Monday, May 11, 2020

Dear Dennie #5 - emotion in the workplace

 A monthly letter/column as written for & published also by Women in Transportation Services

Dear Dennie,

How should I respond when I hear people say that women are too emotional in the workplace?

Professional to my core

Dear PC,

Emotion is a strength.

Emotion is critical to decision-making. 

A great strength that women often feel more comfortable exploring is emotion. Emotion often implies vulnerability. In a work context, this can mean a willingness to change, to share or to sit back and listen instead of drive. 

Telling me to not make "an emotional decision" drives me crazier that the issue itself. Just because I'm showing emotion does Not mean my brains fell out my butt.

A debate I've been reading around critical vs. creative thinking is missing the fact that emotion colours both approaches. Regardless of the side of the brain you favour, pretending the final output is not coloured by emotion is naive.

Emotion is a strength. Emotion has a place in every corner of our lives. Emotion is not drama - emotion is its own truth. We cannot build a community for ourselves at work or home without emotion.

Now, ask me anything.... :-)


Monday, April 13, 2020

Pandemics and boredom

Are you bored yet? Are you bored of seeing the posts about people being bored? Is it really boredom?

Is it boredom?

  • Is it uncertainty about personal finances or jobs and no ability to do much about it?
  • Is it frustration with our homes having become more places to eat/sleep than live?
  • Is it inertia due to a lack of hobbies or creative outlets to help express emotions and needs?
  • Is it grieving for the routines and habits that made our day feel 'normal?'
  • Is it angst about not being able to help or be helped?
  • Is it indifference to the pieces closest to us that loom larger without external distractions?
  • Is it nervousness waiting and waiting ....?

I am feeling all these things. I am not bored. Plus, I'm sure there are more questions than I've listed above.

Clarifying a problem by asking questions  - instead of jumping to solution - is a great mentoring technique. On a Zoom call last week, many folks were solving the "problem of boredom," suggesting activities and perspectives meant to keep the spirit alive.

Question "boredom;" address the root cause.  

Monday, March 30, 2020

Dear Dennie #4 - Priorities

 A monthly letter/column as written for & published also by Women in Transportation Services

Dear Dennie,

Given all that’s happening these days, aren’t mentoring and networking lower priorities?

Other things on my mind

Dear OTomm,

Shelter, food, health, friends and family… those are just the beginnings of our top 10 lists these days. Work is also top of mind: figuring out new technologies; new ways of teaming; reprioritizing our efforts; or acknowledging loss and uncertainty.

Mentoring isn’t something that happens just when we have time. Mentoring relationships are the safe place to explore the tough questions about our changing workplace. There is no better time than now to talk it through with people whose opinions we value. 

Networking is simply another word for building community. We need our communities these weeks and days more than ever. Connecting (email, calls, video, etc.) in this time of social isolation is necessary for everyone who is worried or wondering. Deepening existing connections is as important as building new ones. Offering our friends and coworkers our attention and support is how many of us will come through this.

Connection is always part of our survival tool kit.

Now, ask me anything.... :-)