The reason I chose the topic for this article on priorizing, is the majority of offices I have observed in; regardless of what country or city they are in, have one thing in common: the inability to describe or be “congruent with priorities in our practices.” I believe our priorities in our practice determine where we see the most success. More often than not, when I am called into a consult, or a practice observation, the owners or doctors want me to observe the front desk to see how their staff can help grow the practice, or help more with patient education. These top two priorities are what the practice determines as success or growth factors, yet in reality, nothing is being implemented under these priorities…instead we “busy” ourselves with other things, that do not move us towards these goals.
We as humans will always be highly organized in the areas we believe are most important to us. For example, if at the front desk, organization and paperwork is a critical priority, then these two things will be done beautifully! If the Chiropractor has other priorities such as visiting the practice member, doing files perfectly, or other things, then these areas will be well taken care of…. If the practice doesn’t have priorities like retention, p education, care plans, etc… these areas will suffer. There is not a “right” or “wrong” way to practice, but the leadership must know what they want. If patients aren’t’ staying under care for any period of time, it doesn’t matter how organized your front desk is…this is not moving you towards any outcome you are striving for. So the question is, are you ‘busy-making” or doing activities that move you away from your goals, or are you focused on what the priorities are and conscious about doing targeted procedures to get you there? Congruency in Chiropractic is one of our largest challenges…meaning what we SAY we want, and what we actually DO, do not match. Busy-making our time away is wasting precious time that we could changing lives…. Be aware, be conscious and be open to the fact that if you want to change, you can……
Any perceived roadblocks to possibility or to the next level, are very often in congruencies….. What do I mean? Very often when I ask the team what the priorities are in the practice, and then observe their behavior, these two areas do not match. For example, the most common in congruency in the majority of practices is that fact that the owners and the staff will tell me and tell themselves that the practice members are the priority. Which in my opinion makes sense….but when I observe the behavior at the front, the staff is taking the most care with administrative paperwork, money, inventory, filing, color coding, and will defend these procedures to the death as to why they are so important. Is administration important? Of course… but does it take priority over the person standing in front of you? Does it take priority over their care plan? Does it take priority over sharing a Chiropractic testimony? Does it take priority over eye contact? If you are not sure about these answers, then the practice members are NOT your priority….I understand this is a tough reality to deal with, but if change is going to occur, we have to be willing to ask ourselves the tough questions.
If you need to determine whether your priorities are congruent …ask yourself these questions…
1. What do you spend the majority of time doing?
2. What are the priorities in your practice? New patients? Education? Retention? Paperwork? Administration? Team training? Team communication?
3. What do you talk about in your staff meetings?
4. How do you priorize your time when you feel overwhelmed?
5. Are your procedures moving your practice toward your priorities or keeping you at the place you are currently in?
When everyone is on the same page with priorities, procedures can be set, created or renewed that create momentum towards the end outcome, whatever that outcome is for you and your team. Priorities are fluid, and change all the time depending on where we are at in our practices. Maybe in the beginning, growth was a big priority and all your procedures were focused on marketing or attracting new practice members. Maybe retention is now your priority. If you have a new team of Chiropractic Assistants, maybe team training is currently your major priority. When you are setting new priorities or becoming clearer about your current ones, the rest of your procedures still remain the same, and the stability doesn’t change in your practice, the momentum changes.
At any point, we can change how we practice, this is the brilliance of being small business owners, the challenge is that we can’t unilaterally change; we need the synchronicity of our teams to help out. And Chiropractic Assistants want to! They often don’t know how or how to begin the conversation, thus the leadership must be willing to ask the hard questions, especially if your practice isn’t where you imagined it.
Busy making and in congruency are two of Chiropractic potential blockers. There is unlimited potential in our teams, in Chiropractic and in our future. The world needs what we have….we have to first believe this is possible, set plans in place, be clear with our teams and move the momentum towards this possibility.