On today’s episode, Bill is joined by Matthew Norton a human behavior expert. Matthew has created a variety of assessments to help people better understand their behavior, strengths, and weaknesses. Bill asks how Matthew helps practitioners and doctors build a better team. Matthew describes the importance of people building and how a winning team can bring more customers in. Matthew outlines what emotional agility is and some techniques he uses to help doctors build this skill. Bill and Matthew discuss how to use everyone’s skills to determine office language and communication and how relationship-based practice building can make a practice better equipped for changes in consumer behavior, market trends, and technology. Matthew also explains why practices should shift their mindsets from paycheck-driven to purpose-driven missions.
MedShark Insider: Relationship-Based Practice Building
MSD Insider 0:00
Welcome to med shark insider with Bill Fukui, your expert host on all things medical marketing and SEO.
Bill Fukui 0:08
Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of med shark Insider. And today I’ve got a treat for most practices, especially practice owners who are really struggling with probably the hardest thing about running a practice is their people. Today, I actually have an expert. He’s actually a human behavior expert. Full plus purpose. And I want to welcome Matthew Norton. And we’re going to talk about the ability and strategies of providers to how you can become a better understanding of human behavior when you’re building your team and strategies around team building and running a more efficient practice. So welcome, Matthew, I appreciate you joining me today. It’s my
Matthew Norton 0:59
pleasure to be with you today. Bill. Appreciate the opportunity.
Bill Fukui 1:03
Yeah, so do me a favor and just introduce yourself, give a little background to our audience. So they can kind of get an idea of who you are, and kind of where you came from.
Matthew Norton 1:14
Well, who might who I am personally personal life. First is I think, is always kind of nice. I’ve been married for almost 33 years, I have five kids in a very complicated blended family and five grandkids spread around the country, I get to live in San Diego, California, even though it’s an overcast day today. And where my son lives and daughter in law. And so that’s that’s a wonderful thing. I my expertise really is the and I’ve been I’ve been using human assessments for 23 years, I have a strong passion for brain science, psychology, human behavior, like to understand how and why people do what they do, as that seems life is really about relationships personally and professionally. And what I can contribute to kind of help facilitate better ones. And so people plus purpose is my is my business. And I guess you kind of get the message as to where I’m focusing just based on that name.
Bill Fukui 2:28
Well, super, hey, thank you for that, Matthew, you know, we actually got introduced from one of my consultant friends, Joanne Tanner, who I have a tremendous amount of respect for as really having been in a practice having done the actual hands on work in the practice, as well as as a consultant. So I absolutely respect her perspective. And when she says, Hey, you got to talk to this guy, he offers something that I think is pretty unique to practices. You know, that’s when I started learning a little bit more about what you do, and actually took a couple of your assessments and got the feedback. And having done a lot of those, I generally tend to find that they’re, they’re pretty darn accurate. I mean, especially for practices or people that have never taken these types of tests or assessments. I found them to be, you know, pretty spot on. I mean, really good. So do me a favor when you’re talking with say, a practice a doctor. Most of these doctors have, you know, they’re not clinically trained to run a business. I mean, they’re they’re there to do dentistry or to do plastic surgery or cosmetic. What do you do to help a practice a practitioner, when it comes to how to build a better team? What’s like the first thing you need to do in terms of having a conversation with them? What do you address?
