Words, Ideas, Stuff
Some ideas and thoughts, captured with the view to help you.
This little question popped up on the Twitter feed this weekend …
And got the cogs turning. There were the usual responses in the feed about hugging loved ones, writing stuff down, flossing, smiling, sending good vibes to others etc (how many of these are real and how any are ‘aspirational’ and people want to be seen that one? Ah, that’s a whole ‘nother post there!).
Here’s the one I came up with. One little gem that I think was taught in a sales course about 20 years ago and what a difference it’s made.
“Ask to clarify what they mean by 'urgent' (and that's whoever 'they' are and whatever the context is). It's almost never the same as what you’re expecting, and almost never 'this instant'.”
Getting clear on everyone’s expectations also helps with that whole ‘under promise, over deliver’ mission, in a way that doesn’t create undue stress for you too. By getting clear on what someone’s expectations are instead of assuming, you have the freedom to share your reality too and agree on the timing, so both parties are happy. Then it’s over to you to meet that timeline, or beat it. Always easier to do with a week of space to get it done rather than the next five minutes.
Of course some tasks will need to be done ‘now, now*’, but many don’t and by doing them straight away we’re deciding whatever that is, is more urgent and more important than other things we’re doing. Which isn’t always the case and when it is, let’s consciously choose that.
I can clearly recall a time when I was managing one of the company’s top 100 client and they called, with an urgent request. They’re important, they say its urgent, and as the Head of Procurement outlined what they needed, I was trying to listen but really, I was calculating how to make it happen by 5 pm that same day.
Drop everything, cancel meetings, focus only on this, deliver everything they’ve asked etc etc. I’d mapped that plan, noted down their needs, read back to him to clarify it. Then … I asked the question “So we’re on the same page, when you say ‘urgent’ what do you mean by this time wise?”.
His response “Within the next two weeks”. Wow. We really were on two different pages about what urgent meant in this context. It would have been foolish of me to switch to thinking urgent always means ‘in the next two weeks’ as every context is different, where as the real takeout here is to check. Just ask the question. We love a happy ending and you can probably guess that in this situation, I was able to complete the actions, double check and give really accurate insight, add some extra value and deliver what they needed about three days ahead of their expected timeline, all while managing to do all the other important things on that week.
It’s not something I’ve always remembered to do but it’s one that I try to and really encourage you all to give it a go, see if it helps create or protect some space in your days too.
The numbers speak for themselves –“Every night in this country, over 167 women and children are too afraid to stay at home because of family violence.” Right now, these numbers are getting worse. More people are feeling unsafe at home than ever.
Headlines like these are real, and confronting:
“Covid 19 coronavirus: Domestic violence is the second, silent epidemic amid lockdown”
And we can’t hide or close our eyes because these stories are hard to read or hear. We have a serious issue here in NZ, New Zealand has the highest rates of family violence in the developed world. This is personal, and it’s one that really matters to us here at Careering.
All women, all people, deserve to feel safe.
We passionately advocate for this.
Now, we’re supporting Women’s Refuge and gifting a Safe Night too.
The premise of “Safe Night” is that now New Zealanders are able to book an escape for those who can’t book one for themselves, for someone who really needs it. They’ll get a safe, clean bed, 24 hour security, hot meals, childcare, helpful advice and care from supportive people. Priceless really. And for $20, you can gift one too. Please do.
Please visit https://womensrefuge.org.nz/get-help/ or call their Crisisline: 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843
Phone them toll free from anywhere in New Zealand for information, advice and support about domestic violence as well as help in a crisis.
They’re there to help you on this phone number 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You will be automatically redirected to a female advocate in your region.
"I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them."
While emotions and feelings are quite different, we all use the words interchangeably to more or less explain the same thing – how something or someone makes us feel. There's no class at school, tech or uni on how to untangle 'feelings' yet we're biochemically driven by them. Last week I attended a community wellbeing forum last week out in Lincoln as I'm passionate about helping young people. The forum was well attended by community groups, Youth Council, economic development advocates, paramedics, advocates for those with austism spectrum disorder, teachers, school leaders, community care officers, Police Officers, a suicide prevention officer, Ministry of Education leaders, an academic research, and me. A warm, welcoming. diverse, engaged and committed group.
I took a tonne of notes and tools away from the forum. The Rolleston College leaders were strong communicators and very inspiring as they shared the ethos of their school, their values and they shared some real gems. One that that stood out was that of a ‘feelings tree’, which they use to help their rangitahi identify, understand and communicate how they're feeling.
