Tag Archives: Management

2014-05-22 20.18.06

Have you ever done an MBTI or Myers Brigg’s Type Indicator test to figure out your communication style? I haven’t. And by the sounds of it, that’s ok.

Last night we held a small Lumina workshop, which is a development from MBTI which works differently, assessing us as people that are changeable and wear different hats in different situations. We were there to learn more about communication styles and to learn how to read others.

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As some 22 people piled into the Thomson Reuter’s boardroom (thanks for the lend!), I was interested in seeing us huddle together with our colleagues and friends –  there were only two other WMN staff alongside me, with a majority of TR guests, followed by those from Turner.

Having already answered the questionnaire (so that Lumina could give us our profiles at the end of the session) I was aware of a few behavioural aspects: Do I take charge in a group? Do I like to bring others around to my point of view? Upon meeting Donna from Lumina, I quickly said that I was aware when answering, that my responses for work-based situations were different than those for family, friend or social interactions.

When it came time to sit and start the session, guess who was there saying “no, don’t sit on the side and it’s ok if you didn’t do your questionnaire, please sit in the middle so we have a nice audience”? Me, of course! Hey, I was there for work, I’m a WMN staff member. And I knew that we wouldn’t not be sitting still for too long. But I also noticed how in these situations, we do herd together.

The session, which took us through personality ‘areas’ (not types, because it can all be blurry), which you can see partially in the image below. It’s broken into:

Yellow – Social, imaginative, spontaneous

Green – Intimate, collaborative, empathetic

Blue – Observing, Evidence-based, Reliable

Red – Purposeful, Competitive, Takes charge

But note the blurring colours inbetween, too.

Lumina

And did you know that we make our first judgement of a person – all non-verbally, this fast?

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(But don’t worry, we make a more lasting, detailed judgement within 30 minutes).

We started our activities with three cards each from each suit (one of the four colours) and we then met people to trade out those cards which held statements that we felt didn’t apply to us. The statements varied from things like “In a group I prefer to listen first” to “Others see me as a rebel” (that one resonated with us WMN ladies).

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We also did group work to come to understand the potential character attributes and style of each ‘colour’ to see if we could understand what kind of personality each colour represented. Then, we looked at ourselves and decided what order rating we would give each colour, in describing ourselves. Again, I laughed as Event Manager, Sheli, and I came out with the same – we have similar day jobs too.

The next task was to move around the room, try to talk to at least five people who would then decide what colour order I was, as I did the same for them. My first meeting was interesting, I got talking – and before I knew it, Donna came along and told us to hurry on as we needed to meet more people. What did that mean about us? I quipped.

I was interested to see that I had been rated exactly the same by the four people I met (am I one dimensional? My brother once said I was, but only because I was given three of the same Marmite cook book for my birthday one year. I’m not one dimensional. I just really, really like Marmite). More so, I was interested to see that actually, I think those appraisals were right and it was slightly different than what I had first guessed for myself.

But to be clear, we all take on different aspects in different situations, so we’re all a bit of each colour and our profiles provided by Lumina break down into the underlying persona, the every day persona and the overextended persona. Lumina also recognise that these types have negative aspects – for instance,  someone who’s tough could be too blunt for others, or aggressive. Or you could become isolated if others see you as a rebel.

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Towards the end of the session (which Lumina kindly reduced to only 1.5 hours) Rachael took us through the ‘Spark Mandala’ and asked a few to take steps forward, when the question asked applied to them. We did one set for Introverted personalities (by starting from the opposite side of the wheel, printed on the mat) and another for extroverted personalities. Again, I laughed – and announced – that the two most extroverted personalities on that group were both from WMN.

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It’s easy to see that Lumina has a rounded view of how people are and behave – and that it’s helpful both on a personal and professional level to have an understanding of your style. After all, as a ‘yellow’ person I would say that life is all about those relationships, work might mean professional relationships, some of which crossover to personal, but really, our interactions with each other, with strangers, friends, family, colleagues, loved ones and even those we don’t like so much really makes up the colour of life.

