By Sharon Gorman, D.C.
Do you get along well with your patients? Do you get along well with your staff? Do people come to you because they like you or because they are scared they will become symptomatic again? When you talk with people do they feel closer to you or further away from you as a result of your conversation?
In my experience when a person is in pain it isn’t very hard to get them to continue with care. When they are not in pain is a different story. The first aspect of having them continue with the chiropractic lifestyle is to share with them the principle of chiropractic. Most of us have gotten pretty good at that (I know I’m optimistic). Yet that is not good enough.
Let’s face it, most of us know we would live a healthier life if we worked out regularly. How many people actually do? I know for me, during the periods of my life when I hired a personal trainer I was much more likely to actually go to the gym.
I see our office in a similar way. Part of what we do beyond teach people about chiropractic is support them in achieving their goals when it comes to chiropractic. Some people have good intentions yet unless we gently remind them by a phone call or by a post card they forget that they had committed themselves to being responsible enough to get adjusted on a regular basis. These are some of the elementary procedures involved in building a family maintenance practice.
The advanced course involves something that is a little harder to teach someone. That is the skill of having people want to be around you and listen to you. Your personality so to speak. If a person comes to see you and it is a negative experience for them they will think twice before they come back. it could be a first experience at the back desk or that they have to wait too long. It could be that being with you is not a good experience. The bottom line for me in building a practice is how much the people trust me and want to be around me and listen to my recommendations. Can I be counted on to be consistent with my mood? Can I leave the outside world outside of the office as much as possible? Am I there to serve their needs or only my own? Am I nice to them even when I don’t want to be nice because of something that is going on in my life or my own head? Can I be nice to them even when they want to complain about how they feel even though they missed their last 3 appointments? Do I have unconditional love for them? Am I committed to their health, even when they are not? Can I love them even when they smell? How about when they run out of insurance, can I love them even then?
What gets in my way of loving them? And when this happens, how do I re-center myself? How do I open up again when someone or something has caused me to shut myself down? Do I have a support system? Are there people in my life I can talk to and am I willing to let my guard down again after I felt like life dealt me a raw hand? Do I take responsibility for my condition?
We have a great product called chiropractic. We are selling that product. If they knew how much our product could enhance the quality of their lives than certainly they would put more energy towards continuing with care. How well are they sold? How committed are we to selling them that product? Really committed? In the long run we would be so much better off with a practice full of people like that. When my patient retention goes up than my stress level goes down. I’m surrounded with people who are committed to staying well and dealing with the stresses of life from the inside out. More energy has to go in at the onset yet the payoff is tremendous as we create a society of people who are willing to take responsibility for their health and not wait until they need crisis care.
Yet again, I don’t care how awesome the product is, they aren’t going to come to you unless they feel like they want to be in relationship with you even if you are like me and only spend a few minutes with each person. The few minutes I am with them, I am really with them. They feel my attention and my presence as I put their needs before even my own for those few minutes and am in the ultimate act of service being used to do what I have been trained to and chosen to do.
I truly love my patients and they feel that love. Just like my kids when they misbehave, I love them anyway. There is nothing they can do to have me stop loving them. No matter how they act I still love them. I am gentle with them. I don’t have to re-act to them, I can take it in, think it over and act out of the loving spirit that runs though me. That is what my kids are looking for from me as a mother and that is what my patients need too. We all need that love and we are attracted to that in another human being. They can find the common attitudes that prevail in life everywhere else most everywhere else. When they come to me I do the best job that I can to act out of love and this is very ATTRACTIVE. People are attracted to me because I am willing to pull out this higher self in myself. I play nice with others.
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Dr. Sharon Gorman is a graduate of Life Chiropractic College. Upon graduation, she associated with her mentor Dr. James Sigafoose. She opened her own practice in June of 1985 and in 3 months was seeing over 100 patients a day. Within 4 years, she had established four chiropractic practices seeing combined over 5000 patients a month. Now, married with 4 children, she still practices part time and manages 3 successful practices. She is a speaker at Dynamic Essentials, New Beginnings, Parker Seminars and is the founder and hostess of the Focus Philosophy Weekends. Visit her website at: www.focuschiropractic.com
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