Ever wonder what other practices are doing better? Doesn’t it seem that some practices are just easier to run than yours? That maybe they’ve found some secrets you haven’t discovered? How can you find out if there’s something out there that would make your practice better?
How about trying something as simple and old-fashioned as walking to the practice next door and introducing yourself? What would you do if a peer from another office did the same and asked for help?
We often overlook the simplest way to learn, especially if it takes us outside our comfort zone. We also risk becoming so internally focused that we make it harder and harder to learn. Getting out to see how other practices solve problems will help you stretch beyond any internal staleness that keeps your practice from thriving.
Here’s a short list to help you on your way. Prepare for a great experience and you’ll probably have one.
- Set aside time in your schedule to visit a new practice once per month - or the same practice to learn more.
- Contact the practice beforehand and ask if you can visit to learn.
- Take a treat along. It’s the neighborly thing to do - just like grandma used to bake bread for the new neighbor before introducing herself.
- Have a list of issues you are trying to solve so the conversation doesn’t drag.
- Be respectful of your neighbors time and ask permission to spend more of it if needed.
- Hand write a thank you note afterward (Maybe even throw in a Starbucks gift card). Being grateful keeps the door open for the future.
The benefits of visits like this are multiple. You will gain insight into your issues, maybe solving a problem you didn’t know you had. You will get out of your office (a stress reducer in itself) and see what others are like, perhaps gaining a new appreciation for your situation. You may make a new friend. You may grow personally and professionally, or create new opportunities for your practice, staff, or yourself. You will probably have a chance to help others, always a good feeling.
Whatever comes of it, you will most likely find it was a good experience. Your confidence will grow with every visit and your practice will most likely benefit from everything you learn. We would love to hear about your experience. Contact us after you’ve done your first visit and tell us how it went. Until then, happy learning!