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.

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Understanding social skills: top tips to being an excellent pharmacist

  • Active listening skills - this means not thinking of anything else while patients are talking to you, make sure you are totally present with their concerns and making sure they sense and realise that you have heard what they have said.
  • Have empathy and humility - patients know what they are experiencing is probably not the first time that you have heard of it, but they want to feel that they are special and understood.
  • Understand products and other people you can recommend patients to. Being up-to-date will ensure confidence, especially as people are now looking online at ailments and products before they even come in to see you.
  • Counselling and supporting them - not just being knowledgeable with what is on the market, but having the skills so you can also support them emotionally with their dilemmas.
  • Good communicator - smiling, eye contact, being aware of your own body language, acknowledging their concerns in repeating it back to them, not being distracted, and being articulate.
  • Be approachable and courteous - patients want to be greeted, with respect and a friendly manner.
  • Great memory - remembering details of the patient from previous meetings will go a long way.
  • Patience and being calm - how you are will reflect back at your patients. Be how you would like them to be with you.

Join us again tomorrow as we investigate the vital communication skills pharmacy requires.