The Talent-Free Way to a Great Associate Relationship
Hey everybody, this is Dr. George Birnbach and I just got done teaching a pilot program for Five Star Management this last week. It’s amazing to me when I get to talk to doctors who are out in the field, who are running practices, who are hiring associates or wanting to hire associates that we always talk about similar challenges that you’re gonna face and that they’re gonna face.
Then I always wanna know what went wrong last time, or I wanna talk to an associate who tells me about their associateship, and I wanna say what went wrong last time or what went right last time? I don’t wanna know, did you like it? Or didn’t you like it? That’s just the surface. I wanna know what went right and what went wrong. So these are things that came up.
First of all, innate talent is something that is completely overrated. People aren’t born with a marketing sense, that’s developed, they’re not born with confidence it’s developed. So what I tell them is that you need a system more than you need talent. These are things that keep coming up that actually take zero talent and improve every aspect of this relationship because once again, the idea of talent is kind of BS, you can have no skills and still get to enormous places in your life, but you have to be able to follow some simple habits, some simple habits in a proven system, and that’s what I tell these doctors on the webinars.
Here’s the first thing that gets to the annoyance of the owning doctor. They want everyone around them to show up with high energy. So that’s what I tell the associate, the associate doctors first and foremost show up with high energy. Energy is not the basis of your existence, it’s the fuel that makes everything in your lives real and possible. That’s Tony Robbins quote, but energy is not the only basis for your existence, it’s the fuel that makes everything else real and possible.
Your energy level is something you can actually control. You show up in the morning, ready to get going, ready to do something, ready to take action. When you show up with high levels of energy, then people around you are infected by that energy, and they see you striving for something that’s valuable to you, and then they have the opportunity to help you get it. Energy is life.
Second is do what you promise to do. If you show up and you take a job from a doctor and you say, what I want is to build the practice. Well do what you promise and work on building that practice. If you’re an owning doctor and you hire an associate with the intention of helping them get a great career, do what you promise and help them get a great career. I tend to follow up with people who promise to take action and then don’t. And trust me, those are tough phone calls. I don’t forget ’cause I take notes on what people promise they’re gonna do, but if you’re not doing what you promise, it’s very hard for other people to help you get that process going. That’s whether you’re an owning doctor or an associate.
Here’s the pro tip, do more than you’re asked to do, and if you promise to do something, do it, but do more than they expect you to do. Even if it’s just 5% more, 2%, more, 1% more. Doing a little bit extra, doing it just a little bit better than expected is a super power that will have that associate bonding to that clinic owner, or have that clinic owner really respecting that associate doctor that comes up in somebody’s conversations.
Another thing that came up during the pilot program is how important it is to fill in the blank. Well listen, wasting a person’s time is worse than wasting their money, you see. Wasting a person’s time is a bad thing that can destroy a relationship. So respect their time. If you say, I’m gonna help you, and we’re gonna train an hour a week, you figure out how to train that hour a week. You see, even if it gets in your way, every now and again, the associate doctor, if you want that doctor’s time, you need to be showing them that you’re showing up with energy and tackling the process so that you’re showing them that you respect their time.
What I tend to do as a profession is I give people time out of my life, and I tend to give the people who are doing what they promise to do, more time. You see, instead of chasing, after people who aren’t performing, I donate extra time to the people who are doing the job themselves. When you give someone time back based on their production, they value that, and that builds a relationship and that’s really important. Now, if I can show someone a way to save time in their life, they’d like that too, so I always value their time.
One of the other things here is you have to be open to feedback on both sides, the associate’s side and the owning doctor side. That means that I have to be open to feedback on how I can be a better leader or a manager or an organized professional, but the associate has to be open to feedback too and sometimes we see feedback as criticism, but it doesn’t have to be. Good feedback is coaching and coachable people are a whole lot of fun to work with because you give them the kernel and then they can develop it. All right?
So do the work, respect their time and show up with energy – that is a really nice triad on how to do that because that all plays out in your body language. If you’ve ever looked and saw someone coming towards you and Oh, I gotta deal with this again, most of that is because they have trained you to feel that way. Not because you inherently feel that way about someone. So you’re gonna need to work on your body language, you need to work on a positive attitude, you need to inject passion into this world.
There is an interesting guy, he writes some blogs, his name is Tony Abachi. And if you’re not passionate about what you do, you might be in the wrong work, and that doesn’t just mean in chiropractic or in nutrition or in healthcare. It really means in management or in associateship. This is Tony Abachi’s quote in an article that I read recently from him, which is many people have just enough of a work ethic to stay in a job they hate, but not enough self awareness to know that it’s time to leave. So what does that mean to us hiring associate doctors and building practices? What it means is we can stay in this job and be miserable the whole time, or we can improve some of these little tiny skills go that 1% extra or that 4% further and we can have a fantastic life, and we can have associates who love their associateship position and are growing a career. And we can take pride in building our profession.
Passion is what shows people you care. When you’re not passionate, you push people away who could actually help you and make your life more interesting, more successful, more joyous. These same people, the passionate people can become your friends for life, and how much fun is it to be surrounded by overachievers.
When I was working in the Marine Corps with a bunch of overachievers, I promise you this. It has tremendous amounts of fun. When I look at the Five Star Galaxy group or the Five Star group, when I look at the New Patient Academy and what those external marketers who are going that 4% further to not only get past the obstacle, but to look back and say, what if I have the skill, what would have made that obstacle nonexistent for me, or now that I’m past it, can I draw a better way to get past it that would have been easier? Now that I’m on the other side of the problem, can I map out how I could have made that struggle easier for myself, that success easier for myself.
When you’re surrounded by overachievers, boy oh boy, life becomes fun. And one of the last things that I had a conversation within the pilot program this week, was that instead of going to getting upset, just understand that management can be a frustrating mess at times. And if you can go to bed a little early, make it a nine hour sleep cycle, sleep on the problem before you react to the problem. And sometimes it’ll give you a whole new perspective. These are some of the skills that take almost no talent to put into your life, but they’ll have an amazing effect on the outcomes that you’re able to generate. All right?
My name is Dr. George Birnbach. I’ll talk to y’all real soon. Bye bye.