Information and insight
about your career and the workplace at large
News and Views
This month's summaries of news items
happen to come from one source:Equity Skills News and Views,
South Africa's most widely distributed and read independent human resources newsletter.
Congratulations to publisher Jeff Sacht for putting out such a useful publication.
If you want people to take you seriously, i.e., if you want them to think
you are credible, you must be both honest and competent,
says Ken Keis. To develop your credibility, Keis recommends
taking the following steps: (1) personally commit to becoming competent in your field by choosing
a field that is a good fit for you and/or by being mentored; (2) be honest and courageously authentic
about your level of experience; (3) surround yourself with competent individuals; (4) enjoy the feelings
of confidence, calmness, certainty, productivity, and positive attitude that competent people inspire;
and (5) insist on competence from others and, when you find it, embrace and honor it.
Save this one for your next promotion to management:
If, as a manager, you get frustrated by the difficulty of engaging colleagues in significant change,
consider that you may be managing "one level too low." "Too low" can mean getting mired in
the details rather than planning strategically for the future. This is surprisingly natural, writes
consultant Jonathan Byrnes. Managers are promoted because
they're good at their jobs, he explains, and so tend to manage in ways that were successful before
they were promoted. Yet, managing appropriately at different levels of an organization requires
different skills, activities, and time horizons. Managing too low creates roadblocks to both the
organization's success and to one's own ability to rise in that organization.
What to do
We know that children are not "little adults." Neither are women "men in skirts."
. According to Sylvia Ann Hewlett and Carolyn Buck Luce, employers must stop treating
them that way if they want to fix their "retention problems." Hewlett, founder and president of New York-based
Center for Work-Life Policy, and Luce, global managing partner for Ernst & Young's health sciences industry
practice in New York, say that like it or not, large numbers of highly qualified, committed women find that,
for various reasons, they need to take time out from their careers. The trick is to help them maintain
connections that will allow them to come back from that time without being marginalized. Hewlett and Luce want
employers to encourage flexibility over the entire arc of an employee's career, remove the stigma from taking
time out, stop burning bridges, provide outlets for altruism, and nurture ambition.
How can women be better at bargaining for higher pay?
Father and daughter Lee and Jessica Miller, co-authors of A Woman's Guide to Successful Negotiating,
were invited to National Public Radio's (NPR's) Morning Edition to discuss that very question. Interviewed
on June 8, 2005, the
Millers point out that while women don't necessarily have a problem negotiating salaries that are on par
with men's salaries, it is true that women don't enjoy the idea of having to negotiate, because they place
greater value on relationships (men tend to look more at outcomes). To negotiate more effectively, women
must be prepared (i.e., know what their job is worth both in their company and in the open market), have
other options so that they can walk away if the offer doesn't match what they want, let the company be the
first one to mention a specific salary number, and develop the confidence to be comfortable negotiating for
themselves. Listen to the interview
NEW: WaterCooler Professional—The Miniseries
In 2005, "Making It Work for You" evolves to "WC
Professional," a miniseries of action steps to being your
own mentor. Follow this 12-month plan and by
January of 2006, you'll have taken a big step towards
being your own best advocate in the workplace.
July: For personal fulfillment, learn to manage your energy rather than your time.
The year's half over. Are you in
control of your job, or is your job controlling you? The
key to controlling your job, as I've recently learned, is
not time management. Rather, it's energy management.
I learned how critical energy management is
from Susan Rose, colleague and president of the design firm
Two Sisters Creative
when she recommended the book The Power of Full Engagement,
by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz. The book's premise is that
managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance and
personal and professional fulfillment.
I.e., as workers, we benefit by modeling our performance
on the training regimens of world-class athletes.Instead of performing 90%
of the time, leaving only 10% for training and recovery, we can reverse these
percentages and incorporate "interval training" as a way of working
(and a way of life).
To manage energy well:
1. Work for 90- to 120-minute intervals, then refresh.
2. Think of work not as a marathon but as a series of sprints.
3. Drink lots of water; eat most of your food early in the day.
4. Pay attention to the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual
aspects of your life so that you can manifest the energy, connection, focus, and
alignment you need to stay happy and fulfilled.
5. Build in periods of strategic recovery. Include at least two
cardiovascular and two strength workouts each week
6. Connect to the larger purpose in your life by asking yourself
two questions: Who are you at your best? At the end of your life, what would you
identify as the three most important lessons you learned?
Finally, make the above concepts and behaviors into rituals-thereby
conserving energy for the other things in your life that require sustained willpower.
Intrigued? You can find Loehr and Schwartz's book in the library, or get
it through Amazon.com.
WaterCooler (WC) Personal: Problem-Solving 101
Even if you are "fully engaged," problems
can still threaten to sap your new-found determination to achieve
personal and professional fulfillment.
The problem might feel too big to solve, or too hard to think about, creating a
feeling of "overwhelm."
Yet if we're willing to just look long enough at the problem—
and sit with our impatience at wanting it resolved—the solution will
When you're "stuck," try some of the techniques listed below
to shake free.
1. Accept that you wish life were perfect, and that you don't
feel like dealing with the evidence that it's not.
2. Rename the problem "a challenge."
3. Try to find the heart of the challenge.
4. Sustain your energy.
5. Maintain a good relationship with yourself. "Good enough"
really is good enough.
6. View the resolution of the challenge as an accomplishment,
and add it to your kudos file.
Want to get more inspired about problem solving? See Appendix 6C, "Problem Solving 101," in
Mentor Me: A Guide to Being Your Own Best
Advocate in the Workplace.
Mentor Me on TV:
Residents of the Washington DC metropolitan area
can see me and a fellow author, Pat Rothacker, talking about our respective
books on Fairfax County's Cable Access Channel 10. Viewing dates and times:
July 11, 6:30 pm; July 12, 9 am; and July 14, 2 pm.
Church of Arlington, VA,
July 17, 12:30 pm. Contact: Laura
Dely; email@example.com or
call (703) 892-2565.