Ask your veterinary clients the right questions
No matter what part of the country you live in, it can often be a challenge to get people to tell you the truth—especially if they feel you will be hurt or take offense. Here's a simple yet effective way to dig down to the truth.
First, it's important to realize some of the reasons people avoid telling the truth. Consider these common reasons:
With these points in mind, the next step is to help clients feel safe so they can share the truth. Start by letting them know that you really do want the truth and that you won't be offended or hurt by it. Promise to use their input in a constructive and positive way to help improve matters in the future.Once you hear even a little bit of truth that's not completely couched in niceties, reward the person by thanking them for sharing their truth, and then dig a little deeper for the next rich vein. Something like, "Thank you for sharing that with me. I really do appreciate it and will take your comment to heart. What else could you share with me about the situation?"
Remember, don't try to defend your point of view or talk people into changing their minds. That will only serve to shut down the truth telling. If you feel yourself growing defensive, take a few deep breaths and remember the promise you gave them.
Once you feel like they've shared everything, sincerely thank them for having the courage to speak so honestly, and once more promise that you will use their comments constructively. Then, be sure you do so.