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Emotional Intelligence

Home Improvement Using Myers Briggs Preference

By | Emotional Intelligence | No Comments

One dreary winter in North America during some of the most frigid temperatures the Polar Vortex blew our way, we chose to maintain our constantly running toilet as a (likely misguided) attempt at keeping our pipes from freezing. A constantly running toilet = a faucet on drip?! SURE!?


Once we were defrosted and on the more sunny side of the seasons, and in a fit of active procrastination (I most certainly should be studying for boards), I decided it’s high time to fix our toilet.


A few things you should know before this story unfolds. I’m an ENFP. My spouse is an ISTJ. I’ll also have you know I have a background in drafting, was raised by a carpenter, and feel strongly that, for better or worse, I have a knack for “seeing how things ought to go together.” (The latter most clearly asserting my iNtuition preference with a sprinkle of Feeling.)


With this ill-advised and free-form confidence in minor home repairs, I often make claims about the “ease of a project” and can usually be found stating something along the lines of, “should be no big deal.”


I examined the inter-workings of the tank assembly, looked up a YouTube video (honestly only watched about ⅓ of it before determining this was most definitely no big deal), and headed out to Ace Hardware with every intention of fixing our toilet.


If you’ve ever done a project of any magnitude, there is never just one trip to the home improvement store. This project was no exception. Two trips in, I’ve completely replaced every aspect of the inner workings of the tank as well as the water line. Let’s be real, I was feeling great at this point! Unfortunately, though, there was a persistent and pesky leak. From taking it all apart and putting it back together a minimum of 17 times, I was certain it was a big gasket that connects the tank to the bowl that was the problem.


At this point, I had been at it for around 2-ish hours and was definitely ready for a break as I felt myself bordering on hangry. I call Jason into the bathroom to proudly display my progress and expertly proclaim my near certainty of the part necessary to fix the leak complete with prop demonstrations. We decided leaving the house to get dinner was best, plus we can stop on the way home to get the final part to literally seal the deal.


At this point, I sat down and examined the directions. (Yes, for the first time.) In doing so, I note a small area of text that mentions if you have a Gerber toilet, you will have to buy a special oversized Gerber tank-to-bowl gasket. I look and confirm that we, in fact, have a Gerber toilet!! A rush of righteous joy washed over me and I walked out to share this awesome news with Jason. Wide eyed and still holding the directions I start, “I was just reading the directions…”


He cut me off. “You were just now reading the directions?”


We had a good long laugh about it. A situation that so perfectly epitomizes my approach to many of life’s tasks, that demonstrates the reason he and I are a good pair, how we all need balance, and that without a doubt screams my preference for iNtuition.


In what ways do you find yourself living up to your MBTI preference(s)?


You are Only Confined by the Walls You Build Yourself

By | Emotional Intelligence, Inspiration | No Comments
I have mixed emotions when I think about attending Veterinary Leadership Experience (VLE), hosted by the Veterinary Leadership Institute, again.

As a first-year DVM student at the University of Sydney, I was lucky enough to be selected to attend VLE 2016. I had no idea what to expect from this week-long camp, which helps people “learn the skills necessary to be healthy and resilient so they can become people of positive influence”, but I do know that it was life changing, in the ‘how do I even put that into words’ kind of way. There are some things in life that we don’t know how much we need them until we find them – that’s exactly how I felt about VLE 2016.

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Balance is Key

By | Emotional Intelligence | No Comments

I’ve always been told that I am an extrovert. Because talking to any number of people comes with relative ease to me, I decided my friends and family were right and so adopted that label as I began to decide who I was. Until attending VLE in June of 2016, I had never doubted that “extrovert” described me in a word. However, a unique opportunity arises when you are put into a situation that pushes you to become very honest with yourself and a group of people you’ve never met before. I suppose it’s a blessing for some and a curse for others; you can be who you really are or invent a completely different person because these people come together not knowing what type of person you are.

By the time puberty hits, everyone knows which kids at school are “outgoing,” “bossy,” and/or “confident.” These are assumed to be the extroverts. I was one of those. The introverts were the “shy” and “quiet” ones. The thing is, regardless of how much time I could spend talking and how many friendships I believed I had, I didn’t realize that this constant buzz of activity was really draining me. I didn’t realize it until some glorious human being at VLE described introverts and extroverts in terms of how they re-energize. All of a sudden, things came together. I knew that I still enjoyed sharing time with people and hearing their stories, but at the end of the day, I wanted to be alone. Whereas throughout college I would feel obligated to go out with my friends for fear of being the “hermit,” at VLE I felt immediately free to decide who I wanted to be. The comfort of being around people who truly care about you but at first don’t know who you are at all was an invitation to reassess myself. The first night there, I went to my cabin and did a puzzle with a roommate. The me in college would have gone to Capone’s to meet everyone else.

Why do I feel guilty about wanting to stay in? Do others feel the same pressure to always be “on”? Is it because I decided to adopt who the people I trust and love think I am without considering whether it truly reflected how I prefer to function? I tell myself it’s indulgent to watch the TV show I like while my good friends are getting together for wine. Sometimes I find myself making excuses relating to work or family obligations when social plans come up because telling someone “I need some time for myself” feels selfish. I think many of us feel the same guilt as professionals or students when we need “me” time but know that others are looking to us as the group motivators, leaders, and organizers. It’s not something that’s easily navigated, but a little self-assessment every day will help me embrace the introvert I really am. With anything, though, balance is key.

Self-listen, self-love.

Lead With Your Strengths

By | Emotional Intelligence, Inspiration, Wellness

Let’s all just take a little breather for a second.

We’re in a rat-race. There’s no doubt about that. And if you’re reading this, chances are you know that some self-management is pretty critical to maintaining that work-life balance we all covet so much.

Part of the reason that striking that balance is difficult is that we are all, quite literally, trying to do everything at once. We’re marketing. We are strategizing. We’re making decisions. We’re beating our competitors. We’re caring for our client
our colleague’s, and our family’s emotions. And on top of that…medical decisions at the drop of a hat.

We are literally trying to do it all. And it has to stop.

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Clydesdale Leadership

By | Emotional Intelligence, Inspiration | No Comments
Remember the Budweiser commercial where the young Clydesdale tries to pull the cart and because it’s not strong enough to do so, two adults push it? Suddenly the cart starts to move and, without being too anthropomorphic, you can feel the satisfaction of the young colt when it achieves its goal.   It’s a heartwarming commercial that makes me tear up every time. InBev, the owner of Budweiser, produced that commercial purely to market its product. At VLE the commercial is shown not because it’s cute, contains some incredible animals or an attempt to sell beer. The commercial depicts a perfect message of Servant Leadership.

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Coffee to sugar ratio

By | Emotional Intelligence, In Practice | No Comments

I was on call over the weekend and met my husband, Tim the other day for breakfast. We got our usual coffees and omelets. I’m a bit particular when it comes to my coffee and had managed to add just the right amount of sugar. When the blonde waitress in her 50’s came around for refills, I stopped her and proclaimed with a smile that I didn’t want to alter my “perfect coffee to sugar ratio”.

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Garage Door

By | Emotional Intelligence

As I sit here this morning getting ready to welcome the participants of the 2013 VLE powered by the AVMA-PLIT, I am reminded of my own experience as a participant. Though it was 2 years ago, I use the lessons learned on a daily basis. We often hear that the event is “life-changing.” Based on my experience, I would say what really happens is the VLE gives participants the tools necessary to change their own lives. It is a subtle but important difference, as I believe you have to change your own life. Read More