Monday, July 27, 2015

Over 40

How come there is no Top 40 Over 40? Some folks get to their careers late!

Why is 40 the dividing line for women?

Canadian life expectancy for women is 83; for men it's 78. If retirement age of 65 assumes a guy will have 13 years to play... then would it make more sense to have women be seen as viable until 70?

Do we get more threatening after 40? Take less nonsense? Dress to please ourselves? Know too much?

Do any guys out there feel they're treated as aged workforce at 40? Usually that's about when the juicy promotions start coming for men.

I was told I might only have 15 years left to give a team so maybe I should not be so ambitious and just find my niche. I replied by saying they'd be lucky to get the same 15 from a 25 year old in this new working world and with my experience! I said it nicely though.

I'm not old; I'm polished. I'm not stale; I'm a continuous improvement project. I'm not "over 40"; I'm an IQ/ EQ not an age.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Some days I'm just too dumb...

Yup. It's one of those days where I don't feel smart enough to do my job. I sit at my desk waiting for the Fraud Police to come tap me on the shoulder. "You are not qualified. Come with us." Or Imposters Anonymous to offer me a lifetime membership.

When I was a kid, my parents used to stare at my forehead when I told them something. They claimed a blue mark appeared if I was bluffing. I cut bangs in my hair as soon as I could wield a pair of scissors.

It's not an uncommon feeling for many; it sure is uncomfortable. Some days it's simply because we're off our game. Other times, it's because every action seems to lead no where. Occasionally it is because we are learning something new that someone else thought we already had down pat.

I think today it's all three :-)

All we can do is remember someone believed in us enough to give us the assignment. Our best is good enough. When it is not, then we'll learn something and our best gets better.

A little feedback, an ask for help, some honesty about my struggle, perhaps even put something minor off until tomorrow and not call it procrastination... there are all ways to get through the day.

Though today is still going to be tough slogging, tomorrow I'll be in a better position to help someone else get out of their hole-of-the-day.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Collaboration thought

Collaboration is terrific and a great foundation.

I think we're past the point where we should be getting excited about seeing collaboration in our own team(s). It's time to applaud and support collaboration between teams - thanking those who join our journey or who invite us to join theirs.

Real life - you and your doctor should be collaborating on your health. When the doctor sends you to a specialist; often the specialist acts like it's a new or different team into which you're being allowed. Not so. It's one team. Not only should the specialist send your doctor a copy of their findings but you should tell the doctor how you were/were not treated appropriately.

Real life - you and your team work on a project. You go to a specialist team for a piece you can't do in-house or in your division. It needs to be collaborative. Ownership of delivering a good result did not cease when you included more people from elsewhere. Nor does it mean that the new players are not now responsible for good results.

The quickest way to get to collaboration is ask for and acknowledge it - good and bad. Applaud partners loudly. Offer our own teams. Ensure feedback and ownership is discussed. Collaboration is both habit and process - both of which need to be deliberately done. Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Diminishing ourselves through words

What's in a word (bad Shakespeare paraphrase, I know!)?

There have been a lot of social media posts lately on words/phrases we (usually women) use to hedge our comments and which weaken our voice. "Just" "In my opinion" "Excuse me if this has been said before" ... you know your own choice.

I find I say "I will try to...." Try is my word, creating both implied effort before the actual effort and casting doubt on the feasibility of the attempt, whether I mean to or not. Actually, if I say "I'll try..." in a really sad voice, I'm denigrating both the attempt and my ability: two birds with one stone! whoo hoo!

Whatever the word/phrase, why do we do it?

Sometimes it is necessary. Sometimes the idea really does need a tug on the reality leash that might mean resources are scarce; timing is off; or my heart is not in it.

Most of the time, we are simply softening our answer in case we have any incorrect assumptions about what we are being asked. Perhaps the assumptions are our own self-doubt around skills. Or the appetite for the change. Or being seen as too forceful or assured.

This week, I'm trying something new. I'm trying to say "yes" more slowly. I'm asking for clarification of the assumptions, problem to be solved and why I'm the right person for the job. That way, when I state my intention to deliver something, I won't be trying.. I'll be doing...  I want that as part of my brand.