Monthly Archives: May 2018

Do you know what you don’t like about yourself in a conflict situation?

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“In business, when two people always agree, one of them is irrelevant” – William Wrigley.

Conflict is a normal part of any healthy relationship. Nobody can be expected to agree on everything all the time.  Make conflict resolution the priority rather than winning or being right. Maintaining and strengthening the relationship should always be the first priority. Say what must be said in a way that is not damaging the relationship. Pride does not belong at work!

Suggestions for managing and resolving conflict:

  • If you have a problem explain your thinking and ask the other party to explain his/her thinking. Focus only on the issue, not on the person. Separate facts from opinions and assumptions;
  • Take the time to really define the problem: describe the problem and its impact, avoid direct blaming remarks, make the problem concrete and specific;
  • Listen for what is felt as well as said. Let the other person finish, don’t interrupt, ask clarifying questions, acknowledge the other person’s feelings and show respect;
  • Use contrasting technique if applicable: “I don’t want to appear that I haven’t heard what you said, because I have. I do want to express a different way to look at the situation”;
  • Let the person know when what you are about to say is difficult: “this is a bit difficult for me to say, but I do want to let you know how I see the situation”;
    If you get emotional, pause and pull yourself together;
  • Focus on the common goals, priorities and problems on both sides. Find wins on both sides, give in on little points, show respect;
  • Keep the open conflict points as concrete and specific as possible (the more abstract it gets, the more unmanageable it is);
  • If you cannot agree on a solution on all conflict points, agree on a procedure to move forward;
  • Know when to let go of something: agree to disagree, disengage and move on;
    If needed, take the situation to the upper level for further calibration or decision taking.
    Other learning suggestions:

We often don’t like in others what we don’t want to see in ourselves. Are you up for a challenge? Write down five traits that really bug you when you see them in others. Be aware that these traits are your “hot buttons”.

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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There is a difference between hard work and smart work that gets you noticed.

IMG_0052“Women lose sight of their goals by taking on extra responsibilities. We are virtual responsibility magnets. We don’t make these decisions consciously or deliberately but out of fear that if we don’t act on a need it will never get resolved. But we fail to realize that once we become responsible for something we might be responsible for it forever.”

This quote is from Pat Heim – the author of the no-nonsense book I highly recommend you to read: “Hardball for Women”

I have another quote for you. According to Pablo Picasso “There are only two types of women – goddesses and doormats”.

Let’s have a closer look at the differences:

Doormats:

  • Do whatever is asked of them
  • Tolerate mental and physical abuse
  • Believe it is their responsibility to care for others
  • Are disrespected
  • Never ask for anything for themselves
  • Can’t say no
  • Give others permission to walk on them

Goddesses:

  • Get others to do what they ask
  • Banish abusers from their presence
  • Believe it is the responsibility of others to care for them
  • Are worshipped
  • Feel entitled to get what they want
  • Won’t take no for an answer
  • Walk away from people who walk on them

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LIKED ENOUGH

IMG_0057Steve Jobs once said, “If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader, sell ice cream”.

The qualities we tend to like in women (modesty, humility) are not the qualities that get professional recognition. Qualities we tend to like in men (self-confidence, assertiveness, asking directly for what you want) are the same qualities we uphold in the business world.

Caring too much about what others think of you stifles your ability to take risks and disrupts your social satisfaction. While you can’t control what other people think of you, you can control what you think of yourself and how you respond towards those who judge you.

People you work with do not need to like you.

People you work with need to respect you.

Strong leaders treat everyone well, but their actions are focused on the organization’s mission, vision, and goals rather than getting everyone to like them.

Be comfortable with the fact that not everyone will like you at work, in your neighborhood, and in your community activities; they never will.

Jesus, Gandhi, and Mother Teresa weren’t liked by everyone. So how can you and I possibly expect to attain 100% adoration? If we try to achieve that, we’ll bend and flex so much no one will know what we stand for – including ourselves. Be true to yourself and your values. It’s important that YOU like yourself and what you stand for. When that happens, others will stand with you.

Liz Weber

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

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 46: Another mountain range

IMG_0040What 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…

I can NOT believe that just the second you think you’ve scaled the mountain and can relax at the top, you look over the ridge only to see yet ANOTHER, higher mountain top to climb. And you know that the higher you go, the better it will be, so the feelings are a mixed sense of incredulity, exasperation, and energy to take on a fresher challenge.
I’ve just been to London again – it always pays to meet up with experts, people in related fields. I get something out of every meeting and this time I met with people with experience in learning, HR, philosophy, and leadership. Referrals, people I used to work with, people I met at conferences…

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Does Gender Matter When it Comes to Your Mentor?

IMG_0039Girls are often raised to believe that it’s not polite to speak about your-self. So many women wait to be recognized and then are frustrated when they aren’t.

With the guidance of a trusted mentor, women can learn to overcome the internal and external factors that hold them back, and go on to successfully grow in their careers.

One of the most basic questions in the mentor-selection process is whether to be mentored by a man or a woman. When it comes to mentoring women, should the gender of mentor candidates be a consideration? The answer is not straightforward. While some experts and executives believe male mentors can offer the best resources to women, others feel that female mentors can offer better understanding of specific issues that mentees need to know. Still others feel that gender should not be a deciding factor for mentorship.

The bottom line?

Think about your goals for a mentoring relationship. If your company’s management structure is male-dominated and you need access to the “boy’s club,” a male mentor might make more sense, at least initially. But if you’re hoping to be advised by someone who has gone before you in your shoes and experienced similar challenges firsthand, you might prefer a female mentor.

Through a female or male mentor, you will have access to circles previously closed to you – you’ll receive firsthand know-how, tailored to your specific needs and your current position – and you’ll gain recognition in the places where decisions are made.

