Q: How do I go about changing staff being negative all the time? They're good workers, but negative.
The first step is to figure out where the negativity is coming from as it rarely exists in a vacuum, says Kyle Palmer, CVT,
practice manager at Silver Creek Animal Clinic in Silverton, Ore.
"I've found that two things can create an environment for negativity—a failure to clearly and successfully model a positive
attitude and/or the existence of an authority figure in the practice who is knowingly or unknowingly providing validation
to those who have a negative thought," says Palmer.
Negativity in a veterinary practice is like a wildfire, says Palmer. It starts out as something small and can grow with just
a little fuel. Several little embers become a major fire. Once an employee's attitude has been validated by co-workers or
managers, it becomes a serious problem.
"Preventing or responding to this situation is rooted in creating a culture of positive energy and modeling a practice philosophy
that leaves no room for negativity," Palmer says.
For those few team members who really are just "bad eggs," send them packing as soon as possible. They represent the single
greatest threat to your practice's success. Your practice should be on fire with enthusiasm, not grousing and resentment.