"Yes to boundaries, no to blocks"


Dr Laila Proenca explains the details of this empowering talk she delivered at the 2023 AVMA Convention

"Yes to boundaries, no to blocks" was a lecture led by Laila Proença, DVM, PhD, MV, MSc, DACZM, CEO and founder of VetAhead, at the 2023 American Veterinary Medical Association Convention. In a dvm360® interview, she explained how this talk urged attendees to question when they are told no rather than to just accept it. Oftentimes, this can lead to great outcomes and a solution that works for all involved.

The following is a partial transcript of the video.

Laila Proença, DVM, PhD, MV, MSc, DACZM: Oh my god, I love that talk. I think also, since I was very little, because I always tried different things, it's almost like a challenge. You know, if everybody's going through a door, I want to go through a different door because it might be more interesting, I might find something else. A lot of times it's a mistake, and I'm fine with making [mistakes]. And I think that's part of being okay saying no to blocks.

A lot of times when we receive "nos," I will say the majority of times when we receive a no, it is about the other person's limitation and the other person's difficulty to break the status quo, it's not actually a true no. So, if you can't understand and again, it goes back to questioning, if you can't understand the why, why that person is saying no to you, understand the system, understand what you're dealing with, then it becomes easier to find a solution and go around that no, and get to a place where you get what you want or a version of that.

In no shape or form is that talk meant to be a form to dissuade people or convince people. That's not the goal, I'm actually not very good at that. But it's about understanding the process instead of just taking a no for answer, understand what's happening. Why is that a no? Is it because we don't have money. So if that's the question, how can we get the money? [What] can we go around to get that done? You know, I give a lot of examples during that talk. It is a lot of storytelling, so it's very interesting and entertaining. I go through facts that I've lived life, facts that my grandma lived in her life, and how we went around it.

But I also remind all of us that certain "no"s should be in place because they have boundaries, right so they're healthy boundaries. And those are the only nos we should learn to identify and say yes to. So, yes to boundaries and no to blocks.

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