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Tag: creativity

Creativity involves exploring new ideas from three different perceptual positions: the Dreamer, the Critic, and the Realist, and by integrating these three different perspectives into one practical, successful plan, it creates magic out of chaos!

3 Ways to Improve Client Satisfaction in Your Private Practice

3 Ways to Improve Client Satisfaction in Your Private PracticeAre you going from feast to famine as you try to build a sustainable private practice? That can be so frustrating and stressful! It may even harm your health and relationships, if you don’t find an effective solution soon.

One thing I’ve learned over the past 13 years is that consistency is vital for making your clients feel comfortable working with you. It’s like when you go to a familiar business, with a familiar logo and you receive predictable service. Even if you aren’t consciously aware of it, your brain sees that consistency as reassuring and safe. The moment something is out of place, however, a red flag of warning goes up.

Here are three areas of business where consistency really matters when you’re trying to improve client satisfaction:

#1 Create a communication protocol.

The first point of contact is often when they telephone your office to schedule an appointment. Take a moment and consider how your prospective clients feel when they call you. Do you have a system in place for communicating with them promptly?

If you’re just starting your private practice, you may not have a support staff yet. It can be very difficult switching roles between therapist and office worker. Of course, you can’t interrupt your session with a client to run and answer the phone. On the other hand, ignoring that message until late in the week or possibly even the next week means they’ll likely call someone else. When they call you, they expect help fairly soon. Since you worked so hard to get them to call you in the first place, you don’t want lose clients by neglecting them.

Here’s a great solution:

On your answering machine leave an assurance that you’re there to help them and that you’ll return their call within 24 hours or less. And then do so.

Make it a priority to return phone calls promptly. Scheduling specific times on you daily calendar ensures that you have the time you need. If you schedule client visits back-to-back with no time in between for office work, you’re going to feel rushed and overwhelmed. Leave yourself some room for call-backs, you are going to feel more at ease and relaxed!

#2 Establish a clear cancellation and rescheduling policy.

Is it becoming more common for people to skip or cancel their appointments at the last minute? If you don’t train your clients to honor their appointments with you, your business will suffer and they won’t benefit from regular coaching and/or therapy.

Here’s a great solution:

At your initial session, clearly outline your policy and hand them a copy of it.

When making a new appointment, reinforce your policy by saying: “I’m committed to helping you on DATE and TIME. If you need to cancel this appointment, we require 24 hour’s notice or we will charge you X amount of money because this time is vital for giving my clients the best care possible. ”

It would be a mistake to either charge their credit card for a missed session without letting them know that’s your policy or letting their lack of attention slip by unnoticed. Of course, you can make exceptions if there’s a legitimate emergency. You can address this on an individual basis.

#3 Confirm your client’s perception of his or her goals.

Your clients come to you with an idea of what they want to achieve, but they may not have the words to convey that to you clearly. And over time, these goals may change. So it’s important to check in with them regularly to see if they’re satisfied with your working relationship and their progress.

When you do ask for feedback, it’s good to remind them of their progress. When they get discouraged and want to give up, don’t let them simply slip away.

Here’s a great solution:

When a client quits before their goal is reached, why not get her back through a free “Reconnect Session”? If you can’t afford to offer free individual sessions, you could include them in a group session for free. This expression of care may win them back as a steady client.

Building a sustainable private practice involves thinking and acting in a way that supports your business, you as a therapist or coach, and your clients. Want to know the secrets of keeping a steady stream of clients coming into your private practice as others transition out? I’d be happy to help. Contact me and we can schedule an appointment to discuss strategies that work.

Discover a Creativity Model That Makes Magic Out of Chaos

Creative Thinking Techniques that turn chaos into magic“If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~ Walt Disney

“I never finish what I start!” “I’m not creative!” “I am a big procrastinator” – does this sound familiar? If those beliefs stop you from pursuing your dreams, it’s time to adjust your thinking.

Many people stop themselves from dreaming big, or dreaming at all, for fear of failing or finding out that they aren’t good enough. But giving up on the creative process is a mistake because self-expression is known to reduce stress, boost the immune system and increase happiness and personal satisfaction.

You are already a creative genius. The trick is to translate untapped creativity into methodical implementation!

One of the main co-developers of NLP, Robert Dilts studied the creative thinking techniques of Walt Disney. He noticed that Disney had three distinct phases in his creativity strategy – Dreamer, Critic and Realist. By modeling Disney, Dilts developed a simple but powerful process to help individuals and teams create and implement new ideas.

I’ve found this strategy very useful not just in my own personal and professional accomplishments, but in coaching people as well. It’s helped me understand that, in following their dreams, people are not ‘unrealistic’, ‘indecisive’, or ‘skeptical’. They simply lack key perspectives on the creative process.

Often the biggest block to creativity is the tendency to shoot down new ideas before they get off the ground by pointing out all the reasons why they couldn’t work. Internally we have an inner critic whose job is to protect us from failure. If you’ve ever tried to do something new, you will be familiar with how the inner critic rapidly shuts down your imagination and your willingness to move forward.

Of course, when imagining new ways of doing things, there are no bad ideas. The apparently least practical idea may, by association, inspire the eventual solution. If new ideas are criticized too soon they can’t develop, and creativity is stifled.

The Disney Creativity Model involves exploring new ideas from three different perceptual positions: the perspective of a Dreamer, the perspective of a Critic, and that of a Realist, and then integrating these three different perspectives into one practical, successful plan. When each of these three different kinds of thinking is understood as crucial, utilized, and blended together at some point in the overall process – it works! This was one of the important aspects of Disney’s brilliance: To create magic out of chaos!

The Dreamer
This is the part of you who dreams big and is not afraid to do so. Everything is possible, and anything goes. There is no censorship and the sky’s the limit.

The Critic

This is the part of you who is considered the downer, always shooting down plans and ideas. But essential because she knows how to spot the holes in the plan so you can fix them. She takes everything apart and points out anything that might not work or might go wrong.

The Realist

This is the part of you that gets things done. She knows how to get everything planned and scheduled, she’s the organizer who understands the details and can implement by creating small methodical steps.

So, are you ready to let go of any fear and dare to dream big?  Just as Walt Disney mentored a great team of artists, I’m here to mentor you and give you a new perspective as we use these creative thinking techniques and more. Contact me and together we’ll explore the hidden possibilities that are right in front of you.

Let's get started with 30 free minutes

I invite you to learn more about me and my coaching and counseling services. Please contact me to schedule an “It starts with you!” 30-minute complimentary consultation with me, in-person, by phone or via video consultation, so we can explore our partnership.


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