Has anyone told you anything useful or motivating about what you do and how you do it lately? ‘Feedback’ is a skin-crawly, stomach-tightening word to many people, which is not surprising given most folk aren’t in the habit of letting you know they’d like to ‘give you some feedback’ if they’re going to give you a moment in the sun. However, many of us clamor for more of it because knowing where we stand (certainty) makes us feel safe.
**First published January 2013 – bringing to the fore again given what’s been going on for some coachees**
Last year I invited you to reflect on your personal strengths, areas for development and something you struggle with that I could potentially address in my monthly Flourishing Female newsletters.
New to line management? Been doing it a while and not getting the best out of some of the people in your team? I produced these tips for getting the best out of different styles as part of a leader’s toolkit for a well-known brand. Whilst I’ve offered the tips as a dichotomy, we all know that line management isn’t that black and white and people fall on a spectrum and may move up and down it depending on the context.
In this post I’m exploring optimism – the benefits and how to get them. My daughter reeled off a string of things that have gone well for her recently and it got me thinking about the genetic and learned aspects of optimism. The work of psychologist Martin Seligman and others have shown an optimistic thinking style can be learned, although it requires long-term sustained effort. My daughter could equally have been the stimulus for a post on gratitude, something I’ve covered a couple of times in the last few years.
This month as well as becoming very familiar with the inner workings of a high street bank and J22-28 of the M25 (all in the name of client delight) I started to get to know a remarkable young woman called Victoria who has been searching for a job for 18 months.
A CV that is polished, to the point and relevant to the job you are applying for is likely to get picked out by a busy recruiter and research by academics Christa Wilkin and Catherine Connelly suggests voluntary work is beneficial, so long as it’s relevant. This is likely to be very good news for women and men who’ve taken a career break to raise children and have spent time in unpaid roles in their wider communities. In their study, Wilkin and Connelly provided 135 professional recruiters with CVs that differed systematically in the types of experience they reported. Some contained purely paid work, others purely voluntary work and others a mixture.
The old proverb about there being more than one way to skin a cat came into sharp focus recently as I observed my three year old daughter’s response to a hungry, bad-tempered troll lurking under a climbing frame at the park. The troll was me. I yelled that I wasn’t going to let her cross my bridge and if she did, I’d eat her up if one big gollop. Clever little Artemis decided to offer me some chicken and strawberries which I accepted and then couldn’t be nearly so grumpy.
From the research I’ve done for and since the writing of my book to support women back into work after children (Mothers Work! Published by Hay House June 6th 2011) I’m concluding that the single most significant thing anyone can do to narrow the pay gap between men and women, mothers and non-mothers is to increase the status of part time work.
The horse's mouth
“It’s been remarkable – a huge impact on my personal and professional life.” Nicky’s getting better results from her team, she’s confidently approaching difficult conversations and is fulfilling a secret ambition to write a book. Read how Agnes, Dani, Andrea and Emmy say they’ve benefited from a short spell of coaching.
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