Must-Have Items to Take with You on an IHS Travel Assignment

When packing for an IHS/Tribal Travel Assignment, the first instinct might be to go about it the same as you would if you were packing for a long vacation. But, as our experienced contractors can tell you, there are certain things that you never think of until you get on location and find yourself wishing you had. Here are some tips on what to pack if it’s your first assignment:

-Netflix Subscription: For those quiet nights on the reservation, get unlimited streaming movies and TV shows and catch up on your “must watch” list. You can get started with a free month, and then it’s only $7.99 a month for all you can watch on your laptop. You’ll never know if you’ll have access to cable or a DVD player, but with this small investment you’ll always have something watch during your time off.

-Drug Information Handbook: Don’t leave your copy sitting on the shelf at home. Either tote along the hard copy, or invest in the mobile app and always have it at your fingertips on your cell/tablet.

-Amazon Prime Subscription: When you’re on assignment at a rural location, you are bound to need something that they don’t carry at the 1 or 2 local stores you have easy access to. Thankfully, you can buy pretty much anything on Amazon and have it shipped to your door. Since you’ll be doing this a lot, invest in the $79 a year for Prime (plus you get the first month free) and get free 2-day shipping on everything you need. Plus, you’ll also get access to thousands of streaming movies and TV shows and a free Kindle book to borrow once a month.

-Cash for Souveniers: There are so many unique Native art and craft items for sale at IHS/Tribal sites, either in town and sometimes right inside the hospital. Have some cash stashed in your wallet so you are prepared when something catches your eye.

————————————————————————–

We asked some of our seasoned IHS/Tribal Contract Pharmacists for their tips on what to bring. They shared some great ideas for things to pack, plus a few other pieces of advice on how to stay busy when you’re not working in the pharmacy. Read on and make the most out of your time as you visit all the new and interesting places your contracting will take you!

Here’s what they said:

-Verify to see what is included in your housing arrangement. I have a couple totes with cleaning supplies,dishes pots , etc.  Don’t forget dish towels, surface wipes, swiffer for floors and dusting, garbage bags and small tool kit–my indispensible tools.

-If very remote or away from a bigger metro area with entertainment, bring hobby items: books, kindle and new project supplies , etc.  Think about something you’ve wanted to do but never found the time to do.  Don’t plan in TV.

-Upon arrival ask around and see what is happening locally:  pow wows, local markets, indian markets.

-Bring or buy a decent camera and learn how to use it.

-If you enjoy the in-doors start a new hobby or perfect a new one.

-If you like the outdoors ask around and find what there is to do.  Bring hiking boots, rain or sun gear, walking stick , etc. Buy maps, guides, and local points of interest brochures

-Learn the customs of the people you serve and they become happy to tell you about their customs.

-Don’t be afraid to explore I wander (not all that wander are lost)

-Find other people where you work with similar interests and pal around together.  You’re much more apt to do more things in a group.

-Jim M.

————————————————————————–

-A hobby: when you’re in the middle of nowhere, suddenly there’s a ton of time to do the little projects you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t have the time for. When you can’t distract yourself with anything (going out,TV, and so on) you get to work on perfecting your skills.

-Hiking shoes and a camelpak: a person would really be losing out if they weren’t prepared to do a bit of hiking. You end up in places you may not have ever thought of visiting when you’re on assignment, so being prepared to see the area is a must. Some of the areas I’ve hiked while on assignment knocked my socks off!

-Vacuum cleaner: there is so much dust! Imagine trying to sweep all that it just swirls around you. Mopping just turns it into mud in your living room. Vacuum cleaners, amazing.

-An appetite: it seems to be a theme, no matter where I go, people love to share their food. You will never go hungry. Be sure to share your cultural foods too, they love to try just as much as you.

-Sen N.

————————————————————————–



Share your best piece of advice for a new IHS/Tribal pharmacist contractor.

(you’ll be brought right back to this article when you’re done)

“The Pharmacist Caught in the Office” Cartoon

Do you often wish your pharmacy staff or direct report(s) would perform better? Wish you had the skills to manage them better?
The Pharmacist Caught in the Office by Chen Yen on GoAnimate

Find yourself feeling this way about your contract pharmacists? What if this didn’t have to happen to you so much? Click here for your options.


