Communication

Feedback and Coaching and Conflict, Oh My!


Navigating the Difficult Conversation Trifecta
By: Rachel Teichberg, CVPM

I’ve watched this scene a thousand times… Dorothy and the gang anxiously making their way through the forest chanting “lions, and tigers and bears, oh my!” As they quickly skip their way along the yellow brick road, they eventually meet their lion. In practice, you come face to face with a lion daily, except yours is in the shape of difficult conversations.

All day long you have conversations with your coworkers. You chit-chat about the weekend, discuss plans for the day, ask for help with lab work, direct someone to pick up line three, follow up on those retirement party plans, and debrief about cases. All of this conversation flows seamlessly until you have a critique, a suggestion, or a problem. Just like that, communication comes to a grinding halt as you try to avoid having what you believe will be an awkward or emotional conversation.

Each time you avoid feedback, coaching, and conflict conversations you may feel like you’ve gained something in the short-term by saving yourself from feeling uncomfortable (as many people jump through incredible hoops to avoid). In the long-term, the effects of avoidance will present as low morale, low performance, low efficiency, and high turnover. All of those factors will directly affect your bottom line.

Feedback, coaching, and conflict are, in fact, three separate types of conversations and tools which can be approached in different ways to improve performance in your practice. Feedback conversations should occur between all team members, regardless of their place on the organizational chart, and are focused only on things that were witnessed by the person giving the feedback. That’s right, no triangulated communication, no gossiping, no running to the manager.

Keep Talking


Communication During Unprecedented Times
By: Rachel Teichberg, CVPM

Here we are, living through an unprecedented time as the world has been turned upside down, the future is uncertain, and the tension is high. People are stressed, afraid, worried, and exhausted. Our minds are all over the place, feeling the overwhelm of information while trying to navigate this ever-changing landscape of COVID-19.

This is new territory for everyone but let me be the one to tell you: YOU’RE DOING GREAT. It may not feel like it, but I promise that you are. You’re showing up, you're minding your distance, and you’re thinking about your employees, your business and, of course, your patients. You want what’s best for everyone and that may mean making a lot of immediate temporary changes.

Be a Source of Quality Information

  During this time, your communication skills are going to have to take the wheel. I know that it may feel like communication overload these days between the news, social media, and our inbox, but it’s important to provide resources and information about COVID-19 to your team. Do not assume everyone is getting quality news from legitimate sources. You don’t need to be an expert but provide the links and resources that can help them keep themselves and their families safe. Consider sites such as the CDC, AVMA, WHO and your local VMA. Information is being updated as the situation progresses, so continue to monitor them regularly.

View More Blogs by Category

Subscribe to RSS - Communication