Community pharmacists can benefit by opening up a dialogue about sex and relationships with their patients. All this week sex, intimacy and relationship therapist Emma Ziff helps you understand the tricks behind being a good communicator.

Missed yesterday’s instalment on social skills? Click here.

Communication skills you need to know

The following are great skills to learn, especially if they don’t come naturally, and will really put you in the top of your field of customer service as a pharmacist.

  • Sensory acuity - read between the lines - what they are saying and what they actually mean. This will be their physical posture, wording and energy that they are reflecting. Make sure you notice changes in personality among your regular patients, in particular.
  • Body language - you will pick up on something they are not telling you. Watch out for closed rather than open arms, with their back to you, or side on rather than facing you, looking down and no eye contact. Learning this will enable you to ask better questions, which will elicit the answers helping you to ultimately help them more effectively.
  • Speak the same language - and I don’t mean English. There will be a preferred representational system someone will use when communicating. In NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) we use this to better connect with clients, and mirror a similar language. The use of their language/words will let you know how they prefer to speak and make decisions. There will be one that leads over the others, and the main three are:
  • Visual words - “See, look, focus, watch, imagine” ….. these people are likely to buy based on what they have seen somewhere, like on a notice in the pharmacy.
  • Auditory words - “hear, tell, resonate, rings a bell” …… they will purchase based on something you have said to them.
  • Kinesthetic - “feel, get hold of, grasp” ….. those who are more about feeling can take longer to get to know and feel connected, but once you have, they can be regular patients.

Stay tuned for the final instalment tomorrow where we reveal our guide on approaching patients.