I once had a colleague who aired her grievances, frustrations and points of view loudly and often. While there was no problem with this per se, her way of communicating seemed to go on forever. It was like a record being stuck on repeat.
Have you met that person? The one whose venting goes on and on and on and never seems to reach a point? In my experience, every pharmacy (and workplace!) has at least one of these people. And, I’m guessing, if you’re reading this you like helping others. This then leaves you vulnerable to getting sucked into the venting vortex with no way out. Never fear, emotional intelligence is to the rescue!
EI Competency = Inspiring Performance
EI Behaviour = Providing useful support to others
The thing with support is that it is contextual. What support looks like for someone in one situation is different to the next. Some people may just want to vent and use your empathetic ear. Some may want help to move forward and find solutions. Some may start venting not knowing what they want. Regardless, there is one principle that works in most contexts, whether you’re an expert on the subject matter or not.
The Coach-Mentor Approach
The coach-mentor approach (in that order) follows three steps.
1. Coach – Establish what they are trying to do or achieve.
Note: If they say, ‘I don’t want anything, I just need to get this out!’ put a time limit on it or explain you would be happy to hear it at a time appropriate to you. It’s not fair to multi-task your other jobs and increase the risk of error, have this person jump the queue of people waiting for your assistance or not listen to them completely.
2. Mentor – Help brainstorm ideas for solutions by asking open and open probing questions
3. Provide appropriate specific examples of your own (optional)
DO NOT START HERE! When you start here you ‘assume’ you know the answer before having the information. This is counterproductive because you can get the context wrong. You will likely pick up on the ‘data’ or ‘facts’ that mean something to you, not what it means to them. This will lead you up the garden path quickly.
The benefits of this process
If you try this out this week, let me know how this goes for you. Do you have a favourite question you use in these situations? Share it!