Communication Case Studies: Building Interpersonal Skills in the Veterinary Practice



Communication Case Studies: Building Interpersonal Skills for the Veterinary Practice, by Carolyn C. Shadle, PhD, and John L. Meyer, Ph.D., illustrated by Tim Savage

The reader will find fifteen cases illustrating typical workplace communication challenges and guidance on using cases for communication training. The book also serves as a primer on communication theory, verbal and non-verbal communication, rhetoric and the dynamics of small-group relations, with 64 tips for better communication.

See blogs for further help with interpersonal communication in the workplace.

This book was published by the American Animal Hospital Association. While it deals with communication challenges facing any organization, the entertaining and enlightening cases are specifically created to enable veterinarians and vet staff to improve retention and compliance and increase internal efficiency and satisfaction among staff members.

The cases and discussions provide expert insight to common situations and how to address them.

Enjoy the video below where we talk about the book:

We draw from and expand their content from cases we authored in the popular Trends magazine series “Communication Case Studies.”

Each case study encourages problem solving and discussion among staff that will improve customer relations, foster trust and promote clearer expression in all workplace interactions.



Authors Carolyn C. Shadle, PhD and John L. Meyer, PhD, have contributed to the Trends magazine series from the very beginning. In this first-of-its-kind book, they’ve included an expanded portfolio of case studies, along with their insights into each.

If some, or many, of these scenarios sound frustratingly familiar, then they’ve accomplished their objective of making the content as timely and relevant as possible. To set the stage for these case studies, Drs. Shadle and Meyer also provide a rimer on communication theory, nonverbal communication, and the dynamics of small-group communication. Finally, in an “action plan,” they offer sixty-four tips you can use today and throughout your working career, that will help you communicate more positively and with greater confidence.

These tips will not only help you solve problems but prevent many from happening in the first place. I encourage you to share this book with others on your team. Several of our readers have told me that they have used these care studies during staff meeting to engage their coworkers and share ideas about how to do a better job of communication with, listening to, and understanding one another. You can add to the fun by asking them to play the roles of the characters, performing as if on stage. As the authors say, “If you go as a group, you will enjoy the adventure all the more – and be likely to get along better.”

In today’s tough economy and increasingly competitive environment, veterinary practices are looking for ways to stand out and better serve their clients and patients. Many are offering new services or adding state-of-the-art technology. But there can be no substitute for a highly motivated team that communicates effectively and in which the team members care about one another. . . .

–Constance Hardesty, Editor in Chief, American Animal Hospital Association



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