Episode 136 | Navigating Internal Conflict in Veterinary Hospitals

Internal conflict in veterinary hospitals is a very common occurrence.

In addition to being super-uncomfortable to witness, it also has a very real and negative impact on client service and patient care.

Everyone who is aware of the conflict plays a part in its perpetuation if they don’t speak up.

When we ignore the conflicts, or avoid them all together, we actually create space for them to continue to grow.

And make no mistake, ongoing conflict within a veterinary hospital is absolutely having a negative impact on client service and patient care.

Thankfully there are things each of us can do to help foster a pathway toward conflict resolution. 

In this episode I share a process for diving conflict resolution including:

  1. Avoiding gossiping about the conflict (this only makes it worse)
  2. Not ignoring the conflict (it’s having an impact, even when you ignore it)
  3. Escalating awareness of the conflict to the appropriate level of leadership (don’t assume they are aware its happening)
  4. Gathering information (seek to understand both sides though individual conversations)
  5. Identifying specific examples and impact (in the moment, people in conflict are often in tunnel vision and don’t realize how they are behaving or being received)
  6. Discussing together with both parties (create a safe place for them to share with each other)
  7. Clarifying expectations for professional behavior (bring everyone back to the mission)
  8. Following up with timely feedback in the weeks that follow (reinforce expectations as needed).

The bottom line is this…

As uncomfortable as it might be to have conversations about conflict, simply allowing the conflict to continue unaddressed is much much worse… for you, your team, your clients and your patients.

If this episode hits home, please consider sharing it with friend and leaving us a review wherever you listen to your podcasts!

For more information on how to Leverage The Space to protect your own emotional wellbeing when conflict occurs, check out Vet Life Academy. 




Website: https://joyfuldvm.com

Music Credit: Music by Lesfm from Pixabay


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This transcript is auto-generated and may contain typos. 

Hi there. I'm Dr. Cari Wise veterinarian, certified life coach and certified quantum human design specialist. If you are a veterinary professional looking to uplevel your life and your career or maybe looking to go in an entirely new direction, then what I talk about here on the Joyful DVM podcast is absolutely for you. Let's get started. Hello my friends.

Welcome back to the Joyful DVM podcast. In this episode, we're going to be talking about managing internal hospital conflict and veterinary medicine. Now let's face it, if you've been in veterinary medicine for any period of time, you have likely encountered some internal conflict. You know, when a couple of people who work there just don't get along and it really creates a tension-filled atmosphere for everybody around them,

it's not very fun. And it's often the case that these conflicts are happening on top of each other. So sometimes it's only a couple of people, but oftentimes you might have several pairs of people who aren't getting wrong or getting along, or even groups of people who aren't getting along with each other. So what do we do about it? Do we just accept it and keep moving through our day?

There is some value in doing that as far as the moving through your day part, but not just accepting it. And that's the part that I really wanna talk about in today's episode. Managing the conflict inside of a veterinary hospital is everybody's responsibility. It's not just the responsibility of management to handle all of these things. Why is that the case? Well,

because every single one of us has personal responsibility for our professional behavior in our veterinary environments, we get to decide for ourselves how we show up and how we behave. And when our behavior is in conflict with another person who we're working with, we individually have a responsibility to take a step back and to understand where we are coming from if that conflict is ever going to be resolved.

But what about the rest of us? What about those of us who are not the people who are in direct conflict? What do we do? Well, these are the tips that I wanna go through today to show you how you can actually engage in the process of healing this conflict, even if you're not one of the parties in the middle of it.

And even if you actually aren't in a leadership position in your hospital, which may have you believing right now that you don't have any power over it at all. So first and foremost, whenever we recognize there is some type of internal conflict going on within the place that we work, so maybe we have a couple of technicians that don't get along, or maybe we have a technician and a veterinarian that don't get along,

or maybe we have a couple veterinarians themselves that don't get along. You can really just pick anybody, right? But whenever we notice that there are a couple of people that don't seem to be getting along, and I don't mean when I say seem to be getting along, it's usually pretty dang obvious when we get to this point. So when we notice that what we don't want to do is gossip about it.