Choose someone who is more experienced in your field, someone who you respect professionally, find inspiring and look forward to spending time with. He/she should energize you.

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

It is Great to Know You don’t Know ….

IMG_0044Admitting you don’t know something could be seen as a sign of weakness. What do you do?

First of all relax.

Don’t stress about it.

You don’t come into the job knowing all there is to know about everything.

No matter what is your day to day work, it’s absolutely normal not to know everything. You’ll keep your credibility by saying, “I don’t know, but I’ll check for the answer”, than trying to answers with information you aren’t sure.

MORE IMPORTANTLY:

You probably know those people who are sure they know everything because they think they’ve seen it all and done it all. They’ve stopped learning.

They believe they’ve accumulated enough knowledge. They are afraid of learning something new because that causes them to call into question the absolute validity of their experiences and knowledge.

However, in todays’ fast changing world it is impossible to know everything.

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 45: Why

IMG_0051What 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…

Before I get on to WHY, (which is a question we all need to ask ourselves about what we do in business if we’ve ever watched Simon Sinek’s video on the topic) – I need to give you an update.

But to start with I need to share this. Yes it’s the first Mirror Mirror Webinar, hosted by the International Association of Business Communicators: 

Align Your Teams and Improve Business Results

22 May 2018 at 1 p.m. CET

Our next webinar guest speaker will be Lindsay Uittenbogaard who will be discussing team alignment and strategy implementation in the webinar Align your teams and improve business results.

People don’t achieve great results, teams do. But what gets in the way of great strategy implementation how people naturally see things differently, especially in complex work environments. Misunderstandings, assumptions, interpretations, information gaps, biases: unmanaged, these can lead to misalignment and conflicting decisions and actions, poor performance, frustration, and wasted time and money. All too often, teams can wallow around in a state of unnecessary misalignment that easily goes unnoticed and fail to take a step back to get a better shared current reality.

Register now for this free live event and you will learn:

  • About the latest research on team alignment and how it improves team performance
  • How to improve Team Alignment within your organization
  • How to fast track the journey to team alignment with the Mirror Mirror process.

Register for this webinar now!

 

By the way, for anyone coming into this blog afresh, here’s the helicopter summary (you can read about Mirror Mirror here):

  • May 2016 – fired, again – by an asshole boss. I’m done with employment.
  • June 2016 – looking for an exciting business idea with a lot of potential
  • August 2016 – early Mirror Mirror concept developed
  • November 2016 – basic process, reporting tool and communication materials developed
  • January 2017 – launch of Mirror Mirror in London
  • May 2017 – first interest from a friend of mine at Samsung
  • August 2017 – first trial delivered –excellent results
  • October 2017 – second trial delivered with a student project team– very good results
  • November 2017 – secure a student internship at the Technical University of Delft
  • February 2018 – Quickscan version of Mirror Mirror developed and tested with Aon, Rotterdam – great results

Between all of those milestones there has been a lot of activity with marketing, meetings and discovery; and lots of ups and downs adjusting expectations, reframing and adjusting. Every time I think things have landed with the positioning, the process, the materials – we see an enhancement to make.

I’ve been working full time and another 8 people are loosely involved in various parts on the side-lines. Cost cuts and creative financing has enabled me to continue trading on virtually no income for WAY longer than I ever thought possible. It seems ridiculous to think now that I initially gave myself 6 months from August 2016 to go into profitability.

What keeps me going is that every time the concept evolves to a new depth, when we get the amazing results that we get, when I look at how Mirror Mirror fits into the Future of Work and trends that show businesses will need to find ways to include the employee voice and ways to become more agile and more responsive, I become more motivated and excited by the potential.

Now trading for exactly 16 months, all of this hasn’t come without it’s huge moments of insecurity and self-doubt, but I can say the business is off the ground, just.

And now today’s update: Just over the past month, here are the main developments:

  • The sales pipeline has now 12 real possibilities (companies with whom I have an open / progressing conversation about Mirror Mirror. The time to convert these into sales is very long: months, so this is the result of more than a year’s worth of networking and selling.
  • Curiosity Amsterdam, the marketing company inccentivised to promote Mirror Mirror has sprung into action with a build of social media activity every week in the run up to the webinar.
  • I’ve recruited Edna Ayme-Yahil to the core Mirror Mirror team. Edna a wealth of commercial and communication experience and has agreed to come on board as Strategic Advisor and introduce me to her network. The first step of that involved a Pitch Upgrade. She introduced me to 5 experts in HR / Operations / Team Effectiveness who gave me feedback on my pitch. It has come on leaps and bounds with that level of input.
  • As a result, the USP of Mirror Mirror has chrystalised. Before, I could never make it tight enough but the pitch feedback taught me that it doesn’t need to be ‘tight’ – it just needs to be right. I’d had problems with it because I felt I had to pick the strongest of the various benefits and make it different – but the fact that it provides so many benefits and so well, is different in itself. Here it is:

Mirror Mirror is the quickest and most cost-efficient way of getting teams ready to transition, implement strategy, innovate, and improve performance. It provides multiple immediate and lasting benefits:

  • improves team engagement, alignment and effectiveness
  • creates a more open, respectful, and inclusive team culture
  • promotes team engagement and agility
  • generates useful feedback for relevant stakeholders

Better, right?

And finally, the why. Here’s my current ‘why’:

I want everyone at work to experience a better shared current reality, so they can be free of unnecessary frustration and confusion, feel good and do amazing things.

Mirror Mirror – the process that accelerates team alignment for improved performance and innovation. By enabling a better shared current reality between people with a shared goal, they make better, faster progress: www.mirrormirrorhub.com

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.comanja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

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