by Carrie Jurney DVM DACVIM (Neuro)
I'm in the middle of training for a local suicide crisis hotline. More on that later. They are teaching us about listening. Last night, the instructor had us do an exercise that I really liked. How would your interactions change if you gave up on "being right"?
Being right feels so good. It's righteous- it's even right there in that word.
But does that feel lead us anywhere helpful? The answer I'm coming to is no.
It's not that I have to be wrong. It's not even that I won't express my point of view. It just changes the goal of the conversation.
It's easy to see where that fits in to my non-work life. Like, arguing with my husband- there is rarely a correct party. If we instead focus on the underlying feelings, and not on winning the argument- we actually get somewhere.
But can it fit in to my work life? I think it can. I think, as I teach a new class of interns, I see how much I've relaxed and I want to do it more. I'm not trying to win an argument with my clients anymore. I'm listening. I'm hearing what their concerns are. I'm making a suggestion, a recommendation if you will- they don't have to take it. It might not actually be right for them. It might be medically right, and still not right for them. The point is I let go of that part. That doesn't have to change my suggestion, but it does change how I present it and how I process it when its rejected. It takes the anger, and the righteousness, out of it.
So my friends, How would your conversations with your clients, your staff, everyone change if you gave up on being right?
The Admin Team of NOMV is a group of veterinarians dedicated to improving veterinary mental health.