Sunday, April 1, 2012

Meant to be Felt - Not Heard!

"Massage Therapist are meant to be felt, NOT heard!"

- Anonymous     

The Top 10 "What Not" to Say to the Clinic Manager!

You are a massage therapist - and you do not have a private practice! (yet) Meaning, you work for someone - you have a boss! As someone's employee, there are rules you have to abide - and there are things that you should NOT say to your boss!

You are meant to be felt anyways, so start with that! “Think before you speak” is always a good policy - and at your workplace -  it's even more important. Saying the wrong thing to your manager can do serious damage to your career and worst - to your over-all reputation!

Here's the countdown of the TOP 10 no-nos! Sounds familiar?

TOP 10. "Can I go home early? I am not booked anyways!" And while you are saying this, the manager is plainly looking at the huge mess in front of you at the table, and the bin that needs to be changed, hoping that you would notice!

TOP 9. "It is not my job!" If you honestly believe that massage is your sole job description, then why don't you just establish your own private practice and find out for yourself! It may not be included in the written job description that you signed before but that does not automatically pre-exempt you from taking good care of the place you work and the people you work with! Is it not that we should embody our work? Is it not that we should perfect our personality? Is it not that we practice empathy? If you are part of the team, then be part of the solution! Regardless of whether it is your written job description or not!

TOP 8. "But we've always done it this way/ I have always believe it that way/ It will always be the same old thing at the meeting/ I would rather be home!" You may find yourself reading a new policy posted on the wall! So, who amongst us wants to try new things? Ignoring  change is closing your mind. You close your mind if you keep that "we-do-it-this-way-because-this-is-the-way-we-do-it" attitude. When a brainstorming session takes place, a.k.a. "mandatory meeting", be part of it and stay open to new ideas. If you have concerns about a new idea's feasibility, say "I think for this to work, we will have to…" Don't kill new ideas with negativity. Or don't ignore change by not being there because you think things are not going to change. "You" finally attending the meeting - is a positive change! You don't have to do it the way it has always been done! Start  with that!

TOP 7. "I don't know.” If your boss asks you a question you can’t answer, the correct response is not "I don't know." It's "I'll find out right away." In the same light, if the manager is cleaning the whole lounge by herself - pick up a mop or a broom and take over! There is about a million tons of paperwork at the office, if you can do that, then let the manager do what you should be doing, and do what she needs to do on her desk! "I-do-not-know attitude" is the twin of "I-do-not-care!"

TOP 6. "It’s not my fault." (So, I am not going to do anything about it!). Are you a whiny 5-year-old or a take-charge professional? Assume responsibility and take steps to fix a problem that you did, in fact, create. Like the mess on the table after you had your lunch, like the overflowing garbage bin you threw your paper towels into! And if you are being wrongly blamed for a problem, saying “Let’s get to the bottom of this” or “What can we do to make it right?” is much more effective than saying “It’s not my fault.”

TOP 5. “But I emailed you about that last week.” (I want my LOA/vaca now!) Alerting your boss to a concern via email (or a little generic form from the office) doesn't absolve you of all responsibility for it. Bosses hate the "out of my outbox, out of my mind" attitude. Keep tabs on all critical issues you know about - and keep checking in until you hear a firm "You don't need to worry about that anymore." Your responsibility is called "YOURS" for a reason! They do NOT belong to somebody else!

TOP 4. “I partied too hard last night -- I'm so hung over, I can't give pressure!” (Or my pinky hurts, I cannot do massage!) Get through the day with some pain-reliever, extra under eye concealer and coffee. If you really "can not", then you simply "can not"! But there is NO NEED to  share the sordid details of your night on the town to your boss or of how your pinky will hinder your forearm, elbow and knee from giving massages. Even if you have a friendly relationship with "the" manager, maintain a professional essence to it! She's/he’s just as likely to react with unspoken disdain as sympathy. Maintaining a solid "veneer" of professionalism will pay off when it's time to discuss promotions - see Top 1!

TOP 3. “I can’t stand working with that _____ !” (He makes me look bad; he is a suck-up; he's got OCD; blah, blah, blah! He must die!, lol ,Too much?) Complaining about a coworker's personality usually reflects more poorly on you than on the coworker. Don’t make these kinds of conflicts your boss’s problem. Of course, management is interested in problems that jeopardize the company's ability to function. If you have to speak to the manager about a problem such as a colleague's threatening, illegal or unethical behavior, keep your tone professional and then focus on work -- not personal issues. THE WORK! NOT YOUR SELFISH CONCERN!

TOP 2. “That just isn’t possible, I can/will only do a 2-hour session with my requested clients!” (Or I will not do the add-ons): If you can do it to a requested, then you can do it to any client! Is your requested more of a person than a prospect? What is the difference? What is the logic? NONE! Always speak to your boss in terms of what can be done. For instance, rather than saying “I can’t get this done in two hours,” say “I could definitely get this done by two hours, or say "if the top 5 requested would brought in some help and new techniques, then I can do a 2-hour session!” When you talk to your boss, think in terms of solving problems for him/her, not in terms of putting problems on his/her already over-flowing plate. Like you, he/she has his/her own personal concerns, he/she is as much human as you after all! And believe me, his/her job is just as stressful!

TOP 1. "I got bills to pay! / I am the best Massage Therapist! / I have been here the longest! Give me a raise!" First, your financial concerns is none of your manager's business! Second, it is for them to see how good you are, you do not evaluate and praise yourself! And lastly, length of service is NOT synonymous to high quality of service! However, the management does want to reward success and keep high-performing therapists satisfied. A raise request should always be supported by evidence of what you've achieved for the company! Look at yourself, what have you accomplished so far? Then, do it in writing, rather that blabber-mouthing it to fellow therapist behind the office.

Have you said any of these to the manager lately? Yes? Then don't say it again! He/she can use less headache!

- Leo Feraer-Oporto     



  1. This was so well written, if employees just take a step back and realize we are all there to accomplish the same thing and that's keep our client happy. If you put your clients first everything else will follow. Leo, thank you for this. With so many employees, so many different points of view you start to feel overwhelmed but like anything in life it just takes 1. As long as 1 person understands sometimes that's all it takes for others to finally understand. Great Post!

  2. Thanks Adri! You have always been a source of +QI to me! And I will always remember when you said that "We all are angels, we just sometimes forget!" If things do not work out, you know what I am referring to, then you will always be one of the few reason I will go back there!