7 Essential Skills to Become a Good Practitioner
More and more people are transitioning from typical 9 – 5 jobs to become practitioners in health and wellness. Whether it is full-time or part-time, a practitioner needs these essential skills to become good at what they do, and in turn, successful.
What is the role of the practitioner?
A practitioner, by definition, is an educated and licensed professional who is actively practicing a profession in health and medicine. Examples of practitioners include, but are not limited to, doctors, chiropractors, naturopaths, massage therapists, physiotherapists, Reiki practitioners, and more.
The role of the practitioner is to gather information, investigate symptoms, and provide care for those who seek their services.
What makes good practitioner?
With 17 years of experience in the health and wellness industry, I can tell you the difference between an average practitioner and a good practitioner.
A good practitioner is always genuinely interested and empathetic to the person in front of them. Far too many times have I heard that the person got into the practitioner’s office and was given maybe 10 minutes of attention before they found themselves out the door. In fact, they spent more time in the waiting room than they did in the actual consultation.
A good practitioner will take the time that is needed to gather insights and come up with solutions for the person’s relief and overall well-being. Making patients or clients feel cared for is the best way to ensure a successful practice, as they will most definitely spread the word about the care they felt. Sometimes, that’s all a person really needs, is to feel cared for.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned practitioner who needs to refine their practice, these essential skills explained below will help anyone become a good practitioner.
7 Essential Skills to Become a Good Practitioner
1. Being a good listener: When it comes to gathering information, I like to apply the 80/20 rule, where listening is done 80% of the time, and talking is done 20% of the time. Allow the person in front of you to express themselves without interruption. Allow them to get out how they feel in their own words without assumptions or judgement. Once the person is done talking, you may now ask questions needed to further investigate or let them in on what details you picked up on.
2. Being empathetic: Emotional intelligence is a sign of a good practitioner because each person is different. There is a big difference between someone who is explaining their symptoms while crying or emotional, versus someone who can explain them calmly and collected. Note the level of stress the person is coming from, note their body language too, and this can help guide you as a practitioner, to how much mental health is involved in the situation.
3. Problem-solving skills: A good practitioner must be able to detect triggers, stress markers, and imbalances. They must also be able to develop a plan to solve said problems. Implementation, guidance and monitoring of the plan is essential to know if it’s indeed working.
4. Good communication skills: Once all the attention to detail is complete, now is the time to talk. Clearly communicate with the person what you think may be causing their symptoms or stress, tell them what the plan is to help them, and guide them on how to implement the plan. You may also let them in on what to expect from the present session and be clear about how long it might take as well. If you know you can help them, you’re now in this together.
5. Being a good leader and team worker: As the professional, you are the leader of the session, and should send the person off with the necessary knowledge to get better. Once they leave your office, their health is in their own hands. Remain collaborative by keeping in touch with your patient/client and making sure their follow-up appointment is scheduled. At their check-up, you can talk about the successes and challenges they faced along the way.
6. Being organized and professional: Being the leader of the session also means being able to manage the time. Being organized and punctual is necessary for a successful practice that won’t tire you out in the process of helping others. It is also important to remember that just because you’re getting to know the person, doesn’t mean things should get personal. Be empathetic, but don’t get attached or emotionally invested, which means remaining professional.
7. Staying curious and motivated: Knowledge is endless when it comes to health, medicine, the human body, the mind, the soul, and more! Stay motivated to study, research, attend webinars or conferences. Expand your network of professionals and most importantly, try to learn something from them. Not a single person knows it all when it comes to health, nor should they act like it. Remain open to learning something new every day, and you will!