HerSpectives® on Careers

Wednesday
Sep192012

The value of close relationships between women

My thanks to my dear friend, colleague and co-author, Col. Deb Lewis, USA (R), for sending this wonderful little article to me. I loved it so much I just had to share it with you and all my girl friends.

Deb

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They Teach It at Stanford

In an evening class at Stanford University the last lecture was on the mind-body connection - the relationship between stress and disease. The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality "girlfriend time" helps us to create more serotonin - a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very GOOD for our health.

He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym. There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged? Not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health! We are indeed very, very lucky.

Sooooo let's toast to our friendship with our girlfriends. Evidently it's very good for our health. Forward this to all your girlfriends to stay in touch, just like I just did!

Thanks to all the girls in my life who have helped me stay healthy, happy, and feeling very loved.
 

 

Friday
Sep142012

CALLING ALL WOMEN EXECUTIVES: PART 5 – WHY WOMEN DON’T ASK FOR WHAT THEY DESERVE

Today’s post is not from Business Women Rising. It is from another blog called Usable Insight, written by Dr. Mark Goulston.  I’m re-posting it here because I feel that this information is a relevant to women executives. Hope you like it :)

In the workplace:

Women – too often don’t feel entitled to what they do deserve

Men – too often men feel entitled to what they don’t deserve

What’s behind this and why are so many women afraid to ask for what they want, need and deserve in the work place?

Neurochemistry

A big part of a women’s identity is tied to both her estrogen and oxytocin.  Her estrogen is what causes her to feel more feminine and her oxytocin is about what causes her to feel that connecting, nurturing and bonding are so important.

A big part of men’s identity is tied to both his testosterone and adrenaline.  His testosterone is what causes him to feel aggressive and his adrenaline is what causes him to feel powerful.

Both women and men are also frequently dopamine junkies where dopamine is what cause both of them to feel pleasure and even intense pleasure.

When women are coming from their estrogen/femininity and it succeeds in attracting men to bond with and cherish them, that releases a dopamine rush. When men are coming from their testosterone/male aggressiveness and it directs their adrenaline to fight (instead of flight) and they win something, that also releases a dopamine rush.

Pushing, asking and demanding are more in line with testosterone and adrenaline.

Giving and being given, caring and being cared about , loving and being loved are more in line with estrogen and oxcytocin.

Psychology

When a women asks or demands something at work (all bets are off at home) she is often perceived as a “b*tch” an and at the very least as unfeminine, because those appears to be testosterone/adrenaline type behaviors.

Perhaps the greatest deterrent to asking for what they want, need and deserve is the fear that if they are perceived as the “b” word, they will be rejected by a man and then as the office buzz grows, by all the men in her office (as in, “She’s such a b*tch!”).  Rejection is the opposite of bonding and it is an affront to the oxytocin driven part of a woman’s identity.  That may explain why so many women don’t know how to behave in the office.  If they wait for the kindness and generosity of men, it usually doesn’t happen, because men tend to hoard power and feel that giving away anything diminishes it (that may explain why it is so difficult for men to say, “Thank you” or “Congratulations” and even more hard to say sincerely, “I’m sorry”).  On the other hand if women push for what they want they risk both: a) not receiving it which can make an already awkward situation worse and b) men pulling back and away from them which causes their oxytocin driven identity to take more of a hit.

What’s a Woman to Do – Focus on the Future

One of my favorite people is executive coach extraordinaire, Marshall Goldsmith.  He is the creator of “feed forward coaching” because he knows that it is much less likely to cause trouble to focus on a future that people have not yet messed up, than to get into a “pissing match” rife with ‘he said/she said’ escalation about something that has already happened.

Example 1: Regarding asking for help on a project.

If you can, at the beginning of any project where you might need help (doesn’t that mean all projects?) down the road, say to your boss or peer, “Going forward, in the event I need your assistance in either providing me with direct help or supporting me in accessing it from somewhere else, what is the best way to get that from you?”  Don’t feel guilty. Just be quiet. Remember, you’re not asking for it now.

Then listen to whatever they say and respond, “This is really important for me to get clear, because you know how awkward asking for help can be, so I just want to be certain I heard what you said.  You said the best way to approach you in the future is (then say exactly what they said).  Is that correct?” Wait for them to give a confirmatory, “Yes,” which according to influence guru, Robert Cialdini, will deepen their commitment to doing it in the future.

Example 2: Regarding asking for more pay and/or a promotion

You can certainly discuss it when your review comes up, but if that is likely to cause real awkwardness and end poorly here is an alternative. Say to your boss, “Are any of those (raise, bonus or promotion) negotiable?”

