Seminar Catalogue

About Our Seminars

Our seminars provide a fun and engaging environment where you can develop your leadership skills, explore social change strategies, innovate solutions for building clinic capacity and capability, and more!

The content of these seminars was developed over several years by lead Emancipet staff, mostly in response to our own internal challenges as we grew and added new clinics, and also to help the many other organizations that reached out to us over the years for support.

Our Full Seminar List

You can check out descriptions for all of our seminars below, or view the schedule and register here!


Vet to Leader:
Leadership & Management Skills for Veterinarians

(formerly Veterinarian to Leader: Leadership Skills for Medical Directors)

Designed specifically for veterinarians (from new grads to Medical Directors and shelter med experts) this course zeroes in on the unique leadership challenges that veterinarians face as they supervise staff, often report to a non-vet CEO, and juggle their medical and management responsibilities.

For two content-packed days, attendees will put aside veterinary and technical issues and focus on what it takes to practice effective leadership. You’ll hone your communication skills and explore concepts related to self-awareness and the power of responding instead of reacting. You’ll use proven tools to assess your conflict style and your strengths when it comes to how you think about and do your work. The carefully designed and thoughtfully facilitated setting provides a fun and safe environment for participants to improve their skills and connect with colleagues tackling similar challenges and opportunities.

This seminar is RACE Approved for 14.25 CE hours.

Who Should Attend: Any veterinarian interested in exercising effective leadership and managing staff successfully.

If any of these sound familiar, this might be the seminar for you:

  • You struggle to balance your expertise in veterinary medicine with your involvement in non-veterinary issues that arise in your clinic or shelter?
  • You’re confident in your skills and knowledge as a vet, but feel under-prepared and adrift when it comes to people management.
  • The idea of tackling performance issues with a co-worker, colleague, or direct report makes you want to lock yourself inside the supply closet!
  • You’re certain there are tools out there to make the parts of your job that you’re less comfortable with better; you’re just not sure where to start or how to make heads or tails of the options.

By the end of this seminar, participants will have:

  • Defined the term “organizational culture”
  • Discussed and differentiated between formal and informal authority and between authority and leadership
  • Explored the differences between coaching and controlling and practiced skills to facilitate the former
  • Identified their own Conflict Mode and investigated how it differs from others
  • Reflected on the 4 Needs of Followers and their strengths and challenges in meeting those needs
  • Delved into the concept of employee engagement and considered their own level of engagement in their work and organization
  • Explored the Four Domains of Strengths-Based Leadership and participated in an activity to illustrate the differences and complementary nature of each
  • Practiced giving effective feedback and deploying Radical Candor
  • Outlined a change roll-out
  • Discussed the dynamics of the ED/MD relationship

Upcoming Dates:

  • October 2-3, 2019 in Davis, CA (hosted by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine).

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Beyond Spay/Neuter:
Why You Need a Low-Cost Healthy Pet Clinic & How to Build It

In many communities the model of providing spay/neuter, possibly with an optional vaccine or two and a microchip included at the time of surgery, is no longer enough. In this seminar, Emancipet will provide participants with lessons learned, best practices and budgeting tools for adding and managing low-cost vet care to your organizations services. The inclusion of an affordable public “Healthy Pet” clinic component at many shelters and spay/neuter organizations would begin to close the gap in services to lower income and underserved families. The benefits of offering these services are myriad, and their inclusion into communities in need will increase the basic level of pet health literacy, in many cases effectively keeping healthier animals in happier homes. The seminar is limited to 14 attendees per session.

Who Should Attend: Medical directors, executive directors, CEOs, COOs, and senior managers of spay/neuter clinics or shelters.

By the end of this seminar, participants will have:

  • Understood the difference between Social Good and Social Change
  • Outlined the process of Design Thinking
  • Used the exercises in the IDEO Toolkit to bring design thinking to their program
  • Described the Patient Safety Pyramid
  • Defined Tier 1 Services at Emancipet
  • Described the Training Compact
  • Used budgeting and service selection criteria to design their program

Upcoming Dates: TBD

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Big Impact:
Designing Thinking for Social Change Makers

Same old, same old not working so well anymore? Feel like your organization or its programs are somehow disconnected from or failing to reach the people you’re most wanting to serve? Worried about the pace of change and your organization’s capacity to stay relevant and impactful? Then these two-and-a-half days were designed for you.

