Building Your Toolkit: Real Life Challenges Toolkit Workshop
World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress Proceedings, 2019
S. Ratnayake

Motivatum Consulting, Waterdown, ON, Canada

Creating your own toolkit requires some self-reflection and honest interpretation of what is happening around you. It also requires prioritization of challenges, and a realistic perspective of what is achievable within a given time frame. Consider your situation carefully and try to focus on big picture without getting stuck on the details of a single problem. Usually, these smaller issues are signs of larger concerns.

All of that said, the best place to start is with yourself. Consider your personal culture. Consider the personal culture of your management team and leadership team—all people involved in shaping the culture of your practice.

For your own situation, make a list of strengths and opportunities with respect to personal culture.

From there, consider the way communication occurs within your team. Again, start with self. Is there respect within the team in how we communicate with each other. Are we holding ourselves back by not communicating effectively on the team? Does your team’s communication flow benefit or hinder clients with respect to their understanding, learning and compliance?

Where are the greatest communication issues within your own situation? What is your role in them? (Be honest with yourself.) How can you effect a positive change?

Consider your own mindset and your learnings around fixed and growth mindset. How will sharing this learning with your team open the door for success? What are your “a-ha” moments with respect to this concept and how will it benefit your team?

Speaking of the team… Do they have the voice they require, in order to be the best version of themselves? Do they have reason to sing the praises of the hospital? Do they have reason to sing the praises of the team?

In your own situation, what would help to reinforce the importance of your team and how could this translate into improvement for patients, clients, the team and the business?

Knowing that everybody on the team is different, we will still have various perspectives on things. What is happening within your situation that divides the team?

Are there problems that not everybody perceives the same way? What common thread could be introduced to try and unite and engage team members into being solution oriented about things that matter?

Are the generational differences between team members holding you back as a team? Is this something that has ever been addressed or is it only ever brought up with an eyeroll and laughter? Are generational differences being used as an excuse for poor communication instead of being seen as a benefit to the team?

What can be done in your situation to highlight the importance of generational differences on the team? How can you utilize the differences on your team as a strength?

Finally, with communication in check, and differences acknowledged as a positive, how do we work as a team and remain united and engaged? Within your situation, where is there resistance to change? Are meetings being held and, if so, are they effective? Do people know what is expected of them? Is the practice fulfilling its goals? Do the team know what those goals are? At the end of the day, do people feel valued and do they value the work that is accomplished every day?

Creating a plan can be a very helpful way to really identify what is important. Making a list of your challenges/needs and then sorting them by their level of urgency and importance can help to formalize priorities and a plan. Remember to focus on the big picture before drilling down to details as a way of not missing any issues and highlight why things are happening so that you are not just addressing the problem itself.


Speaker Information
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S. Ratnayake
Motivatum Consulting
Waterdown, ON, Canada

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