Now I just wanna take a second to remind us that what gossip is is anytime we are talking about somebody who isn't there to defend themselves. So if you and I are having a conversation about Susie and Jane and what's going on between Susie and Jane, well, you and I are not part of that problem and we are not part of that solution, and that's actually not our responsibility to discuss it together without them present to be able to give their side of the story.

As soon as we start talking about what's going on with them, we are just gonna compound the negative impact of whatever it is. I'm not saying like we, we don't just, you know, wanna simply mention or you know, gather a little bit of info to see if anybody else is noticing what we're noticing. That's fine. Like a simple quick question about,

Hey, did you see this going on? Do you think there's a conflict there? I think that's fine. I don't think that's gossip. But if we then start to stand around and talk about it and identify, did you see what they did today? Did you see what she said to her yesterday? Did you hear the tone that so-and-so used? Whenever we start to do that kind of thing,

now we're into gossip and we're actually compounding the negative effect of whatever conflict exists. So first and foremost, do not get stuck in the trap of gossip. And it is a trap because as soon as we start talking about somebody else's problems, it's kind of pulls us out of our own stuff, it pulls us out of our own stressors and that that conversation around other people feels better than us kind of staying in our own stuff,

if you will. So we have to be careful because gossip can be a really sneaky trap that can feel really powerful, but it actually doesn't contribute anything positive to any kind of relationship and definitely not the work environment. So tip number one, don't gossip about it. We're just gonna compound the negative impact of whatever conflict is present a simple check with somebody else to see if they're recognizing the conflict that's not gossiping.

But if you then start to on the regular, have conversations about it that has tipped into gossiping and you're gonna want to pay attention to the tips I give next because I'm gonna tell you what to do instead. Number two, don't ignore it. Many of us just wanna look the other way. We hear Susie snipe it, Jane, we just turn our head the other way and we ignore it.

We hear Jane say something nasty about Susie to a third party. We ignore it. We don't say anything. We keep our head down, we keep doing our job, we avoid it all together. And if you are a medical leader in your hospital, I wanna tell you something, it is your job to do something about this. Now, I know that every organization has a different structure and there's a different reporting hierarchy.

I get that. But if you are a medical leader in your hospital, and what I mean by a medical leader is if you are a veterinarian, an associate veterinarian, a chief of staff, if you would, whatever the role is, if you are a veterinarian in your hospital, do not let yourself believe that this conflict between team members is not impacting you because I guarantee you that it is absolutely impacting your ability to serve clients and treat patients because if the people you rely on to interact with your clients and to give the treatment to your patients are so caught up in their own conflict that they're bringing it into the workplace and they're unable to work together,

I promise you that client service and patient care is being compromised, their attention is not on what's important at that moment. So do not ignore it. Don't stick it under the label of not my job and stick your head in the sand that actually just perpetuates it. If you are an associate, if you are not in a medical leadership position, I get that you may not feel that you are the most qualified person to do something about that,

and that's okay. But what I want you to not do is ignore it. I want you to then do what step number three is, or tip three is, which is escalated to the appropriate level of leadership. If you are seeing it as an associate or as a a veterinarian who is not the, the highest level veterinarian in your organization on the ground there,

then I think that you absolutely need to escalate this to leadership. So maybe you're escalating it to a member of management. Maybe the conflict involves a member of management, so then you need to escalate it to somebody up above them. What I want to make sure that you don't do is assume that leadership already knows. This is one of the biggest traps for us in veterinary medicine because when we are in the trenches,

we are veterinarians, we are seeing patients, we are interacting with our support staff all the time. We see the conflicts, we see the little snipy things, we see the little backstabbing, stupid petty crap that happens between 10 team members when they're, they are in some kind of conflict, but then we also tend to assume that everybody else sees it.

