Randstad Canada HR Blog

Ask Our Leaders: Laurie Compartino, Regional Vice President, Randstad Canada

Posted by Alex Schmaltz on Wed, Dec 16, 2015 @ 04:00 PM

wsb-social-ask-leaders.en.pngThrough our Women Shaping Business program, we want to provide you with valuable insights that you can use to assess the leadership of women in your organization, evaluate your own professional career growth plan, and inspire you to reach out, connect and keep the conversation going.

With this in mind, Randstad Canada’s Leadership team invites you to submit a burning question you have on career development, mentorship, leadership skills, or any other topic around women in business. Submit your question using the form here and a member of our Ask Our Leaders panel will provide insightful advice to help you manage your career.

 

This week’s featured Randstad Leader is Laurie Compartino, Regional Vice President, Randstad Canada

 

How can I play more of a strategic a role rather than focusing on the execution of tactics? Even if I learn to let go, when work does not get done I get dragged into actually executing the vision.


This is a very good question and, in my opinion, it's all a matter of balance! When climbing the corporate ladder, we often think we should spend most of our time on strategic planning. I think it is important to keep in mind that excellence in execution is just as important.

Every year, I dedicate specific time to define the key pillars of my strategic plan. In order to build an achievable strategic plan that translates into clear goals, I take a couple of days (sometimes weeks) to define what my goals are. Once that is complete, it is important to step back and look at the overall picture (I do this on a monthly and/or quarterly basis). It allows me to identify gaps and positive trends and to correct my course of actions, if necessary. It also helps to find the real problem behind execution issues.

Although I believe strategic planning and vision are important, I don't feel we should spend most of our time on it. A great strategic plan will not create great results if not well executed!

 

Have a question for our leaders? Submit it now!

 

Want more insights on becoming a great leader or download a copy of our Women ShapingBusiness Study 2015? Go to http://www.womenshapingbusiness.ca

Join the Women Shaping Business Linkedin Group, and keep the conversation going all year around!

Follow us on Twitter @RandstadCanada with hashtags #womenshapingbiz and #mywfactor

 

Tags: Women Shaping Business

What is YOUR W FACTOR?

Posted by Alex Schmaltz on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 @ 01:02 PM

wsb-social-w-factor.en-1.pngWe want to know what is YOUR W Factor? What do you think makes you unique as a female leader? What challenges did you overcome to be who you are today?

Send us a blurb or short video of yourself (simply use your iphone) to womenshapingbiz@randstad.ca and we will share it on our social platforms. This is an opportunity for women from all walks of life to celebrate their uniqueness, share useful insights on their journey to become a successful leader, and inspire other aspiring female leaders. 

Here are some examples from women at Randstad Canada:

 

"Melissa Kwong HingMy W Factor is my results-driven, self-motivated nature for exceeding expectations. I have always been competitive with myself, and I try to push beyond my comfort zone as often as I can. To become better, it is a daily reminder to push yourself past the limits you may have made for yourself. Continuous daily reminders and improvements are very important, not only for your professional development but your personal growth as well."

Melissa Kwong Hing, Account Manager, Randstad Staffing

 

Veerprit Dhaliwal"I grew up with all boys. If you can imagine, a lot of competition and feelings of seclusion, so it makes sense that I always tried to be “one of the boys.” I never saw any activity, hobby, etc. being gender specific- I did it all. My knees were always scabbed from running around outside but I also loved my Barbies.

The whole notion of being “one of the boys” definitely helped me in the long run. Me trying to fit in as a kid combined with my competitive spirit has made me stand out while growing up. I have never necessarily looked at myself as a female leader but just a leader in general. I always surrounded myself with the top dogs with the goal of being the top dog, regardless of gender. 

Also, my family always placed very high expectations of me but I would not have had it any other way. My brother once saw me going through the motions and said “don’t be a waste of potential.” For some reason, those six words have stuck with me for years now. I just demand a lot from myself, as everyone should. I know I can do it all so why shouldn’t I? My W factor is wanting of being the best."

Veerprit Dhaliwal, Resource Manager, Randstad Technologies

 

Kathryn Torangeau"My W Factor is my passion and ambition. Currently, I am the youngest employee of Randstad Technologies and my intrinsic drive and passion for people is what has gotten me here. I fast tracked through my undergraduate degree while working full time before joining Randstad Technologies. I have placed almost an equal number of men and women in permanent roles within IT which is something that I’m incredibly proud of. I am fortunate that I am able to assist others who are talented in their field without gender being a barrier that prevents them from achieving their goals. Whether it is a $20K salary increase, a change in career path, or the first job in Canada, assisting other people in achieving their dreams is what drives my passion and ambition further."

