Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Lauren Coats. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Lauren, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Can you talk to us about your team building process? How did you recruit and train your team and knowing what you know now would you have done anything differently?
Rockwall Counseling & Wellness has experienced significant growth in the past four years. It has grown from one location with one therapist to four locations with over 30 therapists!
When I initially bought the first building for Rockwall Counseling & Wellness, it was a huge financial leap. At the same time, it felt right, and the pieces came together quickly. In the beginning, we renovated the building and decorated it on a very tight budget. The first year, I added four full time therapists in addition to myself. The following year, two more came on board and the building was at capacity. With COVID-19 and the rising need for mental health counselors, we opened a second location and added seven more therapists with several specializing in working with children and teenagers.
By January of 2022, there were four locations and over 30 therapists who work with adults, couples, families, teenagers, and children, drug addiction, and other mental health issues.
I rely a lot on intuition when hiring and have realized that I make the best decisions for hiring a new team member when I follow my gut instinct. I ask myself if I enjoy talking to this person and if I could see myself working with them long-term. I’ve heard some leaders say that you should ask yourself if you’d enjoy going to lunch with this person. I can usually gather this from the first in-person interview. Other times I’ve known from a witty email introduction that someone was likely going to fit in well! The few times that I didn’t follow my gut, it became apparent pretty soon that they weren’t a good fit with the entire team, and they didn’t stay long. I’ve also implemented personality assessments that I’m familiar with to gain a better understanding of a person who is joining our team.
Because this business is important to me, and because I also come to work at Rockwall Counseling & Wellness every day, I want the team and culture to represent certain values. I want it to be a place of authenticity, growth, and fun. One of the most important attributes that I look for when I’m growing my team is the person’s thoughts about their own ability to grow. A growth mindset is such an important part of having a growing business. If a person is stuck, or unable to change something themselves, it’s going to be very difficult for them to be a part of Rockwall Counseling & Wellness, because we are always changing and making things better! At the end of the day, I want the people who call Rockwall Counseling & Wellness their workplace to feel that they are valued, understood, and encouraged to be the best that they can be at what they do—which is helping others!
Lauren, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
My name is Lauren Coats, and I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and the owner of Rockwall Counseling & Wellness.
I have always enjoyed talking to people, hearing about their lives, and giving meaningful feedback. It’s sort of always been a trademark of mine in my personal life. My mom was a therapist and I never really considered it as a line of work for myself, but after three years as a sixth grade teacher, where much of my time was spent talking with and counseling adolescents, I decided to pursue a Masters in Counseling.
After I began counseling professionally, I realized I really enjoyed working with teenagers, adults, and couples who want to work on themselves and their relationships. I could clearly see the issues that they were describing to me and have a knack for getting to root issues quickly. My absolute favorite part of working with any client is seeing an “aha moment” on their face—the moment when they realize why they do what they do and the path to changing it. It is so rewarding to see a person meet their goals and grow as an individual, as a parent, as a spouse, and as a friend.
At Rockwall Counseling & Wellness, we have therapists that specialize in any issue — from children to adults, to severe mental health disorders, or day to day relational issues and stress. Our desire is to give our clients the tools to make the changes they want to see in their lives. We want to empower them to reach for the dreams personally, relationally, and professionally.
We’d love to hear the story of how you built up your social media audience?
I really love social media! I was an early adopter of both Facebook and Instagram. I feel that social media is sort of the highlight reel of our lives and I am quick to post about anything going on with my family as sort of a record-keeping account since I no longer use photo albums or scrapbooks.
That being said, I have utilized social media to build a presence for Rockwall Counseling and Wellness within my community. I believe in giving people something free on the internet in order to serve them well. I know that when I am quick to offer up counseling tips or mental health statistics that serve people for free, they’ll know where to come when they want to dive deeper into counseling for themselves or a loved one.
Any advice for managing a team?
Coaching young counselors has become a part of my career as I’ve gotten older and it’s truly where my gifting and passion intersect. I believe that anyone with the desire to become a therapist has what it takes to be an effective therapist with the right tools and coaching. When a therapist is feeling discouraged, I really enjoy coming alongside them to guide, encourage, and remind them of why they got into the profession. It can become taxing to hear all the terrible things that people have gone through and not take that home at night. So, whenever able, I want to help take a bit of the burden from my colleagues and supervisees and remind them to take care of themselves so that they can care for others.
Another of my giftings is fun! As a Type 7 Enneagram, fun is near and dear to my heart! I want our team to have fun together so they can bond and create healthy friendships at work and feel supported. Whether it’s going to lunch, having group gatherings at the office, or going out on the lake together with our spouses, I believe fun is a huge part of maintaining high morale and a healthy culture! I like to give gifts and write cards to let my team know how much I appreciate all that they bring to our group. I want to be there to celebrate the good times and remind them that they are not alone in the hard times.
- Website: www.rockwallcounselingandwellness.com
- Instagram: @rockwallcounselingandwellness
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LaurenCoatsLPC
- Twitter: @RCW_Counseling
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/rockwall-counseling-and-wellness-rockwall
- Other: other instagram: @laurencoats
Emily J Bragg Photography Kassidy Parker Photography