Today's Veterinary Business

OCT 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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55 October/November 2018 • TODAYSVETERINARYBUSINESS.COM Because of this shortened time frame and accelerated pace, lines can blur between mentor- ing and coaching. Increasingly, mentors are no longer necessarily higher on a company's organi- zational chart. In fact, reverse mentoring now exists. In reverse-mentoring situa- tions, newer staff members are teaching older, more experienced co-workers about new technology, as just one example. In one sce- nario, a millennial employee might teach her baby-boomer supervisor how to effectively use social media and crowdsourcing and she might share insights into new ways of thinking about business. According to an Association for Talent Development survey taken in 2017, 29 percent of organiza- tions have a formal mentoring program and 37 percent have an informal one. Mentoring oppor- tunities are also available through professional organizations, either online or in person. Skilled mentors can help mentees become their best pos- sible selves. This happens when a mentor takes the time to under- stand the person being mentored, including where the person is in the career path and where she wants to go. Once this is discerned, each of the mentor's actions should help the mentee participate in the types of behaviors that allow her to become aligned with her best self. Here are seven keys to creating the best possible mentor/mentee relationship. Be Clear About the Goals Does the mentee need to gain specific job-related skills? If so, what are they? Is the mentor guid - ing someone to an understanding of a veterinary practice's culture? Perhaps the mentee worked for a private practice that was recently bought by a corporate one, and thus the mentor is serving as a guide and sounding board to the employee during the transition. Whatever the goals are, make sure they are clearly defined and under- stood by all parties. Make Sure They Are Well-Matched Synergy and mutual commitment fuel mentoring relationships, so putting the right pairs together is crucial. As I mentioned, mentoring is no longer limited to having an older or more experienced person mentor someone younger or newer. The goal is to have one team member fill in the skill or experience gaps of another employee, so form the pairings for that purpose. Matching people because they're so much alike that they're sure to get along is tempting. They probably will get along, but this tactic alone doesn't fulfill the purpose of mentoring. Don't Expect Fast Results Exceptions to this rule exist, of course. A millennial Although mentoring is not a new concept in the workplace, modern partnerships are not necessarily like those of the past. According to HR Magazine, formal mentoring relationships in previous eras would typical- ly last at least a year and informal ones could last a decade. In today's workforce, these relationships are often shorter and more specialty-oriented than before. Leadership H.R. HUDDLE By Charlotte Lacroix, DVM, JD Modern mentoring Veteran employees often take the lead in sharing knowledge and advice, but newbies can do it, too. The key to success is to create the best possible relationships. 1 2 3 Continued on Page 57

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