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Endings and Beginnings 

 October 5, 2022

By  Jane Frankland

The world is going through rapid change what with climate change (exceptional droughts, floods hurricanes) high inflation, economic slowdowns, recessions, tech company layoffs, supply chain problems, wars, protests, and a stock market crash.

It’s a liminal time and lots of people are in transition right now. Maybe that’s you. Maybe you’re considering or have got yourself a new job, promotion, home, location, relationship, or family. Or all of these things. You are not alone.

Often when we’re in transition and things are new and different – possibly a bit tough, we give ourselves conditions in order to feel good. Or, we’re indifferent and wait for things to happen to us, for life to get in the way, or for life to be “done to us”. But there is another way to be, which brings joy and fulfilment at work and at home. It’s called being intentional and it’s emotional intelligence (EQ) in action.

I’m not talking about being committed or fixated on something. I’ve actually found the best way to be intentional is by being more present and grateful. It means simply noticing things – the minutia – and giving thanks for how lucky I am. It means stopping being attached to an outcome, goal and target – chasing things that take me away from being here in the now. It means strategising, setting things up, having processes in place, being committed, believing, having faith, being a magnet, and letting things go. It means being connected more to life and not losing reverence for life. To having fun with the moment and the magic of now.

Obviously, being this way is a personal choice, and if you choose to be intentional then it means reconnecting, taking notice, and training yourself to be more present.

Many good things can come from this. For example, at work, it will reduce the likelihood of quiet quitting, productivity paranoia, as well as increasing innovation, performance, revenue and diversity, and shrinking employee absenteeism and attrition.

Here are 3 tips for how to do this.

Tip #1 Re-engage with people.

If you’re leader, re-engage with your team. It’s never been more important than now, what with the current levels of burnout, disengagement and a crisis of wellbeing in the workplace. Don’t wait for your team to come to you. Stop taking them for granted. Be invested in them. Ask them questions. Find out how they are doing, what they think, want, desire, believe in and what they’re struggling with. Be interested in them. Curious. 

I spoke to a woman this week from a leading consultancy. She was anxious. She was 3-months into her job and hadn’t been on billable work since starting. There were rumours of cutbacks and redundancies. She was worried she’d be fired for missing her client utilisation target, a practice regularly exercised at the firm. Unfortunately, she hadn’t been onboarded properly, was working remotely, didn’t know who was in her team, and as her Lead was her career coach, felt unsafe to share these things with him. She was in the process of a massive learning lesson. Either it would work out for her there, or she’d have to use the learning lesson at her next place of work.

I was saddened for her that she’d not been set up for success and that solid onboarding foundations at the firm weren’t in place. Unsurprisingly, the firm had a churn rate, a problem for her Lead, as the costs to replace an employee can soar to 2-year’s salary especially for top female talent that’s in demand. If a company seeks performance, then the losses don’t stop there either. A less gender diverse and depleted workforce means missing the potential for innovation and higher operating risk levels.

People make the world come alive and in business they help you succeed. If your team is large and it’s not practical to meet with each team member, pick key members and find another way to re-engage with the rest of your team. Perhaps it’s by holding an informal, fun event.

If you’re not a leader, and especially if you’re a woman, make networking a daily habit. Get to know more people at your place of work, outside of it, and outside of cyber. Focus on building relationships. This is important for you. Here’s why.

According to research, women need different networks than men if they are to advance into leadership, fulfil their potential and receive fair pay. Researchers have found that women need dual networks, i.e., a large social network where women are connected to multiple “hubs” or people who have a lot of contacts across different groups, And, they need access to a woman-dominated support network so they can build strong ties to other women and acquire private information which will help them better navigate male dominated professions.

When women leverage off a larger social network size and a woman-dominated inner circle, like we have at The Source, they have higher authority, pay and an expected job placement level at 2.5 times greater than those with a smaller social network size and men-dominated inner circle.

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#2 Reflect and track progress.

Winston Churchill once said,

The further back you look, the further ahead you see.”

I agree and that’s why every day, month, 90-days, 6-months and year I look back. It doesn’t take me long as I have my IN Focus journal and planner (this is coming soon for you) so I can document the data and pull out the wisdom. By looking at all areas of my life, it gives me a truer, more accurate whole picture of what’s gone on. It enables me to spot patterns, course correct, and acknowledge my progress.

This is extremely useful for humans don’t remember accurately. In fact, we remember 10% of what we hear, 20% of what we read and 50% of what we do. That last point is crucial. As our memories are prone to inaccuracies, the closer to the event you record, the more chance you have of remembering it correctly. 

Reflection is key for setting meaningful goals, for if you want to find out how to get from where you are now to where you want to be, you have to understand yourself better, and that means deciphering the lessons you’re learning and knowing what you’re capable of. 

#3 Get clear and build a plan.

You are meant to grow and reach your potential. Yet, so many people I know are frustrated with where they are right now. They’re in the grind, stressed, exhausted, burnout. They recognise their ability but most never really take the time to get clear on what they want. Instead, they get stuck in the do, leaving their career and other aspects of their life to randomness. They say things like,

Let’s see what happens.

Let’s just go with the flow.

I’ll do it tomorrow/ another time.

But if you do that everyday, what you want won’t happen. So, you have to get clear on what you want to be, have, do and feel, plus your why. You have to then strategise for how you’re going to achieve those things, to schedule time for the actions you need to take, and then to hand them over to be.

I went through this with a woman I’m coaching recently. She was considering her next move. Through a series of IN Focus questions, she got crystal clear. Then, I asked her to find out whether she could achieve what she wanted at her current workplace. Was there anyone there who could help her get what she wanted? Was there anyone there she didn’t know about? How could she find out?

Too many people don’t take time to do these things, and whilst success is a personal affair, everyone agrees it doesn’t happen by accident. It’s something that has to crafted and worked on day-in, day-out. It requires investment (time and sometimes money), intention, laser focus, discipline, consistency and courage. It needs you to have strong self-belief, to level-up, form habits, to ask for help, and to work with someone who will keep you accountable.

What I want you to do next…

If you’re ready to up your game or your team’s game, we need to talk now. I have tools, training programmes and coaching for all budgets. Just book a discovery call and learn how my team and I can help you succeed.

PS. Photo credit Jan Tinnerberg @unsplash

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Jane frankland

 

Jane Frankland is a cybersecurity market influencer, award-winning entrepreneur, consultant and speaker. She is the Founder of KnewStart and the IN Security Movement. Having held executive positions within her own companies and several large PLCs, she now provides agile, forward thinking organisations with strategic business solutions. Jane works with leaders of all levels and supports women in male dominated industries like cybersecurity and tech. Her book, IN Security: Why a failure to attract and retain women in cybersecurity is making us all less safe' is a best-seller.

 

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