Kathryn Torangeau, Resource Manager, Randstad Technologies

 

Amyna (Kassam) Mohamed"As a woman in leadership I have had to face challenging markets, employee turnover and many uphill battles. My W Factor is that I grow by reaching out to other women in leadership in our business whether as mentors or mentees. By doing this we share knowledge, best practices, lessons and business leads. We have a collaborative approach to Shaping the World of Work and build on each other's experiences. Whether it's a quick brainstorming session or a planned mentoring call these calls foster an environment that is safe but beneficial. I also have increased my network and built great relationships with many women in leadership at Randstad nationwide.  Everyday I learn something new and I would like to think that I also teach others by sharing my knowledge and expertise. I provide encouragement to the leaders I collaborate with and look to them for support and advice. I feel reaching out to others is the quickest way to build bridges to future success."

Amyna Mohamed, Branch Manager, Randstad Staffing

 

Sandra Pickering"My W factor is my ability to make connections and to leverage these connections even years after they are initially made. I once had a client refer to me as "brain candy" - an amazing resource of ideas and connections! Being able to make those connections and introductions for others is very rewarding. I now understand the huge power of my ability to connect individuals and business leaders; this ability to facilitate and orchestrate partnerships is my W factor.  

In the beginning, during the LinkedIn infancy, we all connected with our colleagues, past and present; it then stretched to our business partners and clients. As my role as a Talent Management expert elevated and took on more senior responsibilities, it gave me access to executive levels within organizations; this network has now grown to the C-suite, and to a global audience. This has allowed me to make many impactful introductions for people and has allowed them to explore even greater career opportunities for themselves. It has also lead to valuable partnerships within their organizations, prompting new and innovative relationships beyond what they ever imagined possible. To this day I receive notes from colleagues or clients I had the good fortune to work with a couple of decades ago - it really is a small world!

My access to the business community and to a network I highly value and appreciate is my W factor. What business do you want to be connected to - I likely have an in!!"

Sandra Pickering, Vice-President, Business Development, Randstad Sourceright

 

What do you think makes you unique as a female leader? What challenges did you overcome to be who you are today?

 

Send us your W Factor today!

 

Please note:  By submitting your video, you give Randstad permission to publish your comments on the Randstad.ca website or other social media platforms, in print marketing materials, videos or other promotional materials.  Your personal information will not be disclosed.

Tags: Women Shaping Business

Ask Our Leaders: Shannon Young, Director of Human Resources, Randstad Canada.

Posted by Alex Schmaltz on Wed, Dec 09, 2015 @ 01:09 PM

wsb-social-ask-leaders.en-5.pngThrough our Women Shaping Business program, we want to provide you with valuable insights that you can use to assess the leadership of women in your organization, evaluate your own professional career growth plan, and inspire you to reach out, connect and keep the conversation going.

With this in mind, Randstad Canada’s Leadership team invites you to submit a burning question you have on career development, mentorship, leadership skills, or any other topic around women in business. Submit your question using the form here and a member of our Ask Our Leaders panel will provide insightful advice to help you manage your career.

This week’s featured Randstad Leader is Shannon Young, Director of Human Resources, Randstad Canada.

 

What is your advice to newcomers in Alberta looking for jobs? What should they do to not to get demotivated from the current situation while managing their expenses.

 

Staying motivated in a down economy can be tough, and even more so for a newcomer.  As difficult as it may seem, it’s important to stay positive and keep an optimistic outlook when job hunting.  I recommend anyone looking for a job to be as active as possible, and keep an open mind when considering opportunities.

Networking is always a good way to stay active and get your name out there. Look for local employment groups or Professional Associations in your field of work, some of them have nights dedicated to job seekers. Some may even have mentorship programs that will help you meet successful people working in your chosen field. Job fairs are also a great way to see what’s out there and who’s hiring.  As a newcomer, there may also be community organizations that offer job search or resume assistance. Stay active on social media like LinkedIn and don’t be afraid to let everyone know you are looking.

