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“It’s A Man’s World.” Or is it? – Part 2

March 11, 2010

More on How to Use A Feminine Approach When Dealing with Workplace Adversity 

 The last Blog post talked about communicating with confidence.  We looked at the value of listening more than you talk, how to avoid language that blames, untangling our emotions from a situation and being inclusive.  As part of my tribute to Women’s History Month and women in the workplace, we’ll look at collaborating continuously – letting go of the need to compete to win in the moment.  Here’s how.

Make partnership the hallmark of all you do.  Partnership is a commitment to the success of all involved.  Collaboration is working together to create effective processes and outcomes.

  • When you work on a project, consciously ask:  Who are all of our partners and stakeholders?  Who else would like to be aware of what we’re doing?  Many times, important groups and individuals are overlooked as we plan and implement initiatives. 
  • Force yourself to share your idea with those who would like to know and would be affected – even when you would rather not. 
  • Share your early thinking and allow input from your partners and key stakeholders to play a defining role in the final product.  As much as you want to see yourself represented in the outcome, so do they. 
  • Ask the “quiet ones” what their thoughts and feelings are.  Some people, no matter their age or seniority, need to be invited into the conversation.  Just ask, “John, you’ve been quiet for a while.  I see your wheels turning. What are you thinking?  I’m interested.”    
  • When partnering with others, openly discuss your individual goals and desires.  Look for shared interests and the connections between your ultimate aims. 

Partnership also helps when it comes to delegation – a critical part of effective management.  Using these tips may help alleviate that overwhelmed feeling many women get because we take on too much – fearing no one else can do it as well as we can.  Partnership opens doors to accepting that even though a task might not be done our way, it’s done in a way that leads to success and stimulates the engagement of a team – rather than just its leader.

 The next Blog post, coaching consciously and asking for directions when you need them.

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