Vet In Discussion With Horse OwnerThis month’s “Solutions For Success” question  

I’m technically very good at my job. I’m very detailed, very responsive but my client feedback is not always great and a reflection of my work. How do I connect with my clients?

Mike and Dean’s Answer:

This is a great question.  Thank you for stepping up and wanting to raise the bar to exceed your client’s expectation.

When we look at our work it can be separated into two pieces (A) Hard Skills and (B) Soft Skills…now being called Essential Skills.

The Hard Skills represent the skills needed to technically perform our jobs. For example: If you are a Veterinarian or Veterinary Tech,  the technical skills needed would be: Performing a thorough physical exam, diagnosing, prescribing a treatment plan, surgery, taking blood, clipping toenails, restraining an animal, etc.

The Soft (Essential) Skills represent how you connect with your patient and your client, how you communicate, how you are perceived. This is commonly referred to as Emotional Intelligence.

Here are three, easy tips to strengthen that connection to your clients:

1. Give the gift of LISTENING!

  • Listening is a powerful gift that you can give to another person
  • Be fully “present” to listen
  • Listen to people as powerfully as you listen to animals
  • Encourage the client to expand and continue…”say more about that”
  • STOP TALKING! We have two ears and one tongue, a gentle hint that we should listen twice as much as we talk

2. Be aware of your BODY LANGUAGE!

  • 7% Rule – Only 7% of communication is verbal, 93% is non-verbal ( 55% body language and 38% is tone of voice)
  • Assume a power pose to boost your confidence
  • Uncross your arms
  • Good posture, back straight but not rigid, relaxed shoulders
  • Lean in a bit, but be mindful of space


  • Likeability is the gateway to connecting with people
  • Smile, Smile, Smile
  • Be kind, show that you care
  • Be respectful
  • Be authentic