Mentoring Mondays

Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays November 28, 2022 on November 28, 2022

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

 

The MI-ACE Women’s Network newest glass ceiling pin is gaining in popularity. Recently, some young college women students were asked if they knew the significance of “breaking the glass ceiling.” Surprisingly, they had never heard the term.   

Breaking the glass ceiling means overcoming the invisible barriers to success or advancement.  The term is referred to when women and/or minorities cannot rise in their careers because of the social or organizational barriers stopping them from rising to top positions. Breaking the glass ceiling means removing those barriers for others experiencing the struggle. This is especially relevant to upper-level opportunities proven to be impenetrable to the vast majority of marginalized persons, especially women in stagnant middle-management roles, unable to attain higher leadership or executive roles. The MI-ACE Women’s Network is all about recognizing those who have broken that glass ceiling, those who paved the way for us, and those of us who are lifting as we climb. 

We are proud of what this “breaking the glass ceiling pin” represents, and we are honored to wear it as we bring awareness to what our Network has to offer through supporting women in higher education in Michigan. 

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About the Artist : The 2022 version of the glass ceiling pin was designed by Anita Black, an artisan who owns The Glass Cottage, Ltd., Everett, Washington.

Posted on Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays November 28, 2022 on November 28, 2022.



Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays November 21, 2022 on November 21, 2022

“Discover Your Calling – The Life’s Task”

 

This week’s mentoring tip is taken from Robert Greene’s

book entitled, The Daily Laws. As the holiday season draws

near, we are usually drawn to past experiences that remind us

of the joys of childhood.

“It Is Already within You: As you become more sophisticated, you often lose touch with the signals from your primal core. They can be buried beneath all of the other subjects you have studied. Your power and future can depend on reconnecting with this core and returning to your origins. You must dig for signs of such inclinations in your earliest years. Look for its traces in visceral reactions to something simple; a desire to repeat an activity that you never tired of; a subject that stimulated an unusual degree of curiosity; feelings of power attached to particular actions. It is already there within you. You have nothing to create; you merely need to dig and refine what has been buried inside of you all along. If you reconnect with this core at any age, some element of that primitive attraction will spark back to life, indicating a path that can ultimately become your Life’s Task.”

Daily Law:  Daniel Green encourages us to ask someone who recalls our childhood what they remember about our interests. Get reacquainted with those early passions.  

__________

Source: The Daily Laws, by Robert Greene, Viking: New York, 2021. 

Posted on Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays November 21, 2022 on November 21, 2022.



Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays, November 7, 2022 on November 7, 2022

5 Ways to Boost Resilience

There is a lot of discussion these days about “resilience,” work-life integration and mental health in the workplace. The following is a condensed version of a 2017 Harvard Business Review article entitled, “5 Ways to Boost Resilience” by Rich Fernandez.

“Currently, a quarter of all employees view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The World Health Organization describes stress as the “global health epidemic of the 21st century.” Many of us now work in constantly connected, always-on, highly demanding work cultures where stress and the risk of burnout are widespread. Since the pace and intensity of contemporary work culture are not likely to change, it’s more important than ever to build resilience skills to effectively navigate your work life.

“Factors that lead to resilience include optimism; the ability to stay balanced and manage strong or difficult emotions; a sense of safety and a strong social support system. The good news is that because there is a concrete set of behaviors and skills associated with resilience, you can learn to be more resilient. So, how can we develop resilience and stay motivated in the face of chronic negative stress and constantly increasing demands, complexity and change? Here are some tips, based on some of the latest neuroscience, behavioral and organizational research:

Exercise mindfulness: (Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.) How can you or your team start bringing mindfulness into the rhythms and routines of your daily work? One company found that implementing multimodal learning and skill development solutions such as: a combination of mobile learning, on-site training, webinars, and peer-to-peer learning networks promotes the greatest chance for mindfulness to become a core competency within an organization. Integrating mindfulness into core talent processes such as onboarding, manager training, performance conversations and leadership development is critical, yet, most organizations are not yet at this stage of adoption.

Compartmentalize your cognitive load: We receive an enormous amount of information every second, yet the brain can effectively process only 40 bits of information per second. One practical way to think about this is that, though we cannot decrease the amount of information we receive, we can compartmentalize our cognitive tasks to optimize the way we process that information. Be deliberate about compartmentalizing different types of work activities such as emailing, strategy or brainstorming sessions, and business-as-usual meetings. Grouping work is useful when you consider that switching from one type of task to another makes it difficult to tune out distractions and reduces productivity. Create dedicated times in the day to do specific work-related activities. 

