Today's Veterinary Practice

SEP-OCT 2018

Today's Veterinary Practice provides comprehensive information to keep every small animal practitioner up to date on companion animal medicine and surgery as well as practice building and management.

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Page 76 of 79 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 75 Creating a Highly Effective Veterinary Team Dr. Laura Baltodano, Owner of Lighthouse Pet Clinic Lehigh Acres, Florida PERSONAL WELLNESS Creating a highly effective team can change everything about how we practice veterinary medicine and experience fulfillment in our careers. In business, we view having an effective team as maximizing profit and providing exceptional patient care. The question then becomes: How exactly do we do that? Establishing a place for open communication, practicing and promoting nonjudgment, and providing tools to cultivate wellbeing provide us with a framework to build a great team! These concepts can also allow for creativity and a fresh approach to practice. The effects will extend to the veterinary team and overflow into patient care and client interaction. PAY ATTENTION Open communication is critical to a practice's success. Active listening requires the listener to be fully engaged in a conversation with the intent to understand the person speaking, not only their words, but their perspective. Listening intently should be done without interruption or thinking about your response while the other person is speaking. When in an exam room, listening intently and paraphrasing or asking questions after the person is done speaking ensure that you understood the message being relayed. Then you can follow up with an honest and thoughtful response. Also, practice active listening with team members and have an open-door policy for them to relay concerns, comments, and ideas. It takes a team to run a practice, and allowing them the space to be creative and give input helps them feel like a valued member of the practice's success. Active listening can pay off in spades by bonding both clients and the team. PRACTICING NONJUDGMENT Developmental psychology tells us that as early as age 2, children can begin to develop narratives about what they think is going on in the world. As a result, we often live and interact with others using stories we tell ourselves—how we perceive others and the world around us. We are reactive to what we think is going on instead of behaving and responding thoughtfully. FINDING BALANCE Listening intently should be done without interruption or thinking about your response while the other person is speaking.

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