I’m not a therapist, but I play one on Zoom…
One of my favorite parts of our Team Development coaching programs – the Office Hours calls. These are Zoom meetings we host multiple times a week, and anyone enrolled in our training programs can jump on.
It’s typical that a call might look like a few folks from practice A, 1-2 from practice B, maybe 10 from practice C because the call is during their lunch break for example.
And we take this time to address questions, overcome challenges, and do “in the moment” training on hot topics and issues that we’re seeing practices face right now.
A funny trajectory I’ve noticed – A practice will start our bootcamp, and on week 1, their people won’t say anything on the call.
Week 2 rolls around, and maybe I can get someone to unmute and answer a question. But most folks are still keeping it closer to the vest.
By the time a practice is in the program 3 weeks, and their people are showing up to the calls, the dam breaks.
They’ve been through enough of our daily lessons loaded with gold nuggets, memes and gifs. They’ve started applying what they’ve learned about patient communication (and it’s working). And they realize this whole “learning how to convey value and book surgeries” thing is actually fun and useful.
By week 3 on the Office Hours calls… people are comfortable, they start talking, and we have some major breakthroughs.
I had a bunch of week 3-ers on the call earlier this week, and that’s exactly what happened…
As we often do, we were digging out so much gold on this particular call:
- How to describe the benefits of different treatments
- The adequate amount of explanation you should give a patient (vital to know this so you don’t overcomplicate the process)
- The difference between being “Kind” (authoritative) and being “Nice” (avoid like the plague)
- A bunch of 2-minute tactics to boost our energy and attitudes during the day (uber-practical and beneficial)
We get toward the end of the call – and I ask for any other questions. And one of the bootcampers typed in the chat…
“How do we work on being friendly to each other, and not just the patients?”
And I’m like, y’all wanna go deep? We can go deep…
(and this is why I love these calls. Because this kind of challenge comes up, and it’s massively important for everyone on the team to understand how to handle…)
We dug into it. We discussed why we sometimes tend to get frustrated with one another. I explained the different ways to identify the root feelings that cause this animosity, and practical methods to fight against it.
Different team members chimed in to confess that they sometimes have bad attitudes toward others.
Apologies were made. “I love you guys” and heart emojis were shared in the comments. “We need a group hug!” someone exclaimed.
It was actually a touching moment (our trainings are many great things but “touching” is a word I rarely use to describe them…).
“Cool, Troy. So you did a kumbaya on a Zoom call. So what?”
My point in bringing this up is that this question was off the beaten path from what most would consider “sales training” (which is our main focus – so you can book more of the treatments you wanna do at the premium rates you deserve to be paid).
But it’s a crucial question. And that’s why any good coaching program is set up the way we’ve done it. You can take this concept and apply it to the staff development you’re doing in your practice.
Our bootcamps are structured in a way to make sure everyone enrolled gets a solid foundation of persuasion, value-building, and clear communication. But that’s only half of it.
The other half is open-ended. It’s not just “Well, we’re going to cover A, B and C and that’s it.” Because every practice is different, every situation has its own nuance.
Sure, everyone needs the foundations. So make sure they have that. But the rest? We go where our clients need to go. Even if that’s to the friendship circle to talk about our feelings and how we can be kind to one another.
And while my “friendship circle” comment is a bit tongue in cheek, you know the monetary implications of getting this right, don’t you?
A positive, supportive team culture is critical to your success. Which means you have people bought into your mission who believe in it and can convey that belief with conviction. A team working together so you don’t lose productivity to drama or high turnover (esp at a time when hiring is a total pain).
So patients can see and experience your team working together, which profoundly impacts the patient experience.
Your practice culture is huge. And it can make or break your surgical volume growth, your revenues, your word of mouth and your momentum in the marketplace.
Solving the “culture challenge” has multiple-6 or 7-figure implications. And even if you don’t think you have a problem with culture / team satisfaction / whatever you wanna call it – make sure you’re keeping a pulse on the team so you know. That’s a message for another day…
Why did I send you this today? A few takeaways.
- I like sharing my experiences with amazing practices, and I thought one would be useful to you. Hopefully it brought a bit of inspiration to your day.
- When I say our programs are more comprehensive than awesome sales training, this is one of many examples of what I mean.
- I want to convey the benefits of an open forum / feedback loop to discuss challenges with your team (whether that’s through one of our training programs, through weekly/monthly meetings you host in your office, or some other way)
That’s all I have for you today. Go forth and build a culture that serves your team and your patients. Make it a great weekend!
– Troy “Culture” Cole