A communication manual especially for vets? Come on! I became a vet to make sick animals better, not to communicate with people?! Chances are, this is what’s going through your mind as you read the title of this book. But put that thought aside for the moment. This book is not suggesting that you move into another profession. This book helps you become a more well- rounded vet. A vet who is excellent with animals, and even better with people. The result? Clienthusiasm! In addition to healthy animals, you have delighted clients, contented co-workers and a practice prepared for the challenges of the future. That is all part of the fun of being a vet!
Also available in Dutch and Spanish editions.
Why this book?
This book helps you become a more well-rounded vet. A vet who is excellent with animals, and even better with people!
How is the book organised?
The book consists of four parts. In Part 1 we start with the basics: the building blocks and background. Good communication has a certain anatomy and is based on a number of principles. These are guidelines and models that provide you support in your communication endeavors – much like your knowledge of anatomy helps you neuter a cat. The first chapters cover these basic principles, as well as the practical rules that follow from them and the resources and tools available to you. The so-called “new media” are also discussed in this part of the book.
Part 2 takes a closer look at practice: practically oriented approaches to communicating effectively with your clients. Interpersonal communication is perhaps the most important communication tool you have as a vet. How can you fine-tune those exchanges so that both you and your clients are completely satisfied? Talking about money is an important part of that. Another is how to proceed when situations become charged and emotions run high, such as when delivering bad news or when confronted with anger or grief.
In addition to communication with clients, internal communication within the practice is an area of key importance. Part 3 of this book focuses on this aspect. One cohesive veterinary team, strong together… “Outside wins begin within.” We discuss issues such as, “How can you instill a sense of team spirit?” “How do you bring the right people on board?” “How do you get good employees to stay?” Furthermore, how do you deal with all of those other colleagues and advisors active in “your” market?
In Part 4, finally, we talk about the “outside world”. You and the society you operate in. Media has a tremendous influence in today’s society. Whether you like it or not, your image is largely determined by them. What if things get out of hand? “When the s*** hits the fan”, so to say. The ins and outs of communicating in a crisis are introduced.
Happy customers, satisfied colleagues and a veterinary clinic ready for challenges in the future.
Whether you are a small animal vet, a horse specialist or a livestock vet, your daily work involves many challenges, large and small. But the same is true of opportunities too.
About the authors
With great pride we present you “Communication in Practice, the vet’s manual on clienthusiasm.” We hope our ‘pracademic’ (practical and academic) handbook will inspire, motivate and help veterinarians all over the world to develop their knowledge, attitude and behavior regarding ‘communication’.
In today’s society, the status of animals is rapidly changing and with it the position of the vet. We are convinced that -in this changing world- ‘communication’ plays a key role. It’s therefore our deepest belief that education, training and scientific research on the subject of ‘communication’ –in all dimensions- is crucial for the future success of the entire veterinary community.
It all started with three individuals, passionate about communication in the veterinary industry. Based on the success of the Dutch version ‘Hoe laat ik mijn klanten kwispelen? ’ (released mid 2013) which was sold out in a couple of months, the authors received many requests for an international edition. Besides an English edition, a Spanish edition has been published in October 2014 and a Chinese edition is planned.
Roeland Wessels, Theo Lam & Jolanda Jansen
Roeland Wessels (1966) studied Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and then worked as a practitioner for five years in a number of mixed veterinary practices. In 2000, he made the switch to the corporate world, as senior communication advisor at Schuttelaar & Partners in The Hague for almost seven years. He then joined Imagro, a communication consulting firm in Ottersum, as a communication strategist. In 2008, Roeland established his own communication consulting firm, called St. Anna Advies, named after the street address of its branch office in Nijmegen. Roeland’s firm supports clients in the veterinary and agricultural sector both in the Netherlands and internationally, in developing communication strategies, advising on issue management and crisis communication, conducting communication training programmes and developing CSR policy (Corporate Social Responsibility). He is a teacher on the Vet School of Utrecht University and a regular speaker at networking events for veterinarians and other farm service providers. Roeland is married to Astrid Elsinghorst. Together they also run a companion animal veterinary practice in Nijmegen. Roeland and Astrid have two children, Willemijn and Pepijn.
Theo Lam (1960) studied Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. After graduation as a DVM, he continued his studies, gaining his PhD in 1996 with a thesis on mastitis on dairy farms with a low somatic cell count. In 1997, Theo left the university to start working as a practitioner. He was one of the twelve partners at the ‘De Graafschap Veterinary Services’ in Vorden. In 2006, Theo joined GD Animal Health in Deventer, where his main areas of focus were the UGCN (Dutch Udder Health Centre) and research on cattle. As of October 1, 2011, he was appointed professor of bovine mastitis management and milk quality at the Department of Farm Animal Health of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University. Since January 1, 2012, Theo has served as Manager of Research and Development at GD Animal Health. In addition to his work at the university and GD Animal Health, he holds a number of board positions related to animal health and veterinary medicine, as well as in religious and sport organisations. Theo is married to Christine Tjabbes. They have three sons: Thomas, Dirk and Maarten.
Jolanda Jansen (1983) studied Animal Sciences at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, specialising in Communication and Innovation Studies. In 2010, she gained her PhD degree from Wageningen University with a study on the impact of various communication strategies in achieving improved udder health in dairy cows. The results of Jolanda’s work have contributed to the success of the UGCN (Dutch Udder Health Centre) and produced new insights into effective animal health programmes. From 2010 to 2014, Jolanda worked as communication advisor for Wageningen UR Livestock Research, where she was responsible for the internal and external communications. Since 2010, Jolanda is employed as communication advisor for St. Anna Advies, and works in particular on projects that aim to motivate behavioural change, knowledge development and innovation in agriculture and the animal health industry. Jolanda is a regular speaker for businesses, veterinary practices and educational institutions, both in the Netherlands and internationally. Jolanda is engaged to Eric van der Hoeven and mother of daughter Femke.