Friday, 9 December 2016

Maslow’s Hierarchy Part 2 – Your Role

This may be a philosophical view point but in essence I can only describe my personal view on trying to scale the pyramid. As suggested each of us will have a different emphasis and this will depend on stage of life, life experience, and any on any ascertained goals or desires. Whilst this may not be exclusively relevant to veterinary life I hope my view could be translated, bits poached or indeed rejected as fanciful by anyone.

In describing Maslow’s hierarchy I fairly firmly placed the emphasis on how the job or your employers can empower or provide an environment for personal and professional growth. In an altruistic environment this would be ideal but as we know and have experiences of, vet practices are not necessarily geared towards the actual vet. Richard Branson coined perhaps an idealistic view of his companies by saying “you need to train someone so well that they could leave, but look after them better so that they won’t.” If only. But if this isn’t the case, what should you do to keep striving?

There is a book by Rhonda Byrne called “The Secret” which highlights the Law of Attraction. This suggests that we all have the ability to acquire whatever it is that we want as long as we go about it the right way. I’m always extremely dubious of psychobabble but increasingly have the view that my actions, in combination with the right preparation, understanding and conditions means that reaching a defined goal can be achieved or at least pulled a little bit closer. I’ll give you another quote, this time from Henry Ford, “whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

In any practice, as a team member, you have a big contribution to make. You could define it specifically – conditions to understand, clients and colleagues to communicate with, drugs to order etc. But it is far simpler than that. A true team member will be someone whose behavior feeds positive energy. A strong belief in your ability to get “the job” done will allow you to be assertive, decisive, patient, reflective and supportive.

Your thinking will be empowered and you will find yourself in a position to move forward. Let me give you an example to mull over. In 1954 Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile. Medics claimed that running at such speed would make a persons’ heart explode. When Bannister broke the record in1954, thirty seven did it in 1955, and over two hundred in 1956. Belief was all it took.

Again, I hear you shout, what has this to do with the practicality of veterinary life? The answer is in “challenge.” The challenge to attain a better salary, to attain a directorship, to attain a certificate…… That challenge to you should be the challenge to everyone around you. A mutually beneficial relationship of worthy colleagues, substantial people, and recognized characters who gain from their investment in a positive, motivated you and you from them. You work openly toward your defined goal with honesty and positivity, and your associates aid you in that pathway reaping the benefits you bring.

It is true that such relationships can be hard to find, or be easy to lose and that any relationship is dynamic and the nature of give and take can change. Ultimately your input into the role and the output you receive may run its course. This is not failure, but simply a natural conclusion and it is, nor should be, a reflection on either party so long as effort and respect was maintained. Things will not always go to plan but these “things” are often outside of our control and influence. Losing sleep over them will simply make you tired.

The essence of the amble is this: allow yourself to be successful. Set a goal that is worthwhile to you, a goal that will stretch you while still being attainable, and that by reaching that goal you’ll be recognized as a more valuable person by your colleagues and more importantly by you. Relax the “have to” achieve thought process and change it to “allow yourself” to achieve.

Ben Sturgeon

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