Take detachment breaks: Throughout the workday, it is important to pay attention to the peaks and valleys of energy and productivity that we all experience. Mental focus, clarity and energy cycles are typically 90-120 minutes long, so it is useful to step away from our work for even a few minutes to reset energy and attention. Research suggests that balancing work activity with even a brief time for detaching from those activities can promote greater energy, mental clarity, creativity and focus, ultimately growing our capacity for resilience throughout the course of the workday. The long-term payoff is that we preserve energy and prevent burnout.

Develop mental agility: The ability to switch from a “respond to” rather than “react to” mode.  When we are able to cognitively take a step back from our experience and label our thoughts and emotions, we can create options and choose wisely. This is a valuable skill in demanding, high-performance workplaces everywhere.

Cultivate compassion: One of the most overlooked aspects of the resilience skill set is the ability to cultivate compassion – both self-compassion and compassion for others. According to research cited by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, compassion increases positive emotions, creates positive work relationships, and increases cooperation and collaboration. Individual, team, and organizational success rely on a compassionate work culture.

“Finally, the ability to build resilience is a skill that will serve you well in an increasingly stressful work world. Building an organizational culture that encourages and supports resilience training just makes good business sense.” 

__________

Source:  Harvard Business Review, June 2017.

Posted on Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays, November 7, 2022 on November 7, 2022.



Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays October 10, 2022 on October 10, 2022

12 Skills Every Professional Needs to Succeed in the Modern Workplace

Following is Part II of our series on skills needed

to succeed in the modern workplace. 

 

PART II: Skills 7 through 12

 

The modern workplace isn’t a single physical place in most organizations. The modern workplace is a realm, a culture. It often comprises people working from multiple locations in different cities, states, time zones, and even countries. Some may be full-time employees working from a traditional office. Others are contractors working at a different employer. Since COVID-19, more and more people are working from home. Co-workers can spend years with each other without physically meeting, only communicating electronically.

The chaos of the modern workplace has added to the stress of working under the pressure to produce results in a world of uncertainty. Some professionals struggle to grow and move up in the modern workplace. The ones that succeed typically exhibit the following skills:

7. Project Management The critical tasks of the modern workplace do not involve day-to-day, repetitive work. The most important work involves comprehensive projects involving co- workers from multiple departments. These projects may include product launches, new marketing initiatives, or software deployment. A successful professional can manage these types of projects. This includes processing skills in team leadership, time management, budgeting, communication, and giving and receiving feedback.

8. Focus The modern workplace is distracting. Meetings, emails, the latest quarterly reports, small talk in the next cubicle. There are also non-work-related distractions like social media, following the latest pandemic news and, for remote workers, all the distractions of home. Professionals who can focus on specific tasks for sustained periods perform better and are more productive. Those who can’t are generally less creative and make poor decisions. Like many skills, focus takes practice and discipline. Schedule short breaks and avoid checking email when you know you need to focus on a task.

9. Software Comprehension The modern workplace is run by software: project and content management, customer management, business intelligence, HR management, marketing management, asset and risk management, accounting and governance. Knowing how to use a variety of software is a necessity for many companies. The more proficient you are, the more productive and efficient you can perform your job. You may not know how to use every type and brand of software used by an organization, but the more exposure and practice you have on various software applications, the easier it is for you to learn new ones.

10. Intrinsic Motivation The modern workplace doesn’t always provide tangible rewards for a job well done. The successful professional isn’t motivated by external factors. It’s their intrinsic motivation that produces a high level performance. Intrinsic motivation is doing a job because of the positive feelings it provides. It may be pride in the end result. It could also be the satisfaction in helping others or the enjoyment of the work itself. Professionals who tap into their intrinsic motivation perform better and add value to their organization. In doing so, they eventually receive the extrinsic rewards (raises, bonuses, promotions) that others don’t receive.

11. Problem-solving When it comes to problem-solving, the modern workplace employs two types of workers. The first group are people who complain about workplace problems. They point them out, complain to anybody who will listen, and use them as an excuse for producing lackluster work. Every workplace has problems. It’s what happens when you bring many people with different skills, attitudes, tasks, and motivations into a complex environment of roles, systems, and hierarchies. And guess what? The modern workplace in the post-pandemic world has and will continue to create opportunities to use problem-solving skills.