Matthew Norton 4:03
Well, I kind of just even back up one second, I wanted to say that I love the title that you picked for this is relationship based practice building, right? Because you’re, you’re in the marketing world. And so in that world practice building is part of what you know, we want to do right we want to and but when you put relationship based in front of it, then where my mind immediately went is the practice building, from my perspective flows naturally from people building, but the people building is often what we step over. You know, in terms of thinking I need to market I need to reach out I need to get new people in here. But an image that came to me as I was thinking about this is that to me, marketing, without developing a winning team, is kind of like trying to sell tickets to the community for or a football team that’s not really winning? If you can, if you can create a winning team winning, thriving people tend to be an attraction and draw people in. And so where I, you know, where I like to start really is what are people wanting to accomplish? What what is the what is their vision? What is their mission? Where are you going? What do you want this to look like when you get there. And then we can say, and that’s really kind of the purpose part. And then we can say, well, who are the people that are going to be the best fit to accompany you on this journey, to be able to support the mission and the vision. And so part of that is being able to get out of a paycheck driven mission and be able to make that more of a purpose driven mission. So we’re not just competing on, you know, benefit, paycheck pay and benefits and that sort of thing. We’re just trading our time for money. But we’re actually, you know, trading for inspiration, we’re trading for contribution. You know, why should people even want to be on your team in the first place? What is if it’s going What, what’s going to change their lives as a result of that, while you’re collectively delivering value to other people? I guess then the next step is, you know, who are you? Who are you as the leader? Gallup talks about 70% of the of the variance in team engagement coming directly back to the leadership. So when I’m often brought in to coach and consult, it’s because somebody else has a problem. The problem is outside of us. And that’s kind of the way we look at life in general. Anyway, I think it’s, it’s somewhere else, it’s probably not me. So sometimes I’m brought in because there is an office manager that needs to be reined in, needs to be developed more, you got to do something, right. There’s drama happening here. I need your help. And and while that’s true, what’s often missed, in fact, this was just I’m saying that because this was a recent situation where I was, I was referred to someone because that was what they needed. They thought they needed, but in the process of doing the assessments, right, the owner of the practice, said, started looking at his own reports and scores. And he said, You know, I don’t think maybe I’m as good a leader is like, what do you think? Do you think he could help me which I thought was a real, you know, a real eye opening experience for him and and a bit of vulnerability, because it went from I see the issue all out there to maybe Iowans may be better.
Bill Fukui 8:06
Yeah. You know, I think you hit on a couple of things. In that, number one, is that a lot of practices do what you just said, they put the cart before the horse, and they’re focused on marketing without having a good product. And having been in, you know, the marketing and advertising business for 25 years with medical and dental practices, I generally tend to find that is the biggest void in terms of highly, you know, what I would say, wildly successful practices and mildly successful practices. Okay, the ones that are just off the charts that have this, you know, other practices, look at them and go, Man, I don’t know how he does it, or how she does it, man, they have a really just a practice that that is shooting to the moon. And yet, we are trying to do everything. I’m trying to do everything I can. But I’m not doing that what they’re doing. I don’t know what they’re doing. And I generally tend to find it is pretty much what you’re saying it is. I don’t have the right people. I don’t have the right systems. I don’t even have the right culture. In this energy that really does start from the top down. Right. Yeah, absolutely. This belief and really, understanding of purpose, or that, that brand, who are we? What do we want to be? I think practices really need to take a step back. identify that and I think you can help people do that. Because I I generally tend to think they think of themselves as oh, we’re just a dental practice or we’re just a plastic surgery practice. There’s nothing special about Rs, but I think there has to be right. You know, if there’s not, then you’re just going to continue to be, you know, an also ran when it comes to, you know, a practice that is just limping along or really not achieving its potential.
Matthew Norton 10:20
And unless you want to compete on price, which you can I mean, that’s one option, but I don’t know most people that I talk to you raise that didn’t raise their hands to say yes, competing to be the cheapest is really my, my greatest desire. So you, you’re right, you do need to compete based upon what is your unique compelling contribution. And yet, how many people have not taken the time to really clarify that. And we’re striving hard, we’re pushing, we’re racing to try to get somewhere. But we really have often not clarified exactly where there is that if we keep working this hard, and we’re going to get there. And we don’t know where there is, we also don’t know who exactly is going to be the best fit to help us get there. You know, I think that our people are our greatest business asset, they are clearly the largest in most practices, the largest monthly outlay is for paying a team, right? And yet, so many people I talked to, it’s like, well, all these things are important, right? We need to have marketing, we need to have systems, processes, technology, software, we need all of these things. But often what gets stepped over as we’re trying to build value, either just for greater with a thought of well, these are the things that are going to give me the greater profitability, or I’m going to build it to a point and sell it, you know, whatever that is, the people aspect gets stepped over all of the time, so that they’re not really an asset. They’re not really an investment that you’re making. They’re simply a cost, and often seem to be like these interchangeable pieces on a chessboard like there’s somebody filling a position. And I think that’s isn’t that good enough? I don’t really understand why that wouldn’t be good enough.
