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Be the leader your veterinary team deserves
Transcend all the workplace drama
It's not what you say, but how you say it that matters.
That's the fundamental message I took away from Shawn McVey's five hours of lectures at CVC Washington D.C. McVey, an Editorial Advisory Board member for Veterinary Economics and Firstline, shared his insight on how understanding emotional intelligence can improve practices.
Heike Jung, DVMBeing a smart leader, of course, has implications for the business of a veterinary hospital. If your team respects, admires and values you, profit margins can increase.
“For every 1 percent improvement in the service climate, there's a 2 percent increase in revenue,” said McVey during one of his sessions. How people feel about working at a company can account for 20 to 30 percent of business performance. Upbeat employees are more productive.
You set the tone
When the boss is happy, the team is happy. How often is your team confronted with your negativity, angry outbursts, passive-aggressive behavior or demeaning body language (eye rolling, sighing and crossed arms)? And, in return, how often do you receive the same treatment from them? It fuels a cycle of frustration and broken relationships.
If your team doesn't feel like a team-team members all in this together-moodiness prevails or pettiness looms like a dark cloud, take an honest look in the mirror. Chances are the team is taking cues from you. It's time you became a better leader by regaining emotional balance and increasing your “emotional Intelligence” (EQ).
You can calm down
We've all experienced the wave of frustration that hits us when we've been pushed too far. We can't think straight. We feel angry towards someone else or we shut down. It's your fight-or-flight response to emotional conflict. When you reach this point, you know your emotions have been hijacked. It's time to regain your emotional balance by:
> Slowing down
> Calming down
> Re-engaging once you are no longer frustrated (this can take a few days).
Step back. Take a deep breath. Acknowledge your feelings. Don't blame the other person for how you're feeling. Re-engage once you're able to think clearly and consider another opinion or point of view.
Four questions to better EQ
Understanding and working on your own EQ can help you achieve your emotional balance faster. Here are four questions to ask yourself to get started:
1. Can I accurately identify my own emotions and verbalize how I feel with others?
2. Can I manage my emotions and behavior through self-control, transparency, adaptability, initiative and optimism?
3. Can I accurately identify the emotions and tendencies of others and interact with them through empathy, organizational awareness and service?
4. Can I manage my interactions with others constructively and achieve a positive outcome through inspiration, influence, developing others, being a change catalyst, conflict management and teamwork?
McVey noted that laughter is your most powerful ally and a great place to start your journey to higher EQ. Who wouldn't want to come to work to a clinic filled with laughter?
Dr. Heike Jung focuses on people's emotional safety in the workplace as a professional team building and leadership coach for veterinary practices. Dr. Jung is author of Even Unicorns Need to Learn How to Fly.
Editor's note: To learn more, join Shawn McVey at CVC Kansas City Aug. 28 to 31 or CVC San Diego Dec. 3 to 6. Many books have been written on emotional intelligence but you could do worse than starting with this one: Emotional Intelligence 2.0(TalentSmart, 2009) by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.