A client took a CA to a seminar only to have her stay out partying the night before and end up hung over in her hotel room the entire weekend. Her behavior crashed the entire weekend for his team and she lost her job as a result. We’ve heard these stories or experienced something like this ourselves – big disappointment, even bigger waste.
BUT, that’s nothing compared to the thousands of doctors who squander an entire year of seminars full of excellent information, motivation, team building and resultant practice growth – just by not preparing themselves or staff for training.
How big a waste? Think of all your hard earned money in the back of an open pickup truck speeding down the highway. Some of that cash is bound to stick to something, but most of it is lost. Scary enough for you?
In this article I’m going to give you my secrets and a simple strategy for a 30 minute meeting that will maximize the effect of any seminar you attend with your staff. The whole point of this article is to help you extract every dollar of information, motivation and momentum that you pay for – and a lot that you don’t.
How good are these secrets? I developed two associates to over 500 visits a week, another group of four to over 390 a week and 4 of my 10 offices went over 300 visits a week with just one DC, one full time and one part-time CA. Let’s go:
First, if it happens in my practice, I’m responsible. If I’m not, who is? Our friend with the wild CA needed to at least let her know what acceptable behavior looks like. But I’m talking about much more than acceptable behavior – I’m talking about exceptional performance.
Second, if I’m responsible for what happens in my practice, I’m also responsible for what my staff gets out of seminars. Therefore, I need to train and prepare my staff to not only behave well, but to gain all they can from any special training.
Example: If you hunt, fish, ski or go boating – part of the success of every outing hinges on preparation. If you don’t plan, you may not have warm clothes, the right equipment or not have enough gas. Any of these could mean big trouble.
I actually got in my neighbors boat to return to the mainland during small craft warnings. He told me everything would be fine. However, just as soon as we were taking every other wave over the bow – he ran out of gas. By God’s grace we were rescued. Now, I always check all the gas tanks on every boat trip.
So how does this apply to us? I bring all my DCs and CAs to seminars. I have for decades. Done right, it’s a great investment. However, I quickly learned that “done right” was NOT automatic and that I needed to prepare my staff for the best results.
Seminar Prep Procedure
In prepping for a seminar, I ask DC and CA alike for written answers and discussion for the following questions:
- Explain (yet again for umpteenth time) your vision for your position and how it serves the OUR chiropractic vision:
- What does your position look, sound and feel like?
- What things are working as well as they can? …during our Power Hours?
- What are your three biggest position wins so far this year?
- What are your three biggest position challenges in your position right now?
- What are three things you want for your position from the upcoming seminar?
- What is your strategy for getting the most from the upcoming event?
- What are your action steps for reaching your goals?
I encourage each person to participate in the seminar by asking questions of the speakers and introducing themselves to the leader types and sharp DCs and CAs in attendance. Ask the top people in attendance how they would handle key issues.
I tell each staff person that they need to take and organize notes and quotes for the following debriefing meeting where they teach me what they learned. By doing this I’m protecting my investment, empowering my staff and enlisting them to help us reach clinic goals.
The debriefing meeting is an excellent management tool. Just by having the meeting scheduled the staff knows they will have to contribute and that usually means they are paying better attention during the training. I applaud good contributions and initiative as well as listen for what’s missing. I will typically incorporate at least part of everyone’s ideas in our action plan. That has produced an invested and motivated staff.
As for seminar conduct, I have a little speech. Here it is:
“We are going to the seminar to learn, have fun and share. We want to better ourselves and extract ideas that will make it easier to serve chiropractic, help people, have more fun and be more successful. You can’t do that without sleep or hung over. You represent Sound Chiropractic so be reasonable and get enough sleep to do your best work.
“It’s up to you to get your answers and solutions so listen, take notes, ask questions and mingle with the best and brightest at the breaks.
“Now each one tell me what you’re going to bring back to the office and share at the debriefing meeting…
“Great, let’s go…