Let the Women Speak

I was recently invited to speak at an event focused on Women in Science at a session entitled: “Let the Women Speak.” Unfortunately, women don’t speak in public enough.

Eliminate Bottlenecks While Making Friends

You know what you need to do, but your boss or someone else up the chain of command won’t make a decision. Either he or she doesn’t have time, doesn’t understand, or doesn’t care. Whatever the reason is, this person is frustrating you and makes you think it’s time to polish your resume.

You Too Can Be Ready For Your Next BIG Opportunity!

Twenty eighteen is going to be a big year. At least you hope so. Whether it’s a promotion, new job, or other exciting opportunities, you want to be ready to successfully grab that brass ring – your brass ring – so that 2018 is, in fact, a great year for you. You don’t want to blow it, but are you ready to make the impression necessary or will nerves derail your success?
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Do You Rely on Head or Heart When Making Decisions?

After you’ve taken in new information you judge it, meaning you analyze and make decisions about it. And, again, when it comes to judging, under Carl Jung’s Theory of Psychological Type you prefer either Thinking or Feeling: if you prefer Thinking, you’d rather make decisions based on objective standards; if you prefer Feeling, you’d rather decide based on subjective, values-based standards and take into account the impact on others. Continue Reading

Do You See Details or Patterns?

When working on a team – or in a classroom – you’ve probably noticed that we all take in information differently and focus on different aspects. Your colleagues or fellow students might be focusing on the details or applying past experiences, but you, instead, see patterns and relationships among ideas and think about future implementation. Continue Reading

High School Leadership Class Gets Executive Training

As the graduating class at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School (BCC) is moving through its last year and students are getting ready to embark on their new journey to college, a communications skills and self-awareness program designed for leaders seems like a good start to an independent life. In the fall of 2015, Anne Collier, the founder of Arudia, an executive coaching and training firm, presented a Personality Type program to some of BCC’s juniors and seniors as part of an elective leadership class. Continue Reading

“Intellectual” Curiosity Didn’t Kill The Cat

Do you fear that asking too many questions is off-putting? Or that it somehow indicates that you aren’t smart or haven’t been paying attention? In many situations, in fact, if you ask questions that help you understand the other person or his or her vision, you might be on the way to building a better relationship.

Think about the kind of working environment you want to foster in your company. Do you want to encourage an open dialogue and debate? Do you want your junior staff to be open and share their views even when they disagree with yours? In this case, cultivate a culture of intellectual curiosity. By asking your junior staff what it is that they believe or why a particular solution will work better, you get access to so many opportunities!

First, you get an opportunity to learn new things and grow professionally (yes, we can learn something, even from people who are far less experienced, so, you know, don’t assume you’re always right.)

Second, you can build long-term relationships with your colleagues by becoming a mentor to them. Not only are such relationships a good way to make friends and grow, but they are also reciprocal in the long run.

Third, you promote a culture of an open dialogue in your company, which means hierarchy is less likely to influence the choice of the best strategy and your junior colleagues are more likely to bring their concerns to you – in many cases the concerns or points you might have overlooked.

So next time you are tempted to dismiss another’s opinion or to not try to get a better understanding of what they’re saying and thinking because you’re tempted to believe you’re right, think again. You might be doing yourself a disservice and losing opportunities.

Are You Communicating or Engaging?

Often, organizations and teams will say they have a communication problem. They do actually have a communication problem but because it’s a symptom of something else – or lack of something else – engagement.

Think about it: there’s plenty of communication in organizations via email and, sometimes, even in meetings. The communication is typically a one-directional monolog rather than a dialog. The people being communicated to typically aren’t encouraged to respond in a meaningful way. Sure, “they” ask for comments, but is there a meaningful dialog? Not always. So when the leadership wonders why the new program roll-out isn’t going smoothly, the answer is: it’s because the leadership has not had a meaningful dialog with the people who will actually be using the new system.

The solution? Talk to the people affected – those who will have to implement the change. They can anticipate challenges that the leadership might not see. If you’ve seen The Imitation Game, which is about Alan Turing’s and his team’s quest to crack the Nazi code during World War II, you may remember that the team cracked the code when, over a beer, one of the women who recorded intercepted German messages quipped that her German operator always signed off “Heil Hitler.” Just knowing those letters cracked the code! And, had Turing and his team not been chatting up the lovely women who recorded the messages, they may not have cracked the code.

In addition to talking with the people who are involved in a solving a problem, you want to set up a process so that their feedback and insight can be incorporated before the decision is made. Listen for what really is going on and what really matters as well as for what is said and what is not said. Be sure to listen for your colleagues’ concerns or needs regarding any proposed solution or a new system. Engagement means work together, not just “getting it done.”