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Personality: Neika Smessaert, RVT 

 April 12, 2018

I had a great conversation with Neika Smessaert about the importance of understanding your own personality traits and those of the people around you.

News flash: we aren't all wired the same. You knew that, of course, but have you ever really thought about why you respond to some situations differently than other people? ​

Neika worked for 20 years as a vet tech at an extraordinary animal hospital in South Bend, IN, before leaving to focus full time on her dog-training business, Vet Tech Coach. The owner of the practice ​was committed to helping each team member work toward their strengths and become a stronger team. 

In fact, the animal hospital even did Myers-Briggs testing of the employees so they could learn more about their personality types. The Myers-Briggs assessment looks at introversion/extroversion, how you like to handle information (sensing/intuition), how you make decisions (thinking/feeling), and your preference for structure (judging/perceiving).

Neika is an ESFP, which means extrovert/sensing/feeling/perceiving. Basically she's the fun lover of the group! As she described in our interview, having tendencies based on your personality type can explain behavior, but never excuses behavior. She can bring the fun without being a flake!

Neika Smessaert

​Neika Smessaert with Fry (l) and Gwen (r)

How did knowing more about behavior help the hospital be more productive? Well, it made everyone more self-sufficient, decreased conflict, prevented gossip, strengthened teams, and helped people understand how best to approach one another to get the results they wanted. That's a pretty big return on investment--and all it comes from a place of self-awareness and growth.

​What changes would you like to see in the way your team interacts? What chronic issues seem unresolvable? How could knowing a bit more about human behavior help?

Questions like these fascinate me. I love exploring the answers, looking for subtle insights, and helping people find practical solutions to their problems in my programs.


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