Communication without argumentation

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Nicola A. Lakeman, MSc, BSc, (Hons), RVN, CertVNECC, CertSAN, VTS (Nutrition), shares a piece of advice for communicating nutrition with clients

When it comes to change, it can be tricky to adapt, especially when it comes to pets. However, when it is time to talk to clients about changing something about their pet's diet, clients might not be as open to the idea as the veterinary team would hope. So, what can professionals do when this happens to them?

During an interview at the 2024 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) Forum in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Nicola A. Lakeman, MSc, BSc (Hons), RVN, CertVNECC, CertSAN, VTS (Nutrition), shared her advice for veterinary professionals to use when they are communicating with clients who may not be too fond of changing things about their pet's diet.

The following is a partial transcript of the video:

Nicola A. Lakeman, MSc, BSc (Hons), RVN, CertVNECC, CertSAN, VTS (Nutrition): For some people, the default is 'No, I don't want to change' because none of us like change very well, very quickly. [They] might need time to think over that recommendation that you've given. They might need to talk to family members, or talk to other peers within their group to be able to process your recommendation before saying 'yes.' It's not that you've not done your job properly. It's not that they've not taken your recommendation. They just haven't taken your recommendation yet. So, don't feel [like] a failure, like you haven't done your job properly. We all go on a change cycle and that change cycle, it takes time.

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