Liv Oginska: Being a Leader is Hard

In this week's guest blog post Liv Oginska of Human Savvy discusses why many feel being a leader is hard. Walking through her years of experience as both a vet and EQ coach, Dr Oginska will offer both insights and hacks for tackling those feelings of hardship as a leader. Read on to also find out how you can join the next human savvy league; with 10% off for PetsApp users.

What is the Most Difficult Part of a Leadership Role?

Whether it is "No matter how hard I work, I can NEVER make everyone happy" or "There’s always something new on my list - it never ends!" being a leader is tough and even more so in the world of veterinary. You've budgets to monitor, equipment that constantly breaks, difficult patient cases as well as a team of humans to motivate, support and be responsible for. All of this (and the rest) can have a hugely overwhelming impact on any person in a position of leadership.

Today, when I reflect on the last 3 years and hundreds of consultations that I had with multiple veterinary leaders around the world, it was these sorts of issues I heard repeated many, many times - in different words, but always with the same meaning. Over and over again as I replayed the conversations I came to the same conclusion every time: Most vet leaders have the best intentions and every day they do their very best, but sometimes they struggle with the humans and interpersonal dynamics in their workplace, as they simply do not have the proper support they deserve.

How Can We Make Leadership Roles Easier?

Expanding your emotional intelligence (EQ) with all its competencies can make your life SO much easier! In fact it is this realisation that has become the cornerstone of my mission. As an EQ coach and human advocate my mission is to support as many of my wonderful veterinary community as I can, by teaching not just those that feel a bit lost, but everyone the tools they need to develop their emotional competencies and master the difficult interpersonal interactions.

What is the Human Savvy League?

Realising that not everyone wants a one on one setting when it comes to support, I quickly realised that by gathering all together we not only enhance our emotional intelligence as individuals, but also get the opportunity to learn from one another by sharing our experiences, troubles and concerns with other leaders. This way everyone can grow through the mistakes of others as well as their own.

The Human-Savvy League is a support network between like-minded people who not only get coached together, but also start coaching one another. Initially starting out with fourteen brave and open-minded veterinary leaders who signed up to become “Savvies” the initiative has grown in leaps and bounds.

Testimonial for Human Savvy

Those joining the Human Savvy league will get a mini EQ-360 assessment with brutally honest feedback on their emotional intelligence skills. I can’t lie, on the arrival of the results there were tears - of happiness, as well as sadness and disappointment. But obtaining honest feedback from those you trust and respect not only reveals those blind spots we are maybe too ashamed to face but also highlights our strengths. Breaking down these elements allows us to move forward and rebuild.

Having a group setting to do this is hugely beneficial. The first time I saw one of the Savvies open up to admit their fears I also witnessed the rest of the group rush over to reassure them that, actually, they’ve been experiencing the exact same thing. And it's this psychological capital and social proof that you can utilise by stepping into the pure practicalities of what simply needs to be done:

1) Setting healthy boundaries

2) Defeating negativity in your workplace

3) Motivating and positively influencing your team

4) Mastering how you receive all feedback

5) Managing conflicts

6) Tackling your own inner voice

Where Can I Find Out More?

The new cohort of Savvies is coming! With our last session graduates now becoming this years supporting coaches and cheerleaders. Those signing up to this year's Human Savvy League will receive coaching on team dynamics and people-management as well as have the opportunity to engage in brainstorming sessions with like-minded people from all over the world.

If you'd like to learn more about Emotional Intelligence and how it can not only promote safer, happier work spaces but also contribute towards increasing elements such as staff retention watch: The EQ Advantage: Leveraging Emotional Intelligence for Innovation in Veterinary Culture The EQ Advantage: Leveraging Emotional Intelligence for Innovation in Veterinary Culture 🐙

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