“Team” is an extremely powerful word. I use the term to describe the most important relationships in life. My family is a team, my group of close friends is a team, and in professional life my employees are my team and my clients are my team. When I reflect on successes in my life, I also reflect on the immeasurable amounts of support and teamwork that supported and led me on the journey to achieving those successes. This team mentality is not only applicable in all aspects of life, it is essential!
Teamwork is also essential for practice success however, teamwork is hard work, it requires teambuilding, and dedication to common goals for the team and the practice to thrive. Office staff is often a varied group, with different personalities, backgrounds, levels of education, strengths, weaknesses, and problem-solving skills. It can be difficult to get everyone to focus their energy in the same direction and work together rather than against each other. The effort you put in to teambuilding now, will pay dividends in the end.
In teambuilding it is important to celebrate the differences of the group, and appreciate the value that each individual brings to the table. When you get all these people focused together, you will accomplish more in less time and build comradery, while increasing the efficiency of the office.
Achievements of a Successful Team
• Improved Communication – Each member of the group contributes to the conversation, gives input, and helps make decisions
• Meet and Exceed Practice Goals
• Strengthened Relationships with Staff, Patients, the Community
• Reduced Unhealthy Conflicts – Create an atmosphere where conflict is seen as an opportunity to strengthen the team and the practice, rather than break it down.
• Improved Problem Solving Skills
• Understanding of Each Individual’s Contribution – The flow and success of the practice depends on the understand of individual roles and how they fit together to
• A Motivating and Enjoyable Environment for both Patients and Staff
• Improved Patient Retention and Compliance
• Improved New Patient Visits
• Overall Practice Growth
Building Successful Teams and a Culture of Teamwork in Your Office
Action checklist:
• Foster communication…ALL communication. Don’t suppress conflict simply because it makes people uncomfortable. If there is a problem, address it through your conflict resolution skills.
• Make sure everyone understands the plan and their role in achieving the goals.
• Define job descriptions for each team member.
• Hold weekly staff meetings and daily huddles.
• Set clearly defined goals.
• Teamwork is rewarded and recognized.
• Acknowledge successes as well as failures. Be sure to use each as an opportunity to gain knowledge.
• Talk to your team to discover the best path forward in team building activities.
I don’t know of ONE office in my 25-year-long career of consultation, practice building and education that wouldn’t benefit from focused and comprehensive teambuilding and strengthening. Just imagine the change that is possible when you have that strong team, all working together towards a shared goal. The power is palpable, and the results are unmatched!

Your True Key to Success!

In every aspect of my business, every client I speak to, every book I write, every time I take to the lectern, there is one over-arching theme.  This theme encompasses communication, accountability, processes, protocols, and the all-important power of systems. This theme is the true key to success.

This theme is…training…training…TRAINING! Never stop TRAINING! 

The biggest mistake owners/managers can make is to hire a new employee and pop them into a single, week-long (I’ve seen even shorter!) training session and then throw the new hire to the proverbial wolves. Then there is the wide-eyed wonder: What went wrong? Why is my turnover so high? Why are my systems falling out? On and on the questions come and the answer is right in front of you.  I would scream it from the roof tops…

“Training should be an ongoing exercise for EVERY SINGLE position in your practice.”

There are 4 key aspects to every task and protocol, and when you are training, your goal is to instill each one.

  • The What: The process
  • The How: The standard/policy
  • The Why: The objective
  • The Outcome: The statistic/metric by which success is measured

In the practical application of these 4 key aspects, let’s take a brief look at the vital skill of multi-scheduling.

What is multi-scheduling?

                Restorative Care – scheduled according to the treatment plan frequency.

                Maintenance – scheduled for a monthly visit

                Management – scheduled for a follow-up visit

How do you schedule properly?

                The patient should NEVER leave the practice without a future scheduled appointment.

Why does multi-scheduling benefit the patient and the practice?

Increases patient visits – Improves practice efficiency and flow – Puts the practice in charge of the schedule

Outcome – Increased volume and retention!


It can seem a bit overwhelming to consistently train staff, and it can be tempting to take experience/time for granted. But, even the most seasoned employee benefits from regular training.  The best way to ensure that training becomes integrated into the regular activities of your practice is during weekly staff meetings.  I am a staunch advocate of well-planned and scheduled mandatory weekly staff meetings.  When done correctly, they are an invaluable tool for communication, team building and education in your practice. 


