lifestyle magazine for todayâ€™s financial women
The Divide Taking a fearless approach to business and life
Are you the bully or the victim? Make conflict work for you
Stop waiting for permission Do what youâ€™ve been resisting
TAble oF ConTenTS
Stop Waiting for Permission Success comes to those who fight
off the naysayers and push forward
By understanding yourself, you will develop an understanding of others.
without a permission slip. Robert
regina barr explains four behavioral
Pagliarini urges you to do what you’ve
Are You the Bully or the Victim?
Karen Adamedes outlines five approaches to resolving conflict that
Manage tensions, resolve issues and
will keep you, your business and your
create a healthier workplace without
career on track.
bullies or victims.
Today’s Financial Women
In ThIS ISSue: We are surrounded by conflict, both in business and in life. It’s how we deal with it that can divide us from success. Capable business leaders are constantly faced with potentially career-defining – or careerdamaging – events. How they manage those situations is what defines them. TFW challenged several experts to help us understand how to diffuse, avoid and triumph over conflict.
Whether she’s in the boardroom, on Capitol hill or at the pentagon, for Ceo Lani Hay there is no divide between what is possible and what is not.
Melissa Curzon Publisher of TFW & CEO-President, Triumph Solutions Inc. ConTACT uS Phone 949.837.9154 Fax 949.682.4853 email@example.com www.tritfw.com SubSCrIpTIonS www.shop.tritfw.com Triumph Solutions Inc. Mission Viejo, CA poSTMASTer ChAngeS firstname.lastname@example.org TFW TeAM Editor in Chief: Melissa Curzon Executive Editor: Ann Kvaal Editor: Cindy Haas Editor: Kathy Lyon Editor: Nancy Everitt Creative Director: Colleen Davis Contributing Design Director: Geoff Curzon Spring 2011: Vol 5 No 1 ©2011 Triumph Solutions Inc. All Rights Reserved.
photography on Cover, Table of Contents and The Divide article by Geoff Curzon.
Contents may not be reproduced in whole or in part. Editorial content does not necessarily reflect the views of Triumph Solutions Inc. or its officer, agents, and employees. Today’s Financial Women (TFW), ISSN 1935-7842, is published four times a year by Triumph Solutions Inc., 23031 Cecelia, Mission Viejo, CA 92691
STop Waiting f hose permission do you need? Really, it’s not a trick question. Who needs to give you the nod of approval before you can start a business, start dating after a bitter divorce, or write the book you’ve been talking about for the past nine years? Whose approval are you desperately seeking? Your spouse, a boss, friend or expert in your field? Unless you’re six years old, you don’t need anyone’s permission to create a better, fuller, richer life for yourself. Of course, it doesn’t always feel that way. Someone has to tell you you’re good enough and smart enough, right?
Get conscious. It’s time to name names. List a goal or aspiration and write down next to it all of the people from whom you are secretly awaiting approval. If you’re having trouble, ask yourself this: Who needs to tell me that I am old enough, young enough, experienced enough, smart enough, attractive enough, thin enough, funny enough or creative enough? Maybe you’ve been waiting to get a boyfriend before you travel across Europe. Why can’t you go alone? Whose permission are you seeking? What about dropping your current job and switching to a career that inspires you?
Well, no actually. We cling to the (irrational) belief that we require approval before we can achieve because it’s safe. It gives you a fabulous excuse. You can tell others and, more importantly yourself, that it’s out of your hands. It can help you sleep because it gives you the illusion that you’re not in control. And if you’re not in control, it’s not your fault. But if you want to do more than sleep well and want to start living well, you need to make a decision. Are you going to put your success and happiness in your hands or someone else’s?
There are two truths. The first is that nobody will ever give you permission. The second is that you don’t need anyone’s permission. Success doesn’t come to those who wait for it. Success doesn’t even come to those who ask for it. Success comes to those who fight off the naysayers and push forward without a permission slip.
