High-Heeled Success® News You Can Use - May, 2015

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May, 2015  

May Newsletter


Relationships with Women in the Workplace

Kay Fittes, May, 2015

What was your relationship like with your mother when you were growing up?  I bet a flood of memories just came to you.  Whether good, bad, somewhere in between, or perhaps absent, many women forge relationships with other women based on the dominant female relationship in their formative years.  The struggle to develop a full sense of self and separateness from “mother” stays with us for a long time, extending into other relationships.  Friendships, romantic relationships and professional relationships are all affected by this phenomenon, without even realizing it.  The top three struggles between women in the workplace revolve around blame, battles and boundaries.  These struggles happen either between peers, or in the subordinate/manager relationship, and are as complex as they are varied.  Let’s explore.

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Kay’s Consulting Corner

Kay Fittes

Each month in this section, Kay offers actionable career consulting tips.

The Three R’s for Quick Conflict Resolution

My lead article this month discusses three different types of conflict – blame, battle and boundaries.  The reasons for conflict are many, and solutions abound.  However, the 3R method is an easy way to remember how to successfully navigate most any conflict resolution.

The 3 R’s: Retreat, Reflect, Respond.

Too often, our knee jerk reaction to a conflict is an immediate response.  The world of social media and online connectedness propagates this phenomenon.  However, the tortoise wins the race in this case.  Take some time to work through the encounter, and the outcome will prove much more productive.

Retreat:  Take a time out.  Literally.  Do not respond immediately.  Rather, remove yourself from the situation as much as your work allows.  For some, this may be as extravagant as a day off, for others, it can be a walk outside, or a lunch break.  These are physical ways to remove yourself, but you can also retreat emotionally or mentally from the situation.  If the conflict at hand stirs up anger, instead of reacting immediately, try putting in some earbuds and listening to music or a podcast while you work through the initial reaction.  If the situation is so intense that work seems impossible, and you can’t remove yourself from the office, turn to a mental break.  Try working on a more simple project, email catch-up or calendar planning while you get your emotions back in check.

Reflect:  What is at the core of the matter, and what is the end goal?  Think about why the interaction made you upset.  Is it something you can fix yourself, or must it involve a response to another person?  After you’ve identified the cause of your anger, avoid just venting about the situation.  There is a time and place for that, but it’s not at work.  You need to remain composed and maintain a certain level of professionalism.  Determine the end goal and create a plan to achieve it.

Respond:  So, what is your plan to reach your end goal?  Make sure it includes remaining calm, and sticking to the facts.  Rehearse your response a few times either in your head, or to a trusted confidant before you approach your co-worker.  Adding a little humor, if appropriate, can help ease tension around the situation.  Once you are confident in your response, approach your colleague with sincerity and address the situation.

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Client Case Study – Karralea List

Karralea List

I first met Kay at a Biz Women/Business Courier event where she was presenting.  She impressed me by her insightful comments about the challenges for women in business.  It was clear she could provide a lot of direction that I knew I needed.  To hear my concerns voiced out loud was confirming and reinforcing.  Then I attended one of her public workshops and where she offered a complimentary consultation.  At that consultation, on the spot, I said, “Help me!”  Kay has now been coaching me for five months.

It’s like Kay is in my head.  Sometimes coaching is a roller coaster ride but it is always a growing experience.  The best part for me is a new direction.  Now when I go to make a decision, I ask myself, “Is this how Kay would say to do it and is this truly the direction I want to go?”

The results for me have been powerful.

  • Far more organized
  • Making tough decisions and being comfortable with them
  • Truly a work in progress

If anyone is considering coaching with Kay, I would say when you talk she REALLY listens.  My coaching time in always tailored to me, it is not a cookie cutter approach.  She has become a friend I count on.  I had never done anything like this before and initially just wanted to learn how to present more effectively but this has become so much more!

Karralea List
CEO The Decor Group NKY
The Decor Group NKY

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