When looking for work in your field, whether you’re new to the area or to the working world itself, keep an open mind. I speak to many people who are focused solely on the perfect job, a specific title, or even company. They limit their own opportunities by narrowing their idea of what they can accept.  I’m not saying it doesn’t pay to have standards or a lofty goal in your search, but consider opening your search in terms of geography, job titles, and even industry.  Don’t be afraid to consider contract or consulting openings. Even if you’re looking for full-time, they may lead to a permanent opportunity down the road.

Consider volunteer opportunities in your desired companies, although they may be limited to students, it’s working asking. Volunteering with your local community organizations can also help your networking and keep you busy!  For starters, look at what charities your target companies are supporting, they may be tied to or relevant to your industry and allow you to apply your skills in a meaningful way.

Lastly, look at school programs, whether it’s adding a new designation, or just updating your credentials, it could improve your profile and chances of edging out other applicants. Schools are also a great way to connect with employers!

If you keep at it, your efforts will be rewarded in time.

 

 

  Have a question for our leaders? Submit it now!

About our Leader

Shannon Young joined Randstad Canada in January 2012, starting as a Senior HR Business Partner, she was later promoted to Director, Human Resources in 2014.  As an HR leader, she and her team are responsible for delivering a full range of HR programs across Canada, and developing employee programs that drive high performance and engagement.

Shannon has 15 years’ experience in human resources, including 10 years in leadership roles with multi-national companies.  Prior to joining Randstad, Shannon spend almost 8 years with Staples Advantage Canada, leading the HR function for the largest region in Canada, employing effective people strategies that lead them to be named one of the 50 Best Workplaces in Canada by the Globe and Mail for three years.  Rounding out her breadth of experience, she also spent two years in Sales Management with Staples.    

Shannon holds a Bachelor of Arts Honors degree with a Major in Psychology, she completed the Human Resources Management Certificate at Sheridan College, and holds the CHRL designation.

 

 

 

 

Tags: Women Shaping Business, Womenshapingbiz

Empowering women through mentorship: a conversation with Saadia Muzaffar

Posted by Alex Schmaltz on Thu, Dec 03, 2015 @ 03:02 PM

Saadia-1.jpgSaadia Muzaffar is a tech entrepreneur passionate about connecting ideas, bridging people, and changing the ratio. She happily paid her dues in finance before crossing over to the not-for-profit sector to help support Canadian startups in the technology and innovation space. Saadia is part of the Global Team for Kauffman Foundation’s Startup Weekend, leads a Lean In Power Circle, and is part of ADC Canada’s Let’s Make the Industry 50/50 Initiative. Currently,Saadia is working with AudienceView. Connect with her on Twitter at @ThisTechGirl where she advocates for women’s leadership in the Canadian economy.

 

What are the benefits of mentorship?

So the great thing about mentorship is that in its essence it’s a very simple concept. It’s being able to look back and see where you had difficulty in your career and making sure that you can do something today to help people make their journeys are a little bit easier and their results a little bit better. Leadership is also so much of that, thinking of your contributions as more than just your career or your personhood and bringing more to the table than just a one dimensional advancement agenda. So it’s equal parts guiding and learning and both mentorship and leadership have that in common, which is why a lot of good mentors make really good leaders.

How do you choose a good mentor?

I think it’s important to remember that mentorship is a two way street. Even though your mentor might have seniority in terms of experience, anybody should go into that kind of relationship building thinking they can also provide value and give back. So picking a good mentor isn’t just scouting people who you think benefit you, you should also look at how you can lend some perspective, some time, and give back to them. And I think that’s what makes a really good mentor and mentee relationship.

What can organizations do to empower women?

I think organizations can make a huge difference in creating spaces where women can not only have access to great opportunities but be able to excel. The first thing that they can do is pay them equally and equitably. The second thing that they need to do is create a culture of transparency. And the third very important thing is to continuously work on this maddening and conscious bias. We all have it and we can be better at it.

What impact do women have on the economy and the growth of organizations? What do they bring to the table?

I like to think of what women bring to the table as what diversity would bring to the table. Any set up where there is a homogenous set of people who are making decisions, there tends to be groupthink. So women, just like other types of diverse representations of people, bring in resilience and empathy and collaboration. These are things that we have had to use a lot of because of how a lot of society has been structured, but these can also become our strengths. So I am not fond of saying that there’s a special sauce that women bring, but I do think that there are skill sets that we bring to the table that are usually not present. Just by virtue of the experiences that we’ve had.