Sometimes less is more. So for this article, I’d like to leave you with a few powerful quotes about effective management to contemplate. Pick your favorite one to work on today:

“Leadership is a reciprocal process. In order for people to follow you, they must trust and believe in you. And in order for people to trust and believe in you, you must first trust and believe in them.” (Not just saying the words “I believe in you”, but the feeling of really believing in them)

The only way to systematically improve individual performance is to consistently give constructive coaching and developmental feedback.”

“Coaching is not merely something that you, as a manager, must do. A Coach is someone that you, as a leader, must become.”

To get your team to become coachable, you must first become coachable. To get your team to open up, you must first open up. To get your team to embrace developmental feedback, you must first embrace developmental feedback. As a coach, you set the standard for your team to follow. And your personal example is the most powerful leadership tool you have.”

Great coaches consistently get the most out of their people because they consistently put the most into their people.”

Don’t think a weekly coaching conversation is possible in the pharmacy? Think again. Read the book and decide for yourself. It’s a short read:

How often do you feel like this in the pharmacy? Comment below on your challenges and solutions to this problem. Share what you’ve found to be most helpful with motivating your pharmacy staff to their best performance.

Never Say Never



Never say never.  I still remember when I looked at the pharmacy director in the eye & said “I will never work for the IHS.”

Those were the days when my commute was walking down the hill to the Whiteriver hospital from the government trailers just 2 minutes away. The thing I looked forward to the most was walking back up the hill at the end of the day.  I had just finished an FDA rotation and couldn’t imagine myself working anywhere else.
I couldn’t wait to start my job there.  I wanted to work there after I graduated from pharmacy school, and they were excited about hiring me.  I was ready to just be finished & moved to D.C., but I had to go to Whiteriver first for another rotation.  Prior to being in D.C., I had just started to fall in love with having adventures and traveling while studying at Oxford University, and could not imagine living in the middle of nowhere where people thought I was a foreign exchange student  (On a softball field after a day at the Whiteriver hospital, I was asked if I was a foreign exchange student).

Whiteriver Indian Hospital: My first IHS home…would it be my last?

And then there was the pharmacy director at Whiteriver. He used to grill me.  I thought about how much I didn’t know, and that I really didn’t want to be working in a pharmacy anyway.  As much as I liked working with the patients at Whiteriver, talking on the phone all day long at the FDA Drug Information Branch was a much better fit for me.  At least I’d be able to look things up when people had questions.  I remember saying adamantly to the pharmacy director at Whiteriver, “I will never work for the IHS…I’m going to work for the FDA.”

He said to me, “Never say never” and I rolled my eyes to myself.

But my path took an unexpected turn when I was offered to cover an Indian Health Service travel assignment the summer before starting at the FDA. I thought what a great opportunity that was.  I could go have an adventure at a less remote IHS site and make money to travel in Europe.

Ok, I admit it.  It grew on me.  I ended up liking it. And I unexpectedly ended up meeting my now husband in Europe after that IHS travel assignment, and the rest is something I wish I didn’t have to admit to the pharmacy director at Whiteriver–he was right.  Never say never.  I ended up working at IHS/tribal sites instead of working for the FDA, because it allowed me the flexibility of doing my external PharmD and travel to see my now husband who was living in Europe at the time.

After contracting at IHS sites for a few years, I decided to start & grow RPh Temp Service because I noticed pharmacy directors would complain about being sent just a “warm body” by temp agencies. I wanted to raise the bar of of contract pharmacists available to the IHS, so pharmacy directors didn’t have to settle for warm bodies.

I wanted the pharmacy directors to feel as if their temp staff seemed like part of their permanent staff— pharmacists who would jump in wherever needed, knew what they were doing, had strong work ethic, and who appreciated Native American culture.

RPh Temp Service started out by connecting recently retired IHS pharmacists (and people who made IHS contracting a career) with IHS travel assignments. It evolved to include pharmacists with IHS experience who were in-between job situations, including those who recently finished residencies.  It gave them the opportunity to travel and have time off when they wanted to, while they figured out their next career move.

It’s been very rewarding to offer IHS-experienced pharmacists access to assignments they aren’t able to access through other agencies.

Now, are you ready to hear the kicker to the “Never say never”? Now the previous pharmacy director at Whiteriver where I did my rotation works with our company.  Who would have thought?

