Happy Halloween! Today, I ran into many cute miniature tigers and superheroes as well as giant-sized bumble bees. And, I was amused and delighted. October 31st is one of the few times it’s socially acceptable to wear masks. The rest of the time, transparency is the key to being trusted in the marketplace.
Jane, the new secretary was recently put in charge of ordering all the yearly office supplies for her 40-person team. Many people ordered the same items, yet rather than purchase the items in bulk on one order, Jane placed 40 individuals orders for the supplies as the requests came in. This caused a number of problems. But, Jane had a reputation of being someone you could only compliment and never criticize – lest she become defensive. How can you fix problems facing your team when you have a key player who will not listen with an open heart?
We’ve all been there – everyone in the office notices the elephant in the room – but no one wants to be the first to mention it. Why? Because it involves a person who has defensiveness as their default mode of thinking. Rather than thanking others for their insights, a defensive person sees receiving feedback as a sign of weakness or error. This perception makes them feel that defending their actions is the first priority.
A recent article in T&D Magazine, published by the American Society of Training & Development, outlined four key barriers to women rising through the ranks in the workplace: 1) age, 2) lack of role models, 3) motherhood and 4) qualifications and experience. The report, based on a UK survey of 1,000 women didn’t reveal surprising news, but made me ponder even more deeply the role that women play in the careers of other women. It seems in some respects we women could do more to help each other win in the workplace.
I personally can recall a time when I entered a meeting room of several managers to ask for an opportunity. It was a woman manager who immediately shot me down and the man in the room who came to my rescue to reason with the female leader on my behalf. That was not the first time I noticed that women leaders can sometimes be unreasonably cold and standoffish to other women, rather than being supportive.
A few weeks back I attended a networking function and saw someone I had recently added to my LinkedIn network. I smiled really wide and waved, but the person only briefly looked my way then later walked right past me. Continue Reading »
Jun 15th, 2012 by AJ Owen
It’s the end of May and for some this marks the season of graduation and the transition to your next professional development adventure. That may include going to a career college, four-year university or community college to gain the basic instruction needed to pursue your dream career. In this blog post, I would like to show my preferred method of helping individuals choose the best college for them.
Who’s talking trash, now? HYPE members are – or at least we were this past weekend. Even though we were not on a b-ball court, everyone of us on the streets was talking trash. I’d like to say it was because our super smooth dribbling and dunking skills made the crowds go wild, but there were no crowds. Rather a dozen or so of us workers were talking trash clean up strategies for improving the span of blocks leading up to the Houston area animal shelter – BARC.
Some of you may have heard of the phrase pay it forward. The message it carries is, if you’ve been given a good break, give a break to someone else. This is a great virtue to hold in a time when it’s easy to fail to recognize your own good breaks and to feel betrayed by life in the face of good breaks others seem to be getting.
This day, resolve that you will not try to pay someone back who has helped you. Rather, give a good break to someone you barely know or don’t know. The kindest thing in the world you can do is help someone feel the warmth of being cared for unconditionally. Today, show someone you hope to help them be a better someone for no other reason than they matter in this world.
Feb 14th, 2012 by AJ Owen
A friend posted a question on Facebook today that gave me an idea for my February blog post. The topic is super timely considering today is Valentine’s Day – a day all about relationships. The inquiry was, “If you and someone do not talk for whatever reason and they do not even comment or hit the like button on your Facebook page, would u take them down?” Continue Reading »
Jan 31st, 2012 by AJ Owen
In recent years, I’ve been to various business and networking luncheons that all cry out, “Don’t be afraid to use social media.” Wrong. Based on how customers of social media products can be treated should they err, users should be very afraid or at least very careful, that trying to connect and share could leave them potentially embarrassed, negatively branded and with nothing to show for their time invested. Continue Reading »
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