Amidst all the chaos, crisis, and never-ending workload in the pharmacy, visits from upper management can induce real death from stress.

To top it off, leaders sometimes cause confusion by throwing around business words and phrases that sound like a completely different language.

How am I supposed to answer your questions without knowing what you mean?

The crazy thing is that most direct reports learn these words only after relentless exposure and stumped facial expressions.

Here’s a small list of corporate vocabulary you can arm yourself with to crush the next DM visit and get back to Pharmacy Life.

1. Action Plan (noun): a to-do list

  • “My action plan to drive sales consists of a three-pronged approach using differentiated world class service, immunizations, and adherence programs.”

2. Synergy (noun): collaboration between 2 or more parties to create an effect greater than the sum of both individually. i.e. 1+1 = 3 or greater.

  • “The front store and pharmacy sales skyrocketed once they built trust and synergy with each other.”

3. Bandwidth (noun): one’s capacity to take on additional work or responsibilities.

  • “Over the years, never-ending demands and constant stress from work enabled the Pharmacy Manager’s mental and physical bandwidth to increase.”

4. Core Competency (noun): a person’s true strength, as defined by company standards.

  • “She built rapport with patients and physicians so effortlessly, it was easy to see that Relating Well to Others was one of her core competencies.”

5. Deck (noun): a PowerPoint presentation.

  • “Send me a copy of the deck for this week’s conference call so I can follow along easier.”

6. Deliverable (noun): a product of effort or development. Also, execution in a tangible form.

  • “Annual performance reviews, monthly action plans, weekly coaching documentation, and daily team recognition are expected deliverables in Retail Pharmacy.”

7. Forced Culture (noun): environment where one has no autonomy, where the exact methods for execution, down to each individual step, are controlled (i.e. micromanagement).

  • “Many Pharmacy Managers grow up in a forced culture that pushes them to cut hours every month, make action plans that are already decided for them, and dispense opioids they feel are unsafe.”

8. Incentivize (verb)motivating someone to buy what you’re selling, even if you’re in the business of selling corporate initiatives and action plans.

  • “How can we incentivize the immunization screening process for our pharmacy technicians at Drop Off so they ask and recommend to every single patient?”

9. In The Pipeline (prepositional phrase): currently in process or under development.

  • “Seeing the Pharmacy Manager struggle with constant staffing turnover, the District Supervisor asked what was in the pipeline for personnel development.”

10. Low-Hanging Fruit (noun): sales or achievements that are easiest to obtain and sometimes pursued as a means to gain momentum in a business strategy.

  • “Increasing script growth was a daunting task for the new Pharmacy Executive; so she decided to go after immunizations, the low-hanging fruit.”

11. Move the Needle (verb): execution that delivers significant results, i.e. when measured results are noticed.

  • “Five Hundred flu shots over goal is really moving the needle!”

12. Out Of Pocket (prepositional phrase): term signifying that one is unavailable or unreachable (i.e. via phone, email, or in person).

  • “Since the Pharmacy Manager was out of pocket in Japan, the technicians and staff pharmacist were responsible for running the business on their own.”

13. Pain Points (noun): the needs of the customers or colleagues, found by putting oneself in their shoes and experiencing from their perspective.

  • “Retail Pharmacy is unique in that pain points for both patients and pharmacy workers stem from decreased payroll budgets.”

14. Push The Envelope (verb): surpassing expectations of what is possible. Going above and beyond the norm.

  • “The other pharmacists in the district wondered how The Corporate PharmD pushed the envelope on script growth to afford all the extra tech hours and hiring he was doing.”

15. Rightsizing (verb): a positive spin for laying off or downsizing the company.

  • “The merger between the two companies resulted in enormous debts, causing the Board of Directors to consider rightsizing redundant middle management positions in certain markets.”

16. Skin In The Game (noun): more personal investment (sometimes money) into a process, behavior, or initiative.

  • “Because the immunization contest was 100% their idea, the pharmacy technicians had more skin in the game to meet goals.”

17. Water Under The Bridge (noun): things in the past that one cannot change and should be ignored. Or currently irrelevant and inconsequential programs i.e. obsolete.

  • “Mastering personalized interactions at the pharmacy counter will be the new status quo, with operational efficiency being water under the bridge.”