As we pioneer programs, services, and messages for new populations, especially lower-income and under-served pet owners, we have the opportunity to create real and lasting social change — to completely transform our communities’ attitudes and behavior patterns when it comes to pet care and critical issues like spay/neuter. However, in order to be effective in this work, we need to deepen our understanding of the art and science of social change by learning from other movements and social innovation strategies.

Starting with an introduction to the principles and tools of social change theory, this seminar will transition to both an overview – and a real-time implementation of – the powerful concepts and tools of design thinking(human/user-centered design). We’ll explore the shifting landscape of animal welfare – with a focus on the increased demand for accessible and affordable services for the owned pets in our communities.

Who Should Attend: Ideally, a team of 2 to 3 people from your organization that includes some combination of your Executive Director, CEO, COO, department heads, team leads, or senior managers. Solo attendees are welcome, and should be prepared to be grouped with others to take advantage of peer consultation and synergy.

If any of these sound familiar, this might be the seminar for you:

  • You’re dedicated to maximizing impact and believe that serving your community well is an obligation of a donor, tax-payer, or grant funded operation.
  • You’ve been concerned at one time or another that perhaps your organization hasn’t evolved with the changing needs of your community.
  • You want to bring a fresh perspective to existing programs or to new challenges and opportunities faced by your organization.

By the end of this seminar, participants will have:

  • Discussed the differences between the concepts of leadership and authority
  • Explained the differences between social good and social change
  • Discussed the nature of problems and distinctions between the adaptive and technical challenges
  • Crafted powerful questions to explore and identify the root causes of social problems
  • Used the tools of human centered design to inform the development of programs, services, and messaging
  • Deployed techniques to better engage and listen to the people they hope to serve
  • Tried on the mindsets of Social Change Makers
  • Practiced design concepts to address real life challenges in their current work context
  • Identified some of the social messes and wicked problems facing animal welfare
  • Explored the role of empathy in understanding social challenges and how to effect social change

Upcoming Dates: TBD

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Community Outreach for Social Change:
Effective Engagement Strategies for Spay/Neuter

Between walking 10 miles a day knocking on doors and making human (and animal!) connections in their communities, our outreach specialists are in shape, in love with what they do, and excited to share about their experiences in the field. In this one day seminar, developed specifically for “boots on the ground” spay/neuter and veterinary care outreach specialists, attendees will learn the tried and true practices that have worked for Emancipet and other leading organizations, as well as hear about some of the mistakes we have made and lessons we have learned from them along the way. We will spend time talking about WHERE to be, WHAT to say, and HOW to say it.

Attendees will receive information about:

  • what services to offer for maximum efficacy
  • choosing communities to serve and making inroads there
  • pet owners who have not sought out spay/neuter or vet care for their pets and what the barriers are
  • how people make decisions about new messages
  • road tested tactics for reaching clients who are not seeking your services
  • verbal and non-verbal communication techniques
  • effective messaging

Attendees will watch short videos and participate in fun, interactive activities that will immediately improve their confidence and ability to discuss important issues and form a connection with all kinds of pet owners – from those who believe that they already have the information that they need, to those who are eager to learn.

Who Should Attend: Outreach program managers, spay/neuter outreach professionals, community engagement specialists, community advocates including anyone who is frequently working in underserved communities and talking to about spay/neuter and veterinary care.

Upcoming Dates: TBD

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Courageous Leadership:
Managing Change & Making a Difference

The idea that leaders are born and not made? Well that’s just hooey. Sure, some folks are more inclined to exercise leadership than others. But the idea that it’s because they were born to be leaders ignores the fact that a.) leadership is a practice – an exercise – not a title, role, or position, and b.) what we often confuse for leadership is actually the exchange of power (for service) better known as authority. Is charisma a useful tool? You bet. Can strong public speaking skills move people? Of course. Are either of those things the exercise or practice of leadership? Not even a little bit.

Over the course of two-and-a-half days, we’ll explore these ideas, rumble with our our hang ups and resistance, and work on a definition of leadership that resonates for ourselves. We’ll bring case studies to the table and consult with our peers to dig into our own real-life leadership challenges, and we’ll spend time acknowledging and grappling with the risks and dangers associated with practicing real leadership. You’ll emerge with powerful new insights, skills, and readiness to manage change, tackle wicked problems, and exercise thoughtful and effective leadership with courage and caring.