Success comes to those who fight off the naysayers and push forward without a permission slip. This message hit home for me last week. I presented to a roomful of actors and artists at a Screen Actors Guild event. Talk about an industry built on the need for approval. If you’re an actor, you need a casting director to tell you you’re good enough. If you’re a musician, you need a record label to give you their seal of approval. And if you’re a writer, you need an agent or publisher to recognize your genius. This is true for all actors, musicians, and writers … except those that have decided they don’t need to wait for anyone to tell them their art is worthy. These are the artists that don’t wait, they create. The ones such as Zak Ambrose, Craig Benzine, Christina Perri, Oren Peli, or “Born this Way” Maria. Not an artist? Not a problem. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living. The freedom that comes from discovering you don’t need anyone’s permission is yours for the taking. But how can you break free from this destructive and limiting belief?
| TFW Magazine
It can be incredibly scary (and life changing) once you realize it’s up to you. Regardless of the story you sell yourself, it always has been up to you, and it always will be. What would happen if you woke up tomorrow and decided you didn’t need anyone to give you permission? What’s the first thing you would start? Really, it’s not a trick question.
Robert Pagliarini writes for CBS MoneyWatch (www.yourother8hours. com) and is the founder of Richer Life Insights (www.richerlife.com), a community of passionate people who want to drive more money, motivation and meaning into their lives.
for permission by
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Are you the
Bully victim? victim? or the
Make Conflict Work for You by
Learn how to manage tensions and create a healthier workplace without bullies or victims.
ConfliCts are an everyday part of the work environment, causing discomfort, stress, loss of productivity and career setbacks. At the same time, conflicts can lead to new ideas, problem-solving and a better understanding of how individuals work together. That’s why learning how to resolve conflicts is an essential work skill, yet it’s still a subject we would rather avoid. However, experts say that in today’s working environment, professionals can’t afford to ignore interpersonal problems. As the economy forces workers to do more with less – and leaves many in jobs they would rather escape – conflict situations can quickly escalate. Case in point: one-third of all American workers say they’ve experienced workplace bullying, according to a 2010 survey by Zogby International. In TFW’s own survey conducted in early 2011, twothirds of all respondents reported having been bullied. “People can’t seem to work out conflicts with peers or provide feedback to their peers. It seems they must go above you to resolve things they feel are issues. What I don’t understand is why people can’t approach others like adults and work things out,” wrote one respondent.
Find Grace under Pressure
The saying we’re not paid to like each other, we’re paid to work together perhaps has never been more true. “The current economic state makes people less likely to say something. Before, when times were really good, we had more open dialogue about the issues that were going on,” said Dethra Giles, director of staff recruitment and retention at Georgia State University.
| TFW Magazine
“Now we’re starting to see a lot more passive-aggressive behavior,” she continued. As an employee, that could mean not delivering work on time; as a manager, it could mean not providing adequate feedback. Tony Deblauwe, founder of the consulting firm HR4Change, has studied bosses that exhibit direct bully behaviors – yelling at and demeaning employees – as well as those who do so indirectly, by ignoring or acting indifferently toward subordinates. He has written about both in his book Tangling With Tyrants: Managing the Balance of Power at Work and on his blog, Work Babble. “Indirect behaviors can make somebody feel just as stressed out or angry or withdrawn,” he said. But how one responds to such behavior is a choice, Deblauwe said. “You have power if you keep a grounded, contained and focused process of communication going,” he explained. His grACe process applies to conflicts between an employee and a supervisor, or between two peers: • groundIng is: “This is how I feel about the issue.” • reFrAMIng refers to: “How does this affect you?” • ACknoWledge means: “Let’s decide where we have to go with this.” • ConSenSuS means to agree to some terms: “What is my role and what is your role?” and • exeCuTe is: “Now we know what I’m doing and what you’re doing; let’s move on.”
Know When to Walk Away
keep Seeking Clarity
Giles works with both supervisors and their employees in her role as an HR director. Rather than get involved in an issue, her first response is to coach employees on how to have a conversation with a supervisor or peer.
According to Deblauwe, who spends much of his consulting time with engineers, a lack of clarity is one of the leading causes of conflict. It occurs when one or more co-workers aren’t sure about their role and each assumes the other is responsible for getting a task done.
