President's Message - Getting the Most out of Your Investment

by Jen Phillips, PharmD, BCPS, ICHP President
July 13, 2016

I just returned from another very successful ASHP Summer Meeting! This year’s conference was held in Baltimore, and the weather was (thankfully) stunning. Although I did get a chance to take in some of the sites, including the inner harbor and the 911 Memorial, I was primarily there to serve (with Noelle Chapman, Travis Hunerdosse, Ed Rainville, and Carrie Sincak) as an Illinois delegate to the ASHP House of Delegates (HOD). As always, I found the policy-making portion of the meeting to be highly energizing and fulfilling. Delegates from across the United States spent many hours considering and debating ASHP policies and position statements. In addition, I had the opportunity to collaborate with delegates from other states to make recommendations to ASHP for the next round of policy development. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to represent Illinois and participate in this important process.

In between the HOD sessions, caucuses, and planning sessions, I also had the chance to sneak in a bit of continuing education (CE) programming, and I am very glad that I did. I was thoroughly impressed with the programming. There were a number of very current and relevant topics and the speakers were very inspiring. The format for the ASHP Summer Meeting was changed a few years ago and now includes four distinct areas of focus. A series of CE programs are organized around the following themes:
  • Pharmacy, Practice, and Policy: intended for pharmacy leaders
  • The Informatics Institute: intended for IT personnel
  • The Medication Safety Collaborative: intended to draw a multi-disciplinary audience and discuss contemporary medication safety related issues
  • The Ambulatory Care Conference: intended for practitioners in the non-acute care setting
Although the meeting has four different tracks, participants are not obligated to stick with one track. I attended sessions in all four areas. One of my favorite presentations was part of the Ambulatory Care track. The acclaimed speaker, author, and entrepreneur, Ty Bennett, led a session entitled “Partnership is the New Leadership: Effective Influence Strategies”. During this interactive presentation, Ty first asked the audience to think about a person they knew who influenced them and to think about what kind of qualities that person had. Audience gave suggestions such as: persuasive, passionate, and having integrity. Ty listened patiently to our suggestions and then he gave his own suggestion – “investment”. He pointed out that often times, the most effective influencers are those who “invest” in people and by invest, he didn’t mean money. He meant actually taking the time to listen to people, coach them, help them, and share in their successes and defeats. He talked about the value of actually listening versus just waiting for your turn to speak. He encouraged us to try to be interested versus interesting and to try to ask two follow-up questions to every comment made by the person we are conversing with. These seemingly small gestures can help build deeper and more meaningful relationships, which can help both parties get the most return on their “investment” in each other.

Imagine how strong our relationships could become if we all used this “investment” strategy when interacting with other healthcare professionals, but especially when interacting with students and residents. Yes, it will require more time and energy, but the return on investment might be worth the effort. I can’t wait to start using some of Ty Bennett’s strategies to help strengthen existing and new relationships. Thanks to ASHP for providing such an interesting and enlightening presentation. I look forward to next year’s programming!

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