Have you ever met a “know best?” This is someone who thinks they know everything already and that there is nothing more they can learn or need to know. Infuriating, right? Their mind is so tightly closed that they are functioning in their own little world and shutting out the rest of life. This is not limited to patients or clients or practitioners or staff … the world is filled with such people.
A doctor we met with recently said that for him “every day is a school day.” We have never heard it said so well. Instead of being a “know-it-all, switching it around and become a “learn-it-all” gives one the joy of learning and expanding as a human being.
And what is there to learn about a practice?
When a healthcare professional tells us that they already have a perfect practice or know everything they need to know, a kind of pity can sneak into our response to him or her. This is a person who has shut down their potential to grow and has given up an awful lot of fun of learning new systems, new people skills, new management techniques, new ways to strategize, new tools for helping more of their patients or clients accept the ideal care they deserve to have, and so on.
And yes, quite a lot of potential income is also being lost. Our clients usually increase their practices with our help by $10,000 to $30,000 per month without increasing their hours and with less stress, even when they felt they were already at the top of their game beforehand. Just shows you that there is definitely more to learn about being the CEO of a practice!
The worst case scenario is a practitioner who has stopped caring whether there are better ways to service or treat his patients and is just “coasting” because he “has enough money and just wants to practice for a few more years and then retire.” But what about the poor patients of that practice who are not receiving the highest quality care available?
Patients or clients are often very interesting and full of knowledge. If you just decide to find out about a patient and you show a little interest in them, and you’ll learn many new things. The bonds and trust between you and your patient or client increase incrementally with the amount of interest in them that you show. It increases patient or client loyalty too. (And learning how to end a conversation quickly and easily is also an important skill as you don’t have long time frames available to talk to each patient.)
Your life and practice can become very boring if you have sunk down to being disinterested. Turn it around by making a habit of learning something new from every patient or client, from your staff, from looking at the physical world around you. Look for new ways of doing things … whether it is how to deal with difficult patients, or how to get them to accept the ideal care you want to deliver to them, or how to manage the team more efficiently and with more care and understanding.
Absolute perfection may be out of reach but never stop striving and learning … it will make you feel more alive, vibrant and competent!