Bill Fukui 12:18
Yeah. And I think you kind of touched on a point. I mean, the underlying message with that point is, people are not tools. People are relationships. And I think those practices that really do shoot to the moon, they really embrace their people in this team environment. That’s where you get people to not only just stay a long time, and I don’t just say longevity of a staff is the barometer for a healthy practice. In fact, sometimes it’s not. But it’s it’s the contribution in the dynamics of that team, that really, you know, make it continuous continually adapt to changes in the marketplace to changes in consumers, consumer behaviors to technology and services that a practice may offer. And you use one of your assessments, talks about emotional agility. I love that terminology, emotional agility. But I think it’s that it’s how do you get people and recruit the right people and nurture those people in a way that fits within your culture within the practice goals and visions that they are actively contributing and feel like they’re part of something bigger than just a position or a paycheck as you kind of identify?
Matthew Norton 13:48
Yeah, well, I mean, pretty much every practice that I coach has people issues. Some of them are extreme and clear obstacles to the doctors. I mean, they know they can’t hide from it anymore. But there are a lot of times where there’s issues and they’re not really fully aware of that sometimes there’s some real dawning awakenings, as we have conversations, and as we even draw in some key leaders or other team members to get input into the mix. It’s like, well, what they said, I’m not sure what the doctor said, I’m not sure that’s the whole story that you’re getting, because everybody has their angle on it. Right. Everybody has a different perception as to what’s happening. And and I think you’re right, I mean, as far as I worked with some genius, smart doctors who are incredibly skillset savvy, right, but, but there wasn’t much time dedicated to becoming great business people much nighttime, but that gets talked about a fair amount but in terms of the main leaders of people in 10 in turn gyms have their own their own emotional agility, like you say, I mean, I have so many that were wrestling with that. And that can be the biggest impediment. And especially when it’s confusing sometimes because when you look at it from you know, so so many doctors are trained and taught on the rational, intellectual informational side of things. And there’s often this human piece that has been underdeveloped, because that’s not where the focus has been. It’s not necessarily their fault. It’s just that nobody’s worked with them on that. But the truth of it is, is that practices are not like singles, tennis, right? This is a team sport more like football. And so we need, we need a group of people who are highly skilled with different skills, right, different strengths, to be able to navigate down the field and get this thing into the endzone, right. And we need to know what’s reasonable to expect. So when you say before, like, like hiring. Remember, that was before we actually got started talking about, like, who we hire, and we hire because we like somebody, they seem like a good person, they’ve got a good resume they interviewed well, but do we know that they’re what are we hiring them for? What is the role specifically we’re hiring them for? And how do we know if they’re going to be a good fit for that? Rarely are practices benchmarking the strengths necessary to thrive in the role? If you ask them? Well, what you know, it’s like we’re starting from scratch going? Well, let’s see, it seems like it would be good if they could. But they’ve never really clarified that exactly. And then they’re not they don’t have a process for being able to then see what strengths does this person uniquely bring? That would be a great match for those benchmark roles. So it’s not there’s no intentionality, which when you think about it, relative to all the other things being done in a in a healthcare practice with intentionality, diagnostic conclusion as to what’s going on, and what’s our treatment plan, why are we not applying some more of that diligent diagnostic diligence, when it comes to the humans that we’re going to do it with?
Bill Fukui 17:29
You know, that’s a great point, and really, to maybe, so that our audience can get some really tangible you know, insights, let’s take for example, and I’ll just have you give me some perspective, let’s take one of those key roles that you talked about it, let’s say, in most practices that I work with the two people that have the biggest ultimate impact, in terms from a marketing standpoint, number one, it is the practice administrator, as well as I would call it their, you know, in my mind, it’s their salespeople, it is their patient care counselor, or patient coordinator, whatever you want to call them, but they’re the ones that actually deal with new new new patients and new leads and actually do the consults and things like that. So those would be two positions. So say, for example, I’ve got a sales position I and I think more medical practices are embracing that terminology. I need a salesperson, they recognize elective medical, elective dental treatments, if I’m competing with Best Buy, I’m competing with, you know, the, the trip to Jamaica or wherever it is, after this pandemic is over with. That’s where I’m that’s what I’m competing with. So if I’m looking for a salesperson, how do you talk to or how do you go about helping a practice number one identify, do they have the right person there? And if we don’t, how do we find that person?