But I promise you they don't. Leadership has a lot of different things that they're focusing on, a lot of of responsibilities on their plate. And so don't ever assume that your leadership is aware of the conflicts that are so front and center where you spend your time day in and day out. I've learned that lesson the hard way more than once, just assuming that they know and then that turns into its own negative spiraling story.

Because if we assume that they know that leadership knows that this is happening, then the next thing we're gonna do, as we see that it just continues to keep happening over and over and over again and that it never seems to get resolved and nobody ever steps in and does anything, the next thing that our brain is going to offer us is that leadership doesn't care.

And the truth is, most of the time leadership just isn't even aware, especially if we're working in an organization where leadership is not on site. So we need to escalate that to the appropriate level. And most, you know, maybe most importantly in those situations when leadership isn't on site, it's, I wanna come back to what I said for tip number two,

which is don't ignore it. If you are a hospital leader, medical leader in the place where you work, even if your rest of your leadership is offsite, then you do have a responsibility to lead that team as the veterinarian, as the associate veterinarian, you have that oppor that responsibility to do that because they are looking to you as the one to make the ultimate decisions.

Now, in a perfect world, you're doing this in partnership with some kind of hospital office management leader, manager on the ground and you know, or a practice manager, maybe you have that in your organization, but maybe you don't. So look at what you have as far as leadership in the environment that you're in day in and day out. But if your leadership is all offsite,

don't just pa this off. Stick your head in the sand and say, this is not your job because ultimately it is a big deal because it's all going to impact your client service and your patient care, whether or not you wanna admit it, whether or not you wanna deal with it. That's why many of us ignore it. That's why we just look the other way.

We just don't wanna get involved. We don't know what to do. It feels uncomfortable, we're gonna have these conversations. But if we can take a step back and realize, no, I need to help fix this because it's gonna impact my client care and my patient care and that's why I'm here in the first place, then we can find some courage to move forward in really breaking up these conflicts and resolving them once and for all or at least creating a path for resolution.

Bottom line, we're never gonna resolve conflict between two people. A third party never will, but a third party can create that path forward. And that really comes to tip number four, which is what do you do? Well, this is where you gather information. So if you are in a position of leadership and you, you become aware of conflict within your veterinary work environment or if you aren't in a leadership position,

but you are maybe the highest level of of leadership, medical leadership in your facility, that's where you wanna start to gather the information. Let's figure out what's really going on. These are some conversations that are not easy to have and depending on how volatile the conflict is between the two people that we're, we're trying to like chill out, we need to,

we may need to actually have conversations with them separately in order to gather information. I personally find that that very first conversation about conflict is often better received by all parties. If I have them individually with one person at a time and I ask open-ended questions, tell me what's going on with so and so, let me know what's, what's been happening whenever you're in these kinds of situations.

Because if we've been watching, we've been identifying some patterns and we can give them an opportunity to share with us what is happening from their perspective so we can understand it. That gathering information, understanding both sides, really listening to what they are saying without trying to fix it yet, that is really critical information because oftentimes we will find that the biggest problem is simply a communication error.

It's not that they're really out to get each other though. They typically will believe that one is after the other. And what I find is when you have a conflict between two people that just seems to never dissipate. Each party thinks the other one's out to get them. But if we can slow it all down, gather information from both sides, oftentimes we've just got a communication problem.

Oftentimes the actual motives behind it are exactly the same. They are have the best interest of the patient in mind, they have the best interest of the hospital and the clients in mind and they just happen to have a different style in approaching things, which puts them in conflict and then automatically puts them on the defensive. So let's gather that information, understand both sides,

figure out out where they're coming from, and then if possible we want to bring that together and talk about it as a group. Now, if we talk about the specifics as a group, as a group, if you've got two people in conflict, it's two people in conflict plus a third party. If you can talk about the specifics together, then that really creates opportunity for them to bond through this uncomfortable experience.

