Yesterday I worked with a client who I deeply admire and respect.
I’ll call her Beth.
Beth is a professional Rolfer and damn good at her profession.
In case you’ve never heard of Rolfing, here’s the definition:
“A massage technique aimed at the vertical realignment of the body, and therefore deep enough to release muscular tension at skeletal level. It can contribute to the relief of long-standing tension and neuroses.” —Google
Seven years ago Beth was part of a team of wellness practitioners who helped me recover from a back injury I sustained in a car accident.
Since then, I’ve designed several of her professional spaces and we’ve become friends.
Her new wellness space is located on the lower level of her beautiful home with a separate outside entrance for her clients.
The space is really sweet with a small waiting room, beautiful nature art, cozy lighting, beautiful colors and comfortable furniture.
And yet… there was one noticeable theme in the design of the space that stood out out like a sore thumb.
Her chair in the intake area of her treatment room was not in the power position.
The power position in your office or treatment room is diagonal to the door and when seated in your chair in that spot, you have a command view of the room. You feel confident about your work, whether you are having a conversation with a new client or patient, on the phone or doing admin work.
In the power position, you sit across or near your patient or client.
Here’s an example of a chair in the power position located in the rear right with the patient or client chair opposite:
In Beth’s new wellness space, she wasn’t anchored in the power position of her treatment room. Oftentimes her clients would take that seat and she didn’t know how or why to advise them differently. In essence, she was giving away her power to her clients.
When I dug a little deeper by asking some additional questions here’s what I found out:
- Beth felt embarrassed about working out of her home.
- Her confidence had suffered after having a baby and finding the balance between motherhood and work.
- Her wellness space was relatively new and she hadn’t felt totally grounded in it yet.
Here’s what I advised her:
- Buy a beautiful new upholstered chair (with arms) she loves for the intake area of her treatment room and place it in the power position.
- Always sit in her power chair (no exceptions) and always offer the guest chair to her clients. This way clients can relax into receiving exceptional and compassionate care from an experienced health professional who understands their problem.
- Relocate her certificates & diplomas to the wall behind her power chair. This way clients have a direct view of Beth’s achievements and can feel confident in her abilities and training.
The simple act of moving where you sit in your treatment room or office space is integral to sustaining and maintaining a positive experience for you and your client or patient. By hanging your certificates near the area where you sit with your client, you help build trust.
I’m excited to check in with Beth in a few months to find out how the designed changes have improved her experience at work.
If you’re confused about where to start the redesign of your practice, get the help you need here:
Cheers to you stepping into your power,