Matthew Norton 19:08
Yeah. Well, you know, this, we I’ve mentioned to you about? It’s a good question. And I mentioned before we started about this core four of assessments I’ve developed, I’ve been using assessments, 23 years, but I’ve developed nine of my own over the last few years, of which there’s a core four that I think are incredibly insightful for different human dimensions that we’re looking at, to see where are the strengths? Where is the fulfillment for the person, right? But also where are they going to thrive in the role that you’re wanting to hire them for and they each have a different lens lend some different qualities. So when we’re talking about that, we could say for example, is the person like most salespeople, when You’ll look at their inspiration sources. That’s one of the assessments you didn’t take that one, but it really tells what people value. Where is their fulfillment found? When they look out at the world? What are they drawn to? What do they need to be touching and experiencing on a regular basis. So and when you look at those, one of them is challenge or achievement. And so typically what we would want to see because that’s a goal oriented person that is person that wants to get a return on investment, somebody who is will want to is willing to give put themselves out there, but they’re looking for a return. So from a sales perspective, that’s something that would be important. They’re they’re gauging their effectiveness based on goal achievement, and they’re willing to take some risks typically to get there. So that would be one, you could also have some other supplementary ones like, are they contribution focused? That might be helpful, but that might not be helpful. Sometimes as you look at some of the other pieces, are they connection, relationship focused, and that can be a great combination to go with challenge achievement. If you switch over to our action approaches assessment, which is a more behavioral, how do you do things not What are you inspired by? But how do you go about doing things then is the person you’re looking at? Are they more introverted versus extroverted, more task oriented versus people oriented, there’s some different combinations there, you would tend to want to have somebody more extroverted for a sales position rather than introverted. There’s always going to be trade offs, right, there’s probably less detail ability, and they’re going to need some organizational guidance to support their sales approach. But you want him reaching out to people, if you have a people oriented extrovert, then that person is going to be wanting to take ideas and promote and share them with people. And if you could back that up with and we call that the influential communicator, and if you can back that up with some bold achiever, that task oriented extrovert, it’s willing to take on the risks that’s willing to be more competitive, more, again, more goal oriented. And more bottom line results driven, right, those combinations are going to be more effective. Now, every one of these has its strength contributions, and its downside risk possibilities in there, or even just over extensions of those qualities. Right. And so yeah, it’s important to be aware of those. Yeah, no, I
Bill Fukui 22:55
think actually, when you’re talking about the overextension, you know, somebody that can be that can be very personable and outgoing, that kind of stuff, they can also be construed as being too talkative. Never gets to the point, you know, right. That kind of stuff. Yeah.
Matthew Norton 23:15
Fever, that’s to comes across feeling like they’re too pushy, too confrontational, that’s,
Bill Fukui 23:21
yeah. So everything can be done in in extremes. But I think that personality are their strengths, their profile, top, you know, strengths. I think you as long as they recognize those things, they don’t know what they don’t know, half the time. And they don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. They just, it’s just part of their being. But I think if they’re a little more conscious about it, I think they can leverage those strengths and minimize those weaknesses, to the point where they can be more productive in what they do, and quite frankly, get better results and enjoy it more.