So they've been in conflict, they've been existing through a combination of avoidance and then like snapping at each other and being petty. But when we bring them together in a room where three people can talk and they can really feel safe sharing what they've experienced and you create that safe place for them because you've already talked to 'em individually alone and you already know what's gonna happen as far as like what they're gonna say when you can bring them together in that,

you can help prompt that conversation to remind them to share things that they've shared with you where you see they have connection, where they are on actually the same page and oftentimes a couple of minutes into a conversation like that, their walls will come down and they'll just start to get really honest and very vulnerable about what they've been experiencing. So just creating that kind of safe place for them to have a conversation about what's been going on oftentimes can take a conflict or straight to resolution very,

very quickly. Now, not every time are both parties gonna have a lot of interest in discussing it. You're gonna have a clue of that when you actually have your individual conversations first, are they open to feedback? Are they willing to share their side? Are they willing to consider? Maybe there's more than one perspective here and perhaps there's an opportunity to give benefit of the,

the doubt. And maybe nobody's right or wrong, maybe everybody's right and everybody's a little bit wrong. At the same time, maybe approaches have just been different without being difficult. So if it's a, it appears you have to use your judgment here. If it appears that this is a, the type of situation where you've got two parties that could benefit from this safe conversation with a third person,

you being present, then by all means do it. You'll be surprised how often that can be the end of the conflict altogether because they just have a safe place to actually talk about how they're feeling and talk about what's happening between them without needing to be defending, defending themselves and because they're feeling supported with the environment that you've created for them. Another key thing with this is as you're watching,

as you're gathering your information, you really need to come up with very specific examples. And so I probably jumped ahead a little bit to the group conversation, but this gathering of very specific examples is really important as you start to set up this opportunity for this group conversation. Whenever we are talking about people who are in conflict, remember we're talking about people who are feeling highly emotive.

They're probably feeling defensive, they're probably feeling frustrated and angry. They are in judgment of somebody else and they are feeling like they are being judged. So it can be a very protective, defensive, reactive situation and that's why it is so important for us to gather specific examples of the conflict and how it is actually impacting everything around them. Specific examples include what exactly happened,

who said what and when was it, what was it related to? How did it relate and have an impact on client service or patient care? It's important to bring all of these things together and vary specific examples. 'cause oftentimes when we are in conflict with another person, like I said, we are in a little bit of survival mode, a little bit of fight or flight when we are interacting with those people and we don't necessarily even remember what brought us to the conflict in that given moment or it's been so ongoing that as soon as we get around that person who we have conflict with,

that our nervous system just kicks into fight or flight and we just aren't aware, we're just reacting without any intention at all. So when a third party can really identify all of the aspects of what's happening and then share that back to the people involved, oftentimes there's a bit of an aha that goes along with that because most people are not intentionally trying to be unkind to each other.

They aren't trying to be snippy, they aren't trying to be snarky, they aren't trying to undermine each other. Now the person on the receiving end absolutely feels like it's all intentional, but the person who's doling it out is probably just in survival mode and they don't even have an awareness of how abrupt they are being of how snippy they are being of how they are treating one person differently than they treat everybody else.

Our brains, this is where once again, our silly minds will jump in there and will tell us a big story. How they absolutely know how they're treating us and how they're absolutely like that person absolutely knows they're being disrespectful for me to me, and they're treating me differently and they're being snarky and they're, they're calling me out in front of other people.

Like whatever the whole list is, like our brain will offer us that. That is absolutely what's happening. But what I wanna offer you right now is that even though you may be right, you may be right that the behavior toward you is different than it is toward other people. That doesn't mean the person that is displaying that behavior is aware of it,

just like you are probably not aware of the way that you are reacting back to that person. That's where the conflict comes in because it's so obvious when you're on the receiving end of it, how poorly you're being treated by the other person without any awareness most of the time that the, that we are also treating them in the exact same way. This is why having a third party to help us to identify the conflict is there and point out very specific examples of behavior and impact is critical.