Following an agenda keeps staff meetings on task and I suggest the following outline on which to build this agenda:

  1. Review Statistics
  2. Patient Feedback & Survey Review
  3. Marketing
  4. Training – Most of the time in the meeting should be spent here. Training is the most important aspect of the meeting, and it is too often overlooked. The training session needs to be planned, and everyone needs to be cross-trained in all aspects of the practice. It doesn’t matter if your entire staff has been with you for years, training is constant and ongoing. Everyone benefits from refreshed knowledge. The healthcare field is constantly growing and evolving, your training sessions should be as well.
  5. Goals & Positive Motivation


As you can see in the agenda outline, training as incorporated in your weekly mandatory staff meeting, becomes an integral part of the culture of your practice. Training isn’t secondary.  When training is your culture, it is primary and the thirst for growth and betterment is pervasive. 

Part 2 Hiring Your Perfect Team Member

Welcome back to my three-part series guiding you through the integral process of interviewing, hiring and training your all-star staff! In part one of our three-part Interview, Hire and Train Series, we got you prepared from the standpoint of your office procedures and job opening advertisement.  As we move to the second step of this process, it is time to get to know your prospective new team members while being concise and mindful of the expense and time the hiring and interviewing process requires.

The applications/resumes are rolling in and you’ve found a few that seem to be good prospects.  Before you begin setting up interviews, it is time to do your due diligence and check references, education and work history.  When checking references state laws vary concerning the information you can gather, but you can always ask former employers if the person indeed worked at that location and “would you rehire this person?” Once you have ensured a positive response from your outreach, you can begin the interview process. 

The first step of the interview process is a telephone interview.  This short exchange is necessary to narrow the field of recruits and ensure that your face-to-face interview time is well-spent. You want to gather general information, including:

  • Are you looking for full or part-time work?
  • What are your hours of availability?
  • When are you available to start?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What experience/training do you have in the field?

Your time is valuable, so it is extremely important to make the most of your face-to-face interviews.  Of course, you want to ask basic questions such as: “What would your previous employer say about you?” and “Why are you the right candidate for this position?”, but you also want to dive deeper to really get to know the interviewee.  Some deeper questions are “What does success mean to you? How do you measure it?”, “What have you done to improve yourself in the past year?”, and “How do you pull a team together when it seems to be directionless?”.  Put critical thought into these questions and craft an interview that gets to the meat of the qualifications and personality you are looking for in a team member.

Almost as important as the questions you ask during an interview, are the questions that will be asked of you by the interviewee.  A candidate that asks thoughtful questions shows interest and initiative. Prepare yourself for the interview and be ready to answer questions such as: “What qualities do you appreciate most in employees/those who report directly to you?”, “What are the traits and skills of people who are most successful within your practice?”, and “What responsibilities have the highest priorities?”.

As you craft these interview questions remember to focus on the specific criteria you are looking for critical to the position you are filling.  Some examples of this criteria are:

  • Appearance: Dress, grooming, body language and eye contact
  • Personality: Traits you feel best match the culture of your practice
  • Career Goals/Aspirations: Are they realistic? Can they be achieved in your practice?
  • Qualifications/Skills: Education/training, accomplishments, experience

Choose your perfect candidate by creating a list of criteria that matches the specific needs of your practice. Use this information as guidance, ideas and assistance only. Please seek legal assistance, or assistance from State, Federal, or International governmental resources, to make certain your legal interpretation and decisions are correct for your location.

You’ve hired the perfect candidate, now what?

Training…training…TRAINING! Never stop training!  The biggest mistake employers can make is to have a single, week-long (I’ve seen even shorter!) training session and then throwing the new hire to the proverbial wolves.  Training should be an ongoing exercise for every single position in your practice.

In the final article of the All-Star Staff series we will discuss the aspects of training that are essential to building your dream team. 


How to Interview, Hire and Train an All-Star Staff

Part 1: Starting Your All-Star Staffing Journey

I have worked alongside some of the best, most successful practices in the country, and one element these stellar practices have in common? A strong team with a positive attitude, an all-star staff.  But, no matter the practice, hiring new staff is a reality every owner and manager must face. You have a vacancy in your office and need to fill the position immediately? Don’t panic and try to shove a square peg into a round hole.  Take a breath and assess the situation.  Ask yourself the following questions: Do you have a detailed job description with objectives and goals for the position? Do you have written policies and procedures for your employees? What is your training process? Do you have a structured interview process to select the best candidate for the position? 

