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One of the privileges of being President is being invited to a variety of events. Yesterday, I was invited to judge the category 'Practice Manager of the Year' in the Annual Petplan Veterinary Awards, It was fascinating to see how the process worked. We'd been presented with a series of encomia: each nominator had been asked to explain why they thought their nominee was worthy of an award and from them we had to select the best. The procedure wasn't perfect: some pieces were tantalisingly brief, giving a glimpse of someone who sounded wonderful, but lacking the detail to make an informed judgement, so those that were more detailed had an immediate advantage. But it was hard not to be struck by the warmth and real appreciation evident in each nomination, and harder still to whittle down the list to arrive at the finalists.

This year Petplan received over 22,000 nominations, an increasing number of which were from colleagues in practice. The awards are still very much a way for clients to express their appreciation of a practice or member of staff, and I think it's an important focus. But it struck me how valuable it was for us, as professionals to acknowledge one another too. It's easy to criticise, and with modern methods of communication allowing us to be less sensitive than we might be face-to-face, all the more important to take time to say thank you.

You don't necessarily need to nominate your colleagues for an award, but take time to think what it is that you appreciate about them, and find a way to let them know. A little kindness goes a long way.