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'When it comes to flexible working, managers need to be leaders'

Negotiating a recent job offer left The Pharmacy Technician pondering the difference between good management and good leadership

The way I see it is that people in senior roles should have some leadership skills, but that isn’t to say that they should necessarily be managers.

Managers are integral to the running of a pharmacy. They will focus on following procedures and ensuring that the staff adhere to all the company’s rules and regulations.

Whereas a leader could be anyone within your team. Leaders have a specific set of skills which allows them to be more open, honest and approachable. They will encourage and motivate their team by being supportive and nurturing.

Something that I have recently experienced is being on the receiving end of a manager’s insensitive behaviour. Let me try and set the scene for you.

I had been offered a job. "Wonderful", you say. I happened to agree at the time, but it soon became apparent that my soon to be manager was not very flexible.

This job meant that I would be travelling approximately 70 miles every day, so I decided to suggest a few ways that could improve the situation that wouldn’t affect the business and projects.

Unfortunately, the line manager to be wasn’t too keen on listening to my suggestions, thoughts or feelings. I kept getting the same response via email: "Thank you for your email. I understand your feelings towards the travelling, BUT….". After reading these emails, I felt frustrated, upset and undervalued.

This is a managerial approach to a situation, as this person was following the company procedures to the letter, which from their point of view is correct. However, I feel whether you are a manager, leader or both, the way in which you behave and treat people is more important than anything else.

In an ideal world, the manager would have contacted me directly. We could have discussed all the concerns, listened to each other and decided how we could both deal with the situation.

The conclusion to this is that I didn’t take the job, and I must admit that it was mainly due to the way in which I was being treated by that one person. I felt as though my thoughts and feelings just didn’t matter to the organisation.

So, what do you think? Am I a leader?

The Pharmacy Technician locums in community pharmacy

C+D podcasts

Are you considering changing your pharmacy career? C+D clinical editor Kristoffer Stewart spoke to Aamer Safdar – Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) English pharmacy board member and principal pharmacist lead for education and development at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS foundation trust – to find out how pharmacy staff can make the most of their current role, and what those considering making a move should consider. You can find the podcast here


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