To learn more about Lumina, visit these sites:

Illuminate Training

Lumina Learning

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That there are not enough women working in higher up and management roles is a topic that keeps coming up – while in Hong Kong, we know from various studies how shockingly few women there are in the workforce, especially after child-bearing age, this is an issue all around.

This post, found on iMedia Connection, covers some important points and notes that this issue (notably in ad tech – and let’s face it, all tech industries including engineering) is not just a Hong Kong or Asia issue.

 


 

 

There is a clear gender imbalance in ad tech, especially at the senior level. Here’s how women can begin to flourish in the industry.

As an exciting, challenging, and constantly evolving sector, the ad tech industry has changed the way online advertising operates, attracting the brightest minds and spawning a wealth of innovative businesses. The result is an industry in which everyone wants to work. Yet despite all this dynamism, there is a distinct lack of women in the industry, especially at the senior level.

 

 

THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM

This issue actually starts well before the workplace even factors in. Although test scores and grades show that women are strong in mathematics and science throughout grade school and high school, when it comes to degree courses, women are significantly under-represented in engineering and computer science. According to a 2011 report from the U.S. Department of Commerce, fewer than 14 percent of computer science degrees are earned by women. This means the lack of females is much more than just an industry issue. The challenge lies in attracting more women to college engineering departments.

While this challenge won’t be solved overnight, the lack of female engineers and computer scientists has a direct impact on the ad tech industry. Because the majority of companies in this space began as innovative, small technology startups driven by engineers, there is a male-specific bias at the senior level that has been inherent in this sector from the start. Furthermore, the additional time demands and commitment levels associated with working for a startup are often greater than those of a more established business, which could also impact the willingness of women with families to join the industry. Finally, the fact that many of these startups are funded by venture capitalists or angel investors — another male-dominated sector — further perpetuates the issue, as most board members and advisors tend to be men.

TRICKS OF THE TRADE FROM WOMEN IN THE FIELD

While it might seem like the odds are stacked against women in ad tech, it’s important to realize that working in this industry and being a good wife and mother are not mutually exclusive. Women should not have to choose one or the other. This false assumption deprives the industry of very talented individuals, especially when women feel they cannot return after maternity leave because the demands of the company don’t support them when their priorities have shifted to support a healthier work-life balance.

For women who are concerned about not being able to dedicate enough hours to the job, they must understand that when it comes to the working day, less can actually mean more. It’s not possible to equate hours spent at work with output, so if someone is in the office for 12 hours per day, it does not mean they are more effective than someone who is there for seven. What matters is how you control and use this time. It’s important to realize that you are in control of your calendar and success. Rather than leaving your calendar open, use it to book time for key activities such as researching, brainstorming, and keeping up-to-date with the industry — even booking days to leave early in order to spend time with the family — and then stick to your plan (within reason of course). Although it might mean less time in the office than male colleagues, it can also lead to an increase in productivity. Focusing on priorities can make people far more efficient with their time in the office.

For women who do reach a senior level, you must ensure that the key skills you bring to the business are not suppressed, as the response to operating in a male-dominated environment is often to “de-feminize” in an attempt to fit in and be “one of the guys.” Our advice is to reject this premise, realize it’s unnecessary, and understand that it’s a pressure you put on yourself, not something your male co-workers are forcing on you. Have the confidence to accept that you’re different from your male colleagues, and remain true to yourself by using your own skills to add value to the business. This is especially important in a leadership role where authenticity is critical. You must mean what you say and say what you mean in order to gain trust and respect from your team, partners, and clients.

One trick we’ve learned from our male colleagues is to be sure the right people know about our career aspirations. Men are more forthright about articulating their successes and stating exactly where they want their careers to lead. Women can often be more passive, and if you don’t communicate to your boss what you want from your career, he or she might assume you do not want increased responsibilities and the additional pressures they bring. As a result, you could be overlooked for career advancement opportunities, even if you are the most qualified person for the role. Speak up from the start, and make sure people clearly know what you want from your career.

As well as being more vocal, when it comes to technology, you can never be too inquisitive. This is critical to anyone’s success. Overcome any fears you have and “dive into the technology.” Sit down with the experts and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Push people to explain things in a way that you can understand and ingest. The more deeply you can understand things, the more valuable you can be to your company.

