Friday, 20 July 2018

Report writing: love it or loathe it?

"I hate writing reports."

"I've got strategies and templates to make report writing faster, but it's still my least favourite part of my job."

"I wish I could just train the dogs and the humans!"

Does any of that feel familiar?

Whether it's a plan for loose lead walking, or a full behaviour report - writing up the session is rarely our favourite part of the job!

I don't know about you, but my training didn't give me much in the way of report writing skills...yet I genuinely love writing action plans for clients. Last week I managed to include three pictures of Jack Nicholson from "The Shining" in an action plan to help a dog cope with visitors!

Why do you write "reports", and who are you really writing them for?
  • Is it notes and records for your own files? We do have a responsibility to keep notes on our sessions, log observations and concerns, and progress.
  • Are you writing a "report" for a vet so they know what we've found, recommended, and what the owner might ask them about?
  • Is it an assessment that evaluates the animal's behaviour, and offers the owner a range of options?
  • Or is it an action plan setting out exactly what you and the owner have agreed to do, how often and in what situations?
These are all very different beasts, and they shouldn't look the same!

If you feel disheartened about writing a report, it might mean you've lost sight of what you are writing, and who is going to benefit.

Personally, I think report writing is really important. My clients only have a couple of hours with me initially, then I need to them to get cracking on their own before our catch-up call and practical sessions. Even if I see them regularly, they'll still need a reminder to refer back to.

That "report" could be the inspiration that keeps them going between sessions, and provides the answers when they are struggling - all of which saves me extra emails and phone calls if I did a good job.

Some of you have asked about the different layouts and styles I use in my reports, and how I've made them fast and easy to write while still being effective.

So I'm delighted to announce the first in a new series of webinars designed to help you love all aspects of your job in behaviour - all about report writing.

We'll look at different types of reports, balancing content with ease of use and client buy-in, how to present them and learning to love the process.

Thursday 2nd August @ 7pm
(It will be recorded but you need to sign up to be sent the link afterwards)

Book here (don't forget to use your special discount coupon if you are a Penguin)

Book your space for happier report writing


Ultra-Canicross Runner, Firewalker, Clinical Animal Behaviourist

PS this is the new, revised version of this webinar, but here's a wee selection of what the last attendees had to say about the content
Would you recommend the webinar? Yes, definitely because it was very informative. The quality was good and I enjoyed seeing you in addition to the slides, it made the presentation more personable.
What was the most valuable part of the this webinar for you?  All of it!!
Would you class yourself as an experienced or novice behaviourist?  An experienced behaviourist, but I am not an organised person and I struggle with the running side of the business.

PPS I've committed to a whole series of webinars - there's sure to be something that would help you love your job a little more!
Click here to see them all

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