12. Financial Preparedness If there’s one thing all professionals should understand, it’s this: A pay check is never guaranteed (unless you have a guaranteed contract, which you probably don’t). Even if you exhibit all of the previously mentioned skills, you can find yourself without work at any moment. Layoffs happen. To prepare for this possibility, professionals should build and maintain an emergency fund. This is money set aside to help you through unexpected events that can hurt you financially. Having an emergency fund can improve your financial security and minimize the stress of a job loss.

Your career can also be derailed by an accident or injury that limits your ability to work. Therefore, your financial preparedness should include long term disability insurance. This type of insurance covers the potential loss of income caused by injury or illness. If you are unable to work because of a covered disability, the policy will replace part of your income. You will receive these benefits for as long as you’re disabled or up to a maximum period of time spelled out in the policy.

__________

Source: Article by Jack Wolstenholm, Director of Content at Breeze, a digital-first insurance company that offers simple, affordable income protection for the modern workforce; published by SkillsYouNeed.com.

 

Posted on Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays October 10, 2022 on October 10, 2022.



Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays October 3, 2022 on October 3, 2022

12 Skills Every Professional Needs to Succeed in the Modern Workplace

 

This week, we share the first of a two-part series on skills needed

to succeed in the modern workplace. 

 

PART I: Skills 1 through 6

 

The modern workplace isn’t a single physical place in most organizations. The modern workplace is a realm, a culture. It often comprises people working from multiple locations in different cities, states, time zones, and even countries. Some may be full-time employees working from a traditional office. Others are contractors working at a different employer. Since COVID-19, more and more people are working from home. Co-workers can spend years with each other without physically meeting, only communicating electronically.

The chaos of the modern workplace has added to the stress of working under the pressure to produce results in a world of uncertainty. Some professionals struggle to grow and move up in the modern workplace. The ones that succeed typically exhibit the following skills:

1. Adaptability The modern workplace changes as often as the weather in the Midwest – and for non-Midwesterners that means a lot. Businesses are bought and sold every day. Products come and go. The marketplace evolves. Organizational charts are rewritten. Budgets are slashed. There are always new rules, new technology and new trends to learn. In the post-COVID-19 workplace, change also includes more remote work, more video conferences, and less structure. Adaptability is highly sought after by employers because it makes people better employees and leaders, more productive, and more likely to remain with the company long-term.

2. Empathy The modern workplace includes employees of varying ages, education levels, backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. You are often interacting with people from different countries. Co-workers have distinct lives outside of work and diverse motivations at work. This can sometimes lead to workplace conflict. But conflict is minimized when people can understand and relate to the thoughts, emotions and experiences of others without judgment. This is empathy. Empathetic people have a positive effect on overall company morale.

3. Communication The modern workplace depends on the free flow of ideas, information, and instruction. This has always been true, but is even more so in a workplace altered by global economics, generational preferences and, of course, a pandemic. The teams you work with are no longer confined to the same floor of the same building. Successful professionals regularly connect with co-workers about everything from ongoing projects to new opportunities and external threats. They must possess the ability to communicate through face-to-face conversations, large group meetings, emails, instant messaging, phone calls, project management software, and impromptu discussions. They must also find the right balance between communicating too little and over-communicating. Don’t forget that proper communication isn’t limited to what you say or write. It’s just as important to listen to customers and co-workers.

4. Curiosity The modern workplace requires employees to ask questions and search for answers. If you wait for others to voluntarily communicate the information and instruction required to succeed, you will fall behind. If you proactively discover the keys to job success, you’ll become indispensable. Employees who exhibit curiosity in the workplace are more likely to succeed because they generate alternative solutions to existing problems, they innovate ways for the company to make money or save it, and they discover ways to add value beyond their job descriptions.

5. Data Interpretation The modern workplace is teeming with data. Companies harvest up-to- the-minute intelligence on their customers, distributors, website traffic, order volume, employee performance, and a host of other factors. Data directs much of the decision-making. What products to sell and where to sell them and to who? How much to budget for marketing, distribution, customer support, and employee recruitment? Where to invest and divest? Successful professionals can collect, analyze and comprehend all sorts of data. They can spot patterns, identify what’s relevant and what isn’t, and report the meaning of the data collected to others.