A LOOK AHEAD: THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT FOR WOMEN

Having more women in senior leadership roles will help address the lack of women in the industry for a number of reasons. First, they can become role models and mentors for other females as they overcome the obstacles traditionally associated with balancing home and work lives successfully. Women in senior roles can relate to the challenges facing other women who are entering the ad tech industry. At the same time, when it to comes to building effective and functioning teams, female bosses are less likely to consider the potential family aspirations of a female employee and will focus instead on what that person can add to the team and whether she is the right person for the job.

Over time, the ad tech industry will change for the better, and this will happen faster if we can incorporate more women in positions of true leadership and influence. It’s important for companies to encourage women to fully understand and maximize their potential while also developing a culture that supports a work-life balance. Women bring different skills and strengths than men, which can make organizations more holistic and resilient. Companies suffer when they lose valuable, skilled employees, as often happens when, for example, women choose not to return to this industry after they have children, or they stop looking for leadership opportunities because they feel discouraged.

We all passionately believe the ad tech industry offers a dynamic environment that can create enormous opportunities for women to imagine, create, and lead, and we cannot see ourselves working anywhere else. We must all work together to ensure we can attract and nurture more women in the industry who feel the same.

Denise Colella is president at Maxifier.

Nicolle Pangis, president at Real Media Group, and Maureen Little, senior vice president of business development at Turn, contributed to this article.

 


 

This article was originally posted here.

 

 

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A topic which is always close to our hearts at WMN is ‘Can women have it all?’.

It’s a topic that has been high in debate of late, from looking at how Marissa Mayer’s career and move to Yahoo! and then announcing she was pregnant, to our events surrounding disruption and of course, the discourse created by Anne Marie Slaughter in the US. (Check that link, there are reams of articles that are relevant to you).

Our Hong Kong Chapter President, Christina Pantin is someone who’s very intrigued and dedicated to this debate, she regularly shares articles that she’s read about the debate and looking at how we can use this to advise and inspire our WMN members.

AmCham HK is hosting an event in March, around this issue. To warm us up, here’s an extract of an interview with Anne Marie Slaughter, with some background to the discussion.

Anne-Marie Slaughter on women, work and Washington

by Shelley DuBois, writer-reporter November 7, 2012

 

The Princeton professor and former State Department official discusses her take on leadership and work-life balance.

 

FORTUNE — In what felt like a knockdown, drag out election season, we heard plenty about the problems in Washington and improving the lives of American women. As a foreign policy professor and a woman who has worked in Washington, Anne-Marie Slaughter knows these issues all too well.

 

Slaughter currently teaches at Princeton, but last year, she ended a two-year term as the director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department. She was previously dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

 

Slaughter also, suddenly, reignited the perennial debate among working women this past summer after she wrote an article in The Atlantic called “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All.” She spoke with Fortune about leadership in Washington and why women should not blame themselves if they are struggling to balance work and family.

 

An edited transcript is below.

 

Fortune: You’ve been a dean and you’ve worked in the State Department. How do you lead differently in academia versus in the government?

 

Anne-Marie Slaughter: Well, my one-liner is that in academia, you’re rewarded for coming up with a really big idea that has only your name on it, but in Washington, you’re rewarded for cutting big ideas into little ideas and getting other people to think they thought of them. It’s an old adage in Washington that you can get anything done if you don’t want to take credit for it, and it is true.

 

But the real difference is Washington is the politics. I don’t know if the politics are fiercer but they’re different. I had to watch my back a lot more.

 

People were out to get you?

 

They certainly are very happy to cut you out. It’s just the way the town tends to work. It’s not a place that rewards team collaboration very often.

 

But I had to send very different signals, and I did. I would actually tell my people, “look, success is not having defended our turf, success is having gotten our ideas adopted.”

 

Were you rewarded for achieving your definition of success?

 

There are a number of projects that I am just enormously proud of having been part of, but my fingerprints are often not on them. It’s just the way it has to be. You know and your team knows, and inside, the Secretary will give you credit if she can, but by and large, it’s about a larger goal.

 

So how do you convince yourself to do major projects when your name isn’t on the work?

 

That is where I think being an academic really helped. I knew at some point I was coming back here. I have an outside life and an outside identity that many people inside don’t have.

