Communication is key in the pharmacy industry. Whether you’re talking to patients, doctors, or wholesalers, communication is vital to your pharmacy’s success and reputation.
This goes double for pharmacists, where you’re managing a group of techs and clerks. Effective leadership communication is an essential part of team development. It’s important enough to maintain a strong patient base, but let’s look at the other side of the counter.
Let’s examine how you can excel at effective leadership communication at your pharmacy.
Indeed defines leadership communication as “an effective leader’s method of communicating and socializing with their team members and their company’s executives.”
Effective leadership communication takes place within all facets of pharmacy work, whether you’re on the pharmacy floor or having one-on-one performance reviews.
Every word you say — even down to the inflection — can deescalate a situation or worsen it, so make sure you are impeccable with your leadership communication.
The benefits of effective leadership communication are self-explanatory. Good communication begets a steady and effective workflow, which benefits you, your staff, and your patients.
Effective leadership communication also reinforces team building. Constructive criticism, deserved bits of praise, and clear communication all create a mutual understanding among your team.
In turn, this further strengthens your pharmacy’s workflow, with each team member knowing what a particular situation requires.
Effective leadership communication gives your staff a clear direction to strive for. Clearly communicating your expectations and objectives is a much greater comfort than cryptic or ambiguous communication.
Active listening is a key pillar of effective leadership communication. Simply Psychology defines active listening as the act of “fully attuning to the feelings and views of the speakers, demonstrating unbiased acceptance and validation of their experience.”
Practicing active listening naturally makes you more empathetic and understanding towards your pharmacy staff. It also prompts you to respond genuinely and sincerely to your staff.
Lastly, active listening establishes a comfortable environment for your staff, letting them know they can freely express themselves and air their opinions when appropriate. Active listening is an understated but profound method of effective leadership communication.
Don’t be alarmed — we’re not saying you need to go on Shakespearean tangents like former Lakers coach Paul Westead. We mean “storytelling” in the most literal terms. Good storytelling benefits from coherence, brevity, and structure, which are all essential assets of effective leadership communication.
Think about how you’re responding to people. Be as clear and concise as possible while still getting your message across. If a tech is discussing certain concerns over a situation, make sure to address them when you’re responding.
It sounds simple on paper, but it’s easy to lose your train of thought in the heat of the moment.
A good writing exercise is to write a paragraph-long response to a prompt, then continue to cut it down until it’s only a couple of sentences long. It may be a shorter length but maintains the impact of the original message.
Brevity is the soul of wit, so make sure your storytelling skills are up to snuff.
As previously mentioned, empathy is a vital element of effective leadership communication. Communicating with empathy makes you an even more effective leader, and it’s not too difficult to practice it.
Empathy is similar to active listening, though it goes a step above listening. Empathy is about understanding what your tech or clerk is saying or feeling.
In the hectic world of pharmacy work, your team needs a leader who they can rely on and trust with just about anything. Empathy is one of those key traits that get you there.
Visit our blog, “How to Further Practice Empathy,” to learn more about practicing empathy in your pharmacy.
As we said at the very beginning of this blog, communication is key. Whether you’re focusing on sentence structure or the inflection of your voice, effective leadership communication is a tightrope act.
And then we get to word choice, a vital part of any form of communication. When it comes to effective leadership communication, it’s an absolute necessity.
There’s always a better way of communicating certain ideas. Instead of telling your tech they’re doing something wrong, tell them what they’re doing well while mixing it with the criticism, otherwise known as a compliment sandwich.
This is one of many ways to address issues without completely bringing your team members down.
Take this clip of NBA coach Steve Kerr for example. It’s clear Steph Curry is experiencing a shooting slump, but Kerr shows him how he is excelling in the other aspects of the game, which encourages Curry to improve his game.
Things would have played (no pun intended) much differently if Kerr just dismissed his performance. But by finding the positive, he helps his player overcome the negative.
Last but certainly not least, let’s focus on what is unsaid. They say the things that aren’t said are more prominent than what is.
You can show empathy and be the best active listener out there, but negative body language will undo all that goodwill.
Some effective examples of good body language include:
Your body language can make or break your effective leadership communication skills. Make sure your unspoken communication is as open and effective as your verbal skills.
Effective leadership communication is a vital part of your pharmacy’s team development.
The skills mentioned above are easy to learn but difficult to master. However, it’s all worth it in the end as you become a pharmacy leader your staff can rely on. Take your leadership skills to the next level with effective leadership communication.