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Friday, March 23 - BIG PICTURE SESSION - Betsy Charles, DVM, MA 8:30 am-5:00 pm

What Does it Take to Lead in Veterinary Medicine?  

Using the leadership ideas of Simon Sinek, discussion will revolve around the specific skills sets that are required of 21st century leaders.  This session will be an introduction to a new leadership paradigm for veterinary medicine, one that requires an understanding of the physiology behind connection and its importance for effective leadership of the veterinary team.

Self-Awareness for the Veterinary Professional

The current leadership model for veterinary medicine often involves the leader telling the team what to do.  Unfortunately, this model is not effective in the 21st century.  In order to be an efficient and successful leader today, the leader must know who they are and what they bring to the table.  This session will use the work of Dr. Brene Brown as well and other emotional intelligence experts to help participants better understand what makes them tick.

Am I a Leader or a Coach? (Parts 1 & 2)

We are working in veterinary practices that require a different skill sets than our colleagues who graduated back in the day. Command and control leadership paradigms no long work. These sessions will explore whether there is a difference between leadership and coaching and will combine skills from each domain to help participants develop an effect strategy for moving their teams from good to great. Participants will gain insight and understanding into different leadership theories as they relate to veterinary medicine; explore the concept of self awareness and its role in effective leadership; identify and practice specific behaviors that demonstrate effective leadership and influence; understand how to maximize coaching strategies in order to lead effectively; and practice applying the concepts to real life scenarios.



Correction by Connecting the Dots 

When you have a fire to put out (i.e., a team member does something wrong, for example) use the hose to put out the fire, but then sift through the ashes to figure out why the mistake was made in the first place, and how to keep it from reigniting.  We will take a problem and walk backward with it through the HR fundamentals:  policy manual, job description, performance evaluation, and more.  If the dots are not connecting, there is space for fires to take hold.

Managing Behavior: Yes, You CAN!
While you can’t change someone’s “attitude”, you CAN change their behavior.  “Attitude” is simply the mood we assume when seeing a certain type of behavior.  After all, if your team members behave appropriately, it is not important how they “feel”.  For example, how do you know when your team member is expressing compassion toward a client?  By their body language, tone of voice, position relative to the client.  Making your team aware of their behavior is the first step.
Rewards and Rehabilitation

“Catch them doing good” doesn’t just apply to parenting…and after all, isn’t management much like parenting?  Reward good performance and behavior, but be careful because another saying follows, “no good deed goes unpunished”, and rewards can backfire.  When problems do arise, the right thing to do is start with rehabilitation, and the legal world wants to see you take this step seriously.  Disciplinary action should only be used after all else fails, and used the right way will include steps to try and rehabilitate the team member.


Investing in Your Wellness for the Highest ROI (Return on Investment)

Every person involved in veterinary medicine is trained to take care of others, including patients, clients and colleagues. The challenge is that this constant caregiving can be at your personal expense. You talk with clients about the importance of patient wellness, but don’t often teach or live personal wellness.


  • Develop the mindset of “self care isn’t selfish”
  • Learn why personal wellness impacts professional return on investment
  • Understand why you deserve to THRIVE in life, love and career

Creating YOUR Personal Wellness BluePrint

Simply saying you are going to work on yourself isn’t enough. You need a plan with actionable steps. In this session we will work through the steps to creating your wellness blueprint: your High Performance LifePrint. We discuss topics ranging from sleep and stress management to strategizing work-life balance.


  • Understand the steps of our LifePrint, a blueprint to personal wellness
  • Begin to develop your High Performance LifePrint
  • Implement at least one step in your High Performance LifePrint

The Lifestyle Friendly Veterinary Career

The veterinary profession is highly rewarding and simultaneously stressful and demanding. The learning curve is steep and continues throughout your career; it has been shown that compassion fatigue, burnout and bullying are commonplace. Some are shying away from entering veterinary medicine for fear of becoming just another statistic, working hard and feeling that their lives didn’t make a difference, and that they didn’t get to enjoy life. This session will give strategies to recognize unhealthy behaviors and tips to combat them.


  • Move past the question “Is this all there is for me in Veterinary Medicine?”
  • Understand the need for work environments that foster self-care and personal growth
  • Learn to recognize the signs of fatigue, stress and fear in your colleagues

The Extraordinary Teams Workshop - Jeff Thoren, DVM, PCC, BCC and Peg Thoren, MEd, BCC

What sets extraordinary teams apart from the rest? Yes, extraordinary teams have the ability to achieve tangible results. But what makes them so spectacular is that they do something ordinary teams cannot: They cultivate an exciting, collaborative environment that’s built upon mutual trust, respect, and engagement. As team members, individuals experience a positive personal change – and that means your organization reaps the benefits of better team performance and employees with increased skills, connections, loyalty, and enthusiasm for their work. In this session, you will look through the lens of exceptional teaming and learn how to lead, facilitate, and coach teams to their highest potential.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn eight critical performance indicators of extraordinary groups and teams.
  • Explore three keys to successful team transformation.
  • Consider what individual team members need to produce an extraordinary team experience.
  • Assess your group or team’s strengths and opportunities for improvement.
  • Identify ways to enhance group alignment, accountability and performance.
  • Gain insight about your behavior as a leader or an individual team member and how it can boost (or hinder) your team’s performance.


Approved Credit Hours:

CVPM Approved

The VHMA/CVPM Certification Board has approved THRIVE 2018 as applicable toward the CVPM continuing education requirement for 12.50 continuing education credits. VHMA approved course ID 18-02.  (Friday = 6.50 hours; Saturday = 6.00 hours)









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