Having earned two masters degrees – one in conflict management – she also trains managers on how to resolve conflicts and serves as a court mediator. “People laugh at me when I say this, but I tell them my favorite philosopher for conflict resolution is Kenny Rogers: know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away and know when to run,” Giles said.
That was the case with a group of five co-workers that Deblauwe recently coached through a major transition in their company. In their case, each individual was working so well independently that no one noticed conflicts among them. But when they had to work differently, they needed clarity on the changing of their roles, an awareness of the gaps in their competencies, and an understanding of the authenticity, trust and respect required of them to succeed as a team.
When approached with a peer-to-peer conflict, first managers must analyze whether the issue is one they need to address by asking whether the problem truly impacts the workplace, Giles said. If it does not, there is no need to proceed. If it does, listen to each person’s position (something that he or she has decided upon) and interest (what caused him or her to decide on the position).
“The devil is always in the details,” Deblauwe said. “Another issue that goes along with that is being afraid to ask.” Employees fear that if they ask for clarification they will be viewed as weak or incompetent in a setting that rewards individual accomplishment. “I want to be known as the expert, and experts don’t ask people,” he said of the corporate mindset.
“Always get people to the interests and out of their positions,” Giles said. “The positions are what keep us from resolving the real problems. Go in there with the ‘we’ problem: ‘This is our problem because …’ and ‘What do we need to do to get our goal met?’ ”
Both experts say that resolving conflicts, and negotiating positive outcomes with others, are valuable work skills that require training and practice. Giles advocates creating a work environment where it’s acceptable to disagree, professionally and respectfully.
Her top piece of advice for managers: Don’t be blind. “Most of the time when I go in and work on a conflict, and the managers say ‘I had no idea,’ it’s a lie,” she said. “When there’s a problem, address it immediately and then recognize what you’re addressing.”
no yes 41%to make ourselves “We have comfortable with being uncomfortnot applicable
able,” she said. “The truth is, at some level, you’re always going to be
24% 35% uncomfortable with conflict.”
As for when it’s time to involve human resources staff, consider: is the issue a violation of policy; is it illegal; or is it unethical? If not, look to HR for resources, not resolution.
Nelson is a freelance writer based in Madison, Wis.
no yes not applicable
no yes no answer
TFW Survey Results 41%
47% 24% 53%a work conflict. Here’s what they 35% In a February 2011 survey of TFW readers, 100 percent of respondents said they’ve experienced had to say about what happened. Did management handle the conflict appropriately?
How was the conflict resolved?
no yes not applicable
Did you fear reprisals if you reported the conflict?
no yes not applicable
one-on-one effort external no intervention resolved yes on its own remains a problem no answer other answers
24% 47% 29%
Based on your personal experience, how would you characterize your role in the conflict?
one-on-one effort no external intervention yes resolved on its own no answer remains a problem other answers
TFW Magazine |
bully victim silent observer negotiator other answers
Photo: Geoff Curzon
here are women in business that don’t take no for an answer and get things done, and then there are women like Lani Hay. For Hay, dealing with conflict is a natural extension of her fearless approach to business and life. There is no divide between what is possible and what is not.
An interview with Lani Hay, President and CEO of Lanmark Tec
Can you tell me more about an instance where you’ve encountered a “divide” or major conflict in the workplace? From my perspective, as the CEO and the leader of the company, the major divides that I have encountered [have come as] my company has grown rapidly. We’re a fast-growth company, which means that things change; they have to in order to sustain and support that growth. The biggest conflict that I have encountered is having people within the leadership of the company who have had differences in philosophies vs. how I’ve chosen to run the company.
How have you dealt with that difference in philosophy?
