Most likely you're ready this post from the comfort of your home; the world has truly shifted into a phase we couldn't have predicted…but we most certainly should've been prepared for…!

There's a phrase I always teach my Inner Circle members…“it's not if, it's when…”. If you're reading this you're most likely a practice owner and I want you to take a few minutes to digest that sentence. Challenges will always arise, the shift is the nature of those challenges. They can be practice specific; a problem with yourself or a key team member. Or, they can be broader, like the COVID-19 pandemic that started in late 2019, and is more than likely affecting us all in some way (my 8 practices closed their doors on Monday evening).

Challenges test our practice and leadership strength. If our practice procedures are water-tight, we will be better prepared to navigate these challenging times. If our leadership is strong, we will be much better positioned to support our teams and maintain a healthy practice.

But it's not an easy ride…and some of it is out of our control!

No matter what, the way we respond to a challenge will go a long way to determining how it works out for your practice, your team members, and YOU in the end.

Here is how you can rise to the occasion, to lead your practice with strength, even in the most challenging of times.

1. Stay True To Who You Are

The first steps I teach on my New Patient Avalanche program, include setting a vision for your practice growth and determining your practice culture and values. During challenging times, it is even more important to lean into your vision, culture, and core values. Use those as a filter through which you make decisions. If you need to make changes to save the practice, how can you do that in a way that stays true to your culture and core values? How would you deliver the message? Difficult decisions and conversations often must be made. Make those decisions consistent with your vision, culture, and core values but within the context of your circumstances. That will help you make better decisions and conduct any challenging conversations with the right heart. 

2. Focus On Relationships

Any crisis will make people worry about their jobs, especially one that reaches far and wide, like the Coronavirus. That does not only include your team members, it also includes your patients. Be sensitive to the reality of the world around you, and focus on building deeper relationships with the people who matter most to your practice – your patients. With the Coronavirus temporarily closing many practices (chiropractic, therapy, dentistry), you have an opportunity to build deeper relationships with the people who matter most to your practice

3. Look For Opportunities

In every challenging time, there will be opportunities. Opportunities to help; opportunities to limit the downsides; even opportunities to thrive. What opportunities do you see around you? Could you invest in putting new systems or processes in place? What about putting together a social media strategy for your practice or building reactivation campaigns to make sure your practice is full for you grand re-open. Whether it’s internally or externally focused, in any challenge, you will find opportunities to come out on the other side of the challenge stronger. My team and I are here for our Inner Circle community during these trying times, upping to a call every single day this week to ensure we have their backs and keep morale high!

4. Focus On The Present

When challenges arise, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut focusing on things of the past or stressing about an uncertain future. The strongest leaders, however, focus on the present. If your systems weren’t strong, put new ones in place. If your team training was lacking, start training your team. Stressing about what put your practice in the condition it is today is natural, but it won’t help you come out any stronger. The same is true about the future. An unlimited number of variables will impact the future, and there’s no way to predict exactly what it will look like. And when you’re in the midst of a challenging time, it’s hard to see a positive future ahead. But we have gone through crises before, and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Sometimes the tunnel is longer than we expect. Sometimes it is shorter. But the tunnel will end, and the future will be better and brighter if you focus on making the best decisions in the present.

5. Focus On What You Can Control

You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control your responses. Even in good times, life is unpredictable. And in challenging times, there will be many more things that are out of your control than are in your control. But at all times, there will be one thing you can control: your response. Your results will be determined by how you respond to the events around you. When times get tough and the stress levels rise, ask yourself what part of your circumstances you can control. Then make the best decisions possible about what you can control, and you will make the best out of any situation. 

6. Be Creative And Resourceful

It can be very hard, especially for those of us who are used to a routine but, in challenging times, the most creative and resourceful leaders will come out strongest. Encourage your team members to do the same. Resourcefulness is a skill that will come in handy for a long time. 

7. Express Gratitude Daily

No matter how bad things get, there will always be room for gratitude. Every day, wake up and name three things you’re grateful for, even if it’s just the sun shining in the sky, hot coffee, and fresh air to breathe. When things get stressful, take a moment to repeat the exercise. Look for things to be grateful for in everything you do. Gratitude is powerful. It puts things in perspective. It helps us focus on what matters most in life. It often makes us realise that, no matter what happens with our practices, we have what matters most in life and will be okay in the long term.

8. Stay Connected

If you've read this far…thank you! I'm grateful for you. During these uncertain times, if you need help, guidance, support or just someone to listen to your rants and ramblings, we are here. My Inner Circle don't only get support from my team and I, but my private Facebook group is an amazing outlet for 100+ practice owners from all over the world to come together (at this time, more than ever) to have each other's back.

To enquire about joining my Inner Circle, you can send an email to us at info@dcpracticegrowth.com.

Love and light,

Dr. Ryan Rieder

P.S. To stay connected with me and what I'll be sharing from my world, just subscribe to my YouTube channel and hit the bell to be notified when my next video is live. Subscribe – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClNHhkcvPRjF2_2G-VfNKHA