Category Archives: Articles

What is in it for the mentor?

Eeyore – Winnie-the-Pooh

By: Anja Uitdehaag

In the words of Albert Einstein:

“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them”.

A mentor-mentee partnership is a personal learning and developmental partnership between someone with a vast experience and some one who wants to learn. It is a helpful relationship based upon mutual trust and respect.

A mentor is a guide who can help the mentee to find the right direction and who can help him/her to develop solutions to career issues. Mentors rely upon having had similar experiences to gain an empathy with the mentee and an understanding of their issues.

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 27: Manifestation

Okeeffee1Richelle E. Goodrich

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…

Despite the last blog on feeling renewed, I have to admit a tad of insecurity that happened just before it, and how I got over it.

Here’s the scenario. You’re running a business. It’s in start-up mode. Currently, the vision is still imagined fiction. Suddenly, the ground starts crumbling from under your feet, then starts to collapse into an endless abyss. With your stomach in freefall and your eyes and mouth wide open in a silent scream, you’re scrambling with the rocks and the dirt, plunging downwards in fear and dread.

Unless you get out of that, it’s the end. In fact, I would guess that many small businesses fail because this is the unbearable part that defies any reason to continue. Sometimes this fear and dread only lasts for 5 minutes, sometimes it lasts for days – but this is where owners bail out.

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Lindsay’s In Business: PART 26: Right. Let’s get this going

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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…

A two-week road trip around the south of England and Wales took me right away from it all. Now immersing myself gradually back into the hot tub of Mirror Mirror, I feel renewed.

We had crossed into the UK by the Chunnel for the first time – marvelling at being in a car on a train. Wandered through the Spittal Fields and Borough markets in London, finding oysters and wine. Seen the funniest theatre show ever, that we’re even still laughing about. Walked on the Black Mountains, wading through neck-high bracken and bouncing on heather that seemed stolen from Scotland. Dined and lunched with 16 friends, young and old, not caring about the mess and loving seeing them again. Danced to songs from the 80’s in front of a camp fire at midnight. Driven through impossible thin country lanes that everyone else seemed to think were safe. Talked about going on walking holidays that we never would have considered before.

I’m still there aren’t I?!

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OVERCOMING OBSTACLES

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By: Anja Uitdehaag

“If you can find a path without obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” – Frank A. Clark.

Life is all about having purpose, meaning and about being productive.

We all have the ability to do whatever we want with our lives. We, also, all face obstacles in every facet of life, work included.

Everyone struggles in everyday life in one way or another.

It is easy to let setbacks define us but it is also critical to learn from them. Too often people tend to focus on what is not right instead of figuring out how to make things right.

Our mind is a survival tool whose primary focus is to keep us safe and in our comfort zone. Challenge it! If you don’t control it, it will control you!

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The fortunate road ahead.

The fortunate road ahead

By: Angie Falls

On the road, I am heading I feel to be fortunate. I can find my way back in difficult situations. We all land in certain situations somewhere during our life. When I look around I see and meet so many troubled souls. They are troubled because of the past or troubled on their view of the present and the future. No matter in which direction they turn. I reach out as much as I can to try to make a difference in their lives.

Through listening and through my own experiences which I share. I listen to their stories and how life took them to puzzled cross roads. After listening I give my perception on their story and where alterations are needed to their view. Too often the stories are embedded with a negative touch. I question why they give certain points on their journey a negative tag. A tag which it often doesn’t deserve. I advise them not to use negative tags but instead search for the positive tag for it.

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I wish I had just done the job myself….

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By: Anja Uitdehaag

Sometimes I really believe that if I want something done right, I must do it myself.

Do you recognize this?

As women, we’re not naturals at delegating.

For many women, “delegating” equals asking for help because we are not able to do something, when for most men it means a sign of leadership.

Most of us, still feel this need to show that we are able to do everything ourselves to avoid being perceived as weak.

Furthermore, we tend to slip into the responsibility mode all too easily.

No one, however, can do everything, and to attempt to do so usually results in incomplete tasks or poor execution (there are only so many hours in a day…)

Successful women do not do it all themselves, they learn to delegate.

Delegating to others is not only helpful, it’s crucial to your success. As you advance in your career and begin taking on larger and larger projects, you won’t be able to juggle all of your responsibilities and keep up with a high standard of work, too.

Sharing tasks allows you to focus on the things that you need and want to do, rather than extra work that just needs to get done.

When done properly, delegation allows you to make the best use of your time and skills, and it helps other people in the team grow and develop to reach their full potential in the organisation.

I like the following definition:

“Delegation is assigning responsibility and authority to someone in order to complete a clearly defined and agreed upon task while you retain ultimate responsibility for its success.”

When you delegate it is important to use the following steps:

STEP 1: Clarify expectations by sharing exactly who, what, when, where, and how you would like something to be done. Clear and precise expectations will eliminate assumptions and misunderstandings;

STEP 2: Ask questions to make sure the team member understands your expectations;

STEP 3: If it will take more than two steps, write them down in bullet points. Often times the team member will stop listening after a couple of steps because they start thinking about how they will accomplish the task or how they will work it into their day;

STEP 4: If it is a large project, schedule a check-in time(s) for the person to keep you updated on his or her progress. This will also enable you to give the person ongoing support and answer any questions that may arise;

STEP 5: Establish and agree on a realistic goal date to complete the task, and schedule a final check-in and update that the task has been completed;

STEP 6: Show your appreciation by thanking the person for a job well done!

Let me summarise with some Key Takeaways:

  • Delegating is part of a manager’s job. You can’t do it all;
  • Surrounding yourself with good people makes delegating work easier;
  • Understanding the skills and motivation levels of your team helps you decide how to manage the delegation of tasks;
  • You should always follow up so that no work is overlooked.

 

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

Why mentorship matters for women

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By: Anja Uitdehaag

For many women working long hours or trying to combine work with family life, it is easy to concentrate on the day- to-day issues of life and forget the larger picture – where they are heading. Having a mentor is a chance to think about longer-term objectives.

Throughout my career multiple mentors and sponsors took part in my continuous development and growth, both males and females. They supported me when I needed a new approach or new level of thought. They helped me to build my self-confidence and leadership at moments when I felt that I did not have the right skills for a particular role or situation and they brought in unique experiences that added to my understanding of how to play the game of business.

Some of the challenges women encounter in the workplace don’t necessarily come from their working environments, but rather from within.

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