SimplePractice Community Leader Allison Puryear, LCSW explores five ways to overcome loneliness in our first ever Audio Series. Her advice will not only make you a stronger practitioner, but will also help build your business and increase your client load! Take a few minutes out of your day to listen to Episode 5 on the power of attending local CEU events, and let us know what you think in the comments section!
Hey, SimplePractice people. This is Allison Puryear from Abundance Practice-Building. In this series, we’re talking about five ways to battle loneliness in private practice that also happen to build your business. In this episode, we are talking about attending local CEU events. I’ll go on record as saying my favorite CEUs are the ones that are in the big symposium that are based in my niche. I feel like I learn so much and I come back feeling really revitalized.
But sometimes we get the opportunity to go to really awesome CEU events in our own cities or towns. So I want to talk about how to make connections there, how to kind of leverage the fact that there are all these other people within our profession in the same room learning about something we’re all interested in, slash, maybe catching up on CEUs.
So I think rule number one is don’t do that thing where you come in five minutes late. You’ve already kind of missed the boat on the opportunity to talk to people before it gets started. Now I know life is hectic, things are busy. Some of us are just chronically late, but I want you to really make an effort if a part of the intention of going to the CEU event is to connect to other people and battle back loneliness. Then I want you to make just a concerted effort to be there early.
I want you to invite people to sit with you. I know that that might feel a little bit confronting for some people, especially folks who tend to be shy, but the truth of the matter is, in these situations, everybody’s feeling a little bit awkward, and to have somebody kind of take the reins and say, “Oh, do you want to sit with me at lunch?” Or, “There’s a really great coffee shop around the corner, do you want to go during this break?”, to just kind of invite people allows people to feel wanted and allows people to feel interested. It just really gives them a chance to not have to be the one doing it, honestly.
So if you’ll take that role on, you’re already winning in this whole thing, because people are feeling more comfortable around you and have a positive impression of you. Now we have all been to the CEU events where people raise their hand just to hear themselves speak, right? They want to share their experience with something when, like no … it doesn’t really make sense at this part of the presentation, or they’re just kind of processing out loud, or they have something that they think is gonna impress other people, to say.
Please don’t be that person. We know them, right? We know them. We love them. We send them love and compassion from across the room, but we also want to get the show on the road and learn what we’re here to learn. That doesn’t mean don’t participate, because as somebody who presents, I would shrivel up and die if nobody participated. But, be thoughtful about what you’re sharing, whether or not it’s moving the conversation further.
Now how this builds your business, for one thing, you’re meeting people that might not already be in your circles. If it’s a niche-based CEU event, you’ll probably see some familiar faces, unless you’re new to private practice or new to the niche or new to the area, in which case you get to meet some of the players in your niche, which is a great referral source. Folks get full, and they need good people to refer to.
You can also chat with the presenter and get to know him or her a little bit. If they’re a leader in the field, then it gives you an opportunity to rub elbows a little bit. Remember they’re human, too. Don’t be intimidated, ’cause, unless they act like a jerk, in which case, like that’s about them anyway, right? So I just want you to be really thoughtful about not coming in, not complaining, not acting like you’re a know-it-all, you know, all the things that we should be aware of, but maybe we’re not. Go in, be open, be warm. It’s kind of like intro to networking, really, is this is what we’re talking about, is networking within these CEUs, which we talked about in the very first tip for battling back loneliness.
Next, we’re gonna talk about giving workshops for your colleagues, and that’s a really juicy one, so we’ll dive into that in the next episode.