FIRSTLINE, Dec 1, 2008 - Firstline
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FIRSTLINE, Dec 1, 2008
Cover story
Overcome 4 common client excuses
By Katherine Bontrager
You've heard flimsy explanations for why pet owners can't comply. Climb above these "weak" reasons by getting down to the legitimate concerns.
Cut excuses to the core
It's your job to help pets, so it's also your job to help clients—without judging them.
Reacting the right way to a ridiculous excuse
When you hear a laughable excuse, laughing is the last thing you should do.
Team Building
How to take meetings from bland to brilliant
By Brian C. Conrad, CVPM
Lift your team meetings out of the doldrums with these creative ideas.
Loathe team meetings?
By Brian C. Conrad, CVPM
Hate is a strong word, but many employees truly do detest their staff-wide sit-downs. Learn to love team meetings.
Front Desk
Hiring secrets revealed
By Kerry Hillard Johnson
Try looking for team members everywhere—even if you're not the one doing the hiring.
Ask the Experts
Proper protocol for treating stray animals
By Caitlin Rivers
What's the protocol for stray and injured animals brought to a clinic? Who pays for treatment?
When to approach the boss about team conflict
By Cindy Adams, MSW, PhD
When should I go to my boss about a problem I'm having with a co-worker?
How to stop quick smoke breaks
By Phil Seibert, CVT
How do you stop employees from stepping out for a "quick" smoke break?
Encourage your staff to be career-seekers and not jobholders
By Ernest E. Ward Jr., DVM
How can I help my team become career-seekers and not jobholders?
Make a punctuality pact with team members
By Pam Stevenson, CVPM
How to handle chronic tardiness.
Team communication
Talking like cats and dogs
By Gabrielle Tompkins
When your team speaks, it might sound like a cacophony of meows and barks. Even if you're the lone feline-esque voice, you can still communicate. Just identify your verbal tendencies—as well as those of your co-workers—and strive to get along with the rest of the pack.
Pearls of Practice
Sample script: Talk to pet owners about behavior issues
By Dr. J.C. Burcham
Be sure to address pets' troubling behaviors.
Make goal setting a team project
Set monthly budget goals to meet and get the entire team involved.
Distract dogs so you can get out the door
Tricks to keep dogs from trying to run out the exam room door.
By the Numbers
7 ways to give thanks
Show clients you appreciate their business with these simple gestures.
Dear Firstline
Tame your beastly boss spotlight
A "beastly" boss caught on camera.
Web Exclusive
Do you howl, growl, whine, or purr?
By Liz Nartowicz
Take this short quiz to find out your communication style.
Behavior assessment checklist
To help clients see the signs of problem behavior, ask them to fill out this checklist.
A picture scavenger hunt
Employees will strategize and learn to work together during this team outing.
Efficiency Rules
Interactive map: 7 steps to a well-oiled workflow
By Liz Nartowicz
Follow these room-by-room tips to take wellness visits from start to finish in record time with record results.
Exam room assistant checklist
Use this checklist to make sure you discuss necessary care recommendations with clients during visits.
Exam room assistant checklist PDF
Use this checklist to make sure you discuss necessary care recommendations with clients during visits.

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