Veterinary Economics - June 2012 - (Page 26)
need to build a service-focused team to meet growing client demands. Do you wonder how to unify your team to take your business to the next level? If so, consider this path to building a safe and respectful practice environment.
is your practice toxic?
Leaders who are unskilled in emotional intelligence can brew toxic environments. In these circumstances, employees are untrusting, feel offbalance, and find it hard to focus on their work. They become hijacked by others’ dysfunctions and lose their focus on client and patient care. You might notice a you-vs.-me mentality instead of a collaborative problemsolving approach. A team living in this chaos can’t function as a complex operating system because individuals aren’t working together effectively.
Toxicity is draining on the mind and soul, and it saps the joy right out of your practice. Your work is supposed to be about protecting animals and wowing clients. But if the team’s focus is diverted by hurt feelings and frustration, it’s impossible to achieve your highest level of service. Veterinarians with low EQs often respond to difficult situations in one of two ways. They may act out their emotions—such as anger—either subtly or loudly. This will cause the entire team to clamp up and emotionally shut down and send individuals into an emotional spiral. Or doctors may keep everything bottled up, get frustrated, and decide that if they want something done, they must do it themselves. These owners don’t use team members to the fullest extent. In essence, many veterinarians are stymied when they interact with
others, and then the practice’s systems break down. I often see what I call “bottleneck” at the top. Because the owner is unable to communicate with staff members, they never build real relationships at work. As a result, everything has to go through the owner to be approved, and the clinic winds up a dictatorship rather than a team effort. Many owners are caught in a Catch-22 because they lack emotional intelligence. They trust staff members enough to share their concerns, but they don’t trust them enough to share their weaknesses and to work toward self-improvement. It doesn’t help that many team members have their own flaws and emotional baggage.
a history of hurt
As part of my doctoral degree research, I’m working to uncover why
What’s your EQ?
Ask yourself the following questions to determine your practice’s emotional intelligence climate: • Do people laugh at your practice? Laughter is a fundamental benchmark of a happy work environment. If employees spend too much time ﬁghting, chances are your team could use some EQ coaching. • Do people work long hours without time for reﬂection? Pauses in the action are important to improve your practice’s climate. • Do people know how to talk to each other, or is the practice a high-stress environment where ﬁnances are unpredictable, clients are short on money, animals are sick, and no one knows how to talk about it? • Do team members seek you out, or do they avoid your gaze or duck into treatment rooms to escape attention? High-EQ bosses know how to breed a family environment where team members want to be together.
Getty Images/Chad Baker
Veterinary economics ❘ June 2012 ❘ dvm360.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Veterinary Economics - June 2012
Veterinary Economics - June 2012
Get in Touch
Practice Management Q&A
For Associates: Production Pay
Click & Copy
Boost Your EQ
Assess your EQ climate
Extinguish negative reviews
When disaster strikes … where will you be?
Checklist: Help clients help their pets
Lessons from the front lines: When disaster hits home
Designed to wow
Veterinary Economics - June 2012