When I talk to therapists about marketing and running their practices, they often tell me they know they should do certain things they don’t like doing. If this sounds like you, it probably means you’re not fully embracing your strengths. When you don’t embrace your strengths, it’s very hard work to market and run your business, and all that hard work does less than you want it to. You may have heard some of this before, on a surface level. I have said many times that if you’re an introvert, you can focus on one on one networking with a smaller number of colleagues to develop deep relationships rather than spending times at large events. If you love to write, you can build your online presence using articles. If you’ve got a big personality, you can do public speaking.
Let's take this thinking to a deeper level.
How can you play to your strengths in every activity you do?
Here's an exercise to learn more about your strengths and find out you could be using them more.
Start by listing the business activities that are easy for you and that bring you energy. Include anything from balancing your checkbook to clinical work with clients.
What strengths do you lean on in these activities? Here are some possible answers:
- Ability to listen deeply
- Analytical skills
- Attention to detail
- Energy for scholarly research
- Ability to engage with large groups
- Energy for clinical training
- Interest in trying new things
- Ability to come up with insights
- Ability to connect quickly with new people
- Ability to stick to a routine or predictable process over time
- Long attention span
- Story telling
Now list the business activities that you enjoy the least, and that drain you the most. Again, include any activity you do (or think you should do) for your business.
Look at the second list and see which of those activities you could do differently. How could you do these activities while using your strengths?
For example, a therapist might feel drained by public speaking because she tries to be charismatic and connect quickly with her audience. Those aren’t her strengths, so she does a decent job, but then collapses at the end. The strengths she uses for one on one networking and in her clinical work are deep listening and consistency. I would help her use those strengths in public speaking and let go of trying to be different that she is. She might create a presentation for smaller groups that uses written exercises in which participants answer questions independently. She might direct them to examine a deeper question in pairs. She might lean on her consistency by giving this presentation several times to different small groups.
Look at those activities you like the least and see how you could do them differently, in a way that leans on your strengths.
Some activities just can’t use your strengths. For example, if your strengths are creativity and an interest in trying new things, you probably can’t use those in your practice record keeping. Look for ways to minimize those tasks or delegate them as soon as you can. That will free you up to lean even more on your strengths.
Is it time to build your practice in a whole new way? Apply for a consultation with me.