Who Should Attend: Executive directors, C-Suite executives, senior staff, and individuals interested in a deep dive into a theory of leadership that’s about progress and not personality.

If any of these sound familiar, this might be the seminar for you:

  • Are you someone who’s been called a “leader” but has ever doubted that you’re “doing it right?”
  • Have you ever had direct reports or staff look to you for an answer or direction and feel like anything other than certainty and taking charge would be unacceptable (or even risky)?
  • Have you ever worried that you’re not charming, articulate, or outgoing/outspoken enough to ever be the “leader” you want to be – even though you’ve held positions of authority for years?
  • Are you someone that’s dedicated to growth, change, impact, and doing good work in the service of others?

By the end of this seminar, participants will have:

  • Explored the distinctions between WHAT we do, HOW we do it, and WHY we do it
  • Articulated personal and organizational WHY statements
  • Discussed the nature of change, people’s perceptions of it, and why it seems to be so hard (hint: loss)
  • Differentiated between those problems that are technical in nature and challenges that are adaptive or require changes in belief, behavior, and, perhaps, even sense of self
  • Clarified the distinctions between authority and leadership
  • Rumbled with the adaptive leadership framework and confronted what leadership means here and in our day-to-day lives
  • Engaged in self-reflection and core values discovery
  • Presented a current challenge and received input and feedback from our peers
  • Provided thoughtful input and feedback to their peers on their current challenge
  • Considered the impact of personal hungers and the ways we stay alive through the risks of exercising leadership

Upcoming Dates: TBD

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Customer Service for Social Change:
How to Talk About Spay/Neuter Effectively

One of the biggest questions people ask us is “How do you convince people to spay or neuter their pets?” Most often, it’s less about what you say than how you say it! This one-day seminar is for any staff member of an organization who routinely discusses the importance of spay/neuter and veterinary care with pet owners and wants to improve their communication skills and confidence in having “the conversation.” The session will empower attendees by spending time both on WHAT to say, and HOW to say it.

Attendees will receive updated, clear, and factual information about:

  •  research about pet owners who have not yet altered their pets and what the barriers are
  •  the true medical benefits and risks or “myths and facts” about the procedure
  •  the facts about pediatric spay/neuter and its benefits
  •  the current state of animal homelessness in the US

The rest of the seminar will focus on the “how” – communication techniques, effective messaging, non-verbal communication, and forming a connection with pet owners to make space for the conversation. Attendees participate in fun, interactive activities that immediately improve their confidence and ability to discuss this important issue with all kinds of pet owners – from those who already believe in spay/neuter to those who have never sought it out. They will come back to their clinics re-energized about their work, and as more informed spay/neuter advocates and more effective, compassionate communicators overall.

Who Should Attend: Customer service, technicians, anyone talking to potential clients about spay/neuter.

Upcoming Dates: TBD

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Fund Your Work by Focusing on Your Why

Emotionally evocative images and stories work. They also have the complicated potential side-effect of creating and supporting a narrative that might be our biggest obstacle in raising funds to do impactful work. As many of our organizations shift to serving more low-income pet owners and keeping pets healthy and at home, the stories we’ve told about people in the past might be presenting a challenge in the present – as our frequent focus on cruelty and neglect may have reinforced the idea that if you can’t “afford it,” you shouldn’t have a pet. But affordability is neither constant nor straightforward. As we increasingly turn our efforts to not just bringing – but keeping – people and pets together, that narrative may no longer serve us well.

This seminar will make the case for a purpose-driven approach and provide some tools to try it out. Over two days, we’ll:

  • Examine our field’s historical and current approach to communication and fundraising
  • Explore the powerful differences between an organization’s what, how, and why
  • Consider the key components of organizational identity
  • Develop an “identity doc” for our work and translate that identity into practice
  • Practice storytelling and identify the most effective elements for moving people with authenticity and dignity
  • Craft compelling messages in real-time

Who Should Attend: This seminar is intended for organizational leadership, development and fundraising staff, marketing and communication staff, and anyone interested in turning the things you believe into compelling messages to attract support.

