Care of the Leader

Pharmacists are experiencing one of the most challenging times in their careers.

Strong leadership is even more crucial at this time. Emotional intelligence, being the calm in the storm, providing clarity and direction, and holding the team together is essential. Leaders need to be the backbone of their team. Flexible yet strong.

But who looks after you? How do leaders not only survive but thrive during this time? Who is your support? Leaders must have their own support and connection in order to keep their teams healthy. Here are my top three tips for leaders of pharmacy teams.

1-Seek out other leaders who manage similar teams. Engage them in sharing of frustrations and best practices. When I do this I always learn something. A new system, tips for efficiency or stress reduction. At the very least you get to express your frustrations with someone who just “gets it”.

2- Take time to recharge. I know this is a struggle There are many times when I’m trying to take a half day or a full day off and then there’s an emergency, a fire to put out, something that needs immediate attention. This can be difficult when you’re trying to have time away from it all. The clearing of the mind of work related thoughts for a period of time is so important. Find it.

3- Feed the team. I mean this quite literally and figuratively. When the team is positive it is so much easier to manage the small and big fires. It allows them to figure things out for themselves, remain calm and attend to patients with kindness in the midst of chaos. What does this look like? Use humour to diffuse tension. Share information freely so they know where things are at currently and how they may be evolving. Be honest when you just don’t know. Ask them for their advice and input. And yes, food. Never underestimate the importance of bringing in lunch or a celebratory cake or any other food for your team! My favourite from this year is the cake on which I wrote “Covid sucks”. It boosts moral, adds to positive team culture and is just plain fun.