3 Ways to Make a Pharmacy Director Yawn in an Interview


Planning on interviewing this year? Even if you aren’t, if you ever interview again in your career, you can benefit from knowing this.   Here are some surefire ways to make a potential pharmacy employer yawn in an interview:

1.  Tell them what you’ve done and never talk about the reasons why it would benefit them. Many of us do this.  We describe our job responsibilities….and don’t say much beyond that.  It can sound very similar to what another pharmacist you’re competing with would say.  If you want to stand out from your competition, go one step further.  Describe what that would mean for the employer.

For example, if you’re a clinical/staff pharmacist in the ambulatory care setting, instead of saying “I contribute to P&T committee meetings and help with med safety initiatives”, describe right away an example of a major accomplishment and the reasons why doing what you did would benefit them:  “As part of my role of being a clinical/staff pharmacist, I worked on a project that helped reduce medication errors by X% over 12 months.  This helped with medication safety and encouraged accuracy in the pharmacy.”

Are you starting to see the power of sharing the benefit of what you did?  Change this one thing about the way you interview, and you will impress the interviewer and increase your chances for getting a job you want, vs. someone else who didn’t know better.

2.  Say trite things that other pharmacist job applicants will most likely say. Tell them how you work well with others and that you are hard working.  You can bet that your interviewer will tune out when you say trite things. Instead, try to describe yourself in a way that relates to the job you will be doing. Here’s the key: back it up with an example or a story.  You can also bring up something positive a previous boss said about you.  When a potential employer hears a story of you doing the great things you’ve done, they can relate to it.  They can think about how that situation can apply to their needs.

3.  When asked by your interviewer, “Do you have any questions”, you either say “No, you went over everything” or you ask a few questions but don’t take things a step further to show further interest.  Ask well thought out questions, listen, and ask more in depth questions about that topic.

Have some sincere questions ready for when you are asked, such as:

  • “What are the qualities of the people who are your best pharmacists in your pharmacy?” (Use this to respond with the similar qualities you have)
  • “What projects/initiatives are being implemented that I will have a part in if I am accepted for the job?”

The interviewer will be impressed by the questions you ask, and he or she can learn a lot about you by what you bring up during the interview.

BONUS Tip:  One great question to ask is “What’s important in what you’re looking for?” Then answer with what you’ve done that’s relevant to what they’re looking for.  Again, give examples and stories—they can help you stand out. 

Use these valuable strategies to prepare for your next pharmacy interview–instead of boring your potential employer(s), keep their eyes open & increase your chances of getting the job! Now go and get the job you deserve, or share this with a pharmacist who is interviewing soon.

Comment below on what you learned from these strategies & what mistakes you’ve made in the past but now you’ve realized.  If you have been an interviewer before, comment on how frequently you hear boring things from pharmacist applicants.

Annoyed by Your Pharmacist Co-Workers?



Annoyed by your co-workers? Ever wonder why some people just rub you off the wrong way & trigger an emotional reaction by you? But someone else saying other derogatory words don’t hurt you?

Working in a pharmacy often means working in a close-knit environment with co-workers and working with those who may push your buttons. It is an opportunity to learn to embrace a part of yourself that you may not see in yourself. I remember working at a pharmacy when I felt micromanaged by another pharmacist. Whatever I did, I felt like he was looking over my shoulders even though he was not my supervisor. I would feel annoyed. One day, I don’t even remember what he said to me, but it made me break down in tears.

Years later, looking back, I realize that I used to label him as controlling. At the time, I did not embrace the controlling side of me.  Being controlling was something I viewed as being a despicable quality to have, and didn’t see myself having it. As humans, we actually have the capacity for the whole range of human emotion, including being controlling. But society teaches us that certain qualities are “bad” and others are “good”. As a result, we don’t embrace parts of ourselves that we feel are “bad”. When others act with a quality we label as “bad”, it can trigger an emotional reaction in us.

That day, what he said to me triggered an emotional reaction that made me feel he was being controlling. When I eventually embraced the controlling side of me fully, I no longer attracted people into my life who made me feel they controlled me. Now I am able to make observations from a space where things that used to annoy me don’t trigger an emotional reaction in me anymore. It allows me to work with others from a renewed place on a daily basis. It is very freeing.

