Monthly Archives: February 2018

ASSERTIVE LANGUAGE

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There are some conflicting views about whether women should minimize the use of weak language; word such as ‘just’. A few years ago Ellen Petry Leanse, former exec at Google and Apple (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/just-say-ellen-petry-leanse) noticed that women use the word ‘just’ frequently in emails, conversations and emails. She felt that this was a ‘permission’ word that put the other party in a position of authority and control. Shane Ferro, writing in Business Insider (http://tinyurl.com/zkjutoy), disputes Leanses’s claims saying that women should not have to self-regulate everything that they are saying since this in itself undermines their confidence.

When women try to act more like their male counterparts and use strong language they are often viewed negatively. Therefore, it is important to find your own, unique voice and style that reflects who you are and how you want to be seen. If you are happy to be seen as hard and aggressive, that’s fine. If you want to have a different reputation, look for a way to get your message across in an assertive, yet feminine way.

Believe in yourself, you are in your position because your colleagues and seniors think that you are capable and have a valid perspective. Speak out with authority on topics where you have a viewpoint and something to contribute.

Think about how you want to come across to other participants; what impression do you want to make? What do you want them to say and think about you? Ensure that you wear outfits that make you feel good and confident whilst respecting the dress code.

 Learning suggestions:

  • Think about what you want your reputation to be. What behaviours will reinforce this brand? Make sure that you look and act the part. For example, if you want to be promoted, take actions that demonstrate that you are capable of operating at that level and people will start visualizing you there;
  • Set yourself a goal to be more assertive in meetings. Enlist the help of a trusted colleague who can give you feedback on how you came across and what impact you had on the other attendees. Take this feedback on board and try to improve your interactions in future;
  • Listen attentively to how others put their ideas across. What language do they use? What emotion do they convey; do they remain calm and composed? Do they get angry? Do they emphasize important points? Analyse what techniques are effective in which scenarios and try to incorporate them into your own communication style;
  • Remember these following tips:
    • Use the word ‘I’ so that you retain control;
    • Maintain eye contact;
    • Have a good posture;
    • Express body language by using gestures that convey warmth and openness;
    • Be clear. Make short statements that are to the point and unambiguous;
    • Learn to be comfortable with silence and pauses. This can emphasize the point you are making and also give people time to think and digest what you are saying;
    • Use appropriate language i.e. no swearing and don’t be rude!
    • If you feel strong emotions welling up (for example, tears or anger) take some deep breaths to give you time to compose yourself;
    • Be aware of your voice i.e. not too soft or too loud;
    • Take responsibility for yourself.
  • When you find yourself doubting your ability, remember that ability grows with experience and effort. In other words: “The will must be stronger than the skill” (Sheryl Sandberg);

How many of the tips above do you follow? Identify areas and situations where you can increase your assertiveness.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 40: What is this animal?

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What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds… 

Last time I wrote to you, I was talking about resilience. It’s about bouncing back and being adaptive. And to be adaptive with a young business you really have to have your radar on full power: what exactly are we dealing with here? What kind of animal is this?

It’s like a join-the-dots puzzle. Once you can figure out the constellation, it all fits into place and everything is possible. This seems to apply to lots of situations. A couple of hypothetical examples:

  • A historian is looking to answer a key question about our ancient past. By researching and piecing together the right bits of new and existing knowledge from botany, microbiology, geology and anthropology, she joins the dots and gets to an answer.
  • Someone is unhappy. They feel mixed up and can’t work out what’s going on. With a good therapist, they manage to uncover a co-incidence of factors that when put together in the right way, make everything clear, perhaps a disturbing event in early life, a difficult relationship with a sibling, an aspect of their character that triggers an unhealthy response to certain circumstances – and then a pattern of reactions to this. Based on this understanding, they can address their issues.

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Time

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By: Angie Falls

In essence we all are time travellers.

Late at night, there is this thought in my mind that just wouldn’t leave me until I wrote it down. I see the past in front of me and realize that I am unique in the universe and that everything revolves around me. Every event and occurrence in time is to teach me. Every step ahead I learn new lessons from the people I meet and the surroundings in which I move. I travel in time to the future. The years pass by me and I can see and feel the time. I only possess the ability to move forward. Unfortunately, I can’t turn back time. So many times, I wish I could. I must google this.

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Are you living the life you want or submitting to the directives, aspirations and advice that others impose on you?

 

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From the moment we are born we develop both our motives and values. Motives are deep-seated non-conscious desires and are the things that we enjoy doing. Values develop through social conditioning – home, school, religion, work, friends etc. Values are what we feel are important; the things we should do.