Otherwise, we're just talking about be nice to Susie, be nice to Jane. Don't be so rude to her. But if we don't even understand when we're doing it because we don't, we aren't intentionally doing it, then we aren't actually learning anything from those conversations. We aren't actually set up to succeed to improve at all because we don't have clarification ourselves for exactly what we are doing.

We don't see our own behavior when we are in that fight or flight mode. It's all just being reactive. It's a survival mechanism and we can even believe we are being kind and we are not. So being able to offer people in conflict clarity with specifics about how they're behaving toward each other and giving examples about how that is impacting client service and patient care and how it may be slowed down the,

the workflow of a day or made a team be inefficient or how things had to be done over or different people had to be pulled into different roles because they were ref refusing to work with each other. Sometimes it's very helpful. Oftentimes, I would say it is very helpful to show those specifics to the people involved because odds are, they're so caught in their own drama that they don't really even see how broad is sweeping the impact of their conflict is on the entire organization.

After we've done all of that, so we've identified it, we have not ignored it, we have not gossiped about it, we have escalated it to the proper level of leadership and perhaps we are the, the level of leadership then that needs to address this. Then we gather our information, we have conversations with each party. We understand, we sit there.

Our whole goal with those conversations is to listen and to understand. We also offer those specific examples so we can get their perspective of what happened in those specific scenarios. From there, we create that safe place to have a conversation together about what happened. And in that conversation is where we clarify our expectations for professional conduct. Everybody needs to be on the same page.

And you may be thinking, but Cari, we have policies and procedures, they've all signed off on professional conduct and I'm sure that you do. But if you have people who are in conflict to the level that the rest of the hospital is aware that they are in conflict, then they need a reminder of what the expectations of professional conduct actually are. So it's important for us to just reiterate what do we expect from them?

Because sometimes we haven't been clear enough about what we expect. And as we take that opportunity then to clarify the expectations, now we have set the bar for which their next evaluation is gonna be measured. That's where the next step comes in, following up in one to two weeks. So one to two weeks from that conversation where those expectations are clarified, where you've created that safe place initially for them to talk through what you found so that the perspectives are understood on both sides.

Then we wrap that up by clarifying expectations for everybody involved then, and we let them know in the next one to two weeks we are going to meet again to talk about this. And you'll be meeting again individually and maybe if needed as a group again, but individually for certain you're gonna follow up. That way we know everybody knows what is expected, that this kind of conflict ongoing within the workplace is not gonna be accepted.

That the expectation is that it's a team that we work together, that we are kind, that we are respectful, that we keep our clients and our patients at the center of everything that we do every single day. And as we then continue to watch, because you don't have this conversation and put your head back in the sand, you have this conversation and then you keep your eyes open,

you watch them in those situations. You watch them working together, you look to see how are they doing, are they getting along or are some of the same patterns coming up again? Do we have snaring? Do we have petty behavior? Do we have rudeness? Do we have disrespect? As soon as you notice it, we're not waiting one to two weeks.

If we notice that we are going to have a timely conversation to give feedback, and this is one of the most critically, critically important aspects because when people don't recognize their own level of, of disrespect for another person when they are interacting, you know, to two coworkers are interacting and, and one maybe is being short and rude and bossy or disrespectful,

if we notice it, we need to give that person timely feedback. Not in two weeks, maybe not in the instant 'cause you have to measure it against what else is happening. But within 24 hours that person needs to have a mini conversation with you. Hey, I know you've been working on getting along with Jane, you know, you both, you know we had that meeting.

You both are working on interacting with each other in a kinder way with more respect, realizing that you're on the same team. I just wanna point out to you something that I saw yesterday that you might not be aware of in regard to the way that you treated her in this situation with Fluffy when you were doing X, Y, Z. So now we can take to the center of the conversation a very specific example.