If they say, “No,” retain your composure (even if you’re boiling inside and whatever you do, don’t cry, because it makes men nuts), pause and reply, “Just so I’ll know for future reference and future reviews for more pay, bonuses and promotions, help me to understand what you evaluate in order to arrive at those assessments.”  Then again, be quiet. If he becomes uptight say, “I’m not trying to be difficult I’m just trying to understand your criteria for giving a raise, bonus and/or promotion so that I can be sure to meet them so that next time, if raises, bonuses and promotions are being given, that I will be in the best position to receive one.”

About the author:

Mark Goulston, M.D. is the Resident Big Brother for Business Women Rising. His principal focus is empowering women to succeed in male dominated companies, organizations and industries and to reach the upper echelons in them. He is the author of five books including the #1 international best seller, "Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone". Mark also blogs for the Huffington Post, Fast Company and Psychology Today and he serves on the Board of Advisors to American Womens Veterans.

Mark is a former professor of psychiatry at UCLA as well as a former FBI and police hostage negotiation trainer. Companies he has worked with and/or spoken to include GE, IBM, Xerox, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Accenture, Hyatt, FedEx, Kodak, British Airways, Abbott, ESPN, Ernst & Young, Northern Trust. Dr. Goulston has been married for 34 years, has three children and lives in Los Angeles.

Special thanks to  CEBImagery.com for the great photo!

Friday
Aug312012

"5 Ways In Which Great Leaders Are Built And Nurtured"

Being a great leader is not something you can fake.  Leaders have innate qualities that cannot be taught.  However, great leaders often need help to be built and nurtured to reach their full potential.  They may need that extra push to give them confidence, or even that extra knowledge.  To managers it is often apparent to them, who on their team would be a great leader and once these people have been identified they can build and nurture them, promoting in-house.  Here are 5 ways in which leaders are built and nurtured:

1.  Failure is allowed

They are encouraged to think for themselves and are held accountable for their commitments.  It is important that they are allowed to fail. Some of the best learning comes from failure.  Mistakes often reveal the most information, telling you what works and what doesn't.  Once they have failed, they are encouraged to learn from failure and to get back in the game to win.

2. Constant learning

They are eager to learn and improve.  Just because they have already graduated college, or finished their training doesn’t mean the learning should stop.  Whether, they may read books on their own or participate in educational opportunities such as watch webinars, it is important that they are driven to learn.  They may simply observe others whether it is a superior or a mentor. It is important that they don't plateau and limit their knowledge but instead to constantly build upon it. 

3.  Responsibility for their development

It is important for both parties to be responsible for their development.  They should have managers who take responsibility for helping them develop and give them stretch assignments that will help them learn new things.  Not only is it up to the managers, but it is also up to the individual to take responsibility for their own development.  They should WANT to improve.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. 

4.  Teaching

They are encouraged to coach, mentor and teach others. Teaching is a great way to learn.  You don’t realize how much you really know about a topic until you are made to teach it to someone else. 

5. Support group

Whether the support group is in the office or a group outside of the office it is important to have support.  They should have a group that they can come to and feel safe asking questions, or learning from.  Maybe this could be a leadership development program, which gives them a 3rd party input.  In all aspects of life it is beneficial to have a support group

Its true that leaders are born, but great leaders also need help.  A good manager will see that an employee has potential to be a great leader and will do what is in their power to help build and nurture them.  Part of being a good leader is the willingness to lead.  They must WANT to improve, learn, and lead.  Without this drive and passion their innate abilities to lead will go to waste. 

Special thanks to Deb Boelkes and Deborah Van Huis for sharing insight for this blog post! 

Jacqueline Dandan is the social media coordinator at Business World Rising and a recent college graduate from Loyola Marymount University.  She majored in Business Marketing with a Minor in Spanish, and loves being back in Orange County!

For more information about Business World Rising or how great leaders are built and nurtured, please contact us today.

Thanks to AN HONORABLE GERMAN for the great picture!

Wednesday
Aug222012

Top 7 Ways To Accelerate The Rise of Your Best People

Nowadays retaining top talent is important. Employers spend a lot of time and money searching for the perfect person for a job opening.  So why not utilize those employees? If you aren’t promoting your top talent they may leave your organization and go work for your competition.  So how do you accelerate the rise of your best people? 

Here are 7 ways:

1. Mentoring:  

Mentor them yourself or help them find at least one good mentor to be a role model for them inside or outside the company. This can accelerate their career quicker. 

2. Sponsoring:

Be a sponsor and go out of your way to let others in senior leadership know that you believe in them.  Let those in senior leadership know you support their accelerated promotion and advancement within the company.

3. Funding:

Fund and give them time dedicated to their participation in a continuous Leadership Development program. Often one time training classes are not enough. They need a continuous program where they learn new lessons every month, where there are prior lessons and learning is re-enforced.  

