Use Your Core Strengths to Your Advantage


I used to work with this pharmacist, and this pharmacist was very bad in customer service but was a very good pharmacist. He knew about medication, he knew about all the pharmacy procedures and administration, but when it came to customer communication and deliverance skills, his personality was not compatible with some of the roles and tasks he had to do on daily basis.

When it came to getting along with other employees, he did his best. We knew about his personality, we also did our best to get along with him. Even though he had issues of impatience and anger, and could get easily discouraged and irritated, but he was a good person and did his best not to put his attitude on other employees.

The only thing is that he was terrible in dealing with customers. You know when you work in the pharmacy there are going to be lots of different kinds of people with all kind of problems and healthy issues coming to the pharmacy on daily basis. So there are aspects of communication skills that are required for you to have as a caretaker or caregiver such as compassion and patience in order to attend those customers well. So this pharmacist lacked some of the aspects needed that were also required, therefore it made it hard for him to communicate with some of the customers. His conversations were very dry and few customers would constantly complain about it and the way he communicated with them.

If there was somebody with him at the pharmacy, he would deal with them politely and answered their questions and concerns about medication and their healthy issues because we would make his job easy and helped him handling some of the customers and their needs so that he could only concentrate more on counseling the customers and supervising the correctness of the prescriptions being prescribed and given to the customers. But if he was working alone, it would have been a different story. It came a point where when some customers came to the pharmacy and see he is alone, they would usually leave and come back later on.

But the fact is, he was one of the best pharmacists. He had strengths on the hard skills of pharmacy roles, the medical skills and the knowledge, but he was weak on his soft skills, the customer service skills on how to communicate with the customers, insurance providers, but also prescribers; the doctors and nurses let’s say if he had to communicate with them for clarification on the phone.

And the management new about it and made sure each time he had an experienced pharmacy technician who knows what to do during his shifts. In fact when he came to our pharmacy, he would call the day before and say he will be coming to work next day or entire week and to know the pharmacist technician who will be working in his shift.

Management knew he was valuable but had a few weaknesses, so they didn’t position him in a particular pharmacy. They would send him to different pharmacies when either there were shortages of pharmacists to those pharmacies, or the pharmacists on charge in those pharmacies in those stores had emergencies, or took vacations; therefore he would go and fill them in until they come back. He never worked at one pharmacy for a really long time. It was also what he wanted. He liked working that way. It worked best for his personality.

Even though he was not very close to many employees, but I happened to be one of those employees who got to be a little bit close to him. He was about my dad’s age; he treated me like his daughter. And I think one of the reasons is because I respected him, and I made his job very easy when he was working at our pharmacy. I remembered when he bought his first very expensive Mercedes Benz stick shift car and told me I was his first passenger to ride his car that day because he just got it. I mean, I was working while going to school, I didn’t have a car, nor seen and ridden in a car that cost about 100,000 USD.

I knew my core strengths. I was very good at customer service, but as well as in being a pharmacy technician. I had knowledge about medication and all pharmacy procedures and administration, but I also worked hard, and did my best to be compassionate and friendly to our customers. In fact each year they awarded me with outstanding customer service certificates recognition. So it was easy for me to work with him and all my other pharmacists because my core strengths aligned with my roles and I used them to work best for me and others.

My point of sharing this story is that when you focus on working on what you are good at, not only you likely succeed at it, but you find greater long-term enjoyment. This pharmacist was grouchy with customers because his personality didn’t go well with some of the tasks he was required to have as a pharmacist. He had the hard skills, but lacked the soft skills. And that’s why he was grouchy. He didn’t like the harass of being asked all the time questions about medications, or over the counter recommendation, or following up on insurance claims when they didn’t go through, sometimes answering the phones…hahaha. All of these responsibilities worked at his disadvantage.

Most people who are successful with their careers and professions are the ones who focus on their core strengths. They find jobs and gigs that require them to use their strengths more often because they figure out it is for their advantages. Because one thing you want to avoid in your career and profession journey is to competing for jobs with other people or companies who have more strengths or employees with stronger skills than you, and your company.

In order to find success you need, start by focusing on your core strengths, whether as a person or for your business. Many successful people relentlessly focus on their core strengths; they are never jack of all trades. And it doesn’t mean you have to choose one direction completely; you just need to choose where the majority of your energy will go, because sometimes one person can have more than one core strengths. For instance, I have different core strengths in management and leadership, as well as in creativity and communication.

I’m capable of doing so many things with just those core strengths. That’s why in my articles for example, you would see both of these core strengths appeared in some of them. So if you had the same core strengths and you were looking for your dream job, you would select those jobs and roles that align these strengths and that require you to use them regularly. And it’s not like you cannot do other jobs, but if you want to succeed more, then you need to focus on careers that require management and leadership skills, or creativity and communication skills, because that’s what you do best and come live.

You need to know that each time you make a decision for example to get a nursing job, while you know you have a love for writing, and your career dream and strengths would work better if you become a writer and author for a living, then you are clearly not setting yourself up for success. While other employees at your workplace will be focusing on being the best nurses, being best at their crafts and careers, you will be focusing on getting by. And it’s because every time you know you are pursuing a career for example, or something that you know you are not, and do not align with your core strengths, you are not making that decision to your advantage in the long run.

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to share, comment, and like. I would like to hear from you.

To your success,

Helen Majaga


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