What is your current position within the veterinary profession?
I am a Professor of Veterinary Pathobiology at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine.
Why do you think the VLI is an important organization for the veterinary profession?
Veterinarians must communicate on a daily basis with clients, colleagues, and students. To optimize our effectiveness, we must be self- and socially aware and develop the skills needed to manage both. Moreover, to optimally empathize with others, we must understand that we all have differing perspectives – active listening, observation, and avoidance of judgement are critical.
What are the top 3 things you learned during your week at VLE?
Too many to count, but here are a few off the top of the head.
As an extrovert, I need to listen better and give time for others to process. I need to ensure that I do not dominate the conversation or expect others to have my perspective.
Conflict involves two parties with specific needs – defining these needs is the first step towards resolution.
Choose happy and pay it forward.
How are you putting what you learned at VLE into practice on a daily basis?
We have devoted 10 sessions of our Comparative Medicine Program (a post-DVM lab animal medicine residency / graduate program) seminar series to concepts of servant leadership, emotional intelligence, communication and conflict resolution.
We have sent one resident to VLE and hope to send one per year.
Our program schedules an every other month get-together (we call it coterie advancement) for activities that balance fun, teambuilding and community service.
I am an active participant in our CVM’s orientation program which promotes development of transferable skills such as those I learned (and now practice) at VLE.