Yay! You got the job! Now it is time to meet the new team and strive out a map for yourself in this organization. Keys for effective team communication starts with Emotional Intelligence.
What are the pillars of emotional intelligence? And how about soft-skills to enhance dealing with others?
Emotional awareness, the ability to recognize the emotions you’re experiencing, and understand that while these can be powerful, you can also factor them out of the equation. Tips to help with regulation are deep breaths, maintaining composure, walking away or journaling.
It is important to remember why we want to maintain emotional self-awareness. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation have to be evaluated. Intrinsic is a person’s ability to stay on-task and moving toward a goal without any external reinforcement; those people manage to stay focussed and ahead of the crowd when it comes to getting the job done. Extrinsic motivation comes in the form of your colleagues, your managers, your boss, the prospect of a raise or a bonus, as well as the powerful subsequent pressures that stem from project deadlines and meetings.
Self-regulation or self-motivation of emotions is important as well. It focuses more on a person’s ability to control yourself and your emotions and impulses, as well as how well you can leverage your resources and abilities in any given interaction. Deep breaths, mini meditation, and calmness is vital for self-regulation.
The five elements of self-regulation are: self-control, trustworthiness, conscientiousness, adaptability and innovation.
Empathy is an extremely important factor to get right in both business and in your personal life. We’d argue that this is one of the most important pillars of the concept. If you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes, even just for a minute, you’ll be significantly better off when it comes to analyzing the transaction or the interaction when you take into account their sensibilities and their concerns. This is particularly important when we’re talking about the concept of your customers and their concerns, but applies equally when we’re talking about colleagues in your organization or your loved ones.
Important areas to cover when exercising your social skills are persuasion and influencing skills, leadership skills, conflict management skills, communication skills, change management skills, relationship-building skills as well as your ability to cooperate and collaborate with your colleagues.
Other things to keep in mind include understanding your manager’s leadership style. Are they authoritarian? Laissez-faire? And adjust your responses to know how to respond accordingly. Understand where their motivation or needs lie within the organization and adapt to support them.
The same goes for how Medical Affairs can support Sales. Let them know how to utilize you in their field needs. Is there a difficult-to-access account? A top-tier KOL needs to be given the latest innovative knowledge about a newly launched product, the product’s study, and competitors. A speaker that needs to be trained for a dinner engagement? Giving them an idea of how to effectively utilize medical affairs will help with communication.
These tips should help any early Medical Science Liaisons and Medical Affairs professionals to acclimate into their new role quickly and help maintain longevity.
Deepa Sunkari, MD
Deepa Sunkari, MD, BCMAS, LME is a board certified medical affairs specialist physician who has been working in Medical Affairs for approximately 7 years in various roles such as MSL, Medical Director, Director of Medical Affairs, etc. She has worked in large and small pharmaceutical companies, large businesses, medical device organizations, and clinical research organizations. Though her experiences, she has developed leadership skills, emotional intelligence, and she likes mentoring others for improved business functioning. She has been actively involved with the MSL society since 2015 and thanks Dr Samuel Dyer for his constant support and growth of the Medical Affairs community.