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Winning together

Mar 07,2020 - Last updated at Mar 07,2020

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, it brings me great pleasure to share a few thoughts that served me well in the past 20 years in the corporate world, and aspire to further develop and help me navigate the upcoming 20 years. I dedicate this piece to all women who believe in the gift of “us”, and power of “winning together”, and to all men who inspire us and support us throughout the journey.

First: Keeping your head above water by prioritising. Sometimes it can get overwhelming with the amount of work and looming deadlines, the trick is in prioritising and seeking your manager’s support in putting order into assignments. This will lead to accomplishment of tasks, self-satisfaction and maintaining a work-life balance.

Second: Patience is a virtue. For many of us who are far from being characterised as patient, we need to practice patience. In many cases, results in the workplace can be slower and part of a medium-to-long term strategy which takes time, hence working simultaneously and in parallel on quick wins, can give a sense of accomplishment, keep your drive and bring on motivation to carry-on.

Third, the power of communication. Effective communication makes teams and organisations thrive as it increases engagement and the feeling of belonging. Clear, transparent and authentic messaging can go a long way, and help earn the trust and commitment of recipients. We normally get inspired by those who resemble us, or whom we aspire to be like, hence staying original, genuine and passionate when connecting with teams is key.

Fourth, breaking glass ceilings. We sometimes believe that our personal and professional lives are time bound and have certain “expiry dates”, which is part of the glass ceiling our cultures impose on us at different and varying levels. I believe that we should continue to challenge ourselves and take control of our lives. Flowers bloom at different times and months, and so do we.

Fifth, stereotype labels. Sometimes as professional women we might be labelled as bossy, dominant, etc. while our male counterparts are identified as decisive, leaders, etc. Eventually, and with more of us in the workplace, we will change these labels and resolve the unconscious bias. While working on those cultural changes, we should not miss on any opportunity to develop and grow when provided with constructive feedback. 

Sixth, speak-up, be bold. When you believe that you are ready for a job, or when you deserve a promotion, raise your hand and explicitly register your interest. Yet, if you do not get the opportunity from the first time, get feedback and understand the reasons behind not getting the job or promotion, stay positive, determined and focused, work on developing yourself, and raise your hand again, and again.

Seventh, winning together. This quote from an unknown author drew my attention, which summarises it very well, “We should be lifting each other up and cheering each other on, not trying to outshine one another. The sky would be awfully dark with just one star.” I believe in the existence of infinite opportunities, and working together and learning from each other provide a great opportunity to win and shine.

Eighth, believing in yourself. Each of us faces a number of challenges, and have our bad days as well as the good ones, yet, the trick is in how we turn challenges into opportunities and learning experiences. Not giving up, and trying continuously and believing in ourselves are recipes for success.

Ninth, dare to dream, innovate and lead; setting big, yet, achievable targets is important to guide the journey, while continuing to invest in own development and that of the team. With the technological revolution, staying relevant requires lots of investment in training, reading and finding solutions. Research proved that leaders can be nurtured, and not necessarily born with leadership traits, which signifies the need for team and self-development. 

Tenth, mentorship and coaching. We all need mentors who can show us the way and help us grow and navigate our careers. Mentors are people whom we look up to, and speak to our minds. If you are lucky, your boss can be your mentor, otherwise, search for that person who will touch your life, accepts and commits to deal with your flaws, and leaves a positive impact. At the same, let’s make use of any opportunity to give back through mentoring less senior and junior staff. As they say, “teaching is to learn twice”.

Happy International Women’s Day!

 

The writer is the CEO of Citi Jordan. She contributed this article to The Jordan Times

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