If any of these sound familiar, this might be the seminar for you:

  • You find yourself constantly wondering how to shift away from the sad and toward more hopeful fundraising and marketing messages.
  • You feel like you could really break through the noise if you could just get some clarity about what your organization truly stands for.
  • Your organization’s mission statement includes multiple bullet points, is over 250 words long, and no one in your organization can recite it with even remote precision.

Upcoming Dates: TBD

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Great Culture, Great Results:
Building & Sustaining Healthy Organizations from the Inside Out

Peter Drucker is famously thought to have said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” We couldn’t agree more with the sentiment. Time and again we’ve witnessed and experienced the reality of the internal culture of an organization impacting its capacity to deliver on strategy and mission. It’s no wonder that unhealthy culture leads to disengaged staff, higher turnover, and unhappy clients – all of which make it difficult for an organization to stay focused on goals and program priorities. On the other hand, healthy culture fuels the fire of mission and makes the seemingly impossible become believably possible (and more fun). This two-day seminar engages participants in the exploration of specific tools and systems that can be put to use right away in order to assess and increase employee engagement, successfully hire for culture fit and values alignment, manage for a healthy workplace culture, and even help people that are in the wrong position move on from the organization compassionately.

Who Should Attend: Executive Directors, CEOs, COOs, and senior managers of any animal welfare organization with an interest in building and sustaining a healthy culture or who have struggled with any of the challenges listed above.

If any of these sound familiar, this might be the seminar for you:

  • Your employee turnover is higher than Mt. Kilimanjaro.
  •  You’ve recently thought “fingers crossed” about a new hire that you were unsure about.
  •  Alliances among staff change more frequently than in an episode of Game of Thrones.
  •  You blew your yearly pizza budget in 4 months because it’s the only thing that seems to make staff happy – and it doesn’t last very long.

By the end of this seminar, participants will have:

  • Clarified a personal “why” that pertains to the work they do
  • Conducted a personal core values inventory and identified 4 key core values
  • Gained an understanding of what culture is and how it affects organizational success
  • Conducted an engagement self-assessment using the Q12
  • Identified the symptoms of both engaged and disengaged employees
  • Discussed leadership as an exercise of practice and differentiated between the concepts of leadership and authority
  • Learned how to make and hold space for tending to and nurturing a healthy culture
  • Accessed tools to hire, train, and manage for culture
  • Practiced active and curious listening
  • Honed communication skills by practicing difficult conversations and reflecting on how to respond and not react.
  • Articulated and committed to at least one specific action upon return to work that will support a healthy culture

Upcoming Dates: TBD

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Next Generation Leadership:
Creating & Holding Space for Success

(formerly Next Generation Leadership: Skills for Emerging Leaders)

There’s no question that effective leadership is critical to the future of animal welfare. As our field evolves, organizations and people who nimbly manage change will realize greater impact, a more engaged workforce, and increased progress toward achieving their mission. By understanding and exercising adaptive leadership, managers, directors, and executives can position their teams and organizations for new levels of success. This seminar is for any leader and any organization that wants that edge.

Participants will explore the concept of leadership as a practice, will tackle the distinctions between leadership and authority, and will leave equipped with a deeper understanding of how to harness their strengths and focus on hard to solve challenges. Our facilitators and content design will provide the opportunity to learn and practice new skills in people management, servant leadership, and change management.

Who Should Attend: Anyone on a management career track, experienced managers, and folks eager to expand their skills and deepen their understanding of leadership concepts and principles.

If any of these sound familiar, this might be the seminar for you:

  • You’ve always thought leadership was about charisma and personality, but you’re beginning to wonder if there’s more to the equation.
  •  You can easily define what leadership isn’t, but have a harder time clearly articulating what it is.
  •  You’re a pretty good manager of people, and you’re ready to step up your game and start managing change.

By the end of this seminar, participants will have:

  • Defined the term “organizational culture”
  • Discussed the differences between technical problems and adaptive challenges as well as how to identify and respond to both
  • Explored the nature of authority and identified the characteristics of formal and informal authority
  • Listened to an explanation of the Adaptive Leadership framework and compared it to more traditional understandings of leadership
  • Investigated the natures of change and its relationship to loss
  • Thought about and articulated their personal core values
  • Explored the Four Domains of Strengths-Based Leadership and participated in an activity to illustrate the differences and complementary nature of each
  • Identified their own Conflict Mode and investigated how it differs from others and may shift based on context
  • Engaged their colleagues in thoughtful and productive dialogue

Upcoming Dates: TBD

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So, You’re a Manager Now:
Tools to Become a Better Supervisor

You’re great at your job. People like you. Things are changing. And voila! You’re a manager now. Sound familiar? Lots of us have been there – some recently and some more than a few moons ago. The missing element in our path? Training! And that’s why this seminar exists. These two days arefor folks who are new to managing people or who’ve been at it for awhile but are yearning for a little skills refresh. We’ll spend a little time distinguishing between formal and informal authority, and then lean in to develop practical skills to make your life – and the lives of those you work with – better.

