The Business of Pharmacy Podcast™
April 10, 2023

The Power of Listening in Pharmacy Leadership | Brooke Griffin, PharmD

The Power of Listening in Pharmacy Leadership | Brooke Griffin, PharmD

In a recent podcast episode, host Mike Koelzer interviewed Brooke Griffin, a pharmacist and professor of pharmacy practice at Midwestern University outside of Chicago. Griffin is also a coach and has rebranded herself to serve people in a different way. Her area of interest is the art and science of listening, which she presented at ASHP's midyear conference. In this episode, Griffin and Koelzer discussed the importance of soft skills, effective communication, and effective listening in various contexts.

Self-Awareness as the Most Crucial Soft Skill

Griffin emphasized that self-awareness is the most crucial soft skill, as it involves recognizing one's values, strengths, and blind spots and actively working to improve them. Additionally, Griffin notes that working with a coach can help individuals gain different perspectives on themselves and their patterns of behavior.

Finding the Right Person to Confide In

Griffin noted the importance of finding the right person to confide in and setting expectations for the conversation. Having someone hold space for you is a priceless gift, and it is essential to choose someone who can provide both support and constructive feedback.

Being Present and Truly Listening in Conversations

The host admitted to sometimes just pretending to listen, and the guest emphasized the importance of being honest with oneself and putting away distractions when trying to listen to someone. They also discussed the difficulty of being present in conversations when one's mind is preoccupied with thoughts about the past or future. The guest suggested focusing on gratitude and being aware of one's thought patterns to improve listening skills.

Tips for Effective Communication

Griffin shared tips on effective communication, specifically on the importance of remembering names and giving and receiving feedback. She emphasized how hearing one's name activates a certain area of the brain related to core identity and suggested ways to improve one's ability to remember names, such as being intentional about it and practicing. Griffin also emphasized the importance of treating feedback sessions as conversations rather than presentations, and encouraged listeners to approach them with curiosity and openness to understanding the other person's perspective. Finally, she suggested summarizing the meeting to ensure mutual understanding.

Creating Safe Spaces for Effective Listening

Koelzer and Griffin emphasized the need to listen first before giving feedback or making decisions, as this can help to uncover important information that may not be immediately apparent. They also discussed the importance of creating a safe space for others to share their thoughts and feelings, and how this can be achieved through active listening and empathy.

In conclusion, effective listening is a crucial skill for success in all aspects of life, including work, family, and personal relationships. As highlighted by Brooke Griffin, self-awareness, finding the right person to confide in, being present in conversations, and creating safe spaces for effective listening are essential for developing this skill. By practicing effective listening, individuals can build trust, increase buy-in, foster inclusion, and achieve success in leadership.

The Business of Pharmacy Podcast™ is an interesting and entertaining weekly podcast discussion on the business of pharmacy. Hosted by Mike Koelzer, an independent pharmacist in Grand Rapids, Michigan, each episode covers a new topic relevant to pharmacists and pharmacy owners. Listen to a new episode every Monday morning.