Matthew Norton 24:02
Right, right. It’s true. And so like the two that typically helped define the role, or the one I just mentioned, in terms of the action approach, right, and also cognitive styles, which was one of the two that you took, which is a little bit less frequently used something to that effect, whether the person is more of a big picture thinker or a detailed thinker. And then are they more idea focused, more process focused, more action focused or more relationship focused? And so when you begin to look at these different combinations about well, how do I naturally think, how do I naturally act? And then add that to what inspires me? Where is my fulfillment? Why would I stay here? Like, I may be great for you, but why will I stay? Are you rewarding? My I’m driving inspiration sources in this position, you know what they are? Do you know how to help me be fulfilled here. And these things are not always these are often not intuitively accomplished, right? There needs to be, again, some intentionality behind it. And these are these are learned languages. In fact, which makes me think, too, that a lot of times people will use an assessment, usually just one and not multiple dimensions, I think is a bit short sighted. But as, as I’ve, you know, heard growing up better than a sharp stick in the eye. But they’ll also use it just for a quick decision, am I going with this person or not, but, or sometimes they use assessments as a team building activity as a one off key, interesting, fun. Yeah, that was great for bonding, but it never gets worked into the culture. And one of I think this is one of the biggest tragedies is, we can know, we can better understand people, we can therefore better communicate, resolve conflict, collaborate better together by knowing these things. So if we can build a language and a framework for the culture that speaks strengths based, where all the team members know, we put charts together for teams, so that they can begin to, and they’re in all of this information is given to all the team members so that they now understand themselves better. These are my strengths. These are the areas where I may struggle a bit. Here’s my teammates strengths. But also when you look like yours, when you looked at your report on the cognitive styles, we need, we need a team that has these different complementary contributions, but they really are like different languages. So how do the handoffs occur? A lot of the tension and friction in teams occurs. Because I don’t get you I don’t see why you think like that, why you see it this way. And there’s no, there’s no training as to how to bridge across the word complementing rather than colliding.
Bill Fukui 27:11
So you’re actually recommending as as practices go through these assessments, is that they’re shared with the team members. It’s not like something that you keep to yourself, who I got my thing, and now I know about myself, and I just kind of keep it to myself, I think that’s one of the challenges is that we’re not really open to letting people know who we are, and how we, you know, what our strengths and weaknesses are many times it makes us as you kind of pointed out earlier with, say, a doctor that says, you know, what, it may be me, you know, it, it, it makes them a little more vulnerable. Yeah. But by sharing that, we actually did a similar thing, where we actually had a printout of our profiles, and we had it outside of everybody’s office, their profile is, is out in public right outside their office. So that, you know, people can kind of get an idea of who they are, what are their, you know, what their strengths are that kind of stuff. And it wasn’t as sophisticated as what you did, but it was, you know, in general, sure, if I can kind of get an idea of who this person is, how to communicate with them, what are their styles. So there was an education process that went along, not just for the doctor, but for all the staff members to really understand, you know, these different personas or life, you know, you know, processes that people how they think, how they act what they do, right. So I thought that was really insightful.
Matthew Norton 28:50
Yeah, thanks, I, to me, it’s a sad waste of opportunity. Because it’s, these are these are new learned skill sets, right? Like if I’m gonna I’m, I see it all around service. You know, we’re serving patients, but we’re also observing our team members. And I think we step over the team way too often, to focus on patients. I tell people all the time, your team is more important than your patients. They would push back sometimes and say, Yeah, well, without patients, there’s no need for a team. I say, without a great team, you’re never going to be able to serve those patients optimally in the first place, if they leave after all the work you put into it, so but if we can, if we can help people, be able to build it into a language to where I know what I can, what I what should I reasonably expect from my teammates? If I’m serving them, what do what do they need? Services about? Not just me, I don’t serve through my preferences, I serve through their preferences, what works best for them? Do I even know? Do I care? If I don’t care, then then I would question somebody’s real commitment to service. If I care, but I don’t understand, then, okay, then let’s see if I can understand you more, so that I can help make sure you get what you need. It’s the same thing in marriage, I see it the same way, my wife and I actually provide marriage coaching to which was, that came as an after, after thought so to speak, but it’s the same thing. And we use these assessments in marriages, because we’re attracted to somebody for much more casually, emotive, ly driven reasons. But our ability to work out an awesome relationship for a long period of time, has requires much more depth and much more ability to, you know, to work through differences.
