5 Lies Chiropractic Coaches Tell – #1: The Head Space Lie

The SwamiIt’s no secret that the economy is going through tough times right now. Chiropractors are suffering as well. Many doctors will be looking for a business coach to help them grow during these troubled times.

Hiring a coach is a great idea (I have one and I’ll even be coaching a limited group of chiropractors starting later this month.) But there are some big lies, I mean whoppers, that are drilled into chiropractors heads.

At the expense of making a few coaches and consultants mad (and even rubbing a few subscribers the wrong way), I’m starting a series of blog posts that are focused on uncovering the “5 Biggest Lies That Chiropractic Coaches Tell”.

So with that said, let’s get on with #1 (a lie that really gets my blood pressure up!)

Lie #1: It’s All About You “Head Space”. With some coaching groups, this lie is a HUGE one! If you’ve been to many chiropractic seminars, listened to any coaching CD’s, or been with a consultant you’ve likely heard it.

In 99% of cases, when the “head space” lie is used it’s a total pile of B.S. The coach pulling a guilt trip on you. Here’s the 2 most common ways it’s used…

1. You feel uncomfortable doing something, ie. high-pressure sales scripts, spinal screenings, controlling the patient (you know, things that 99.9% of the human population would feel uncomfortable with). If you voice this concern to your coach, typically he will tell you to work on your head space by saying things like “You should go meditate some more…Read the green books some more…Get over yourself… Get out of your own way already…Most chiropractors are just subluxated between the ears…Don’t you want to save the planet?”

One chiropractor contacted me about this awhile back, saying…

“Implementation of some of their ideas was tough (mentally). I’m sure they would work but my confrontation levels were not high enough to be effective. I asked about other methods and they told me that I need to just continue to get out there and my confrontation levels would improve and it would get easier. I agree that it would but I still have a mental block about it.”

2. If the consultants procedures and systems aren’t working well for you, and you speak up about it, you’re likely to find out it’s “all your fault”. And what’s the solution for this? Yep, they try and have you beleive “it’s not their systems that are failing, it’s your head space…it’s not their coaching that sucks, it’s gotta be your head space…it’s not the system that’s failing, it’s you!”

At best these are half-truths, a partially true statement intended to deceive or mislead, about a doctor’s mindset (I think it’s a half-truth in about .1% of chiropractors). At worst, and certainly in many groups, I believe it’s a type of brainwashing (check out”Guilt” in Dr. Lipton’s brainwashing processes here).

If they can break down your will enough, and make you feel guilt, you’ll do just about anything (including pushing patients to refer, making patients bring their family in or you’ll kick them out, spending thousands of dollars on marketing that sucks.)

For those who’ve never been part of a chiropractic coaching group, you may think I’m being a bit far fetched here. But let me assure you, these things do occur every day in our profession. If you’ve been in one of these groups, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

This coaching lie is quite difficult to defend against, after all how do you argue with the statement “it’s all in your head.” Chiropractors who are struggling are very susceptible to this because they will do just about anything to get out of their current situation.

I’ve been there too. One coaching group I was in required you to go to a 5 day “bootcamp.” At this camp, I did some things I would have never done if I wasn’t in a severe financial crisis.

Each morning we’d get up, gather in a circle down by the river, and chant “ohhmmmm, ohmmmmm”. After the circle chant we’d individually go sit in a private place outdoors to meditate, then rejoin as a group and talk about the “visions” we had. Next, we’d run 6 miles up and down rough country roads. Upon completion of this morning “ritual”, we were officially ready for brainwashing learning part of the bootcamp to begin. (Disclaimer: yes mediation done the right way can have benefits, just as running can.)

Fortunately I was too broke to make it to Bootcamp Level 2, where I heard doctors went into smoking teepees and laid done until their bodies shook with visionary convulsions.

How do you protect yourself against all this “Head Space” nonsense?

First, when considering a coaching or consulting group, look to see how they are marketing themselves to you. Are they using guilt and head space tactics right from the outset? If so, do you think their coaching will be any different.

Second, look at what they are offering you in their program. Are there any actual tools for marketing or is it all about feeling like you’re “part of a movement”? Is their group/seminars just an excuse to get together and get “pumped up” every month?

What should a coach provide?

A coach should provide proven systems and tools for new 1. patient marketing, 2. conversions, and 3. retention based on sound business principles. If you can’t easily find those three things (in that order), or they aren’t based on proven marketing principles that work, then run away as fast as you can.

A coach also guides and helps you along the way, personalizing the proven systems to your practice. Every city, every town, every chiropractor is different. You can’t just hand out a manual and some cd’s, then hammer the doctor until he has everything down pat.

If the #1 problem in chiropractic is poor-to-no practice marketing, then that should be the first priority for your coach. Nothing else matters if you don’t have new patients coming through the door.

We’ll be talking a lot more in upcoming blog posts about what a coach should do for you and your practice. But now I need to go get adjusted so I can get my blood pressure back down :)


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  1. says

    Having seen all of the different groups over the past thirty years you are right on. Growth in practice depends more on effective marketing in my opinion than most any thing else.

  2. Jack says

    Dr. Beck

    I only have a decompression website but don’t have a general website. Can your internet program help me and what would be its cost if I have to set up another website? Can you help with the general website your program needs to work?

    Thanks, Dr. Jack – Ohio