6. Intuition Data doesn’t always tell the full story. To fill the gaps left by incomplete or inaccurate data, successful professionals must rely on intuition – often called a “gut feeling.” But true intuition is not an emotion. It’s a confident wisdom a person gleans over time from knowledge and experience, from the lessons learned from successes and failures. Professionals can develop intuition by listening to experts in their field, constant reading, and focused observation of the world that impacts their business.

Next week, we will present Part II of our series . . . Skills 7 through 12.

__________

Source: Article by Jack Wolstenholm, Director of Content at Breeze, a digital-first insurance

company that offers simple, affordable income protection for the modern workforce; published by SkillsYouNeed.com.

 

Posted on Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays October 3, 2022 on October 3, 2022.



Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays September 26, 2022 on September 26, 2022

MENTORING MONDAYS

September 26, 2022

 

 “The Power of Potential”


 

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

                                                                                                  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Much of our life’s journey is dedicated to making use of this unexpressed possibility. If we choose to ignore the demands of our potential, we are referred to as an underachiever, breaking the unspoken law of achievement. 

Parents want their children to possess and achieve their deepest potential. Teachers speak of students as “possessing so much potential.” Leaders search for the employee/team member with the greatest potential for success. Each of us is said to possess potential. So, what is this nebulous “quality” that is naturally mourned when not “lived up to?” 

“Potential is the instinctive understanding that life is a gift and each person living his or her life is experiencing a one-time, unrepeatable event, never to take place in the history of the universe again.” Like the universe, we are either in a state of expansion or contraction at any given time.  In order to achieve our fullest potential, we have to be willing to expand our actions beyond our present state of comfort. As the old saying goes, “If you always do what you did, you will always get what you got.” It is our willingness to do things that are unknown and unfamiliar that we experience a new side of ourselves. 

Start living the power of potential by expanding your self-expectations and be willing to step outside of what is comfortable in order to experience what is possible. 

 

__________ 

Source: “The Law of Achievement: Discover Your Purpose, Possibility and Potential” by Kathleen Gage and Lori Giovannoni, Maxwell Publishing, Draper, Utah 2006.

Posted on Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays September 26, 2022 on September 26, 2022.



Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays September 19, 2022 on September 19, 2022

MENTORING MONDAYS

September 19, 2022

 

 “Avoid the False Alliance”

 

No one can get far in life without allies. The trick, however, is to recognize the difference between false allies and real ones. A false alliance is created out of an immediate emotional need. It requires that you give up something essential about yourself and makes it impossible for you to make your own decisions. A true alliance is formed out of mutual self-interest, each side supplying what the other cannot get alone. It does not require you to fuse your own identity with that of a group or pay attention to everyone else’s emotional needs. It allows you autonomy (and it supports your autonomy).

Daily Law: Cultivate real allies (advocates). Find those with mutual self-interests and make an alliance.

 

 

___________ 

Source:  Excerpt from “The Daily Laws” by Robert Greene.

Posted on Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays September 19, 2022 on September 19, 2022.



Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays September 12, 2022 on September 12, 2022

MENTORING MONDAYS

September 12, 2022

 

 “Change Yourself from within, Little by Little”

 

We humans tend to fixate on what we can see with our eyes. It is the most animal part of our nature. When we look at the changes in other people’s lives, we see the good luck that someone had in meeting a person with all of the right connections and the funding. We see the project that brings the money and the attention. In other words, we see the visible signs of opportunity and success in our own lives, but we are grasping at the illusion. What really allows for such dramatic changes are the things that occur inside a person. The slow accumulation of knowledge and skills, the incremental improvements in work habits and the ability to withstand criticism.  

Any change in people’s fortunes is merely the visible manifestation of all of that deep preparation over time. By essentially ignoring this internal invisible aspect, we fail to change anything fundamental within ourselves. And so in a few years’ time we reach our limits. Yet again we grow frustrated, we crave change, we grab at something quick and superficial and we remain prisoners forever of those recurring patterns in our lives.  

The answer is to reverse this perspective: Stop fixating on what other people are saying and doing. Stop fixating on the money, the connections, and the outward appearance of things.  Instead, look inward, focus on the smaller internal changes that lay the groundwork for a much larger change in fortune. It is the difference between grasping at an illusion and immersing yourself in reality. And reality is what will liberate and transform you.

