My conversation with a client this week certainly inspired me to put pen to paper! At our previous coaching session we discussed following up with patients who did not book a subsequent appointment; did not arrive; or cancelled their appointments without rebooking.
The client left with a plan but didn’t implement it with 100% commitment and effort. Hopefully our deeper conversation, summarised below, will result in taking positive action this coming month.
Begin with the end in mind – define your purpose
Why did you become a therapist? Or why do you keep doing what you’re doing? You may not have started out with a deep passion or calling to help people get better / improve their quality of life / move better etc. (Although I do know many of you have inspiring stories of why you do what you do) but I have no doubt that the results you get and the impact you see that you have on patients’ lives certainly keeps you doing what you’re doing.
It’s important to articulate exactly what you’re trying to achieve so that that becomes your driving force and guide to everything you do.
Get your mindset right
Once you have defined your purpose (above) make sure that that is at the forefront of your mind when you make decisions about how you run your practice. If your purpose is to get patients better and keep them better, what would the most appropriate thing to do be if a patient cancels an appointment you truly believe they clinically need?
If you ring the patient up with dread and fear that you are badgering them, then that is exactly how it will come across. If you ring the patient up because you care and you’re checking that they are okay and want what’s best for them, then that’s how it will come across.
Yes, the patient will still be the one to decide whether they book back in but you need to give them the best information you can to help them make an educated decision.
What behaviours support the desired end results?
To define behaviours we first need to be clear about what truly matters. We help our clients to determine the top five or six values that become the guideline for all behaviour throughout the patient journey. (Buy our book for the values exercise to get you started! Seven Pillars of a Painless Practice)
Once you know your five or six key values and what they mean, look at each step in the patient journey and define behaviours which uphold the value and those which detract from it. For example, if ‘reliable’ is one of your values then sending exercises to patients within your promised time frame upholds that value, being a day late doesn’t.
If ‘partnership’ is one of your values and it means that you work with your patient together to get them better or back onto the race track and they don’t turn up before they are back on track and you don’t follow up, are you really working in partnership?
Do as I say and as I do
Well this is a biggie! And it brings us full circle to the title of this blog – lead by example. The old- fashioned version of the sub-title of this paragraph: ‘do as I say, not as I do’ just does not work! The fastest way to change culture is from the top down. Asking your team to do something that you are not comfortable with or willing to do yourself is not likely to deliver great results.
Be seen to make time and be completely dedicated to processes you have in place in your practice. If you are not 100% on board with a new process don’t be surprised if the rest of your team apply the same ‘take it or leave it’ or ‘if I have the time I will’ attitude.
Even more empowering would be to discuss and share the intended outcome together as a team and get them involved in coming up with the best way to get there – see our client story below!
How can we help you to lead by example? Email us