Participants will explore and practice skills and tools to communicate more clearly, deliver effective and useful feedback, assess employee engagement, and meet the needs of direct reports in meaningful ways.

Who Should Attend: Anyone on a management career track, new managers, and folks who’ve been supervising or managing for years and are eager to refresh or expand their skills.

If any of these sound familiar, this might be the seminar for you:

  • You’ve got subject matter expertise in the day-to-day of your job, but you’re totally winging it when it comes to supervising staff.
  • The idea of giving feedback makes you want to hide in the mop closet.
  • You’ve got direct reports who were once peers (or friends!)
  • You’re committed to helping the people who report to you do and be their very best.

By the end of this seminar, participants will have:

  • Differentiated between formal and informal authority
  • Explored the differences between coaching and controlling and practiced skills to facilitate the former
  • Reflected on the 4 Needs of Followers and their strengths and challenges in meeting those needs
  • Delved into the concept of employee engagement and considered their own level of engagement in their work and organization
  • Practiced giving effective feedback and deploying Radical Candor
  • Engaged their colleagues in thoughtful and productive dialogue
  • Tried out practices meant to cultivate the capacity to respond and not react
  • Translated key concepts into observable behaviors in order to more effectively serve their direct reports
  • Designed questions and practiced asking them
  • Participated in a variety of communication exercises
  • Identified what triggers they might have and strategized as to how they can diffuse their charge

Upcoming Dates: TBD

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Tools for Transformative Communication

With fairly recent recognition that animal welfare is truly a human service endeavor, our field has begun to recognize that increased investment in strategies to engage and serve people better will get us closer to achieving our mission – bringing and keeping people and pets together.

To succeed, we need to develop both our understanding and our skills in attracting, engaging, and serving people with empathy and impact. In Tools for Transformative Communication, we’ll explore:

  • How far we’ve come and how quickly the animal welfare landscape is changing
  • The nature of social change, why it matters, and how it differs from social good
  • How to cultivate self-awareness and how it’ll make you better at your job
  • The mechanics of empathy as practiced through careful listening, open questions, and suspension of judgment
  • The obstacles we face – and the baggage we carry – when it comes to serving people effectively and with compassion
  • How practicing and improving our communication skills can prevent both confusion and conflict

Who Should Attend: This seminar is intended for directors, managers and frontline staff who are committed to providing excellent – and even transformative – service to the people in their community, who are interested in conducting effective outreach, and who want to sharpen their understanding and skills in the areas of communication, empathy, and self-awareness.

If any of these sound familiar, this might be the seminar for you:

  • You’re constantly looking for ways to help more animals.
  • You sometimes struggle to give people the benefit of the doubt but want to be better at suspending judgment and serving people with compassion.
  • You’re frustrated that the same old approaches are getting the same old results and you want something more; you want change.

Upcoming Dates: TBD

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Turn Up the Volume:
Safely Increasing Clinic Efficiency & Capacity

This two-day seminar will teach veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and clinic operations managers how to increase their spay/neuter efficiency and volume without sacrificing quality and safety. The seminar will include time in the clinic and in a classroom setting, and will provide step-by-step, actionable plans for increasing efficiency and volume. Participants will walk away with a complete toolkit for implementing changes back at their clinics. The seminar is limited to 14 attendees per session.

Who Should Attend: Spay/neuter clinic management, senior vet techs, and veterinarians.

By the end of this seminar, participants will have:

  • Explored Emancipet’s clinic model and approach to  high volume spay/neuter and preventive veterinary care
  • Defined social good and social change
  • Described Emancipet’s 3 drivers of volume
  • Described the patient safety pyramid
  • Used a variety of tools and exercises to facilitate better communication and improve daily clinic flow

Upcoming Dates: TBD

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