others will think about what they say or do.
This even prevents some chiropractors from telling the revolutionary truth about chiropractic. Combine this, with the temptation to show up as the heroic healer to get the adulation of patients, and you have a recipe for an underperforming practice. Worse, the chiropractor becomes the victim of insurance companies and a casualty of the cultural notions of why someone would see a chiropractor.
I think those who suffer from this arrested social development would be wise to take an inventory of their answers to three key questions.
Abstract: A new patient walks in the door to your practice. Now what? Discover the four purposes of the first visit and why the consultation is more important than your report of findings. Here’s a sample of the paperwork coversheet. Your consultation is about listening, yet many of us confuse hearing with listening. Put the four components of effective listening to work in your next consultation. 7:02
Tags: office tour, consultation, neuromechanical, coversheet, listening, hearing, being present, showing up empty, reloading, patient education supplies
Make a list of your greatest failures, screw-ups, mistakes, flops and botched attempts. If yours is a short one, then you may believe the lie that your life is to be endured rather than lived; gotten-through rather than embraced as a grand adventure.
Toeing the line, living small and coloring with just four or five crayons (inside the lines) may offer the illusion of safety, but in the end you'll be burdened by something far worse than a few emotional cuts, ego bruises or temporary financial setbacks: regret.
Resolve this week to live more dangerously. Use all the crayons in the box. Ignore the lines. Stop worrying about getting good grades—especially if you're not in school.
Real failure is rejecting the millions of opportunities to fully live, hamstrung by the judgment of others who you'll have long forgotten when it all comes to an end.
Many professional caregivers care, but they don't necessarily love. They are talented in what they do, but often hold back essential qualities in who they are being.
Caring expects reciprocity. Caring has strings. "I'll do this, but I expect you to drink more water, do your stretches, get a new pillow, keep the visit schedule I've recommended, etc."
Loving overlooks such obligations. Loving patients doesn't mean you don't make recommendations. But you avoid judging patients for falling short. You honor their God-given free will. You show up as a humble servant, rather than a demanding taskmaster. Loving, means giving up the lie that what patients do is a reflection on you; that their recovery (or lack thereof) is your doing.
Care, but don't care too much. Love, knowing that the more you give away, the more that will be returned.
You have a reputation. Just about everyone does. In your case, it influences the referral process, patient retention and many other nuances of your professional practice. In fact, the reputation of some chiropractors caused them to have a national or even international reputation, such as Clarence Gonstead, James Parker and others.
While some chiropractors worry that a lack of patient follow through may taint his or her reputation, there’s actually a far greater threat to your reputation. Because you actually have two reputations!
When most chiropractors think of their reputation, they think of their “real world” reputation. As in, “You should see my chiropractor. She’s great!” If you’re raising people from the dead, restoring eyesight and producing other miracles in your adjusting room, there’s no question your real world reputation will be positive and likely to spread far and wide. That’s great marketing!
Just be careful that you don’t neglect your other reputation.
The Waiting Place is so popular even Dr. Seuss wrote about it in Oh the Places You Will Go:
That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape all that waiting and staying,
You'll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing."
Waiting until things are just right before taking action is popular among those of us with perfectionism tendencies, indecisiveness or both.
Recognize that things will never be perfect.
Instead, act now with resolve and passion. Don't hedge your bets and leave yourself an escape path with a Plan B. Doing so is a vote against yourself and practically guarantees failure.
Courageously choose and boldly act. Then, make it the correct choice by adapting with follow-up action and the usual minor course corrections. Like walking, you can only move forward by temporarily experiencing imbalance.
That's where the Boom Bands play! Can you hear them?