David McClelland’s theory on human motivation states that in normal, healthy human beings there are 3 social motives and values that describe the widest range of behaviors; achievement, affiliation and power. Achievement is a concern for achieving a standard of excellence that the individual sets for him/herself. Often people with a dominant achievement motive strive for mastery and expertise in their chosen field. Affiliation is concerned with having positive relationships for the sake of the relationship (and not in service of something else). Individuals with a dominant affiliation motive invest in a few, deep relationships and often have strong reactions towards others – they are clear whom they like and dislike. They prefer environments that are convivial and foster friendship. The power motive is a concern to have influence and impact on others. People with a dominant power motive like to have an audience and visibility. They are often good networkers.

There is no ‘right’ motive profile that determines success; we are all different.   The key to our success lies in understanding what drives our behavior in various situations; this is a combination of our motives and our values (what we believe is important at the time) and the conditions that we find ourselves in. Defining personal success is a journey of self-discovery; you need to figure out what is your true purpose, what you are passionate about, what you enjoy and find ways at work to satisfy that need.   You must to listen to your inner voice rather than be influenced by others so that you can lead a fulfilling life and not feel regret when you retire because you did not follow your heart.

Learning suggestions:

  • Take some time to determine what your motives are. There are several ways to do this:
  1. You can work with work with a coach who is accredited to help you uncover your motives and values. Usually, he/she will recommend that you take a survey to more accurately diagnose your dominant drivers since we are often not conscious of what these are.
  2. Assess your behavior patterns over time; whilst the specific circumstances may vary you look for opportunities to satisfy your motives. For example, do you always put your hand up when there is a challenging or complex problem to solve or project to run? Do you like to learn new things or deepen your knowledge in a certain area? Do you love taking the floor and entertaining people?   These patterns will be related to your underlying motives.
  3. Consider what you do in your spare time when you are free to choose. For example, do you like to spend time with close friends or family? Are you learning a new skill? Do you chair a group? Again, this will indicate your dominant motive.
  4. Get feedback from the people who know you well about what they see in your behavior.
  • Do some reflection on your life story so far. What was it like growing up? How have events shaped you? What lessons have you learned? What does that mean for how you want to live your life?

Determine what your purpose is. This should come out of your motives and values and be a guiding light in terms of what you want to achieve and how you define success.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

Coordinator: telling people what to do.

 

paintBy: Angie Falls

It makes sense to first have a good understanding of the word.

A coordinator is a person whose job is to organize events or activities and to collaborate with others to ensure they work together effectively and bring results.

In my profession, as a coordinator, I get the opportunity to work with people from different non-profit organizations. What strikes me is that these days too many people have lost passion in what they do daily. We all must make a living but can’t we have fun when doing so?

This lack of passion effects the people they should be helping in their function. It results in a decline in performance.

There was this case where I was working on when I discovered that the educational psychologist was not effective in her profession. She was deviating from the course that should be properly supporting a student. With her a mentor and a leader for learning. The collaboration between these 3 parties was not what it should have been. I had a few meetings and shared my advice and opinion on the matter. Straightforward and to the point regarding where we should focus on and which process to follow in this specific case.

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Situation 47: Financials

Help you to succeed in life and work

In a face-to-face meeting between Boss and Betsy, Boss is wondering why Betsy did not ask for a salary increase since her accountabilities changed significantly. Betsy believes that learning as much as possible is more important for her at this stage than a higher pay check. Boss advises her to develop a responsible behavior around financials.

(Click on the pictures to see them in full size)

A great leader:

  • Takes a holistic view of her rewards and benefits, valuing both financial and non-financial aspects;
  • Sees that having opportunities to learn are equally as important as receiving higher salaries;
  • Ensures that her financial compensation is in line with her responsibilities and commensurate with other people in similar positions;
  • Is able to negotiate the appropriate salary for her role.

How to best handle the situation:

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 39: Resilience

Image-1What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

Resilience, as I’ve discovered, isn’t about how much thick skin you’ve got or how much you can carry on with something determinedly (although that’s quite a close definition).

Resilience is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties”.

Apparently, resilience is like a muscle – it strengthens with practice. It seems people can be more resilient if they:

  • don’t have so much recovery to do (e.g. if they mitigated the extent of the damage / pain)
  • have a degree of independence, a personal distance from the subject of the difficulties
  • see the journey that they are on is ever-evolving, and the difficulties they encounter as learning moments.

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