Daily Law: What would you work on if no one was looking? 

 

 

_______________

Source: Excerpt from “ The Daily Laws” by Robert Greene. 

Posted on Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays September 12, 2022 on September 12, 2022.



Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays Sept. 5, 2022 on September 7, 2022

“The Choice is Yours”

~ John Maxwell

 

This week, we would like to share an inspirational thought and then a challenge from a very small book by John Maxwell, entitled The Choice is Yours . In the introduction, Maxwell says, “Nobody desires to take the path that leads downward. Each of us aspires to be something more, something bigger. The secret to the uphill path comes in the individual choices we make.” 

 

Let’s begin with the quote:

“There is no use whatever trying to help people who do not help themselves. You cannot push anyone up a ladder unless he is willing to climb himself.”

~ Andrew Carnegie

Now the challenge. How to develop commitment:

  • Realize it usually begins with a struggle;
  • Understand that it has nothing to do with talent or ability;
  • Recognize that it’s not a matter of conditions but of choice;
  • Start with the little things;
  • Settle moral issues before you’re confronted;
  • Trust in God.

_____________ 

Source: “The Choice is Yours: Today’s Decisions for the Rest of Your Life, by John C. Maxwell, published by the J. Countryman division of the Thomas Nelson Book Group, Nashville, TN 37214.

Posted on Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays Sept. 5, 2022 on September 7, 2022.



Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays - August 1, 2022 on August 1, 2022

“Do We Still Need a Movement for Women’s Rights?”
~ Cheryl Benton

At the IR’s Institute hosted by Madonna University on October 28, 2016, each attendee received a book entitled Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life, by Nancy D. O’Reilly, a clinical psychologist, motivational speaker, and women-empowerment expert.

As I browsed through the book, I was drawn to the entry by Cheryl Benton, founder and publisher of The Three Tomatoes (a book publishing company), I was captured by the leading sentence, “Call it what you want, but let’s not let labels like feminism keep us from focusing on the issues and working together to create a world where women and girls are truly equal – that is a world that will be a much different and better place”

Cheryl raises the question: “Do We Still Need a Movement for Women’s Rights?” Here is an excerpt from her response to the question.

“Unequivocally, yes, we do need a women’s rights movement. Let us go back to the CBS poll and one of its findings that really disturbed me. Women were equally divided on whether there is still a need for a strong women’s movement. In addition, 45 percent believe that most of the goals of the women’s movement have been met.

“If that’s the case, are the goals of the women’s movement met when women in the country still earn only 77 percent of what men earn? Is it acceptable that women make up just 16.6 percent of corporate board officers at Fortune 500 companies? That when it comes to women’s representation in government, internationally, the United States ranks 71st?  Is it acceptable that our Congress debated through two decades before finally passing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in February 2013? Or that the United State is one of seven nations (others include Somalia, Iran, and Sudan) who have yet to ratify the United Nations’ women’s right treaty?

“While most of us agree that our lives as women in this country are better because of the women’s movement, it is not just all about us.” There are some startling examples of what happens to women and girls in other countries as outlined in the United Nations’ gender equity statistics, but I wanted to keep this entry from moving into the darker side of the issue. Cheryl continues to say . . . .

“Let us also remember that women’s issues are men’s issues. We cannot have women’s rights without men, so excluding them from our movement will never achieve equality. It is time to forget the labels that divide us, and focus on the end game – a world where women have equal opportunities and rights and live in a world free from violence and oppression. All this being true, what are some of the things that each of us could do today to make this goal a reality? Here
are three ideas:

Become more aware of legislation and how it affects women, for better or worse.
Understand the issues and make your voice heard, especially by your elected representatives. 

Use your personal influence and power in your own sphere to champion women and girls in your company, your profession, and your community. Women need to help other women.

Think globally. While we have the luxury in this country of debating the issues on equal pay for women, and getting more women in the C-suite and into high-level political offices, there are women in many parts of the world who have few if any rights, and live under oppressive conditions that most of us cannot even imagine.”

So, yes, there is still work to be done. We will share moves from Leading Women in the next
few weeks.

___________
Source: Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life, by Nancy D. O’Reilly. Listen to Nancy D. O’Reilly’s Podcasts at WomenSpeak.com

Posted on Permanent link for Mentoring Mondays - August 1, 2022 on August 1, 2022.



Page last modified November 28, 2022