Sample script: The power to let go: Asking a doctor to delegate

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Dec 01, 2007

You're the head technician at a flourishing practice. The hands-on owner is struggling to keep up with his rapidly expanding client base, and he often fails to delegate tasks to his team. Firstline Editorial Advisory Board member Sheila Grosdidier, BS, RVT, a partner with VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo., offers this script for addressing the owner, Dr. Committed:

You: Dr. Committed, I know you're devoted to providing your patients the best veterinary care, but you seem overwhelmed.

Dr. Committed: Well, I'm not used to a busier appointment schedule.

You: Actually, I feel this situation is more serious. Our practice isn't running smoothly, and this makes it difficult to provide consistent medical care and customer service.

Dr. Committed: I just can't keep up.

You: We'd like to help you. Delegating more responsibilities would allow you to work with more clients, encourage a higher level of medicine in our practice, and give clients many opportunities to feel connected to us. I'll make a list of each team member's skills, so you'll feel comfortable assigning further tasks. And we can review your preferred procedures and protocols at our next staff meeting. If you delegate a few tasks, we can test it for a few weeks and meet again to decide how it's working. How does that sound?

Dr. Committed: I guess we could try it.

You: Great! I thought we could start with these three tasks ...