The Keys to Impactful Communication for Veterinary Leaders

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By Randy Hall

March 15, 2024

In the world of veterinary medicine, the power of effective leadership often goes unnoticed. As practice managers and veterinary professionals, our influence can transform practices for the better. 

Yet, sometimes, we miss opportunities to help. It's not just about the outcomes we seek; it's about guiding our teams in the right direction - both for them and our practice. How we communicate can foster a culture of commitment rather than merely expecting it to happen on its own. 

Your Impact as a Leader in Your Veterinary Practice

Every meeting you lead, conversation you initiate, or interaction you partake in as a leader in veterinary practice can leave a lasting impression. These interactions might positively inspire, inadvertently discourage, or leave no mark at all. 

The question is: Are your messages resonating positively, or are they missing the mark? Great veterinary leaders focus on the impact from their team's perspective, considering not just what to convey but how it can foster growth and understanding.

Beyond Directives: A Shift in Leadership Approach

shift your approach as a veterinary leader

Simply telling your team what to do isn't the key to enduring change. As I interact with veterinary leaders, I listen for communication shifts that can redefine their leadership style. Phrases like "you need to..." often miss the mark, focusing more on the leader’s intent than on inspiring change

For instance, commands like "you need to be more responsible" or "find a way to get it done" rarely lead to genuine commitment or change. True influence lies in understanding and aligning with your team's beliefs and motivations.

Rethinking Compliance in Your Hospital

The idea that staff should obey simply because of a title is an outdated concept. People act based on their beliefs, not just directives from above. This reality calls for a leadership style that respects and understands individual motivations. Do we really want a team that follows without question? 

Encouraging independent thinking and accountability is key to avoiding a stagnant, top-down culture in your veterinary practice.

Your Role in Shaping Outcomes

encourage independent thinking in your veterinary practice

The way you communicate, the questions you ask, and the collaboration you cause is the source of your influence. It’s the way you help people get better at what they do. And that’s far more important than having them do what you say. 

Despite the fact that many managers work on expanding their control, influence is what really matters. Remember, every interaction with you can leave your team feeling either inspired or deflated. As a leader in your veterinary practice, the choice—and the impact—is yours.

Why People Don’t Do What You Say - VetLead
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How do you communicate with your team? Let us know in the comments below.

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