Our whole life, from a kid in grade school to adulthood, we’ve been told a lie! (Sort of.)
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!
We’ve been told this narrative to not judge a person or thing by its appearances, but instead to look deeper and see the inner beauty.
While, we would like to believe this ideal and try to follow it ourselves, the truth is, it just isn’t how most people act and behave.
Have you ever been to a website and left because it wasn’t pleasing to your eyes? Or chose to skip a restaurant that didn’t look “nice” from the outside?
Evolutionarily, there’s good reason for this. Over centuries, humans have developed the ability to quickly judge. Especially, to quickly determine if someone or something is friend or foe, for our own survival. (There’s a sabertooth tiger, let’s get the heck out of here!)
And after many generations, we’ve gotten pretty darn good at it! We can judge someone in a matter of seconds.
Why is this important for you as an acupuncturist?
As an acupuncturist, you want more patients and you want those patients to respect you as a medical professional and to take you seriously. And, to a larger degree, I believe, you also want the profession to be taken seriously by the naysayers.
So, it’s important for you to understand that people are going to judge you by your website, your business card, your office, your looks, the way you walk and talk. Everything!
And they’re going to judge you for the smallest of details!
Do you have a misspelling on you’re website? Judged! (<— See what I did their?)
Is your office well lit or does it feel like walking into a dungeon? Judged!
Are you dressed like a professional or someone who needs a good shaving? Judged!
EVERY. LITTLE. DETAIL!
What to do about it?
I think it’s VERY important to create a feedback loop, to actively seek people willing to give you negative feedback.
Getting negative feedback isn’t as easy as it seems. It’s difficult for two reasons.
One, we’re emotional creatures and getting negative feedback hurts, so we actively shy away from being criticized. No one likes hearing negative feedback, it makes us feel like we’re failures. It’s much easier to live in our own little bubbles where in our own heads, we’re the king or queen of the world. (My mom tells me I’m awesome!)
And two, no one likes to hurt someone’s feelings, so most people will tell you nice things and not offend you. So, you might have to butter them up first like making fun of their mom. (Just kidding, never make fun of someone’s mom, unless they’re really not nice!)
So how do you overcome these?
First, put on your big boy or girl pants on and swallow your pride and understand that without negative feedback, you as a practitioner and practice are not going to get better. (What got you to your current level of success is not going to get you to the next level!)
And second, actively seek out people who give constructive negative feedback. (Not nasty mean feedback, those people you can get rid of.) Everyone knows those one or two friends who will tell you like it is. Sometimes the things they say might be harsh and make you mad, but those are the people you need to seek out! (They’ll keep it .)
So what are some things you can do immediately? Here’s a short and quick list.
- Take a look at your website.
Does it look like you put it together in a weekend? Spend a couple buck to buy a nicely designed template.
- Take a look at your clinic.
Could it use more lighting? Or maybe some tiding up? Let your OCD run wild!
- Take a look at yourself.
Are you presenting your best foot forward when meeting and greeting your patients? Are you dressed like a professional? Be proactive!
So this year, let’s try to be better professionals and better people by seeking better feedback and taking steps to improve. It’s 2016 people, let’s put our best self out there!