My secret weapon
I develop highly successful and very profitable associates. I teach them how to get their own new patients (a skill they need and actually want to learn), how to give great chiropractic care and then coach them through the growing pains.
Over time I've learned who to choose and who to run from like the plague. I've learned how to "frame the game” so that my associates and I have common goals and a true win-win relationship.
In this process, I've "built” individual associates to and past 500 visits a week, while running a group of clinics at 2,000 visits a week. One of those weeks I was more than 7,000 miles away. I literally do this for fun and profit.
However, the process is hardly automatic. I teach an associate seminar that caries this warning label: "Some assembly required!” This month's column is about cutting the time and stress of assembling successful associates in half.
How do I do it? I must confess I have an unfair advantage, a secret weapon that I faithfully use to assemble top associates and support staff. Using this secret, I can take a "green associate” and turn him or her into a competent, confident, and profitable team member in just a few weeks.
Clients whom I've taught to develop their own successful associates tell me this secret is the single best tool they know for polishing procedures.
Additionally, this tool has actually made training fun. And let's face it. If the training is draining you won't keep it up like you should. But let me keep it a secret for little longer.
Here's the set up: We only have five types of interactions with patients: new patient day 1, day 2, the returning visit, the re-exam and re-evaluation visit, and your NPOC. That's it.
I've templated all five of those patient visits. Here's what I mean by templating: Since there's a correct attitude, script, body language, and sequence to each of these five interactions, I've actually written the exchange out from start to finish. You end up with a mini-screen play of each patient interaction.
If you have the time and talent, write exactly what you want your associate or CA to say - that's your script. Or, if you've ever been a management client you have a manual full of great scripts.
All well and good, you might say, but how do you get your flawless patient interaction (eyes roll here) into your associate or CA without water-boarding them?
This is the great part! My secret weapon will have them working and preparing like crazy to get each script, gesture, and pause just right. Are you ready? Here it is: video training.
It's true! When I want a procedure polished to perfection, I roll in the video camera. Let me walk you through this step-by-step.
First, pick a procedure you want your associate to replicate flawlessly. We'll choose the report of findings here, but it could be a spinal screening script or converting a free exam prospect into a treating patient.
Second, make copies of the scripts for everyone in the training exercise. Explain that in four weeks, they'll perform the report of findings from start to finish in front of the entire staff. The CAs will judge for accuracy, personal connection with the patient, and time.
Third, break the ROF up into chunks, practice each day for accuracy and nuance. Do "dress rehearsals” on the "set” at your weekly training meetings. Praise good work, hold them to a high standard and if they lag behind, say: "Hey, you need to get this word-for-word. I want the staff to be impressed with you. Don't make either of us look bad by not being prepared.” The right person won't let you down.
Fourth, when you actually shoot the procedure make it like a movie set. Use a simple point and shoot camera with a big memory chip.
Fifth, when you're done, throw the chip into the computer and run the movie. And here comes the best part. Ask the person you recorded to self-assess before the staff - first the good things, then things they want to change. Without exception, they'll be harder on themselves than you would be. You can put away the water-board!
Instead of arguing with them about a phrase, gesture or expression they butcher, they'll say, "Wow, that sounded and looked strange. I'll have to change that.” This leaves you with the simple and enjoyable task of helping them get it right. It's absolutely marvelous!
Now, here's how we kick video training up a notch. We challenge other clinics to prepare and present with us. The increased size of the audience, especially when it's your peers who've prepared the same script, really turns up the heat. NO ONE wants to finish last.
If you don't have an associate and wonder how this helps you, one of my clients is a single doc with one CA. They video each other through key scripts and review. They have near perfect procedures thanks to their video camera.
So, lights, camera, ACTION!
(A 1971 Palmer College graduate, at age 22 Dr. Noel Lloyd became the youngest practicing chiropractor in the state of Washington. The founder of Five Star Management - a professional training, coaching, and consulting service based in Seattle - he has 25 years experience helping chiropractors achieve and maintain phenomenal professional, practice and personal success. Visit his site at: www.myfivestar.com.)
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