Bill Fukui 31:02
I think, you know, the, the, the real takeaway that I’m getting from, from our conversation today, is, practices really do need to focus more on the personal, behavioral side of business and practice development, more so than just a spreadsheet or a, you know, their profit loss, you know, sheets. So I guess the main thing was, I really, I didn’t realize that a lot of your you, do you require your providers to actually do the assessment? Because I get a lot of this? Well, I’ll let them do it, you know, I’ll let them take it. I’m not I don’t, I don’t need the, you know, I don’t need an assessment, I need their assessment, I need to know what they’re doing. You know,
Matthew Norton 31:57
that, which is a good Okay, so there’s a couple of things are, it’s a really good question. And so um, my, my simplest answer is yes, if you as the doctor, owner, or key leaders that you have, are not interested in understanding yourself better seeing how to be a better leader in this process, or how your styles are going to intersect with the styles and strengths of the other people, then I’m probably not the best coach to work with. Because, you know, I’ve often said, I’m not an assessment company, but I am an assessment guided company. And if I’ve had people tell me for years, how do you know all this about me? And you’ve told me more about who I am in one conversation than people who’ve known me my whole life? In fact, you know, me better than I know me. And no one there in some have said that it’s a little creepy kindness. I know, well, it’s just you’ve II, I’ve all I’ve done is ask you to reveal more of who of who you are to me through these assessments. Why if I could cheat like that, and being able to help you better, why would I not want to write? Why would I? Why would I not do that. And so, it also, the other thing that comes up is team like when people are hiring we, as I mentioned, we put together charts for practices so that we can say, Okay, here’s the doctors, here’s the the existing team. And then when we have candidates, we add them temporarily to the charts, so that we’re not just hiring for a role fit. We’re hiring for a team fit, what does the team need? And then also, once we see that on there, people will often say, having some challenges with so and so I’m not understanding, or I’m not able to get them to engage this new initiative are this change that we want? Can you help me with that? Well, if if I know the whole team, I can tell you exactly what’s going on. And I can tell you exactly what how you need to approach that person to get them to say yes to what you’re wanting, what did they need, you’re yelling louder in your own language, rather than trying to understand their language. Right.
Bill Fukui 34:17
Yeah. All great points. You know, a question then, for the practices that that really are committed to make a difference to change what they’re doing to recognize that they’re there ways that the provider can improve, as well as their team and their practice as a whole can benefit by more behavioral assessments and understanding how we all work together and putting the right people in the right places. So that they can succeed for those practices. How can they reach out to you what is the best way for them to if they want to to talk to you about what you can do, what’s the best, best way for them to
Matthew Norton 35:04
reach out to you? Thank you. I mean, the best way, if you’re actually ready for a breakthrough, if you actually if you want some insight, then you can go to my website, people plus purpose spelled out people plus purpose.com. And right on the homepage, there is a big button that allows you to schedule a free 20 minute breakthrough call. And we can either use that to take one issue that’s going on and take 20 minutes and focus on that for a breakthrough, it will get a breakthrough in 20 minutes, right? Or we can use it for a conversation to explore what’s the story that’s going on? What are your overall concerns? Or what are your goals, and then talk about what could be done about that. If somebody’s not ready for a conversation, and they need to walk into things a little bit more gradually. So I can do my research before we talk what you know, everybody’s different in that regard. You can also go to people plus purpose.com forward slash hiring blueprint. Okay. Yep. My full proof hiring blueprint. It’s free. And there’s some valuable information for hiring but it’ll also help reframe a little bit the conversation about teams thriving together, even beyond the hiring aspect. So people plus purpose.com, forward slash hiring blueprint. And then that made that inspire desire for a conversation, I would say, assessments are not expensive. Sometimes people tell me, I don’t know. It’s like, to me, once you see what the possibilities are, it is a it is a wonderful investment of a bit of time and a bit of money that will change the game of your practice forever. I promise that right?
Bill Fukui 36:58
Well, I absolutely encourage, you know, my clients as well, as you know, practitioners that may be watching this interview, at least start looking at the hiring because I know that’s the biggest challenge that they have. They always have problems with hiring and, and turnover, especially on really key positions, at least start there. Matthew, I want to thank you for your time today, and I absolutely got a lot out of our conversations and the assessments that I took. Thank you very much for all of that. I look forward to having more conversations with you.
Matthew Norton 37:38
Right, right. I’ll look forward to thank you for bringing me on and giving me the opportunity to share my passion and trusting it will make a difference in someone’s life.
Bill Fukui 37:45
So that sounds great. You have a great afternoon, Matthew. Thank you. Take care of my friend.
Matthew Norton 37:51
Okay, you too. Okay. Bye bye.
MSD Insider 37:54
Thanks for joining us for the med shark insider with Bill Fukui join us next week for another dive into all things medical marketing. All episodes can be streamed at WWW dot med Shark digital.com/med Shark Dash insider
Transcribed by https://otter.ai