Beyond Dating

By Sandra Norby, PT, DPT

I assume you are aware that this letter was penned one month before you are reading it. My goal is to tie this letter to the content of the issue, and this one made me smile, “Business partnerships—beyond dating.”

The “beyond dating” is what made me smile. Over the past few months, my husband has challenged me to define what attributes make up “special sauce.” Special sauce is what I have determined it takes to be a highly sought after therapist outside of vertically integrated or medically owned therapy clinics. As I have been mentoring our new team members (whose experience ranges from five to 20 years), I have broken down building business relationships like dating.

First, the person needs to know who you are and that you are interested in them. Then they need to figure out that they like you. Once they like you, they may trust you. Once they trust you, they trigger their right for you to be their therapist (patient); take care of their patients (provider); manage the physical health of their employees (employer); and/or invite you to the bigger table (partner).

Two things I would like to share. Here is a snippet from an email that one of my newest team members sent me. “So when you are crunching your teeth because the group of us is ‘slow to the starting gate in understanding PT Basics’ maybe . . . , know that your mentoring is moving the needle, you yourself are inspiring, and the opportunities you provide are motivating us to some of our best levels. But I’m pulling a choo-choo train on some level of ‘change’ with my clan at home, pulling them with me, as they have never seen me be as committed to PT as I am now.”

The “crunching your teeth” refers to my shock at what she had been taught to be truth about direct access, coding, and compliance from her previous employers. The mentoring is the constant encouragement for her to practice to the fullest level of her degree/license. The “clan at home” is that she joined our team to pursue her passion of pain science, carving out 12 hours a week for patient care from her stay at home mom role.

The final thing to share is as I reflect on all of my business alliances; they all started with a friendship, which led to trust and then collaboration. Friends, this is one of the greatest joys I have in our profession and my business, the ability to lift each other up and see the entire world of PT succeed. I join you in my excitement to read the articles for this issue and am thankful to those who contributed.

Copyright © 2018, Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.

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