Born in the United States after her parents fled Vietnam in 1975, Hay grew up in Virginia dreaming of becoming a Navy pilot. At 17, she joined the Navy and became an intelligence officer who served in the Middle East. After earning an MBA, she founded Lanmark Technology in 2003. The multi-million dollar government contractor, which develops technology such as a biometrics-enabled terrorist watch list, surpassed her goal of making $15 million in five years. Today, she moves among Washington, D.C.’s power players, and is known for her dinner parties that bring together business leaders, politicians and celebrities. She’s focused on leading her company to the $1 billion mark by age 40, developing two new small businesses, serving as a small business policy adviser to the Obama administration, continuing her support of the arts and women entrepreneurs, and future political aspirations. TFW interviewed Hay to learn more.
| TFW Magazine
I make it clear what the objectives are for the company in the coming year. It’s really about communicating that to my senior management level. Some people are able to get on board with it and support it, and for those that aren’t, the decision is for them to choose a more compatible career path for their skill sets and their personalities.
How did your military experience help you? I was a very young CEO. I started my company when I was 27 – that has definite pros and cons. I entered the military when I was 17 in the Navy, which is the more traditional of the armed services. I had to take on leadership skills and management challenges from a really young age. In the officer corps – I was an intelligence officer – I was assigned to an aviation squadron, and there weren’t a lot of women or minorities in the squadron. Luckily I had some super mentors who kind of knew the challenges that I would be facing and mentored me into a leader, where as an officer, I could effectively lead senior enlisted people but also the young sailors that were put under my charge.
Did you encounter conflict situations in the military? There continue to be challenges for women in the military, but with each passing year, steps are made, integration is getting better and mindsets are changing. There are still what I like to call dinosaurs out there, with the old mindset, who haven’t progressed with the modern times.
Performance has always been what I’ve fallen back on in my professional career. No one can question a job well done. — Lani Hay, President and CEO, Lanmark Technology, Inc.
By Becky Nelson
Performance has always been what I’ve fallen back on in my professional career. No one can question a job well done. When it comes down to it, actions speak louder than words. If you’re a professional and you’re competent, no one can really take that away from you.
You spend your days in meetings on Capitol Hill and in the Pentagon and traveling to places like Afghanistan for work. How do you prepare for new situations? Are there still situations you fear, or have you gotten past that? My approach to anything is to really research the environment before I enter it, whether it’s going on Capitol Hill [to meet with] officials or entering a new business area or even joining a professional organization. I spend a lot of time researching, analyzing, making contacts within the organization or within the environment to learn more about it and to determine if it’s going to be a valuable use of my time. I have a very analytical personality; I like a lot of information.
In an Inc. Magazine interview, you said, “Washington is known as an old-boys’ club. But that doesn’t bother me. So was the Naval Academy. It’s all I’ve ever known.” Tell me more about how you operate in this environment. Besides a thicker skin, what is required? Competence is really the skill that’s required. Women, and younger people, are greater contributors because they have different perspectives. The more diverse an organization is, the better chance you have at solving problems.
Do you ever still feel intimidated by situations? Of course I do. But there are not too many situations that intimidate me. I remember the first time I met a sitting President [Bill Clinton], and that was very intimidating, but they’re people and once you get over the position of power and interact with people on a more personal level, then it’s less nerve-wracking. I interact with the highest levels of military leadership, the highest levels of political leadership, the highest levels in the business community. I’ve met with Warren Buffet, and it doesn’t get any bigger than that. I’m very comfortable interacting with that sector of power.
What is your advice for women in the workplace about getting through conflict situations that they feel might be holding them back? If they find themselves in a conflict situation, they need to step back, take a deep breath and reassess why they’re in a conflict situation and see what responsibilities that they have for taking part in that situation. Decide if it’s something that’s even worth going to battle for, or determine if it’s something that they can live with. Some battles are worth fighting and some just aren’t worth the time and energy.
Healthy conflict is good for companies. Can you talk about how, in your company, you foster an environment where healthy conflict is accepted? I have two part-time CFOs. They have completely different backgrounds, completely different approaches to problems. Whenever there’s an issue that comes up in the finance department, they give their perspective and it gets heated, but they’re able to support their perspectives with logic and with numbers and ultimately I make the final decision. That’s one area where, again, I embrace diversity because I’m getting more information, more data on how to approach problems and how to approach issues differently. It’s the same thing with my chief operations officer. We’re completely opposite personalities. He’s very methodical. I’m more like a mustang, where I just want to go full speed ahead. He keeps me in check and makes sure that I really think through how to move forward. I keep him from stagnating, from getting lost in the process and the procedures. I wouldn’t use the term “conflict” because that connotates some type of negative relationship, but I think it’s really healthy to work with people that aren’t just going to be “yes” people and agree with everything because I think that’s a proven failed model in business.