Of course, I am human and continue to work on embracing parts of myself that I deny. Embracing parts of ourselves include not only what we normally view as “bad”, but also “good”.  For example, you may not embrace the beautiful part of yourself.  If this rings true for you, if someone says “you are beautiful”, you may say no, I’m not, or you may laugh it off, for example. This is a concept that is taught by Debbie Ford, author of New York Time’s Best Selling Book “The Dark Side of the Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams.”

When you incorporate this concept of dark and light, you can use in all areas of your life, to help you have more money, better health, intimacy, heal relationships, or make peace with a painful experience.Try incorporating this concept in your daily work life. The next time someone annoys you, observe what it was about that person annoyed you. Maybe it was because that person was angry and yelled loudly at you. Look inward and see if you can have that capacity to be angry, or if you deny that possibility in yourself to get angry to that capacity. The more you grow to expand your capacity to feel fulfilled and embrace all aspects of yourself, the less external situations will affect you.  Things your co-worker used to do that annoyed you will no longer bother you.

Comment below on what you’ve done when you’ve been annoyed by your pharmacy co-workers, or what you’ll do differently now that you’ve read this article.

What makes you unhappy about your current pharmacy job?


From talking to thousands of pharmacists over the years, I’ve heard many stories about what makes a pharmacist decide to leave their job. We recently told pharmacy directors the common reasons for their pharmacists’ job dissatisfaction.  That way pharmacy directors can think about doing things differently.  Read below and tell me what you think by posting your comment below.  Do you agree?

What are the main reasons you left your last position (or are considering to leave your current one)?

The biggest complaint pharmacists share with me about why they leave their jobs is because of issues with the schedule. The most commonissue is becoming tired of a variable schedule, because it makes it hard to plan a personal life.  It’s harder to plan taking fun classes/workshops, organize rides for kids related to school activities, and coordinate time to hang out with friends or family.  Not knowing the schedule far in advance is another issue.

Another common reason for deciding to leave a job is not feeling valued by pharmacy management. Many pharmacists feel management does not acknowledge and recognize them for their contribution.  It’s also frustrating when management doesn’t listen to feedback.

Finally, a third reason why pharmacists leave their current job is the lack of opportunity to grow professionally. They’re pigeon-holed into a position and their strengths and interests aren’t able to shine through.  For example, the pharmacists don’t see it possible to do more clinical work, grow their management skills, or do more of what they enjoy doing in their current roles.

Ready to leave your job, or thinking about it?  Find out your options.  You may qualify for a pharmacist job market expert (who has the “in” with pharmacy directors) to network on your behalf for positions that interest you.

Comment below on whether you agree with the top reasons why pharmacists tend to leave their jobs. And if you’re unhappy now, why do you want to leave?

Comments are accepted anonymously if you don’t want anyone to know who you are!

When You Know You’re Bombing an Interview



Have you ever been in an interview when you knew you were progressing down the path of bombing it? I can think back to when I had interviewed for a coveted summer internship with Merck and I knew I had bombed the interview while I was still interviewing. A handful of interns were to be chosen nationally for a internship that included many benefits, including an opportunity to work on a special project at Merck, meeting the CEO, a summer in a different part of the country with flights, rental car, and hotel paid for, etc.

I had wanted the internship so badly. But the way the interview was going, I could feel myself kissing goodbye to the opportunity. It was as if I were a Stepford wife at times.  Other times, I drew blank stares when asked some simple questions. I had also had 2 other interviews with two other Merck employees that went well, but this one was just plain embarrassing.

So what do you do when you’re in a similar situation? What do you do when you’re in a pharmacist job interview and you say something you knew you shouldn’t have said (or you wish you said it differently)?

Here is a simple solution to save the interview:

Shift your mindset right away:  “Unclutch” from your mind starting to give yourself a hard time about why you’re bombing the interview.  Observe your thoughts coming up and then let it go (“unclutch” from them).  Otherwise, you may find yourself getting distracted from the rest of the interview questions.  This can take you away from being completely focused and acing the rest of the interview.  You are perfectly capable of saving the rest of the interview.  The truth is

What to say to save that part of the interview:  Bring up what you answered (the part you bombed) and clarify what your answer was.  Elaborate on anything you meant to say but didn’t; explain what you said which you didn’t mean to say.that most interviewers know that people get nervous.  As long as you regroup your thoughts, you can save the interview.

What if you are answering questions and can just tell that the interviewer isn’t impressed with your answers?