 

I also made a choice early on that I wanted to be able to look back and have achieved one big thing. So I volunteered for this Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review which was a real bear because it had never been done before it involves putting state and aid agencies together and it was a huge process headache and a lot of people didn’t want to get anywhere near it.

 

Did that work? Does it hold up?

 

Yeah, it does. In fact, I often get students who say they want to get a job with some initiative or office that the QDDR was part of and I feel just enormously proud. I feel like, “yeah we did that, and it’s going to have a real impact.”

 

How should people think about leadership if they truly want to work across agencies and cultures, like you did for that project?

 

I would say it’s the difference between being at the top of the ladder or the center of the web. Power is whom you bring together and how you bring them together and what you enable. You are still exercising power, but it is a much more empowering kind of power.

 

And how, if at all, has your role as a female leader change after you wrote the article in the Atlantic?

 

Ah. Well, it certainly added an agenda to a life that was pretty full. Hanna Rosin has said I’m the woman who left the State Department to spend more time with my children and then I wrote an article about it, so it means I’ll never see my children again. I did not, of course, expect it to take over my life.

 

But I felt a sense of responsibility that is just part of being a teacher, a mentor, a mother — just somebody who looks after other people. And people tell me every single day how much they’ve talked about it, what a difference it made.

 

When I read it, I just thought, “thank God I’m not crazy.”

 

That’s one of the things that makes it worth it for me — so many women were out there thinking it was their fault. Many have had to make compromises they didn’t expect to make and they feel like failures and they’re not failures, it’s the system.

 

We have not enabled people to have children and be with those children and still stay on the career track in ways that allow them to rise over the course of a lifetime.

 

Somewhere along the line, we got to a place where saying, “I’m choosing not to accept the promotion because I want to spend more time with my children” is regarded as some kind of weakness or unprofessionalism, and that’s very bad for society as a whole.

 

When I sort of ripped it open, everybody was like, “Whoa, I’m not alone.”

 

 


 

AmCham HK is hosting Male-Female Differences at Work on March 12th at 8am which we think will be an interesting debate in the lead up to our next event on March 26th, Deconstructing the having it all myth (#wmndeconstructing)

The ‘fit’ between gender and the different stages in an organisation’s ‘lifecycle’ will be used to illustrate that it’s very unlikely that the same individual will be successful leading an organisation throughout its entire ‘life’.

The implications of this research for corporate careers and corporate success will be presented, as well as some development implications.
All attendees will be encouraged to complete a questionnaire beforehand to compare results with Selby & Mills research findings at the event.
Dr. Colin Selby is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist with a PhD in Business Management. He has extensive consulting experience in Europe, America, Africa and Asia. He has taught at Manchester University, London Business School and the Open University. He has been an executive member of the Division of Occupational Psychology of the British Psychological Society with special responsibility for public & international relations for the profession. Dr. Selby is responsible for Client service and relations, product development and consulting. In 2010 he was shortlisted for Occupational Psychologist of the year in the UK.

 

 

As ever, we’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic. Please contact us if you’d like to write a blog, or join the conversations on social media:

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When I first read this article, I thought it was going to be about pitching to new clients – to win business. It’s not really, to me it’s more useful as an internal tool but perhaps I’d always consider not making the client look stupid before I open my mouth.

That said, the piece might still be useful to some of you, especially those accused of lacking tact or those who are just starting out in their careers.

Thanks to iMedia Connection for their useful blogs.

 

 

Digital marketers spend a lot of time pitching new ideas — to their clients, to their bosses, to their own teams. And that’s a good thing. New ideas are what make this industry such an interesting place to be.

 

 

That said, for an industry that revolves around the art of the pitch, some of us are quite bad at it. We say inappropriate things. We stick our feet in our mouths. We back ourselves into corners. We put other people in the room on the defensive.

 

 

Whether you’re trying to sell a client on an innovative marketing concept or introducing a new idea to your internal team, the words you use are vital. And saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can shut down a roomful of open minds in an instant.

 

 

If you’re trying to sell your great idea, don’t let these words come out of your mouth.

 

Read the rest here.

 

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