Seems we could all use a tool like this!
Whether we are catching up with friends, family, students, teachers, colleagues, grandparents etc, this gives a common platform for saying where we are at.
In simple terms, you look at the image of the people on the tree and pick one that represents where you’re at right now. You then talk that through with those around you, sharing why you chose that one, what it means to you and so on, and they can then ask you questions and start a good discussion. Once you've worked through where you're at, be an active listener and move to the next person. Cool huh?
Give it a go!
“Respect other people's feelings. It might mean nothing to you, but it could mean everything to them.”
The original feelings tree comes from the Seeds of Hope Bereavement and Loss Activity Book, which aims to help children deal with loss and/or change through nature. You can download the original tree here, along with some good questions and prompts to use it more widely with those you love, or to even check in with yourself.
We all know the maths ...
One day has 24 hours, one hour has 60 minutes, so:1 day = (24 hours/day) × (60 minutes/hour) = 1440 minutes/day
The world today is faster, brighter, louder than ever before. We have more information at our disposal than we know what to do with, and we're overwhelmed and overloaded.
When we know what matters to us, what we value and what our goals are, we can put that front and centre and filter out the 'noise'. Unless being a social media influencer or digital marketing guru is part of that mix for you, chances are social is sucking up valuable time.
This calculator by Omni is interesting and a little confronting. A good reality check as to how your time could be invested in things that make you smile.
We all know we’re in the midst of a rapidly changing global economy, and digital landscape. Increasing digital inclusion in a constantly changing environment is tough! A New Zealand Government report “Digital New Zealanders: The Pulse of Our Nation” shows that while an average of 15% of families across the country are without internet access, most of them are packed into low socioeconomic areas. And by the end of 2022, 87% of Kiwis should have access to ultra-fast broadband (UFB), putting New Zealand among the top five OECD countries for the proportion of the population with access.
Worldwide, 71% of 15-24 year olds are online. OECD data shows adults without information and communications technology (ICT) experience, even if employed, are likely to earn less than those with ICT skills.
We know that there’s paid growth in new digital jobs and these can be accessed and delivered remotely with access to good internet and the capability to do so.
While it seems the overarching infrastructure is well underway, access is only one indicator of digital inclusion, people must also have the motivation, skills, and confidence to go online.
Napoleon Hill was said to have come up with the phrase:
"Whatever the mind of (wo)man can conceive and believe, it can achieve."
A small percentage of any population are the big thinkers, the ones that can conceive of new, bold vocations. It’s the mass middle, the broader base and majority of young people that may have difficulty conceptualizing roles yet to form, or that do exist but not within their reality or perceived reach. This audience will benefit greatly from visibility on roles, pathways, and people ‘like me’ who are in these roles. A one percent lift in income for the mass middle, has a significant impact on the whole economy not just financially, but in terms of engagement, impact and wellbeing.
Career Education and Guidance in New Zealand Schools report states “We know that students become more engaged with learning if they are thinking about and preparing for the next steps in their lives. Young people who have learned to manage their own journeys through life are equipped to seize and create opportunities and participate fully in society and the economy.”
Assisting them to broaden their expectations and showcase more diverse possibilities for what those next steps can be, is essential. What exists today, may not exist tomorrow, so the imperative is even greater to help rangitahi see what’s possible.
“A Review of Careers Information, Advice, Guidance and Education (CIAGE)” in New Zealand by the PPTA shows the following:
“There is no shortage of careers information available, in fact there is probably too much information, but the key question is how well the information is packaged to meet the needs of learners and their families/whanau, especially those who are not already well informed.”
“Research shows that young people use their families/whanau as a major source of careers information, and this can be problematic, especially when there is only limited experience and knowledge of career options within the family/whanau.”
It is therefore essential that young people and their whanau develop knowledge on the changing workplace and nature of jobs.
In summary, young people are seeking career 'possibilities' between the ages of 12-14.5, and from there, narrow their choices down to what is seen as realistic? We need to expose them to newer, innovative, and broader roles, while they’re seeking possibility. The below model combines Ginzberg's career theory, with the New Zealand school career guidance model.
Career guidance kicks in around 15.5 ... a year AFTER rangatahi (young people) have already decided what's 'realistic' for them.
So make sure you're the one shining the light on big, bold, bad a$$ women and careers from the moment these little humans hatch and every day after, you never know how you're positively shaping them.
Image © Careering
At a recent Marketing conference in Ōtautahi, Christchurch, NZ, Dan West of FCB Digital in Auckland shared insights about how women are featured in advertising. It's disappointing that in 2019, how women are represented is still so abysmal.
