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[Image courtesy of artur84 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.]

For many of us, building bridges is an integral part of who we are, both personally and professionally. As a practitioner, you develop working relationships with your clients and you also help them better connect with their bodies and often integrate their body, mind, and soul.

Many people also act as a bridge for others through networking. This is done personally and professionally. Think about the new products you’ve purchased or movies you’ve seen based on recommendations you’ve received. Many successful practices are built this way.

Building strong bridges takes planning and nurturing. Here are three keys to consider in building your bridges:

Recognize Opportunities to Build

Because most of us are so used to the paths we take regularly, we don’t often notice when a bridge is needed. This blog is a good example. In general, I’m in the book business. But when the opportunity arose to support the Massamio blog and provide a platform for continued access to the practitioner resources, I saw it as a chance to build a bridge. A bridge that links two companies with a similar desire to help practitioners develop successful businesses, and a bridge that links two audiences (the Sohnen-Moe crowd and the Massamio crowd) to many more resources. (This bridge, incidentally, is already expanding. We are working on incorporating more resources from another similar company in the very near future. Stay tuned.) We couldn’t have predicted any of this, but the bridge makes sense, so we are building it.

Always be on the lookout for opportunities that benefit your clients, not just those opportunities that benefit your business directly. If you can build a bridge between a client and another colleague or vendor, build it. The indirect benefits to your business are immeasurable, and besides, it feels good!

Collect the Tools You Need

Builders need tools. And the tools differ, depending on the bridge you want to build. Maybe an opportunity arises, but you don’t know how to make that connection yourself. This blog is another good example. Blog platforms are not my expertise. In fact, none of the online platforms are my expertise. But I know plenty of people in the technology world, and now I am on the learning curve of online marketing tools. I will develop some of the skills myself, my staff will develop others, and still other tools need to be gathered to complete the tasks ahead. Tools may come in the shape of a colleague, a client, a friend, a software platform, or an app. Collecting the right tools makes all the difference in the world. Always use your best tool—your communication skills—when planning your bridge building experience to make it a pleasant one.

Be Flexible

No bridge can stand firm against the elements without some flexibility built in. When sharing opportunities with others, try not to be attached to the process or the outcome. The gift is in providing the opportunity itself. I don’t have to know how each of you uses the resources and information provided here, I just know that it is valuable, and so I build the bridge to give you easy access. I hope you will build your own bridges of value that can bend in the wind.

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On a personal note, I have always been a bridge builder. As a child, I was often the family mediator. In my professional life as a healing arts practitioner and a business coach, I’ve supported people in living their passion and enhancing their connections. My main roles in volunteering with professional associations have been to help build bridges within the membership, as well as encourage the related associations to build strategic alliances.

I hope you join with me in transforming the current Massamio and Sohnen-Moe Associates bridges into a double-decker, high-suspension platform that supports all of us. Let’s create a vibrant, interactive blog site.

To get started, please share with this community (in the comments section below) about the bridges you want to build. You never know who is on the other side of the river building toward you with just the connections you need. Also, share your experiences and tips on how you’ve built the bridges you use today.

Cherie

 

Comments from original Massamio post:

I have seen many bridges built between my own massage practice and other practitioners who originally thought that massage was competing with their own style of healing art.  ie: Chiropractors and LMT’s  Orthopeadic surgeons and LMT’s  It’s great to partner with any health and medical firms in your area to boost the health, wellness, patient care and overall community education.  When we work at focusing on helping others heal- our good-intention is contagious!  Building bridges is vital to our business and financial health as well as the ongoing treatment plans and care provided to those we serve.  Ivy Iverson, LMT — Posted @ Wednesday, September 03, 2014 3:40 PM by Ivy Iverson LMT

Hi Ivy, Thank you for your comments. I too believe that when we are working to help others, door can open and everyone wins! — Posted @ Wednesday, September 03, 2014 4:09 PM by Cherie Sohnen-Moe

Post graduates waiting for licensing. There’s not a lot of grey areas where graduates can be a part of organizations or do some continuing education after graduation before bring licensed I know in Colorado DORA is backlogged really bad and not very flexible to second chances. I specialize in combat veterans and they are suffering daily — Posted @ Friday, September 05, 2014 11:58 AM by Danielle