How to Get On at Work – the answer may be under your nose.

Posted on May 25th, 2015 by

Cat dog being kind

This is currently one of my favourite quotes:

“Sometimes the people we find it the most difficult to be kind to are the ones who need it the most”.

I think I made it up but no doubt someone has said it before in a much more erudite way. Wherever it comes from, it’s a good reminder that sometimes ‘difficult’ behaviour is a cry for help. You will undoubtedly know people at work like that.

I thought about this recently when I was asked to mediate between two members of staff who seemed unable to work effectively together. On the surface, one of the two was being very difficult and the other had got fed up trying to accommodate her moods and rudeness. I am not a great advocate of confrontation in this type of case, so came at this slightly sideways. One of the reasons I love the MBTI is that it’s perfect for situations like this. It helps me explore potentially very difficult scenarios in a way that leaves the person with their self respect intact and avoids them becoming defensive.

I used the MBTI to help me highlight some of the less helpful behavioural traits while also focusing on her positive ones, which her employers valued highly; she was an excellent scientist and they wanted to keep her.

I also used the MBTI with her colleague and, once we’d established trust, we were able to share and talk about the issues by referencing the MBTI characteristics, taking some of the sting out of the situation.

It very quickly became apparent that a series of unfortunate life events had led to this truculent and rude behaviour. I could have made a good guess at that at the outset but it was important that both reached those conclusions themselves. It was a classic case of this particular individual needing kindness, but perversely making it very difficult for people to be kind to her. Once we’d all realised that, the situation began to improve.

Next time a colleague is really driving you mad, why not try a little kindness? Your instincts may be telling you to tell them to ‘go for a funny run’ (one of my Mum’s expressions meaning go away NOW) but try to over ride that. You can do more good than you know with a smile and a kind word.

RenewYou is my international one day course for women. You can use it in your organisation to bring more women into the management pipeline too! Click here to find out more.

You might also enjoy Is Kindness Under Rated at Work?

Dame Jenni Murray – Inspirational Woman

Posted on May 22nd, 2015 by

Have you ever met one of your heroes and been worried that they might not be quite as you imagined? I fantasised for years about meeting Elvis (and rescuing him from himself) but I have finally accepted that I won’t meet him down the chip shop. Sigh. A more realistic ambition was to meet Jenni Murray; I’ve been a fan of Woman’s Hour and Jenni for a very long time. I remember talking with a colleague returning to work after

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Are Women Really Risk Averse or…?

Posted on May 19th, 2015 by

How do you feel about taking a risk? In my RenewYou programme we have an exercise which helps women to think about their attitudes towards risk taking. It makes no judgements about what that attitude should be; it’s just raising awareness and helping women to think more about themselves and the kind of life they want to live. Generally, however, women are deemed to be ‘risk averse’. It seems we like to play it safe. Which begs the question ‘compared

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Successful Women Have to Learn!

Posted on May 16th, 2015 by

Whatever field you are in , there is always something you can learn. Whether it’s watching someone do a similar job really well, reading around your topic, joining a professional body, or actually getting some additional training, do it. Never stop learning, keeping your enthusiasm alive, and aiming to excel in your field.  I’ve coached many successful businesswomen and they all share that common denominator – a willingness to keep learning. It’s what all successful women do and you are

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Celebrating Women’s Achievements! Katherine Garrett-Cox.

Posted on May 14th, 2015 by

I’m all for looking at the positives in life. Not that I advocate becoming a Stepford Wife and mindlessly accepting everything life throws at us, far from it. However, I do think we should take time to celebrate that which pleases us, or when good things happen. One such ‘good thing’ was the recent award to Katherine Garrett-Cox who won the Verve Clicquot Business Woman Award, 2015. The award came at the end of a challenging period for Garrett-Cox. She

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More Women In Government Posts

Posted on May 13th, 2015 by

Whatever your political views, it is heartening to see a few more women in the UK parliament the recent election. David Cameron (Prime Minister) has been widely criticised for being out of touch with women with his ‘male, pale and stale’ previous cabinet so it’s good to see he has changed his mind and promoted a few more women into cabinet posts. The proportion of female Conservative and Labour MPs has increased, despite an overall fall in the number of

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