These questions must be answered in the affirmative and you must be prepared to before you even place an ad for a new employee. You know and understand the culture of your practice. Hire the personality that fits your culture, and train on the necessary skills.

Your goal as a provider is to facilitate the best possible outcome for your patients.  You strive to give your patients every tool and opportunity to live healthy, pain-free lives.  Imperative in your achievement of this goal is that you are surrounded with the best possible support.  This support is your all-star staff. Finding a staff that you can build into a strong team can be a daunting process that spans every industry and plagues every employer. But, throughout my 25 years of consulting and training in the chiropractic field, I have found tried and true methods that make this process not only manageable, but enjoyable too.

Placing Your Advertisement for an Employee

There are many avenues to explore when placing an ad for a new employee.  You know your market and your community.  Websites such as ZipRecruiter and Indeed are great resources, but your local online news source, industry trade publications or college job board may also be beneficial to your specific needs. 

When placing your ad, be sure to include:

  • Job Description – Who you are looking for and why.
  • Job Type – Full Time/Part Time/Contract
  • Responsibilities/Job Duties
  • Education/Experience Requirements
  • Benefits
  • How to Apply
  • You can also choose to include more personal touches concerning the environment and culture of your practice. Descriptions such as fast-paced, family-owned, or growing/expanding may suit your practice and give potential applicants a feel for the organization.

So, you’ve placed your advertisements for a new employee and the emails and resumes are beginning to come in.  Don’t let this overwhelm you. The interview process is your opportunity to get to know the talent.  Don’t look at this as a chore.  When done properly, the interview process can save you time and money ensuring that you don’t hire the wrong person for your team.  Prospective employees need to be enthusiastic about your vision and display a positive attitude, high energy, and a willingness to be learn and be coached. 

The first step of the interview process is a telephone interview.  This short exchange is necessary to narrow the field of recruits and ensure that your face-to-face interview time is well-spent. You want to gather general information, including:

  • Are you looking for full or part-time work?
  • What are your hours of availability?
  • When are you available to start?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • What experience/training do you have in the field?

Your time is valuable, so it is extremely important to make the most of your face-to-face interviews. Look for my next article where we will take a closer look at the best interviewing and training practices so you can continue to build your all-star staff!

Have you ever been white water rafting?  It is a thrill-a-minute adventure.  You never know what is around the next bend in the river.  There are rocks along the way and the path can be treacherous, filled with whirlpools and waterfalls. You just hope to enjoy to ride and come out the other side safe and dry.  Depending on your personality, this can be a fun and exhilarating way to blow off some steam.  But in the world of business, I personally prefer smooth sailing.  Picture a glassy surface of water and the wind in your sails.  You know what to do to get you where you want to go and you have the power to get there. 

I can’t stress this enough: without accountability, your practice will go on a white water ride and it will not be fun! Systems will dissolve, and standards will break down against the jagged rocks of adversity. If everyone in your office is not holding themselves and others accountable for their actions, for the processes in place, and for ensuring the systems are followed, there will be nothing but buck-passing and chaos. Everyone in the practice, from the owner to the newest employee, needs to step up and rise to the challenge. This is the foundation of a great practice.  When your entire team operates through transparency and accountability, they form a cohesive unit focused on growth, service, and amazing patient outcomes.

Sailing the 7 C’s to Successful Practice Management is your guide to the culture of accountability in every aspect of you practice!

When you assign responsibility for measured result to an individual (or a clearly specified group of individuals) to create and incentive for performance, you are creating a culture of accountability.  It is not just doing a job.  Accountability includes the obligation to make things better, to pursue excellence, and to achieve results. 

The key to a true culture of accountability is that EVERYONE in the practice is accountable.  In entirely too many offices there is an unbalanced dynamic in which only the managers hold team members accountable.  But in high-performing offices, team members hold themselves and each other accountable for achieving their goals, for completing their job duties, and for following through on their commitments.  This is the culture we are striving for.  Team members are focused on results together and success is sure to follow!

So, in order to build the whole of the culture, let’s take a look at each element individually and see how the pieces fit together.  I break it down into three distinct concepts that build on each other and work together to create the overall accountability.  These three areas are: self, team, and management.