It's fresh in our minds, it's happened in the last 24 hours. And then that gives an us an opportunity to say, this is what I saw as a spectator, this is how that interaction looked from my perspective. Can you please share with me what was going on with you at that point in time that elicited that kind of interaction with her? And when we ask that question,

it creates a safe place for them to really just take a step back and consider what was going on. Sometimes you'll get answers like, it actually didn't have anything to do with her. I was really frustrated because I just gotten off the phone with Mrs. Smith and she'd yelled at me about prices. So they're not even aware that something like that's happening and then they're taking it out on another team member.

Sometimes it is something that happened, you know, I ask her three times to help me and she hadn't helped me and I snapped at her. Okay, great. How did you ask her for help? What words did you, exactly, what words did you use? Were you looking at her? Did you get clarification or, or validation that she heard you?

So that timely feedback is so important because that's where you're gonna get your greatest information about what's driving these behaviors toward each other. And you're gonna have that same kind of timely conversation with the other person too. Hey, I saw this happen yesterday. What? Tell me your situ, like your, your understanding of what went down, how were you feeling?

How you know, what was driving that whole entire interaction? What was happening from your perspective? And again, they're gonna share their side. Well, I just felt like she, like the second she talked to me, she was just biting my head off and I, I didn't do anything to make her mad, but she was mad at me and then I just got mad back at her.

Okay, well that we can understand, like if all of a sudden you feel like somebody's angry at you and they're barking at you, that you're gonna feel defensive about it and you're gonna probably take it personally, most of us would and we wouldn't have any idea that the person who's barking at us isn't barking at us because of us. We just happen to be the one who's catching it in all of this,

the solution to this conflict is bringing awareness to the situation. Do not hide behind it. Do not hide from it, don't ignore it 'cause it's just gonna keep festering. Be the person to step up and say, let's talk about this. This is what I'm seeing. This is not gonna work for us long term. And then really empower each other to take responsibility for your own emotional wellbeing.

That's really at the heart of all of this. We only end up with co in conflict with one another when we take the actions and words of other people personally, I'm not saying that we condone unprofessional or disrespectful behavior. I'm never going to condone that, especially in the workplace where we have the opportunity to create expectations around conduct with each other. That's why having our policies and procedures in place in our employee manuals are so important.

Because if we clarify from an employment perspective what kind of behavior is expected of our, of our employees, then we have something to evaluate them against, then it can just be neutral all the way around and we can just keep working toward helping our teams perform at that level of expectation as far as their interactions. But as the people in those conflicts, as all of the people in any kind of veterinary hospital or any kind of environment,

work-related or otherwise, in this world, the emotional wellbeing component is individually up to each of us, even though Suzy may be acting in a way that we have the opinion that she is being disrespectful toward Jane. Whether or not Jane feels disrespected is not because of Susie, it's because of what she believes about Susie, it's possible to notice disrespectful behavior without feeling disrespected.

As a result, you get to decide for you how you feel in any situation with another person. Their behaviors will never cause your fo feelings, your emotional feelings are yours to control. That is part of this evolution for us, this growth process and working in teams in high pressure situations. Do we have the ability to maintain our own emotional composure no matter what's happening?

If we don't, if we feel very volatile, that's where the opportunity to leverage the space comes in. You get to decide for you a hundred percent of the time. Leveraging the space is absolutely the single most effective way to maintain your emotional wellbeing. No matter what happens at work or in the world, it is the superpower. And every single one of us have the ability to slow down any situation and place intention into that space.

