Transitioning from client facing to team facing can be a difficult thing for many allied health business owners. The experience is different for everyone, but it’s a pivotal shift that can allow you to truly empower your team and attain your goals. For Charmaine Owen, Director of Kids & Community in the Gold Coast, the decision to shift has certainly paid off. Her realisation arose when she felt more excited to see and craft solutions, rather than to work face-to-face with clients.
While the switch to business-facing in your practice may seem intimidating at first, there are some clear advantages that you can consider before making the move. Your business can grow at a faster rate because of an increased focus on internal processes. This can lead to an overall expansion of the business, no matter how small it is to begin with. It’s also a great way to recognise the victories of your team.
In this episode of the PPMP podcast, Charmaine shares her experience with knowing when she was ready to make the big shift. She admits that the change wasn’t an easy one to make, and there are certainly still some struggle-moments. But on the whole, she is completely satisfied to have made the decision to grow and improve her private practice.
So, what does it take for you to become more team facing than client facing? How do you even begin to make that move? Let’s explore some of the standout tips from Charmaine that helped her reach the point she is at today with her practice.
#1: Recognising & celebrating her team’s wins as her own.
Charmaine rejoices seeing her therapists have wins just as much as if those wins were her own. Seeing her team be successful and love what they do is something that brings her immense joy. At the end of the day, loving what you do is a crucial part of life. In addition to these triumphs, Charmaine loves watching her team develop their skills and experience big moments with the children they work with. Watching the therapists watch their own clients soar to success brings pure delight, as it’s so inspiring to see.
Feeling proud and being able to enjoy their wins is even better when she knows that she has helped her team get to where they are today. It’s also reassuring for her to know that she continues to help them thrive. Through this growth, Charmaine has been able to expand her role from clinician to leader for her team.
#2: Team facing to help her team help others.
Although there’s no doubt that Charmaine loves doing clinical work, she loves problem-solving and discourse more. She realised that she felt more excited by helping people, like her therapists, to adapt to change or think differently. Mentoring her team was the driving force behind the evolution of her business. This moved her to become more team facing, which in turn allowed her to focus on helping her therapists help others. Since she can now concentrate on the core areas, Charmaine is able to empower her team to the fullest.
#3: Harmonising her practice’s beliefs and language.
At Kids & Community, their beliefs and language are synchronised with their values. As a result, this enables them to form connections and foster independence with their clients. They decided to release the traditional medical model, beliefs, and language associated with private practices, which allowed them to provide a more unique service.
Running a family-centred occupation-based business was a large factor in making this decision. Kids & Community provide accessible information to clients, by not using medical terminologies, which allows clients to feel more comfortable. Through switching her focus to altering internal communication processes, Charmaine’s team are now able to communicate with purpose in a tech-savvy manner.
#4: Creating a solid foundation.
Charmaine is crystal clear with the fact that she didn’t create a team of “Charmaine-ees”. She understands that everyone is different. While it’s important to be a leader, it’s also essential to recognise that your team are human beings. They’re not cardboard cutouts, and they need to feel heard and valued.
Having a practice that has strong building-blocks, foundation elements, theoretical frameworks, and core and personal values means that Charmaine knows that she can build a team that is powerful. She knows that these elements will help them flow in the right direction. Her therapists can pick what key elements they want to adapt in their own private practice framework. Have a shared knowledge of values, but in turn, let them find their own pair of comfortable shoes to slip into and perform their work with ease. Thereby, they can feel appreciated and like their passions can be fulfilled.
By going team facing, Charmaine was able to identify her mistakes and create a new normal for the practice. She highlights the importance of having a firm foundation to work from, which will ultimately help you build a wonderful team that you can mentor and lead. Embrace your team’s diversity, leverage their strengths, and most of all, make them feel valued for who they are and what they do. In the words of Steven Covey, “strength lies in differences, not in similarities”. In the end, the synergy of your team’s differences, strengths, and uniqueness will be the driving force behind pushing you to move forward.