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How Gratitude Can Improve Chiropractic and Healthcare Practice Performance

Chiropractor showing gratitude to team member for patient service.

Be a Good Finder

One business owner (a dentist this time, not a chiropractor) I worked with years ago seemed to always be in a bad mood.

He was quiet and basically ignored his staff. His opinion was that he paid them to work, they should work hard, and that was it. But his office wasn’t doing well, so he called me in. I made several visits to his office, each time simply working to improve empathetic communication with his team. I coached him on listening to each staff member and to simply acknowledge them for their contributions.

A few months later, we saw his practice grow. Numbers were headed up!

I remember this because he was always complaining to me that I wasn’t doing anything for his office! His constant criticisms and lack of appreciation were the real problem, but he didn’t see it. While I was countering his abusive lack of gratitude for the support he was receiving from his staff, I tried to coach him on his issue.

Apparently, he was a good dentist, but to his strife and possible forever struggles, he was both a poor clinic director and student.


Employee Performance

So, I just want to mention and remind us all how important it is to be grateful and express gratitude.

When gratitude is expressed to others, many benefits occur. A simple “thank you” goes a long way in improving the morale and ultimate performance of others. Of course, it must be genuine. Counterfeit praise is easily seen through and can do more harm than good.

According to Tom Rath, co-author of How Full Is Your Bucket, “Gallup polling has revealed that 99 out of 100 people say they want a more positive environment at work, and 9 out of 10 say they’re more productive when they’re around positive people.”

He points to research that shows when a work team has more than three positive interactions with managers for every one negative interaction, it is significantly more likely to be productive. The point is not to keep managers from correcting or reprimanding but just to express more praise.


Gratitude is Good Health Care

“The practice of gratitude can have dramatic and lasting effects in a person’s life,” says Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis [my alma mater!] and a leading scientific expert on the science of gratitude.

“It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep. Gratitude reduces lifetime risk for depression, anxiety and substance abuse disorders, and is a key resiliency factor in the prevention of suicide.” **

According to UC Davis Medical Center, “Gratitude is associated with higher levels of good cholesterol (HDL), lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), and lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, both at rest and in the face of stress. It also has been linked with higher levels of heart rate variability, a marker of cardiac coherence, or a state of harmony in the nervous system and heart rate that is equated with less stress and mental clarity.

“Gratitude also lowers levels of creatinine, an indicator of the kidney’s ability to filter waste from the bloodstream, and lowers levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of cardiac inflammation and heart disease.”**


Be a Good Finder

You don’t have to have a PhD to understand that people respond well when they are noticed for something they did well.

So, this newsletter is just a reminder.

And I know that some of you, chiropractors, acupuncturists, dentists, vets, Vitalistic or not, have experienced the phenomenon of quantum entanglement with your patients – or even with your team. Being a “good finder,” creating positive relationships, and thinking positive thoughts about others -- if genuine -- often do bring positive effects. I have seen it, and I am sure you have too.

So, be a Good Finder…

…and More Good will find you.



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