Today's Veterinary Business

JUN 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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47 June/July 2018 • TODAYSVETERINARYBUSINESS.COM from: judger or learner. Each mind- set is associated with a fundamen- tally different set of questions. Learner questions are open- minded, curious and creative. They promote progress and possibilities, and they typically lead to discover- ies, understanding and solutions. By contrast, judger questions are more closed-minded, certain and critical. They focus on prob- lems rather than solutions and often lead to defensive reactions, negativity and paralysis. Learner questions facilitate progress by expanding options. Judger questions impede progress by limiting perspectives. Here are some examples of questions asked from each mindset: Judger Questions • What's wrong? Why is this a failure? • How can I stay in control and protect my turf? • How could I lose? • How could I get hurt? • Whose fault is it? Who is to blame? • Why can't they get it right? Learner Questions • What's right? What's good or useful about this? • What are my choices? How can I help? • What can I/we learn from this? • What possibilities does this open up? • What am I responsible for? • How can we stay on track? People intuitively recognize the val- ue of a learner mindset but often find it difficult to enact. Consider the following process for shifting from judger to learner: Be aware. Ask: Am I in the judger mindset? Is that where I want to be? Will this get me the results I want? Explore choices: Where would I rather be? How can I get there? How else can I think about this? What assumptions am I mak- ing? How can I be more objective and honest? What am I missing or avoiding? Commit yourself to your choice and act on it. Judger and learner are both part of being human. We will always be a blend of both parts, moving from one to the other as we navigate through our lives. The bottom line, according to Adams, is to "accept judger, prac- tice learner." By being aware of our mindset in the moment as an open-mind- ed observer of ourselves, we have the possibility of choosing. And in choosing, we open up the possi- bility of shaping our results to be closer to what we really want. So, here's to choosing wisely! Go With the Flow co-columnist Dr. Jeff Thoren is president of VetPartners and founder of Gifted Leaders, a Phoenix company offering leadership and coaching services. Co-columnist Trey Cutler is a San Luis Obispo, California, attorney specializing in veterinary business matters. 1 2 In fact, inclusion is dependent on tolerance. I recall attending a meeting years ago during which I listened as veterinary leaders, largely com- posed of clinical practice profession- als, struggled to hear the voices of profes- sionals who were not in clinical practice. The lat- ter group felt that their presence was merely tolerated and that they were not truly valued in discussions about the future of the profession. It was clear they did not feel good. Inclusion and tolerance were both operating — there was a clear recognition of being in-group members, but the value non-clinical professionals brought to the full group was ques- tioned. Tolerance has to be present in order to get to inclusion. Aside from being sure that all members of the profession feel they are a valued part of the group, how can veterinarians practice inclusion? In the clinical setting, there are numerous ways to signal inclusion over just tolerance. In the clinic setting, forms that include non-binary gender options, spouse/ partner language and longer spaces for hyphenated or com- bined surnames are easy indicators that the practice acknowledges and welcomes a broad clientele. Artwork and promotional images that include racial and ethnic diversity, if humans are included, creates a more inclusive space for employees and clients. Websites that include a translation button to increase accessibility of content and contact information signals that the practice is willing to serve the community. Some of the same suggestions apply to non-clinical settings. An additional suggestion is enhanced outreach when Diversity Toolbox columnist Dr. Lisa M. Greenhill is senior director for institutional research and diversity at the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. recruiting for leadership positions. Recent gender research shows that women are more likely to participate and pursue leadership opportunities after an invitation has been extend- ed rather than organically. We may take for granted that our female colleagues have talents that we wel- come and respect, but we have to create the inclusive environment that encourages full use of those talents. What Do You Stand For? Missions, visions or other organi- zational statements articulating the core values of a clinic, office or organization can use inclusive language to convey the importance of diversity and inclusion to the group. The Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges has a policy statement titled "Principles of Inclusion." The statement, available at http://bit.ly/2qMW1v3, affirms the value of diversity and the desire to build community. It also outlines and rejects activities that under- mine diversity and inclusion efforts. AAVMC promotes this state- ment, but more importantly, the organization uses it in its deci- sion-making. Having these kinds of documents can play an import- ant role in making diversity and inclusion routine topics within your practice setting. Tolerance is not a bad thing; it is a great tool in beginning diversity work. Given the historical context of the word, tolerance is unable to convey a willingness or a desire to have meaningful engagement and growth across areas of difference. Starting with tolerance activi- ties and deliberately moving your business toward inclusion efforts and activities promises countless opportunities for the full engage- ment and participation of everyone who engages your veterinary busi- ness. Inclusion is what allows us to leverage the benefits of diversity. Continued from Page 45 Tolerance is not a bad thing; it is a great tool in beginning diversity work. Becoming more aware of and selective about the types of questions we tend to ask is one of the most empowering tools we have for creating constructive change 3

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