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Set Your Performance Bar at 100%

27 Sep 2016
Remember when you were in school you needed to get a certain score in order to pass? It might have been 70%, 75%, or in some cases only 65%. What this really means is that it didn’t matter if you didn’t know 30%, 25% or 35% of the material. So how does this translate to the treatment room and your practice? It doesn’t translate well if we use those same bars.

Ask yourself where you don’t need to give 100% to your client:

* Showing up on time with a positive attitude?
* In the initial interview?
* In the directions you give clients for preparing themselves to receive massage? Giving the treatment itself?
* Your communication and professionalism throughout the process?
* In ending the treatment and booking the next appointment?

Setting the bar lower on any of these segments of your job would indicate, clearly, a lack of professionalism and caring. Will you give 100% all of the time? Maybe not, but set the bar there anyway because if you don’t strive for it you won’t make it. To strive means to make great efforts to achieve or obtain something.

How do you keep yourself at 100% on the job? The easy answers are to get enough sleep, exercise regularly, eat well and stay hydrated. The more challenging question is, where do you get the motivation to stay at the top of your game? Massage therapy can be a lonely practice, even in a spa where others are doing what you do. You can get so busy that you don’t interact with many of your colleagues on a regular basis. What is a therapist to do?

I think the single most important thing you can do is to take continuing education courses in subjects that will make you a better therapist in every aspect of your job. Think seriously about where your weaknesses lie before you take courses on subjects that you are curious about, or on topics that are brand new to you. Solidify your core knowledge and skills first (that comes with practice and studying). This continuing education may even include courses in communication and business! Yes, the ones we disliked taking in the first place. When I worked in a massage school I was the person who tallied the responses of graduate surveys for our accreditor. One question was: “What do you wish we, or you, had spent more time on?” You would not believe how many people said communication and business! Of course, there may be some basic hands on courses that would benefit you too. Only an honest assessment will tell you where you need to improve.

And only then, once you feel you have turned your weaknesses into strengths should you move on to enhance those skills with additional training.

“It's essential to keep moving, learning and evolving for as long as you're here and this world keeps spinning” - Rasheed Ogunlaru

By Jan Schwartz

About the author
Jan Schwartz (pictured above) is co-founder of Education and Training Solutions, a web-based e-learning company that produces online courses. for those in health and wellness fields. She has worked in education since 1988. Jan was a Commissioner for the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation and is a founding member of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health. Currently she is on the Board of Trustees for the University of Western States.

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