I’m one of the luckiest speech-language pathologists out there because I have some of the best colleagues. These clinicians, who I very affectionately call my friends, possess marvelous qualities that make them stand out amongst the crowd. They truly shine, but not necessarily because of what they DO do, but because of what they DON’T do. That sentence might sound a bit confusing, but bear with me; it’ll make sense once you keep reading. Here’s a collection of 3 things that great SLPs never do. It’s my hope that by highlighting the things they NEVER do, you will have the opportunity to evaluate yourself in a helpful manner that will allow you to stay on track towards becoming the best possible SLP that YOU can be.
1. Great SLPs never hide their mistakes.
The most effective SLPs will always be the first to tell you about the past speech therapy mistakes that they’ve made. They never try to hide their mistakes by acting as if they’ve never made errors before. Once a great SLP realizes that a mistake has been made, he/she takes full responsibility for their action or decision, corrects their error, embraces that learning experience, and then confidently moves on.
2. Great SLPs never resist learning new things.
The most effective of SLPs will always be the first to exclaim that they’re life-long learners who simply can’t get enough of new knowledge. They don’t believe in only “doing it the old way,” they actively seek out new approaches and ideas that could potentially change the lives of those that they work together with. These great clinicians understand that by taking the opportunity to learn new things, they’re showing those around them that they wish to keep growing as communication professionals.
3. Great SLPs never avoid seeking help.
The most effective of SLPs will always be the first to ask for help or seek out advice if he/she seems to be stuck. They don’t feel as if they’re failures when they search for support because they recognize that asking for help is a sign of educational maturity and it shows a clear commitment to the field of speech-language pathology. They want to be the best that they can be, so they never hesitate to reach out to a colleague to set up a brain storming session in hopes of better understanding the given problem.
In closing . . .
Great SLPs were not born great. Like everyone, they’ve had their fair share of ups and downs, but they keep moving forward; never falling behind. It takes a lot of learning, mistake making, and support to become great. So go on, keep makin’ mistakes, keep learnin’ new stuff, and always remember to ask for help whenever you feel you need it. Because, that’s exactly how you become a great SLP. Cool? Cool!