Acknowledge the interviewer’s reaction artfully.  Depending on whether it’s appropriate in that moment or at the end of the interview, ask your interviewer “are there any concerns you have about me XXX [insert the topic during which you noticed the interviewer wasn’t impressed] or doing the job well?”  Depending on what the interviewer says, then bring up examples that may help dissolve their concerns.

Stay tuned for a future article that will give you the answers to a few other interview questions I’m frequently asked (including “Should you acknowledge that you are messing up the interviewer?”).  I will also share with you what happened with my bombed interview at Merck & whether I got the job there that summer, if you’re curious.

In the meantime, if you are looking for a job right now and don’t want to make easily preventable mistakes that make you lose out on a job you really want, here is my gift to you…Access your free gift:  the 5 Biggest Mistakes Pharmacists Make in a Job Search.  Put your name & email in the box after you click on the link above, and you will get valuable free tips that can help you stand out from everyone else.  Good luck with your upcoming interviews and use the resources on this website to help you beat your competition.

Will My IHS Pharmacy Have to offer mail-order services?



Last month you read about how using the VA Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP) for mail-order prescription services in IHS may affect pharmacy staff size. From what we learned during our interview with CAPT Pam Schweitzer, IHS-VA National CMOP Coordinator, the plan is for most sites to stay at the same staff size or to even increase. We asked you what you thought in our poll, and 70% thought that it wouldn’t increase.

Phoenix Indian Medical Center staff visiting the VA CMOP Leavenworth

Another frequently asked question about the program is “Will my pharmacy HAVE to offer mail-order services & use CMOP?” We discussed this with CAPT Schweitzer, and she took the time to address some of thse important and valid concerns:

Q: Will IHS require every site to get on board with CMOP?

A: No. It is optional. One aim of this project is to improve the efficiency of the prescription filling process. This may involve combining automation and mailing prescriptions locally. Many times, adding more staff is not an option.  Some of the sites have long wait times or health through adherence.  CMOP provides an additional/alternative method, which makes sense for improving the quality of health care.
As you can see from the CMOP flow chart below, the programs allows for flexibility for the patient to choose the plan that works best for them, as well as for the IHS site to customize the program to their own specifications:
Q: Will the tribes have an opportunity to get on board with CMOP?
A.  Quite a few tribes are interested. It is expected that they will have the opportunity to get on board.  In fact, three large tribes in Oklahoma have been mailing prescriptions from their facility for quite some time.  Their experiences and challenges were incorporated into the planning of the CMOP project.

Ken Siehr, National CMOP Director snapped this photo of the staff when he stopped by Phoenix Indian Medical Center

Q: Which IHS sites are already implementing CMOP services?

Rapid City Indian Hospital (South Dakota), Phoenix Indian Medical Center (Arizona), Claremore IHS Hospital (Oklahoma), and the Yakama Indian Health Center (Washington), to name a few. Eleven sites are actively using CMOP with at least eight more scheduled for activation by the end of the year.
From our discussions with IHS and Tribal Pharmacy Directors, it is clear that this have been a hot topic of discussion in the IHS pharmacy world. Our goal of part 1 and part 2 of this special IHS and mail-order services series was to help you get answers to some of the FAQs that you were wondering about.  Special thanks again to CAPT Pam Schweitzer for answering questions about this new program.
If you are going to go through the transition to using CMOP in your pharmacy and have pharmacy staffing needs during the transition, click here for your options.

Being Committed But Not Attached



It used to drive me crazy.  I would talk to experienced pharmacists who would tell me about issues they were having with their job search. They would apply to places they wanted to work at and then either 1) not get invited in for an interview, or 2) not understand why they didn’t get the job even after what seemed like a good interview.

After talking to them for a bit, I could see how I could help them. A feeling of excitement and “oh—I could solve your problem!” would bubble up inside me when I knew that some simple (yet not always obvious) changes would have made the difference between getting offered a job or not.

Because of the challenges I saw experienced pharmacists having, I started to teach some underused, yet effective, strategies that can be used to either hear about jobs before they come out, or  get noticed when applying for a job.  I would tell the frustrated pharmacists about how I taught this in the bootcamps I offered, and that they didn’t need to worry because I could help them.  In my excitement, they sometimes got offended because they felt I was “selling” what I had to offer to them.  Sometimes they got turned off because they felt I wanted to make money off them.

