Client communication has always been one of my favorite aspects of veterinary medicine. To study communication, this week we started a class that covers many aspects of the role of personalities in communication skills. Part of this study of communication involved a reflective look at our own personalities. We took time to inspect our own behavioral tendencies, our own interpretations of phrases, and even our attitudes that we (sometimes subconsciously) bring to school/work with us each day of our lives.
While categorizing the human experience into a bunch of figures on a bar graph may seem limiting, I took the experience with a grain of salt and a sense of humor. This resulted in me learning quite a lot about the way that others may interpret my personality.
Based on an some questions, I was categorized as the “Loyal Labrador” or, in other words, the “Idealist.” I couldn’t help but laugh a little. I could have called that without a quiz! During conflicts, people in this category may tend to focus on people’s emotions rather than facts. To me, this means that we tend to be interested in the emotional root of the conflict. We also tend to have small groups of very close friends rather than a large group of friends we see often. I was (happily) guilty of both of these assumptions.
The take-home message of this lesson was to be aware of how our own personalities can have an effect on other people. This will become very important once we get to clinics and interact with a variety of people. The point is not to edit our own personalities like we are lying to others, but to learn how to read situations and determine the best way to respond so that clients will feel involved and valued in the care of their animal.