Creating a Successful Team for a Successful Practice

By: Susan Hoy

Sports. America’s favorite entertainment! I am amazed at how many of us are totally wrapped up in sports. It seems like most of us live to envelop ourselves in one or more sports teams for every season. We are truly a competitive society. From Little League to Professional, there is no shortage of participants or spectators.

Our own professional football team made the playoffs this year and our entire city went crazy. There was football mania all over our area. There was so much passion, enthusiasm, and belief that I was astounded. It seemed like every living, breathing person was caught up in the hysteria of winning.

That’s when it occurred to me that if each one of us focused that kind of passion and enthusiasm, and belief on ourselves and our careers instead of toward a group of players we don’t even know, how much more successful and prosperous we would be. Very few of us were going to benefit financially from the team winning; we were just looking for a diversion from life as usual. Are our lives so boring that we have to live vicariously through a sports team?

Do you love sports? Do you love to watch sports? Do you love to play sports? Are you competitive? My guess would be that most of you answered, “yes” to one or more of these questions. Why then, don’t you make your daily life a competition? If any of you have attended my seminars, you would know that I often talk about reinterpreting your reality. If you want a more exciting, interesting, and adventurous life, then reinterpret your life. Instead of waking up every morning dreading the day, change the way you think. If you dread the coming day, you’re going to have a dreadful day. That’s because you bring into your life what you are thinking. Remember, thoughts are things and have energy!

One of the most menacing problems we face in Chiropractic is staff management, training, and teamwork. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could generate from our staff the same kind of belief and enthusiasm generated for our sports teams? Wouldn’t it seem like heaven if each one of us were to wake up every morning and look forward to going to work, just to see if we can win today? Well, why can’t you? Why don’t you start creating your team right now?

Meet the Team

Here are some winning strategies for building your Chiropractic team:

Team owner. Begin assembling a group of people who can work together and have team mentality and spirit. Each person must be placed in the position they are capable of playing which will benefit the entire team. These players must be willing to try different positions in order to create the winning team. Team Owners are first to see the need, envision the plan, and empower the team for action.

Team manager. Sometimes the Team Owner delegates a Team Manager. The Team Manager sees that each team member is trained properly, shows up for practices on time, creates a game plan, communicates with the team, works with the Team Owner, plans the lineup, oversees the game plan during the game, and decides the discipline. Once the game begins, the Team Manager allows each team member the freedom to play their own game as long as they are playing by the rules, staying within the boundaries set up by the game rules, and focusing on team play. A team manager has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others.

Team captain. A Team Captain is chosen because of leadership capabilities and must be respected by other team members! Every team needs a captain to keep up the team spirit. The captain is a team leader who can motivate and possesses a passionate winning attitude. The team captain is responsible for keeping the team working as a team and not a group of individuals interested in their own individual agendas. By the strength of the Team Captain’s commitment, the power of the team is unleashed.

Team members. All team members know their purpose… To Win! They work with the captain and the manager for the good of the team. They study the game book, practice their skills, know their positions. They show up for team meetings and focus on their individual responsibility, knowing that what they do affects the rest of the team. Every day they work at getting better and encourage their teammates to do the same. They believe in their team as a whole and respect each other as individuals. They know that in order to win, they must keep a winning attitude every single game. Coming together is the beginning… keeping together is the progress… working together is Success! 

Let the Games Begin

Now that we know that all teams have rules to follow and each team member has a responsibility to the team and the management, let’s examine what makes sports challenging and fun.

Playing the game. First, think of what you do as a game. That doesn’t mean you don’t take it seriously, but have fun doing it. Whether it’s collecting from insurance companies, getting more new patients, educating patients, patient tracking, scheduling—no matter what you’re doing, think of it as a game that you want to enjoy, but you also want to win! Make sure you know the rules and know your boundaries. Also, know the outcome you want, set your goals, and plan to win. Every contest should be a team effort and everyone should have a stake in the reward.

Essence of competition. A healthy spirit of competition is a very good thing. Competing against other team members is not advisable, however. You can compete against your previous statistics, i.e. compete against last month’s new patients or last month’s collections, etc. You can also have a friendly competition with other Chiropractic offices. In any case, it’s a lot more fun when you have a contest and have a reason to win.

Element of teamwork. Any sports team knows that in order to win, the team members must work together in unison. When a team has a rivalry within its own ranks, the result will be failure. Watch any winning team and you will be witnessing a group of people who help, encourage, and communicate with each other in order to achieve their objective… Success. Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision and goal. One for all and all for one.

Strategies of the game plan. No team goes into the game without a game plan. No plan is a plan to lose! Whenever there is an objective, there must be a plan of attack. Every player must know and understand the game plan, must know his or her responsibility to the plan, and stay on focus. The game plan should be simple and straightforward.

Team spirit. A positive attitude is a positive force which cannot be stopped. A negative team member will bring everyone down. The fruit of negativity is certain failure. Any team member who does not want to win should not be on the team. Any team member who creates dissension within the team will create negativity and ultimately failure. When a team recognizes this dissension, it is imperative to address the issue immediately. If someone on your team does not want to win, then release him or her to your competitor’s team!

Challenge of doing your best. Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. Confidence is what you get when you have successfully mastered a challenge. Success depends on confidence! Welcome challenge as if it is success, because it will be.

Sense of adventure. The best team knows that every game is another adventure. On any given day the outcome can be different. Waking up every morning to a new adventure will make you work harder and look forward to the adventure of the day. View every new situation as an adventure, look at every new patient as an adventure. Your life and your practice will begin to change.

Agony of defeat. The best teams lose sometimes. The challenge is to not let losing make you feel like a loser! The only true failure is when you stop believing in your team. With every loss there should be a lesson and experience gained. Learn to see losing as a temporary setback to success. If you never lose, your challenges are just not hard enough! Go over, go under, go around, or go through… but never give up!

Thrill of victory. Every winning team knows that winning is great, and they must savor the victory and the rewards of victory. But then, it’s back to work for the next challenge and the next adventure. Each victory should be a springboard to the next level. I learned very early in my life that there’s always someone better and there are always more hurdles to your destination. Your goal should be continual and never-ending improvement forever!

Teamwork is the ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational success. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.

Begin creating your ‘Super Bowl’ team right now!

About the Author

Susan Hoy has been the office manager in a thriving Chiropractic practice since 1989. She speaks to Chiropractic assistants throughout the country. Her seminars are both uplifting and motivational. Susan specializes in creating a power team that makes a difference in practice growth and patient care.

The recipient of several awards, Susan has had her practice management articles published in several Chiropractic magazines and has received awards for her writing. Presently, she is a columnist for Success Express (“CA Viewpoint”) and Chiropractic Economics (“Susan Hoy’s Team Tips”)

Susan is the author of The Chiropractic Team Training and Practice Management Manual for Chiropractic offices and produces a team training newsletter called “TEAM WORK” specifically for the Chiropractic staff. “TEAM WORK” is a monthly insert to the Team Training Manual and is distributed to Chiropractic offices throughout the United States and Canada. This newsletter shares ideas on practice management, marketing professionally, and enhancing patient care and follow through. If you are interested in receiving this newsletter and book, please contact Susan at 215-674-0130, or log on to her Web site: