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October 2011 Archives

10/03/11

Monday Morning Motivation

You are not responsible for what patients do.

Sure, if you withhold the truth about the nature of true health and how chiropractic helps revive their ability to self-heal, you're guilty. But that's rarely the problem.

Instead, many chiropractors assume responsibility for things they lack the ability to control, such as what patients do. You are not their parent. Not even their guardian. How patients exercise their free will after you share the truth just isn't your business.

Now, if your 4-year old throws a temper tantrum at the grocery store because he's denied a sweet, that's a reflection of you. But when a 40-year old patient shuns your advice and indulges in behaviors that sabotage his health, you aren't responsible. You might choose to be curious, but don't take the behaviors personally. Doing so would suggest that you believe you have more power and influence than you actually do.

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10/04/11

Patient Education Motives

chiropractic patient educationThe other day I made a list of some of the assumptions I’ve made. (It’s a helpful exercise you might want to try.) One such assumption is the idea that patient education is something that every chiropractor has a responsibility to do.

This exercise revealed a distinction I had overlooked. Odd, since I’ve committed the last 30 years of my life to exploring the many facets of the doctor/patient relationship. You’d think this would have shown up earlier. Guess that’s the danger of assumptions.

You may think this is a luxurious nuance to explore at a time when many chiropractors are finding the current practice environment challenging, however it may also provide a clue as to why.

If you try to educate patients in your practice, ask yourself this simple question: What are your motives for educating patients? In other words, why bother?

Identify a few before continuing.

Continue reading "Patient Education Motives" »

10/07/11

“Family Chiropractic Center, I Can Help You.”

BubbaTwo seemingly unrelated events have happened in the last 24 hours that provide one more reason to confirm “it’s not business as usual.”

The first was a consulting phone call with a husband (DC) and wife (CA) team struggling in a small rural community. During the course of the call she revealed that she hated the area, despised the missing-teeth stupidity of the community and their lack of interest in true health. Needless to say, even if you’re a good actor, having contempt for the people you wish to serve, is not exactly an attitude that builds practices.

The other event was a website client who, after a mere five months of service complained that his brand new website hadn’t produced any new patients, and that the one that had scheduled, didn’t show up for the initial appointment.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (not that there are very many of them these days) to see a potential common denominator: the front desk CA.

Do you have the right person at the front desk answering the telephone?

Continue reading "“Family Chiropractic Center, I Can Help You.”" »

10/10/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Imagine for a moment that a patient’s admitting complaint is merely the symptom of some deeper cause. In other words, what they think is the problem is actually a symptom.

How do you connect patients to the cause, rather than the distraction of their symptom?

First, help them understand that they are not their symptom or diagnosis. (Make sure you don’t see them as a headache case or a low back pain case, either!)

Second, acquaint them with the three causes of subluxation, physical, chemical and emotional. “So, which of one or more of those three causes do you think is involved?”

Third, listen. Their, “I don’t know,” may be true, but dig deeper. Ultimately, your relationship depends on what each patient believes about their condition and your role in it. Don’t fall for the temptation of “fixing” them and thinking that will produce loyalty. It doesn’t. It won’t. It hasn’t.

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10/12/11

What I'm Reading

Brandwashed thumbnailMost of the books in my personal library are marketing books, and the most recent addition is Brandwashed, Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy by Martin Lindstrom. While there weren’t many surprises, there were lots of confirmations of things I’d read elsewhere. I especially enjoyed the frequent use of fMRI to understand the nervous system effects of certain messages. However, more troubling was the exploration of how companies use “data mining” to form a snapshot of consumer behaviors. But the best information was reserved for the last chapter as he explored the profound effects of peer pressure and word of mouth referrals. It served as further confirmation that every chiropractor should identify the major influencers in their practice and make sure that not only do they have an extraordinary experience, but are able to describe their experience in a persuasive and compelling way to others. A great read for anyone interested in how advertisers and the media get us to part with our cash. Especially, if you’re one who incorrectly thinks they’re affected by advertising!

10/17/11

Monday Morning Motivation

Do you seek outside success or inside success?

There’s an old Texan saying that characterizes the false appearance of success: “Big hat, no cattle.”

Many are seduced into striving for outside success; that is, the superficial social trappings of achievement. These are often the “things” our culture associates with success, such as the big house, luxury automobile, private schools or impressive title.

However, true success is rarely visible to the superficial observer. It takes far greater discernment to see the intimate marriage, respectful children, financial peace, healthful ease, fearlessness, commitment to a higher purpose, being worry-free, kindness, generosity and other inside accomplishments of success.

Make no mistake about it; patients want to consult a successful chiropractor! Yet, in the same way true health and true beauty come from the inside (not what is purchased and applied to the outside), true, lasting success comes from the inside out.

Lose the hat.

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Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

Do your statistics lie?When the president or CEO of a major corporation has a bad day, distracted by a problem at home or is going through some other personal drama, it rarely affects the bottom line. In fact, depending on its size, larger businesses have enough momentum to endure months of this type of dysfunction. Not so in a personality-based small business such as your professional practice.

It prompts many chiropractic consultants to observe that their clients are “up when their practice is up and down when their practice is down.”

But they have it backwards. They’re confusing the symptom with the cause. More accurately, “when you’re up your practice is up and when you’re down, your practice is down.”

Are you up?

Mark Twain observed, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” Are your statistics a way of lying to yourself about the cause of an under performing practice?

Continue reading "Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics" »

10/24/11

Monday Morning Motivation

One of the most common misconceptions about influencing patients (or anyone else) is the notion that being liked and fitting in is the way to be an effective change agent.

It's not true.

The most influential, whether in chiropractic, politics or other discipline, share several common denominators. Among them, the tendency to polarize and the willingness risk creating enemies. This is what dissuades the more timid chiropractor. They want everyone to like them.

Are you willing to offend some to win others? Or have you set your sights unrealistically high, hoping to persuade everyone? Choose carefully. The first is possible, the second unlikely. It is this trade off that prompts many to choose the safer, less influential path of fitting in, being liked; lukewarm; beige; inconsequential.

Leaders polarize. They spawn disciples and detractors. Do you have the certainty and courage to go against the grain? You must. You chose chiropractic!

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10/31/11

Monday Morning Motivation

In the same way software runs hardware, our beliefs run our lives. Significant change is possible only by abandoning self-limiting beliefs. Yet, they can be difficult to spot. However, you might recognize some of these:

New patients are scarce and hard to come by.
Something bad will happen if I stand up for myself.
The best days of chiropractic are behind me.
What worked in the past will work in the future.
I could never be a public speaker.
These and many others just aren't true. Yet, we often act as if they were, hiding our greatness, squandering opportunities and living small. If you find yourself stuck, the next time an opportunity shows up that you'd normally reject, say yes. Conversely, the next time a situation arises for which you'd routinely accept, pass on it. See what shows up. Take more risks. This is supposed to be an adventure, remember?

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About October 2011

This page contains all entries posted to Chiropractic Practice Blog in October 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

September 2011 is the previous archive.

November 2011 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.