Dr. Doug Yau Explains the Importance of Mastering the Concept of Emotional Intelligence while in the MSL Profession

Dr. Doug Yau Explains the Importance of Mastering the Concept of Emotional Intelligence while in the MSL Profession

  1. What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (or emotional quotient, EQ) is the ability to 1) recognize, understand and manage our own emotions and 2) recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.  The four main pillars of emotional intelligence are self awareness, self management, social awareness, and relationship management.

  1. Why is it important to master this concept when one is an MSL?

EQ is the backbone for critical MSL traits such as presentation skills, empathy, communication, stress tolerance, accountability, and most of all establishing trust.   As the MSL profession is a job of scientific communication and relationship management, it is imperative that an MSL master the skill of emotional intelligence to manage their emotions during a KOL engagement, effectively read a KOL and understand their needs, address their needs in a timely manner and build and foster these KOL relationships. 

Of note, unlike IQ, which remains that largely the same as one ages, EQ is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with practice.

  1. How does having emotional intelligence affect the career of an MSL?

EQ is the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.     As an MSL, developing a high EQ allows for the increased ability to work in teams, adjusting to change and maintaining flexibility.  This allows for success despite the dynamic nature of the MSL job within a medical division of a company.  As a MSL with high EQ continues to develop and broaden his or her network within the company, their accomplishments take notice and help drive collaboration on projects, selection to leadership teams, and upward mobility.   As an MSL manager, developing a high level of emotional intelligence allows for better understanding of their team members and more effective coaching.  This increases employee job satisfaction and less turn over within the team.

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

Dr. David Tanouye Shares his thoughts on Effective Territory Management

Dr. David Tanouye Shares his thoughts on Effective Territory Management

  1. How does one juggle multiple meetings out in the field?

When I am traveling by plane, car or at a conference, I am in control of my schedule, so I don’t ever have conflicts in my time.  What I do when I am in the field is to reach out to my KOL via email or phone call and try and schedule time out of their office for breakfast, lunch or dinner to sit down and discuss topics of interest.  If this is a doctor I don’t know have a current relationship, I will reach out to one of my commercial or clinical team members to arrange a meeting (usually introduction meeting)  I really enjoy meeting doctors in the operating room during cases.  I have been observing cataract and refractive cases for many years.  Most surgeons enjoy the teaching aspect during surgery and are very open to having you in the OR.  One key point is to not upset the flow or staff in the surgery center.  There is one surgery center that I have known some of their staff for over 20 years and I have an open invitation to observe cases with two of their surgeons whenever I want to. 

At conferences, I book breakfast reservations and lunch reservations ahead of time and try to fill them with KOL meetings.  If I can’t fill them, I cancel the reservations the day before with no penalty.  I often will arrange to meet my KOL at our Medical Affairs table in the Exhibit Hall.

  1. What are the top 3 tools needed to manage a territory effectively?

Frequent flyer and frequent hotel rewards program. As you rise in the loyalty programs, you have access to better seats on planes, better rooms at hotels and the perks that go with it. Combine multiple KOL visits when traveling by plane to maximize your time when away from home. Keeping in contact with the commercial team for introductions or if one of their KOL’s proposes a study idea.

    3.  For MSLs that have a limited budget, what are 3 tips that help them to continue to maximize KOL opportunities in their territory?

  • Fortunately, I can drive to half of my KOL’s so I am putting plenty of mileage on my company car.
  •  Telephone calls and emails replaced face to face interactions while our budget was sliced.
  •  Combine multiple doctor visits when traveling and fly back home at night to avoid another day’s hotel stay.

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

Dr. Ralph Rewers Explains the Value of Gathering Impactful and Meaningful Insights

  1. Why is gathering impactful and meaningful insights important?

Insights are an integral part of the MSL role. The company relies on the field teams to give them a pulse of what is going on currently in clinical practice. There are very few other ways to collect this information in real time.

  1. What  3 signs do you look for to determine what information is meaningful during a KOL meeting?
  • Is it something we have not heard before?
  • Does it impact our medical objectives?
  • Does it identify an evidence gap?
  1. How valuable is it for an MSL to master this skill?

It is essential for success as an MSL. While communicating scientific data is important, finding insights and communicating them internally in an appropriate way can only be done by field teams. This is the most important aspect of the MSL role

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

Dr. Jihad Rizkallah Explains the Importance of Building Trust and a Productive  Relationship Between Manager and MSLs

Dr. Jihad Rizkallah Explains the Importance of Building Trust and a Productive Relationship Between Manager and MSLs

  1. Why is it important to build trust and a productive relationship between a manager and MSLs?

Trust is very important and essential between manager and MSls because without trust, communication, teamwork and performance will suffer and nothing gets accomplished.

  1. How does this type of relationship determine the fate of an MSL team?

Without trust, you are set up for failure. Trust boosts engagement, motivation and candor. MSLs are more likely to follow through on goals and be more forthcoming about the challenges they face at their level.

  1. How has the concept effected your career in the MSL profession?

 Throughout my career as an MSL and manager, I strived to be trustworthy, to lead by example, to walk the talk and be transparent. Showing people how much you care about them and their career and giving them opportunities to develop and grow, and truly acting upon it, has helped me grow and progress in roles of increased leadership over the years.

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.

Dr. Valbona Martini Explains the Changes of the MSL Role Throughout a Product Life-Cycle

Dr. Valbona Martini Explains the Changes of the MSL Role Throughout a Product Life-Cycle

  1. What are two ways that an MSL can adapt to changes in a product life-cycle?

To be able to successfully evolve with the role throughout the product lifecycle, MSLs must focus beyond meeting their short term objectives in the field. MSLs must think strategically about their territories and how to engage with their customers in a way that allows them to maximize their value and create long lasting collaborations in the field. MSLs also need to focus on customer needs first and how to marry those needs with their business priorities.

  1. How can an MSL prepare themselves for the changes expected in a product life- cycle?

Change is the only constant, they say, and that is even more true in this industry. Understanding this and being comfortable with change is very important for anyone who wants to be successful in this role. It is important to be able to look ahead and think how will my customers’ needs change next year? How about our business priorities? Thinking ahead will allow the MSL to be better prepared and know how to quickly switch gears when business needs change.  In addition, MSLs need to develop a good business acumen to understand how decisions are made and to be strategic in their territories. This will help them better anticipate what is coming ahead.

  1. How important is it for the MSL to change with the product life-cycle?

It is key for the MSL to be able to adapt quickly to the challenges and opportunities that arise as they support a product from one stage to the other. At each of these stages, the business priorities change as do the customer’s needs. To be effective, it is crucial for the MSL to understand these dynamics and adopt their approach as needed.

Copyright 2013-2018 The Medical Science Liaison Society. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without prior written authorization. The MSL Society is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing the global MSL career.