What do I want to believe in this situation? Not what does is my knee-jerk defensive reaction? What do I wanna believe? And more importantly, what do I wanna feel? Because if we will intentionally take control of what we think and what we feel in those moments, then even though there is opportunity to, to improve interactions between each other to solve this conflict,

we can actually solve conflict all by ourselves. If we're one of the people in that conflict, we can solve the entire thing for ourselves. And that person doesn't have to be different at all. I'm not saying that condones bad behavior of the other party, I'm not saying that at all. Please don't misunderstand. That's where it's so important for leadership to step in,

run through this process, clarify expectations, give additional feedback, hold people accountable, like that is important in our workplaces for professional conduct to thrive. But we don't have to wait for everybody to get their act together before we can feel safe and we can maintain our own wellbeing in the workplace. It is because we are still believing that these kinds of interactions are killing our wellbeing.

That we hide from it, that we gossip from it, that we, we gossip about it, that we ignore it, that we just wanna look the other way. It's because we think we are somehow protecting ourselves by doing that. And it feels super uncomfortable to get involved. I know that. But everything worth doing, everything that's gonna make a big difference is actually gonna feel a little bit uncomfortable at the start.

The more of these conversations that you're willing to have, the more of these conflicts you're willing to dive right into the middle of the less likely they are to keep recurring. Because as soon as it's, you get eyes on it, it's like anything else. As soon as you are aware that it is there, it loses its power. And as soon as we are aware that it's there and we start to call it out and we bring it to the surface and we have conversations about it and we've refuse to accept it as the norm,

then it really loses its power and people are actually, they feel seen. Even if those conversations are uncomfortable, just that somebody notices there is conflict and takes the time to listen to both sides and bring the parties together, that goes a long way toward resolving it for everybody. That's not gonna work a hundred percent of the time. I'm not gonna tell you that every single conflict in the world is gonna get resolved using this method,

because at the end of the day, each person in that conflict has individual choice. But this is the pathway. This is the way that you create opportunity for them to come together. And then as leaders within your organizations, you decide how long do they have to figure out how to work together toward the common mission and goals of your veterinary hospital. Set the expectations,

follow up, work your processes that you already have in mind. Don't let your own mind about drive a lot of fear about being short staffed or about making people angry. You know, are people pleasing? Nature. Don't let that kind of stuff drive your management and your leadership decisions because it will not move them in the direction that is of your ultimate vision and purpose of the hospital that you work in to begin with.

We have to be brave as leaders, we have to be resilient. We have to be willing to have uncomfortable conversations and to create places where other people can have uncomfortable, uncomfortable conversations with each other. That is part of how we actually learn to trust each other, is when we have these kinds of difficult conversations in a safe way where everybody has a place to be heard and we can find that common ground again,

the trust that's built through those kinds of interactions is exponential. The trust can be built so much more quickly than it is when it's then. I wouldn't even say it is built then it it, it's so much. It can be built so much more quickly in these kinds of situations, but it can be torn down in an instant when it's ignored. So some thoughts for you this evening as I finish up this episode for you that's gonna come out this week,

take a look around you. What conflicts exist? Who needs to know about it? Are you part of that solution? Are you the person who needs to bring this to the forefront and have those conversations with the parties involved? If you're resisting that, what are you afraid of? Is this your opportunity to find some courage to do a hard thing because you ultimately care about everybody who works there and the clients and patients that you see and you want the best experience for everybody involved?

Can you focus on that and have the scary conversations anyway? Are we clear enough in our policies and procedures on what kind of behavior is expected? Do we just need a refresher for everybody involved? What are the opportunities in front of you as we stop ignoring conflict within our veterinary hospitals and we stop gossiping about each other in our veterinary hospitals and we become more willing to escalate what we see to the appropriate level of management or leadership or if that's us,

we are willing to step into it. I promise you, the overall culture in our veterinary hospitals will improve. And as we create a culture of safety within our veterinary hospitals, the level to which we can serve our veterinary clients will expand exponentially. As a united team, we will do our best work, but as soon as one of our team members feels disrespected or unsafe,

the entire system falls apart. Something to ponder this week. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with a friend and I'll see you next week. Bye for now.