What do you look for in employees? I look for individuals who are competent in their skill set and are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in a certain situation. TFW Magazine |
Women at the Top ®
| TFW Magazine
Attention to Detail Quality-Oriented Critical Listener Precise Accurate
• Analyzers are all about the data and tend to focus on procedures and constraints.
Trusting Contactable Persuasive Talkative Self-Confident
• Supporters are about trust and tend to focus on the pace and consistency of their interactions and work.
Non-Confrontational Accomodating Persistent Adaptable Steady
• Promoters are all about the interaction and tend to focus on the people.
Direct Competitive Confrontational Results-Oriented Change Agent
• Conductors like to be in charge and tend to focus on results.
One of the best ways to do this is by assessing yourself. Consider these four behavioral styles (based on the DISC® assessment tool) which are simplified here to make them easy for you to use and remember. (See the Behavioral Style Wheel for more details.)
In addition, by understanding your own behavioral style you can help educate others on the best ways to communicate with you when things are going smoothly and when things start hitting turbulence. By understanding this information about yourself, you’ll also begin to develop an understanding about others.
Behavioral Style Wheel
What’s the best way to seek to understand? It may seem counterintuitive but your own self-awareness is critical. That means you need to take time – before a situation erupts – to understand your behavioral style and trigger points. This will better help you to manage your own behavior in the first place which may help others maintain their composure as well.
What’s important to note is that when under stress, we all operate from a different emotion. A Conductor operates from a place of anger (short fuse), a Promoter operates from a place of optimism (always cheerful), while the Analyzer operates from a place of fear (wants control). The Supporter often appears non-emotional but don’t be fooled. They’ve simply hidden their emotions from view.
ccording to Stephen Covey, author of the best-selling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, you should seek first to understand, then to be understood. But when tempers are flaring and things are going wrong and out of control, that could be a tall order.
Source: Adapted from Success Insights™ Wheel from Target Training International, Ltd.
Key to diffusing WorKPlACe ConfliCt
By adapting your style, you will be better positioned to achieve greater communication, appreciation and understanding – no matter what the situation. Here are some ideas for communicating with different behavioral styles in both good and/or challenging situations. • With the Conductor it’s best to be clear, specific and to the point. Don’t ramble, idly chitchat or be unprepared. • With the Promoter, allow time for relating and socializing, talk about their goals, and ask for their opinion. Don’t be curt, cold or talk down to them but don’t take too much time to get to action items either. • With the Supporter, show a sincere interest in them as people, present your case logically in a non-threatening way, and give them time to think. Don’t rush headlong into business and don’t interrupt when they speak, rather, listen carefully. • With the Analyzer, be straight forward and direct, present specifics and do what you say you are going to do. Don’t be disorganized or try to force a quick decision, and never appeal to opinion or feelings as evidence.
The next time you’re experiencing a great divide at work, take a deep breath, step back and follow these tips: 1. KnoW your oWn behAviorAl style. This gives you
a reference point to start from. Review the diagram and read the descriptions. Which of these styles best describes you?
2. identify, understAnd And APPreCiAte others’ behAviorAl style. Think about the people you work with.
Review the diagram and read the descriptions again. Which of these styles best describes them?
3. AdAPt your style. The ability to adapt and flex your style is characteristic of a strong leader. By adapting your style, you will be better positioned to achieve greater communication, appreciation and understanding – no matter what the situation.