Dan shared the research on the role women have when featured in ads which shows:
- 60% of women featured are in a negative light
- only 4% show women in aspirational roles
- and around 3% portray women as being relatively intelligent.
Remember the old saying that every dollar you spend casts a vote for the world you want to live in? Did you also know that the brands with the big advertising budgets are increasingly visible on all our social, media and digital platforms? The average Instagram user is on Insta every day and 90% of the top 100 brands in the world also have an Instagram account, so we're all hanging out in the same space. We as consumers have power to support brands that align with our values, don't underestimate that power and choose wisely what you follow, like or where you spend your hard earned cash!
There’s more you can do though.
If you work in a role where you manage or can influence your company or client’s brand, and how women are portrayed, start a new conversation or make the change. You can let people know about this sorry state of affairs and it’s likely that common sense and a desire to do the right thing will prevail. But if not, ask.
Ask directly for women to be portrayed positively.
Ask for real, diverse, interesting women … ask for them to steer clear of photo shopped bs, skeletal or unrealistic Barbie body types, or one-dimensional vapid shots, or images that show women as lacking aspiration or intelligence.
We all know women that have these and more, in spades, so let’s make sure we are all seeing these types of women reflected in the media and in advertising. Women like us all. We know how powerful the phrase ‘you have to see it, to be it’ is – so let’s use our consumer power and our voices to make our online ‘reality’ reflect ‘IRL’ reality.
"Imagery, like anything else, can be healthy or harmful, addictive or nutritious" - Rankin
The other ‘brand’ to think about when we’re looking at how women are portrayed, is your own - your personal brand. Most of us have social channels and platforms that we share snippets of our lives on. And we snap and share pics of ourselves a lot. Rawhide’s research says that over 1,000 selfies are posted on Instagram every second!
Another study by Now Sourcing and Frames Direct says that “the average millennial will spend an hour a week on selfie duty, which can be anything from taking the photo to re-taking and editing it.
Considering the average lifespan is 27,375 days, an average millennial is expected to take 25,700 selfies during their lifetime”.
Often, we edit these images ruthlessly and only share those we think are flattering.
We delete those we think make us look tired, fat, funny, wonky, short, tall, thin, bony, curvy or whatever label we’ve decided we don’t like.
All those images get chucked in the bin. Out come the filters and the editing software and ta-dah, we’ve photoshopped ourselves and curated our image library in the same way we hate the magazines doing.
So let’s lead the ‘real women’ movement ourselves, let’s share those raw and unedited (or less edited) pics that show joy, tears, fun, fear, courage, excitement and inspiration. Those real moments where we’re living our lives, not editing them.
You can read more about the marketing insights here.
Women hate negotiating! This has been proven now in a number of studies. Babcock and Laschever’s research in their book "Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide" shows that
2.5 times more women than men said they feel "a great deal of apprehension" about negotiating
Men initiate negotiations about four times as often as women
When asked to pick metaphors for the process of negotiating, men picked "winning a ballgame" (they’re American, it would be the same as winning a soccer or rugby game) and a "wrestling match," (what is the Kiwi or Aussie equivalent of wrestling? Cricket? Surfing? Bowls?) while women picked "going to the dentist." - that's universal, no-one sees that as a good way to spend an hour, ever.
Winning a game or an hour or more of pain .. you can see why men and women approach negotiation differently when that's the expectation and usually, the past experience too.
Why it matters?
Firstly – everyone deserves to get paid a fair wage for a good day’s work. It’s up to you to ensure you receive this. Your value and your contribution is important. You are a contributor to the workplace, your home, the community and the economy and having a salary that reflects your employment output is a key part of enabling you to deliver your best contribution and grow day after day.
It’s not just you. We all need to get better at this, teach this skill, pay it forward, coach others, share stories, learn the lessons from when it goes well and when it doesn’t. We should talk about it more and collectively, build capability.
Emily Amanatullah, the Assistant Professor of Management at the University of Texas completed a research study too, hers asks men and women to negotiate for themselves, and on behalf of another person. Her findings showed that when the women negotiated for themselves, they asked for an average of $7,000 less than the men, yet when they negotiated on behalf of a friend, they asked for just as much money as the men.
Next time you're in there asking for what you are worth, imagine you're bestie's in there with you and you're asking for her. Bank that $7K - you deserve it!
Keep an eye out here as next month we will publish a 'how to' guide for negotiating your salary.