Want more insights on becoming a great leader or download a copy of our Women Shaping Business Study 2015? Go to http://www.womenshapingbusiness.ca

Join the Women Shaping Business Linkedin Group, and keep the conversation going all year around!

Follow us on Twitter @RandstadCanada with hashtags #womenshapingbiz and #mywfactor

 

Tags: Women Shaping Business, Womenshapingbiz, Women in Tech

Standing out in the workplace: a conversation with Faith Tull

Posted by Alex Schmaltz on Thu, Dec 03, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

Faith_Tull.jpgFaith Tull, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Randstad Canada, is a seasoned Human Resources professional with over 25 years of experience in the discipline. At Randstad Canada, she’s responsible for leading and directing the Human Resources team and contributing to the achievement of the organization’s short and long-term business objectives through the development of leading edge programs and services. Faith reviews and establishes HR business priorities on an ongoing basis to ensure results have a positive impact on internal and external clients, and continues to position Randstad as an employer of choice.

How do you grow influence in an organization?

You grow influence by bringing your voice to the table when it is asked for, so ensuring that you are bringing data and facts to back up the information you’re putting forward. Being great communicators, being transparent with your team, in this day and age employees are striving for information. They want to know where the company is going, how they’re going to get there. So be very open and transparent with your employees and be great communicators that are present with the business. Not being afraid to roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty just to show that we’re all in this together.

When you’re ready to lead, how do you get noticed?

You get noticed by knowing your team, knowing your business partners, and knowing your sponsors. Be prepared to give them relevant information and feedback to show your value add to the business. So you get noticed by your successes and your track record and understanding what drives the business and what value they’re looking for so that you’re able to be that strategic business partner that we hear.

Want more insights on becoming a great leader or to download a copy of our Women Shaping Business Study 2015? Go to http://www.womenshapingbusiness.ca

Join the Women Shaping Business Linkedin Group, and keep the conversation going all year around!

Follow us on Twitter @RandstadCanada with hashtags #womenshapingbiz and #mywfactor

 

 

 

Tags: Women Shaping Business, women in leadership

Identifying leaders: a conversation with Shoana Prasad

Posted by Alex Schmaltz on Thu, Dec 03, 2015 @ 04:30 AM

shoana2.jpgShoana Prasad, executive coach and founder of Glenwood Consulting Group Inc., brings over 15 years of executive development training to her client portfolio. She offers communications training, coaching and executive branding work. Her clients include financial institutions, consumer products, pharmaceutical and healthcare, as well as media and technology. Outside the corporate space, Shoana is a regular speaker at York University’s Schulich School of Business in Toronto and the McGill Business School in Montreal. In addition, Shoana leads programs in personal branding for Women of Influence Inc. and has prepared speakers for Toronto’s first-ever Women’s TEDx. 

 

How do we identify female leaders in your organization?

I really see a few things, I see number one business acumen. I mean, any leader has to be able to see every angle of the business. They have to understand the people who drive those numbers and they have to be able to communicate in a way that really draws out the priorities for the business and how the team can prioritize some of those needs moving forward. I think the other piece of it is communication skills. I think it’s important to be somebody who can speak in facts, and data, and stats, but also speak in narrative. Speak in a way that really resonates and is relatable not only to the executive team, but middle management and people at the entry level because these of course are the leaders who you’re building. So you’re trying to build this talent and retain this talent. I think the other thing is this illusive thing called presence and I’m even going to loop this to this idea of your personal brand. What is that thing that you have and that feeling that you leave people that you need in order to motivate and to really drive people to the next level. Even in moments where they’re not really sure if they’re capable and they’re struggling with their own impostor syndrome. So I think it’s a lot of those things and of course a million other different factors as well.

 

How do you assess and develop your leadership skills?

Ask a lot of questions. Ask people where they’re good and where they could be even better. I think it’s a very difficult thing to, it’s not difficult to ask the question, it’s difficult to hear the answer in some cases. But you’ve got to ask it with sincere curiosity, you’ve got to ask it with a hope and a want that you can be even better. And that with this information you’re going to be even more successful leader that is open to feedback and positioning yourself as somebody who is truly somebody who is approachable and accessible and I think that’s incredibly important for leaders today.    