  • Self – Everyone in the office must hold themselves accountable and be responsible. When staff members take ownership, and understand their role in the practice, they hold themselves accountable for their actions, responsibilities, and goals. They know, appreciate, and own their position, and recognize the important role they play in the practice and in the lives of the patients.
  • Team – Your staff practices self-accountability, and they come together as a cohesive team. The best teams can identify an issue, work toward a resolution, decide on a course of action, and execute a plan to resolve the issue. They hold each other accountable, knowing that each member of the team plays an essential role in overall success.
  • Management – When the elements of self-accountability and team accountability are firmly in place, the manager is in a prime position to execute her role as leader. Successful and accountable management is specific in the expectations, clearly stating: “This is WHAT I want you to do. This is HOW I want it to be done. This is WHEN I need to have it completed.”

As with all important qualities of success, accountability doesn’t just happen because you want it to. You must actively work on a daily basis to create and maintain this positive and motivating atmosphere and Sailing the 7 C’s to Successful Practice Management is your guide. Leave the thrill seeking, whirlpools and waterfalls where they belong, and smoothly sail the path to a culture of accountability.  I promise, the thrill and exhilaration of success is even better!


The Perfect Patient

When you meet a new patient, it is a time of optimism. Both you and the patient enter into a relationship of shared goals, with the ultimate goal being a lifetime of wellness.  You set the course for this goal and the patient partners with you to see this course through.

But, what if the patient goes off course? What if the patient doesn’t understand the purpose? Who is responsible for the attainment of the goals?  Through Sailing the 7 C’s to Successful Practice Management, you will learn how to ensure that the communication dynamic between you and your patients is successful and your educated patient will have the understanding and tools to be the Perfect Patient.

Who is the perfect patient? Would you know them if you saw them?  What if I told you that the qualities of the perfect patient are attainable in practically every person you care for?

As a doctor, you are, by default, an educator. You and you staff have the power to ensure that your patients are educated and that this knowledge produces the ideal patient/doctor relationship.

Side by side, let’s identify the contrasts between a lack of patient education and the benefits you can see when patient education is defined and perfected in communication in your practice.

                    Sinking Ship                      Setting Sail
Patients dropping out of care early Patients who value their treatment plan
Patients who consistently miss appointments Prompt and dedicated patients entering into care with excitement
Patients who balk at paying their co-pay Copays are current and financials are agreed upon and understood
Patients who do not understand the Phases of Care Patients who look forward to progressing through care to achieve a lifetime of wellness
Patients who push back at the front desk when scheduling Patients who understand the frequency of their treatment plan
Patients who do not understand the value and benefit of care Patients who are driven by their motivation and know that your care will get them there
Patients who will not consider your Wellness Program A lifetime of wellness is your patient’s ultimate goal


Patients who comply, pay for their service, follow the rules of their treatment plan, and after treatment, refer a friend… The Perfect Patient! How many of those have you treated lately? Sailing the 7 C’s to Successful Practice Management holds your key to unlocking the power of patient education.  Order your copy today!



As you sail through Calibration, Communication, Credibility, Consistency, Collaboration, Customer Service, and Creation your vision for the future of your practice becomes clear and you will have the tools you need to achieve greatness.

Book Release SOON!

It’s Always High Tide When You’re Sailing the Seven C’s to Successful Practice Management!

Catching the Wave – Growing your Practice Today and In the Future

Would you like to grow your practice? Would you like to help even more people live happy, healthy lives?  Of course you would!

I’m going to let you in on a trade secret…The best source of new patients in your practice is YOUR EXISTING PATIENTS! Don’t believe me? Let me show you the way! In my new book Sailing the Seven C’s to Successful Practice Management, I will guide you through the core elements you need to see your practice grow, and keep growing.  Each of the Seven C’s: Calibration, Communication, Credibility, Consistency, Collaboration, Customer Service, and Creation build upon the other to take you to your ultimate goal: the practice you’ve always dreamed was possible.

Close your eyes and imagine your dream practice:

  • You have powerful, successful systems, standards and protocols in place.
  • Communication with your staff and patients is open and proactive.
  • Accountability is ingrained and it is the culture of your practice.
  • Statistics and metrics are owned and understood by all on the staff.
  • Your goals are in place and you know the path to attain and even surpass them.
  • Your team is strong and their positive attitude is even stronger.
  • Your patients know their importance and the commitment that you and your staff have to their lifetime of wellness.
  • Your happy, healthy patients are committed to their care and they are referring their friends and family to your practice.
  • Marketing your practice is a breeze because you see the opportunities all around you, and know how to put them to work.
  • Finally, you are able to clearly see your vision for the future of your practice and you have the tools and action plan in place to take you there!

Let me help you make this dream a reality with Sailing the Seven C’s to Successful Practice Management! Take the first step in your voyage to unrivaled success and order your copy today!