4.  Consider a personal coach:

Register them for outside development and training that aligns to new skills needed or skills to be improved.  A personal coach is a great third party, which can develop them into what they could be.

5. Development plan:

Develop a personal development plan with key goals and milestones that create a path to the position they wish to work towards.  With more structure, your top talent can work to their fullest potential or even surpass your expectations.

6. Give them a leadership role:

Put them on a team and give them a leadership role on that team.  Or give them a project management position, where they are able to use leadership and decision making skills.  This will give them more confidence in their own abilities as well as show that you too are confident in them.

7. Face time:

Have them accompany you to high visibility meetings with your peers and your superiors so they get some face time.  Allow them to speak with those in power, and network.  This way when the time comes for your superiors to promote someone they may remember the person that accompanied you.

It is not all up to you help accelerate your top talent.  This acceleration has to come from them as well, they need to not only be ambitious but confident.  It is important for your top talent to understand the reasons why they are “top.” Encourage them to understand and be able to articulate their value to the company.  Once they know their own value, they will be able to articulate their value to superiors, as well as build on those competencies to accelerate their career.

Special thanks to Deb Boelkes, Cheryl Archer, and Deborah Van Huis for sharing insight for this blog post! 


Jacqueline Dandan is the social media coordinator at Business World Rising and a recent college graduate from Loyola Marymount University.  She majored in Business Marketing with a Minor in Spanish, and loves being back in Orange County!

For more information about Business World Rising or how to promote your best people, please contact us today.

Thank you to Alex E. Proimos for the great photo!

Thursday
Aug162012

Corporate Wellness Is No Longer A Luxury...It Is Now A Strategy

Does corporate leaders recognize us as employees as assets?  Do they realize that if we are healthy people we can be the busy worker bees they expect us to be?  Physically weak workers lead to weak organizations. Healthcare is an enormous issue in the United States as well as in corporations.  Our corporate wellness has now become a strategy.

Today’s post is not from Business Women Rising. It is from another blog called Synergy Wellness.  I’m re-posting it here because I feel that this information is a pertinent issue in today's society. You may have not been thinking about the importance of healthcare in the corporate world, but now you will be! Hope you like it :)

“Today, we are spending over $2 trillion a year on health care — almost 50% more per person than the next most costly nation. And yet, as I think many of you are aware, for all of this spending, more of our citizens are uninsured, the quality of our care is often lower, and we aren’t any healthier. In fact, citizens in some countries that spend substantially less than we do are actually living longer than we do.” President Barack Obama, Speech to the American Medical Association, June 15, 2009

The US business community competes in a dynamic global economy. We have historically achieved success in the global marketplace by excelling at traditional measures of business performance: innovation, technology application, production engineering, capital deployment, marketing, sales, distribution, and customer service. Increasingly, however, two related factors have put the US business community at a competitive disadvantage: disease burden such as obesity and increased costs such as health insurance premiums for employers. These costs continue to rise.

Business leaders not yet schooled in all the determinants of health and a US health care system biased toward the treatment of illness often say, “With the growing and added investments I am making in health care for my workers and their dependents, surely my company is producing a healthier and more productive workforce.” Sadly, this is not the case.

As President Obama stated, the United States spends twice as much per citizen on health care as any other country on earth yet ranks in the lowest tier of advanced countries in health outcomes. In other words, the United States produces more health care for less health.

Poor health and rising health care costs in America are problems in search of employer leadership and solutions. Although many businesses still treat health as an operating cost to be managed, an increasing number of employers have begun investing in human capital and building cultures of health at their worksites.

We need employer attention, leadership, and investment in improving the health of our organizations and understanding the influence and impact of population health on business performance.

Synergy’s efforts focus on developing inspired leadership from individual corporate leaders, building health intervention strategies, and establishing performance incentives for population health, and metrics that speak the language of business. This framework engages your organization to define and execute on the most critical priorities driving desired results, including reduced costs, and increased employee engagement.

“The most important corporate asset is a Healthy Workforce because a company is only as healthy, energetic, and productive as its employees are. Without a healthy workforce there would only be a sick company.” John Buckley, CEO

About the Author:

Cheryl is currently Founder/CEO of Synergy Wellness, a personal and organizational coaching and consulting group in Newport Beach, CA.  She also serves as the Managing Director of the Grande Vista and Bella Vista Leadership forums with Business World Rising. Both groups meet monthly in Irvine, CA and are specifically designed to promote business growth and explore strategies for personal, professional and organizational transformation

Prior to joining Business World Rising, Cheryl was CEO of Superior Crankshaft, based in Irvine, CA. fox six years, from 2006-2012 and Managing Director for Medi-Fly, a helicopter service company based in Budapest Hungary, from 2005-2006.

For more information about Business World Rising please contact us today.

Thanks Unique Hotels Group for the great photo!