 

Want more insights on becoming a great leader or download a copy of our Women Shaping Business Study 2015? Go to http://www.womenshapingbusiness.ca

Join the Women Shaping Business Linkedin Group, and keep the conversation going all year around!

Follow us on Twitter @RandstadCanada with hashtags #womenshapingbiz and #mywfactor

Tags: Women Shaping Business, Womenshapingbiz, women in leadership

Ask Our Leaders: Sue Markos, Director, Information Technology, Randstad Canada

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Wed, Dec 02, 2015 @ 11:17 AM


Through our Women Shaping Business program, we want to provide you with valuable insights that you can use to assess the leadership of women in your organization, evaluate your own professional career growth plan, and inspire you to reach out, connect and keep the conversation going.

With this in mind, Randstad Canada’s Leadership team invites you to submit a burning question you have on career development, mentorship, leadership skills, or any other topic
around women in business. Submit your question using the form here and a member of our Ask Our Leaders panel will provide insightful advice to help you manage your career.

 

This week’s featured Randstad Leader is Sue Markos, Director, Information Technology, Randstad Canada

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

Be yourself!  Being you is what got you the position, so don't change what you are doing.  Don't try to be something you're not.  Treat all colleagues, peers and subordinates with the respect, honesty and integrity.  Don't be afraid to admit what you don't know and endeavour to get the answers.  And laugh.  Life is too short not to enjoy time at work... it's infectious.  People will want to work with you if you don't take life (and yourself) too seriously!

 

What are the best resources that you would recommend to someone looking to gain insights into becoming a better leader?

Observation and Networking.  Look around and observe who you admire, respect and want to work with.  Ask for tips.  Ask for feedback after meetings or interactions. Watch what works for others and what doesn't.  Why do you like to work with certain people?  What behaviours in other leaders frustrate you?

 

What are the most important traits of successful leaders today?

Respect, integrity and honesty.  Do what you say you are going to do.  You will always be wrong on occasion and be right on occasion, but it's how you handle each is what makes a great leader.

 

What are the top three challenges that leaders are facing today?

Balancing - resources, time, money, priorities.  It is a constant challenge to find the right mix of people, focusing on the right priorities (for the organization), and achieving strong results with limited amount of resources.

Engagement - keeping a team motivated and energized when organizations go through slower periods or are downsizing.  Finding new ways to ignite passion and drive results within your team.  Being creative to achieve results with breaking the budget.

 

Have a question for our leaders? Submit it now!

 

About this week’s featured leader

As Director, Information Technology, Sue Markos is responsible for the design and operation of all aspects of the Randstad Canada computing environment.  Sue provides leadership to a team of dedicated IT professionals that deliver a robust infrastructure, award-winning applications and support services, arming Randstad Canada with a competitive differentiator in the staffing market. Sue joined Randstad Canada in 2000 as a Network Analyst overseeing the re-engineering of the core data infrastructure and migration to Windows 2000 / Exchange 2000 architecture.  Her pragmatic approach to technology solutions has delivered significant business results and has landed Sue in her current role from Manager of Network and Support and Team Lead.  Sue received an Outstanding Performer Award in 2002 and Outstanding Employee of the Year Award in 2005.

Prior to joining Randstad Canada, Sue spent 14 years working in various roles at the Toronto District School Board.  Sue gained a wealth of IT experience working in the capacity of LAN Administrator, End User Computing Analyst and Network Administrator.  In 1999, she was selected from over 450 IT Staff to provide leadership for the project management and execution of the amalgamation of the e-mail systems from the 7 distinct school boards into one new enterprise.  Sue was also selected to the Sr. Technical Team responsible for the implementation of the first Enterprise Windows 2000 environment in a cooperative effort with Microsoft Corporation and Dell Computers.

Sue studied Computer Science and Actuarial Science at the University of Toronto, Victoria College.

Tags: Women Shaping Business

Ask Our Leaders: Sandra Pickering, Vice President, Business Development, Randstad Sourceright

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 @ 01:30 PM

 

Through our Women Shaping Business program, we want to provide you with valuable insights that you can use to assess the leadership of women in your organization, evaluate your own professional career growth plan, and inspire you to reach out, connect and keep the conversation going.

With this in mind, Randstad Canada’s Leadership team invites you to submit a burning question you have on career development, mentorship, leadership skills, or any other topic around women in business. Submit your question using the form here and a member of our Ask Our Leaders panel will provide insightful advice to help you manage your career.