The best way to understanding others and ensuring that you, in turn, are understood? Understand yourself first. Then, what might have been a form of interpersonal conflict could just turn out to be an opportunity for interpersonal communication.
regina Barr is a nationally recognized authority on women and leadership. follow regina at www.twitter. com/reginabarr or www.linkedin. com/in/reginabarr. Contact regina at info@thewA wAtt wA Attnetwork.com or 651.453.1007 and visit www. thewA wAtt wA Attnetwork.com. ©2011 regina Barr. women at the top is a registered trademark of red Ladder, inc. All rights reserved.
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onflict in the workplace can be disruptive and cause a divide to the detriment of you and the business. It’s also a fact of life, and in business conflict seems to be inevitable.
It can occur when people are working towards different goals or outcomes. Or when people who have an unfortunate history are brought back together. Simple misunderstandings can also cause conflict. The reasons are many and the implications can be disastrous. Conflict at work can be an inhibitor that damages relationships, delays projects, causes rework or even stops business from moving ahead. On the other hand, it can be an opportunity for you to demonstrate your skills, style and your ability to work in any environment. Conflicts are not only crisis points – they are opportunities for you to shine in challenging circumstances. The way you respond to and resolve conflict in the workplace is a defining characteristic of your personal operating style. How you handle conflict can impact your reputation more than how you resolve it. Women are often seen as being too emotional and/or too soft to deal with conflict. Developing your skills in this area will address any negative perceptions others have about your ability to negotiate (based solely on your gender!).
Here are five approaches to resolving conflict in the workplace (you can use them elsewhere too!) so that it doesn’t become a divide in your career or your business:
Approach Conflict Strategically
The best approach to conflict is to be strategic. It is unlikely that all aspects of a conflict are equally important. Decide what must be resolved and which battles you really need to win. Pick what is most important to you and the business.
The earlier the better
The best approach is to resolve important issues early. A small misunderstanding left unresolved, can grow out of proportion the longer people think about it. The earlier the resolution, the less potential damage a conflict can cause. Relationships stay intact, negative business impacts are minimized and people are more willing to compromise. Plus you are seen as more resolute and skilled.
Know your Facts
Like any negotiation, the first step is to prepare: make sure you know your facts. You’ll look incompetent if you try and resolve conflict with incorrect information or insufficient research. You may even damage your credibility if you haven’t spoken to all the stakeholders. When you know your facts you can be confident that you have the information you need, and that there won’t be any surprises later on. You’ll also have the support of those who think they need to be consulted.
As you would for any negotiation, it’s vital to identify the key issues and develop some potential alternatives to resolve the situation. For the best chance of success your potential resolution should look for a win for all parties, be expressed in the language that the people involved are comfortable with and allow others to save face.
| TFW Magazine
If you can develop alternatives that allow the other people involved to have a choice, or at least be involved in the decisionmaking process, they’ll appreciate it. This will also assist with any big egos involved.
Often, whether someone is right or wrong about a business issue ceases to be the key to resolving a conflict. Anyone can be embarrassed if they are shown up publicly as wrong. People’s concern about potential embarrassment can lead to stubborn behavior and unwillingness to concede – even when they know they are wrong or there is a better alternative. Be aware of the egos involved and explore the options to help others save face. Be generous. Just don’t come across as subservient. Approaching issues from the other person’s perspective is a highly effective way to resolve conflict. They may be adamant that they are right for many reasons. They may have data that supports their position or information about the people involved. Others may have different alliances, experiences and history that influence their perspective. The right way to resolve a conflict with one person can be different for another. Whether you think the other person is right or wrong – try to appreciate the issue from their perspective. Demonstrating that you have respect for the experience and knowledge of
others shows them you are focused on the issue, not making a personal judgment. The acknowledgment of past successes, experience, expertise and skills is appreciated by everyone. It allows you to recognize the past, accept the other person’s contribution, and then deal with the issue at hand … which is what business is all about. Be proactive and deal with conflict. It will reflect positively on your skills, credibility and professional reputation.
Karen Adamedes is a career strategist, speaker and author. Her book, Hot Tips for Career Chicks, is available as a paperback or eBook. You can find more of Karen’s tips on her blog www.careerchickchat.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/careerchicks or at twitter.com/karenadamedes. ©2011 Karen Adamedes
TFW Magazine |
| TFW Magazine