Thursday, February 3, 2011

Women in Management

What an incredible group of women on our Women in Management Diploma program - full of energy and so willing to contribute and participate!

Here are some challenges that these women are encountering in the workplace and some of the initial suggestions and strategies that are being put forward by members of the group:

Women in Management: Personal Challenges


How can I connect with, engage, stimulate, motivate, support, encourage and build a strong team? Where do I start to create a positive team environment?


· Be clear about the team’s goals and how we plan to get there

· All team members should know their roles and who they report to

· Provide clear structure and discipline

· Spend time clarifying their understanding, their actions, their due dates

· Use RAA, CARE, build trust and commitment

· Ask, don’t tell (collaborative decision making)

· Offer training and career development opportunities

· Offer feedback that is regular, immediate, genuine, includes outcome, process and effort and focuses more on strengths than areas of development

· Offer opportunities for team building

· Celebrate success together as a team

· Be open and honest about your own falibilities as a manager

· Remain in adult mode when others move into parent or child mode

· Encourage cross training

· Ensure that your team has OOSEA (outcomes, objectives, structure, energy and atmosphere)

· Encourage informal education

· Utilise guest speakers and subject matter experts


How can I manage the dysfunctions within my team?


Use Patrick Lencioni’s framework for the 5 dysfunctions of a team


I’d like to learn how to progress whilst maintaining balance and building strong foundations


Brainstorm, set deadlines, make decisions


How might I remain open to new ways of doing things?


· Encourage ideas from your team

· Make ideas valuable (shape answers where needed)


How might I change behaviours and perceptions regarding inclusivity of women, especially in a male dominated environment. More specifically, how do I deal with power struggles to achieve more equality? How can we bridge the gap between Mars and Venus?


· Adjust communication: avoid gossip, take the fluff out of the conversation, plan communication, use bullet point communication

· Don’t use emotion to manipulate i.e. crying

· Use more assertive language e.g. “I need…”

· Make the effort to socialise with men, not just women, at work, join them

· Use the WIIFM principle

· We cannot control or fix other people. We have two other options: 1.) We can become more politically savvy at handling the situation and 2.) We can, as a last resort, leave the situation alone. People come around in their own time through influence, not pushing. Accept that after you’ve given your best shot and that you may need to let go.

· Embrace and accept differences


How might I better manage diversity (personalities, cultures, etc?)


· Understand what motivates different people

· Create a space for each type to succeed

· Use work preference profiling to learn about each other and identify any gaps and areas for improvement


How can I developing leadership behaviour with my team?


· Ask them what their expectations are

· Be the facilitator of the kind of change you want


How might I coach and/or others to be the best they can be?


· Ask open questions, don’t tell

· Set aside time for coaching

· Be clear about both yours and their expectations


How can I strengthening my operational role; developing stronger vision and strategy?


Use the Johari Window, SWOT, PEST


What can I do to better manage the different generations?


· Set up mentoring relationships between Gen Ys and baby Boomers

· Try to include Gen X’s

· Listen to Gen Y’s ideas

· Be open to the asynchronous nature of Gen Y communication

· Give Gen Y’s big jobs and act as a mentor

· Mentor Gen Y to be open to how other generations communicate


How can I improve my own communications skills and those of my team members?


· Understand and use DISC

· Communicate adult-adult

· Focus on the issue/person/behaviour and not the person

· Make face-to face time (Skype, Webex)


I’m in a new management role. How do I recruit the right employees?


Session on recruitment to follow


Managers need to multi-task, so how can we prioritise better?


· Set realistic expectations for yourself

· Delegate what you can using RAA

· Accept that you’ll juggling-nine minutes spent on one task before being called to another

· Use Outlook (task lists, to do lists, reminders)

· Assess best/worst case estimates

· Don’t have a meeting with yourself, just start somewhere. Break things up into manageable parts (compartmentalise)

· Colour code your diary

· Enter meeting requests into your calendar

· Chunk items together where you can

· Plan leave time


How do I go about achieving work-life balance?


· Prioritise myself

· I cannot give from an empty cup


How can we influence upwards? How can I make sure that I’m heard and can exercise my authority without losing my femininity? I’d like to climb the ladder.


Session on Influencing skills to follow


How can I begin to manage my own growth and personal development?


· Discuss your goals with your manager; create a vision for where you’d like to be in 5 years, look for the gaps and set SMART goals to translate your vision. E.g. necessary education/experience you need

· Set aside ‘thinking’ time

· Collect items for your ‘kitbag’ all the time

· Keep checking yourself against your vision

· Look to the future

· Stop looking to others for recognition: focus on developing your internal locus of control which will minimise the impact external influences will have on you

· Think about the bigger picture, outside the building


What does it take for me to build a strong network? For starting my own business or for building better workplace relationships, where do I start?


· Market yourself and your team

· Develop and maintain a high profile within the organisation

· Shout out your achievements

· Stop putting yourself into victim mode and instead focus on the abundance of what you have

· Practise self assertion

· Find ways to use your strengths-be the ‘go to’ person for something in which you’re ‘A class.

· Think about the bigger picture, outside the building


How might I better manage change?


· Be clear about the WIIFM

· Realign RAA to new processes


How can I shift/break through silo mentality?


Make recommendations for process improvements and share skills


How might I manage difficult behaviour? i.e. pettiness, moodiness, sulking


· Remain in adult mode

· Nip it in the bud


How can I overcome the feeling of being isolated?


More to follow in the session on networking

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