When it comes to accomplishing your practice goals, there are a certain set of fundamental skills that are essential for transcending beyond where you are now and achieving that next level of growth.These include constant reading and learning about marketing, business and even techniques, staying organized, managing your time efficiently and setting realistic goals that you track and refine often just to name a few.
However, there is another basic skill that is often overlooked…practiced repetition. In this fast paced world where we need to know it yesterday, learning and perfecting through practiced repetition as opposed to ‘on the job’ repetition seems to be something that has been kicked to the curb as a viable way to learn something.
Take a moment to think about how you got good at most things in your life before you got in such a hurry. How about the first adjustment you delivered in school verses the last one you delivered before you graduated and gave it a try on ‘real’ patients in the real world. You delivered that cervical break thousands of times in a practice setting so that you could hit a level of competency where you do it without consciously thinking about it and get the results you envisioned.
Also, remember HOW you learned each adjustment. You broke it down into its parts and practiced each position of the full adjustment starting with the patient position, hand set up, line of drive, tissue pull, etc. You repeated this slowly time and time again until you were ready to put it into one smooth movement. And then even after that, you continued to practice it as the sum of its parts even after your practiced it hundreds of times while it was broken down.
An instance where this applied to me in particular was several years ago when I decided to learn how to correctly hit a golf ball. If you have ever stepped up to it and taken a hack at it, then you know how terribly wrong that 1 second swing attempt can go. To truly get good at it, you must break the swing down into a take away, swing initiation, ball strike and follow through. From there you practice each one slowly and methodically until one day you have it.
When I decided to plunge into this noble undertaking, I already knew how to hit a golf ball and was actually pretty happy and proficient at doing it my way. Nonetheless, I still knew that ‘my way’ was not the best way. So for me to learn a better way to hit a ball where it would consistently go further, straighter and not injure my left elbow every round, I had to do two things.
First I had to tear the swing back down into its’ parts so that I could learn each small component correctly and second, I had to practice each one of those small parts of the swing very slowly until it became natural without me having to consciously focus on it. It was only after that I could put it all back together and slowly speed it back up to create what is now a better swing. Well, most of the time!
How about in your practice now? Where are the areas you could stand to tear down and slowly go over time and time again to hone the sharpness of the delivery and execution. Perhaps it is your report of findings, or maybe it’s the way your staff answers the phone or manages the schedule. It could be how patients are processed through the clinic or is it your in house billing protocols?
Sure those aspects of running your business are already operational and getting done every day, but are they getting done in the way that drives your practice 300 yards in the right direction or do they really just fade it off course into the woods. Sure you can drop another ball and keep on playing but its going to take you a lot more strokes to get to where you’re going. Those are wasted strokes that didn’t need to be there if only your swing was better.
The point of all this is that any staff or doctor protocols, patient management, chiropractic marketing or other aspect of your practice that is not lending itself to the stability, growth and prosperity of your clinic needs to be closely scrutinized. And the best way to do it is by breaking it down into its different components and then retraining on and practicing each part until it is perfect and then put it back together and move on to the next.
If you aren’t sure what all those components of practice are, go to the Patients to Profits home page at http://patientstoprofits.com and look in the top left corner for the little computer icon. Click it and watch the webinar about how to create a practice framework. It will teach you all the components and from there you will be able to determine which are lending to practice growth and those that need to be retooled.
Whether you are killing it in our profession or barely making ends meet right now, it is always a good idea to step back and sharpen the tools that are responsible for creating and perpetuating your success. It is only after you identify the areas that need to be broken down and methodically reworked that you can make them work for you clinic growth rather than against it.