By: Kathy Mills
“Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.”
—Harold Geneen, Chairman, ITT
There are many learned scholars who proclaim the benefits of having a positive attitude. A popular poster announces, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, determines your altitude.” This is because one of the most important aspects of being a valuable team member is having an optimistic attitude about your job, your patients, and about Chiropractic. When we focus on the goals of the practice, the action steps required to get there create the road map to success. In order to achieve the goals and success of the office, both the doctor and the CA must apply a team approach with the right attitude.
Two important elements of the most successful practices are having a practice mission and a practice vision. High-performance practices and team members have a clear picture of what they want to create together. Whatever the mind can conceive the hands can achieve. Therefore, it’s silly to think that we can get where we want to go—if we don’t know where the heck that is!
Direction and Inspiration
Practice team members who understand the clinic’s mission and vision will communicate that with an attitude of confidence and certainty. A mission and a vision are different. A vision will inspire your mission. A mission is the action word of a vision. The practice mission statement will declare to the world what your direction is. With a well-stated mission, your focus can be on priorities, and away from distractions.
Chiropractic assistants who understand, participate in, and communicate the doctor’s mission and vision are valued team members. The most successful teams are created with the following attitude characteristics:
A loving attitude shows when you truly care about people. You can find something to like about everyone when your attitude is loving and you are devoted to your purpose. When team members have a loving attitude they go the extra mile for others and want people to benefit from Chiropractic. This is what draws patients into your practice. Be a mouthpiece for the doctor to help promote all the products and services in the office. Come from a place of service in all that you do.
Have an unswerving focus on reaching as many people as possible with the mission and vision of your practice. Since our actions develop from our focus, an attitude of action results when a CA knows the practice mission and vision. Effective CAs live the mission and own the vision of the practice, both on and off the clock. They exude zeal to educate and share Chiropractic enthusiastically to all people, in all places, and at all times. The most effective CAs reach out to people in every situation they encounter. Make sure you have your own business cards so you can pass them out when you have the opportunity. This is a small marketing investment for the practice.
Willingness and ability to do whatever you have to in order to further the practice mission and vision. Willingness is perhaps the most literal manifestation of a positive attitude. CAs who are willing to pitch in with the right attitude make opportunities into realities and enhance their abilities. This includes training and keeping up with your own personal development. Attend Foot Levelers’ seminars and other learning events whenever possible to enhance your knowledge; this allows you to contribute on every level in the practice. The more information you have on Chiropractic and its wonders, the better you can communicate that on behalf of your practice to fulfill the mission.
CAs may disagree but should never show that in front of patients. Important qualities about the team concept are: They cooperate, overlook mistakes, don’t gossip, admit wrongs, and forgive and forget. They are courteous and kind to each other, trustworthy and loyal, and helpful to one another. They know the mission and vision they have as a part of this practice team is bigger than themselves and any problems that can come between them. They understand the wrong team attitude prevents them from serving others.
CAs deliberately communicate in a personal, not stuffy manner. Stuffy communication is administrative, emotionless, and corporate. It lacks depth, truth, and honesty in feeling. Caring and personal communication, on the other hand, are always service driven and come from the heart. People are treated more like family than patients. Personal communication opens up a whole new world of success, because it is based on your genuine care and respect for the patient.
An assertive, but fair and gentle attitude must be present to carry on and communicate your mission and vision. Being a CA is a privilege. When we personally own the mission and vision of our practice, we can convey a respect and conviction to the sacred trust we honor…that of the philosophy and principles of Chiropractic. We must be willing to stand up for the truths that we believe in and communicate to the public. This means we hear things that sting or are hurtful. We are the doctor’s eyes and ears at the front and spend more time with the patient than anyone else. Remember an attitude of education for the patients is always preferred over “making wrong.”
When team members come together with the proper attitude, a common purpose and vision, and a willingness, there is nothing your practice can’t accomplish.
Kathy Mills is a Senior Coach with Breakthrough Coaching. She can be reached at 800-7-ADVICE or email@example.com.