Do you feel like no matter how much compassion you approach a conversation with, it still leaves you feeling drained and unheard? Patience is running thin everywhere. We have been hearing from our community members, many of whom are seasoned and skilled managers, practice owners, and veterinary professionals, that their tried and true tools are no longer working. Many of them have invested significant amounts of time learning about communication skills – but they are feeling at a loss with the hard conversations appearing left and right in practice.
Wouldn't it be great if we had a magic tool kit we could reach into for any critical conversation? We might not have magic spells, per se, but we definitely have tools that can help you.
Put some power into your communication toolkit.
I've never understood power tools. They take up space in the garage, they put people in the emergency room if used incorrectly, and they mostly do work I could do with some elbow grease. That's what I thought, anyway.
Then I met the power drill and my life was changed. Assembling a cabinet went from a 30-minute affair to 15. Home repair projects no longer left me tired and with a hand cramp. When I looked around the living room at every piece of furniture I had assembled…I only wished I had that tool sooner! Everyday tasks can be made quicker and simpler with the right tools.
I was talking to a veterinarian a few days ago. He was telling me about what his afternoon schedule looked like, and I could hear the exhaustion in his voice. His afternoon would start with a dog that was “licking his paws until they were bleeding”, followed by a cat who was shaking his head and a limping Golden Retriever. I could hear him mentally preparing himself for the challenges that you most likely see too with that schedule.
Your first thoughts might be about the near inevitability of a late night. Your thoughts might also jump to the huge variety of conversations that could come up with a limping Golden Retriever visit.
How prepared would you feel to walk into that exam room?
These are the conversations we are trained for. What about the ones we aren't?
The person that walks into your office and asks for a raise.
The conversation you find yourself in at your annual performance review.
The moment you walk up to your teammate and ask them if you can discuss the case that went poorly that morning.
So much of the stress in our colleagues come from anxiety around hard conversations. Those hard moments don't only appear when we are working with Angry Clients. The conversations we have in the veterinary clinic are hard because they matter. We're talking to clients about the health of their loved ones and to our teams about their livelihoods.
Dr. Andy Roark has spent years of his career studying communication tools and teaching them to veterinary professionals all over the world. You may have seen him speak at NAVC's VMX conference, or at the Western Conference in Las Vegas, or maybe at one of our Uncharted events. If you have, you know you're not in for a snooze-worthy webinar. He has honed in on the 12 steps he thinks you need the most to succeed in any critical conversation.
So if you're feeling like you've exhausted the tools you know, join Andy at his workshop on August 18. Like a tinkerer in their garage – no one ever said that they wish they had fewer tools once they knew what was possible!
If you're tired of not seeing the outcomes you hope for after hard conversations, or if you feel like you've exhausted what you know and it simply isn't working anymore – we get it. Uncharted is a Community built by veterinary professionals for veterinary professionals and our goal is to bring you the workshops we think will help you the most.
You can get access to all of the workshops Uncharted has to offer with an Uncharted Membership! Learn more here.