Learning to listen effectively may be the best thing you can do for sustainable private practice ownership.
Most of us think of listening in a very general way. In truth, good listening skills, more than being essential to good medicine are vital to the success of your private practice, the satisfaction of your staff, and even your own ongoing sense of purpose.
First of all, really listening to your patients is the common key to thriving in practice! If your sustainability strategy is based on anything other than what your patients want and need, a private practice especially will fail. This applies to helping your current patients and as well as those prospective new patients anxious to give you a try.
Second, your staff needs you to listen well to their concerns as well as to their positive feedback. Staff satisfaction provides a lot of useful data about which of your business systems are working well and which ones need improvement. And, of course, staff morale is important to the overall health of your practice because it will make or break customer service—which keeps patients coming in the door.
Third, and possibly most important of all, you have to be able to listen to your own intuition about your personal health and satisfaction primarily! Remember that in private and direct care, what matters most is your vision for the practice and your passion for making it succeed. Without those driving factors, your passion is just is not sustainable.
Consider what you can do today to be a better listener! Keep this really simple too! Often this just requires from us better self-care including more days off, vacations and down time. Ask for feedback on your listening skills. Don’t forget to check in with your colleagues on this too.
To that end we can so help each other by being better listeners!
Patti Hayes is CEO of Perfect Practice Web, and has 30+ years experience in practice management.
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