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Difficult conversations and empathy

Dr Kristen Reyher talks about the importance of empathy and reflective language when having difficult conversations with clients.

Now you have understood the stages of change (step 3.13) and how to improve general conversation with clients (step 3.14), Kristen Reyher will explain how motivating lasting change can be achieved even in the hardest of situations. This video will demonstrate the importance of empathy, and it will show you the need for reflection when having a difficult conversation with a client.

There will be times in veterinary practice where you will face challenging conversations with clients, perhaps when faced with a poor clinical outcome or needing to confront suboptimal management practices. Reflection and empathy are needed so that the client feels respected and you can maintain a positive relationship with them.

The key points from the video are as follows:

  • Empathise with clients and use reflective statements.
  • Evoke their point of view with open questions.
  • Surrender the expert role so the client can have their say.
  • Share your thoughts with the permission of the client.

Using these ideas, you will be able to reassure your client that their views are respected, while also working together to find effective solutions to move forwards.

What do you think is the most important thing to remember when having difficult conversations with clients? Why is it important in relation to AMS? Use the comments section to discuss.

Motivating lasting change within clients is vital, but it is not the only place where change has to occur. In the next step, you will be given some tools for change that can be applied to your local practice. Clinicians have to work together to implement AMS, and the next step will help teach you how to do this.

Please find a downloadable copy of the PowerPoint slides used in the video in the downloads section below.

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Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Practice

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