What 7 seconds of smiling can prove to your veterinary team
Dr. Ruth MacPete demonstrates the power of a smile with CVC attendees.
CVC speaker Ruth MacPete, DVM, conducted an experiment today with the 50-plus veterinarians, practice managers and team members who attended her session “Whistle while you work: How happiness leads to practice success” at the CVC in Kansas City.
First, she had people partner up and sit next to each other, then figure out who would be person one and person two. Person one was instructed to wipe all emotion from their face and maintain that neutral expression no matter what person two did. Person two was told to look straight into person one's eyes and smile as warmly and deeply as possible. Then MacPete started the timer for seven seconds.
The result? Abject failure. Hardly any of the “person ones” in the room could maintain their poker face past one or two seconds-if they could even achieve it in the first place. Uproarious laughter ensued.
“So you now all can see that a smile is contagious!” MacPete shouted over the commotion. Her point? That happiness can start with something as simple as a smile and spread to the rest of the veterinary team and their clientele. Not only is this great for morale and motivation, it has a direct, measurable effect on efficiency, productivity and the bottom line, as demonstrated in a number of studies MacPete referenced.
“Smiling is an easy tool to make people happy,” MacPete said. “Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. Happiness has to happen first.”