We would hang up, and then I would see them continue to do what they had always done –making the same mistakes in their job search and missing out on jobs they deserved. Sometimes they would come back to me later when they finally realized the cost of taking time trying to figure it out themselves.

I learned from my experiences that being more committed to them than they were about turning things around  with their job search was not an attractive thing. Aside from that, I think I came across a bit too “salesy.”  I was confident in what I offered—I knew they couldn’t learn what I teach anywhere else.  I have not seen other pharmacist recruiters willing to teach the secrets they know about how to get your foot into the door.  Also very few recruiters are pharmacists themselves.  Yet my passion to teach pharmacists how to improve their chances for getting a job  actually got in the way of them deciding to learn from me.  Although it was hard at first, I eventually let go of being attached to their success.

Now I am committed but not attached. If pharmacists recognize they want expert help in saving them time and lost job opportunities, that’s when I share how they can learn what to do differently.  If they choose to figure it out themselves, I completely honor their decision.

As a result, the pharmacists who learn from me are the most committed and often write me, thanking me for shifting their job search approach and helping them get the job they wanted. Many of them are pleasantly surprised with what was taught, especially in the Hidden Job Market Bootcamp, which include strategies they can use throughout their pharmacy career to be in “the know” and hear about jobs before their competition.

You can apply my concept of “being committed but not attached” to your job search. Sometimes you may come across job opportunities that you are excited about, but the employer doesn’t seem to be interested in you because they’re not responding.  It might drive you nuts because you know they could be a good match for you, if only they gave you a chance.  Sometimes you have the opportunity to influence the decision and you just need to learn how to do it in an elegant way.  Rather than writing it off as that it’s simply because of the tough job market that you didn’t get a shot, redirect your energy to figuring out what to do differently to get noticed.

The key is to be totally committed. If you’re half-assing it and sending out resumes to 10 different places just because you need a job, that doesn’t spell commitment.  If you say you are committed, but you don’t take the time to get to really know what you’re applying for and  to personalize your approach to capture the attention of a hiring manager, then you have a deeper commitment to something else.  Your deeper commitment reflects  hoping things will turn out, rather than putting your best foot forward and then letting things fall into place for you.

So be committed. After that, don’t be attached to where you end up, because what happens will just be perfect when you know you’ve tried your best.  Even if you can’t see it now, when you look back, you will see how it was all an important part of your path.  Just as some of you being “turned off” by me was an all- important part of my path to working with those I enjoy most working with.

To learn how to find out about jobs before they come out, listen to the free preview call:
How to Tap into the Hidden Job Market to Beat Your Competition to the Interview”.

The Word “But” – Communicating to Be Heard Corner




Ever hear a compliment, only to be let down when you hear the word “but”? “You’ve been doing a great job with counseling patients lately, BUT let us move more patients through the pharmacy faster.”

Before you hear anything else after “BUT”, you already anticipate to be let down by something negative. It’s what my friend & Communications Expert Kay White calls “The Great Eraser” in her #1 best-selling book “The A to Z of Being Understood:  Make Your Voice Heard and Your Conversations Count”.

What if you could change the tone of what you’re about to say by making a simple switch?

Here are two simple tips I learned from Kay to overcome “The Great Eraser:”

Tip #1:  Changing “but” to “and”.  A useful way to avoid the “but” trap is to replace it with ”and.”  The word “and” works as a bridge, instead of breaking the sentence up and highlighting the negative.

Example:  “You’ve been doing a great job with counseling patients lately, and why don’t we move more patients through the pharmacy faster also.”

Tip #2:  Flip It
– Say the negative part first, and the positive part last.  That way the comment is left on a positive note.

Example: We really need to move more patients through the pharmacy faster, but you’ve been doing a great job with counseling patients lately.

Doing this will make a difference between being heard and having both points received vs. ending a conversation on a negative note. Start watching for The Great Eraser as you counsel patients, talk to co-workers or your pharmacy manager, or even think to yourself—I’ll bet you catch yourself doing it more often than you think.

It might take a while to get used to pausing before talking to avoid using the word “but,” BUT it is worth it because it will make a huge difference in your communication skills and help you to really be heard in the work place and in your personal life.  Comment below on what you think of these tips, or how it’s going for you trying them out.