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The Big Truth: Soft Skills Are… Hard

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✨ Introduction

In this episode, Raina Dauria, Vice President of Global Regulatory Policy and Talent at Johnson & Johnson, shares her insights on the significance of soft skills in MedTech and how they can accelerate your career.

A Unique Role in MedTech

Raina Dauria’s role as Vice President of Global Regulatory Policy and Talent at Johnson & Johnson exemplifies a holistic approach to leadership in the MedTech industry. By combining regulatory expertise with talent development strategies, Dauria’s role reflects the company’s commitment to innovation and growth. Her dual responsibilities underscore the importance of both shaping regulatory landscapes and nurturing talent to drive success in a rapidly evolving industry.

The Journey into Regulatory Affairs

Raina’s journey into regulatory affairs highlights the diverse backgrounds that professionals in this field often possess. With a degree in biology and a passion for blending science with communication and negotiation, she found her niche in regulatory affairs. Her experience underscores the multifaceted nature of the role, which requires a blend of technical expertise, interpersonal skills, and a deep understanding of regulatory frameworks.

The Importance of Soft Skills

While technical skills are essential in regulatory affairs, Raina emphasises the critical role of soft skills in driving success. Soft skills, including communication, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and collaboration, enable professionals to navigate complex regulatory landscapes, build strong relationships with stakeholders, and drive meaningful change. Raina’s insights highlight the evolving nature of skill sets required in the MedTech industry, with soft skills increasingly recognized as key drivers of innovation and growth.

Navigating Feedback and Adversity

Raina’s candid discussion of receiving critical feedback and navigating adversity underscores the importance of resilience and self-awareness in professional growth. By reflecting on setbacks, seeking mentorship, and embracing learning opportunities, she demonstrates the value of perseverance in overcoming challenges. Her journey serves as a testament to the power of resilience and continuous improvement in achieving success in the MedTech industry.

Empathy in Leadership

Raina’s reflections on empathy in leadership shed light on the unique challenges faced by women in the workplace. By acknowledging gendered feedback and advocating for mutual support among colleagues, Raina emphasises the importance of empathy and inclusivity in fostering a supportive work environment. Her experiences highlight the need for leaders to balance empathy with accountability, creating a culture of respect and collaboration.

The Journey of Growth

Through introspection and resilience, Raina navigated challenges and showcased the transformative power of a growth-oriented mindset. Her journey underscores the importance of self-awareness, mentorship, and continuous learning in achieving professional success. By embracing setbacks as opportunities for growth, she exemplifies the resilience and determination necessary to thrive in the dynamic world of MedTech.

Practical Steps for Skill Development

Raina’s practical advice for skill development emphasises the importance of mentorship, feedback, and reflection. By seeking guidance from mentors, gathering feedback from colleagues, and engaging in reflective practices, professionals can cultivate essential soft skills for success in regulatory affairs and beyond. Dauria’s approach highlights the value of intentional skill development and ongoing self-improvement in navigating the complexities of the MedTech industry.

Communication is Key

Raina emphasises the importance of effective communication, not only in conveying ideas but also in listening actively. She stresses the need to truly understand the concerns and priorities of stakeholders, articulating one’s value proposition clearly, and building relationships based on trust and empathy.

Strategic Networking

Networking is more than just socialising; it’s about understanding and engaging with stakeholders strategically. Raina suggests identifying key stakeholders, learning about their priorities, and finding opportunities to add value to their objectives. Building visibility and rapport with stakeholders can pave the way for sponsorship and career advancement.

Navigating Career Growth

Raina challenges the notion of linear career growth, highlighting the importance of both vertical and horizontal progression. She encourages individuals to focus on contributing to the business’s needs rather than solely on personal ambitions. Additionally, she advises against hasty job changes, emphasizing the value of thoughtful reflection and storytelling when transitioning roles.

Mentorship vs. Sponsorship

Raina distinguishes between mentorship and sponsorship, defining mentorship as a trusted relationship focused on guidance and learning. In contrast, sponsorship involves influential individuals advocating for one’s advancement within the organisation. She underscores the significance of earning sponsorship through visibility, trust-building, and demonstrating value to key decision-makers.

Legacy of Servant Leadership

Raina aspires to leave a legacy as a servant leader who fosters growth, empathy, and trust within her teams. She underscores the importance of nurturing talent, providing opportunities for others to shine, and leading with authenticity and vulnerability.

Conclusion

Raina Dauria’s insights offer a roadmap for success in navigating the complexities of corporate leadership. By embracing the journey of growth, navigating challenges with resilience, and fostering empathy in leadership, professionals can drive positive change and innovation for the benefit of patients worldwide. Raina’s story serves as a reminder of the transformative power of perseverance, self-awareness, and continuous learning in achieving professional excellence in regulatory affairs and beyond. As Raina exemplifies, leadership is not just about climbing the corporate ladder but also about serving others and leaving a lasting legacy of impact and empowerment.

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