This week’s featured Randstad Leader is Sandra Pickering, Vice President, Business Development, Randstad Sourceright

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

Live Leadership - define what leadership means personally to you, to your organization and to your team.  In this way you have a true measure of what successful leadership looks like for all key stakeholders.  It becomes a living, tangible personality trait, culture, feeling, driver and style that inspires progress, growth, innovation and transformation. 

Be open to collaboration - a true leader is only as strong as the team they are able to build, guide, inspire and surround themselves with.

Be transparent - be open to feedback, challenges and uncertainty; change management at any level is large element to work through.

Encourage lots of communication - learn what forms of communication drives others to success - this includes understanding your new executive colleagues, your new team, the Board, potential new team members/candidates, and your clients/suppliers/external buyers.

Network outside your organization - share and exchange ideas with your network of professionals; ideas, thought leadership, best practices that resonate with you.

What are the best resources that you would recommend to someone looking to gain insights into becoming a better leader?

Take a broad view of what leadership means today; take into account intellectual leadership, emotional leadership, business leadership and spiritual leadership.  Read about great leaders in the globe, in whatever form of career, path or journey they are on.  Engage a diverse network, and take the best from each.  Lessons can be gained and transferred from a variety of sources.

What are the top three challenges that leaders are facing today?

1. The volatility and pace with which we work; so the ability to stay leading edge and at the forefront in a fast moving business environment is a challenge.

2. The global economy; and changing competitive landscape; meaning we need to be more open than ever to opportunities, possibilities, and innovation.

3. Consumer and employee expectations continue to rise; and that translates to increased expectations and increased governance and accountability being put upon our leaders; their ability to manage the pressure and challenges with diplomacy, integrity and collaboration is increasingly important.

 

Have a question for our leaders? Submit it now!

 

About our leader:

Sandra Pickering joined Randstad Sourceright in November of 2014 as Vice President Business Development. As Ambassador of the RSR brand, she is responsible for cultivating key strategic relationships and for driving growth within the Recruitment Processing Outsourcing area.

Sandra has over 23 years of strategic client development and sales leadership in the TM and HR Solutions industry.   Most recently she held the role of Director Client Strategic Partnerships with Futurestep Korn Ferry; As part of the Global Sales team, C-Level relationships and engagements were developed across multiple industries, including Financial, Consumer Packaged Goods, Industrial, Health Sciences and Information Technology. 

Her passion for the Talent Management industry started early in her career while working with Kelly Services; then during her promotion through a variety of Sales Leadership and Regional Management roles at Adecco (formerly Olsten).  As VP Ontario Operations and Head of the Office of Strategic Management for IS2 Workforce Solutions, Sandra led the growth of this value-based niche provider of industrial and skilled trades talent into Eastern Canada.  As President of her own Consulting practice, she worked with many organizations on sales strategy, market analysis, team attraction and development. 

Sandra holds a Bachelor of Science Honors degree with Majors in Psychology and Criminology from the University of Toronto.

Tags: Women Shaping Business

You have what it takes to lead (you just don’t know it yet)

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

 Great leaders are born. Or are they? If that’s so, it means that half the population – the female gender half – is particularly challenged to achieve leadership status and be accepted as leaders. Are they really not born leaders or we the problem? Maybe it’s time to rethink what leadership is and the qualities required to be a great leader. Maybe perception is the problem. That, and bias and resistance to change.

Think about it. Think about the kind of leader you’d be inspired to follow. You may already be that person. If not, becoming that person is within your grasp.

While you don’t need all the traits identified as leadership qualities, you’d be surprised at how many you already have and how, with a little tweaking and a shift in how you think about them, they can propel you forward and upward. In other words, you can develop the skills to become a great leader and change a few minds in the process.

 

You can lead if you are:

Intelligent:  You’re smart. Period. And by the way, there are different types of intelligence and each one brings value.

Capable: You have marketable, transferable skills even if you need help identifying them. You wouldn’t be employed for long if you weren’t capable.

Understanding: Great leaders are sensitive to the people in their teams. It makes them want to help others to achieve their goals and others respond to them.

Decisive: You can make decisions, even the hard ones. You do it everyday. Nothing wishy-washy about you even if you have to fake it to make it. You get the job done.

Open:  You listen when people talk. You create an atmosphere where lines of communication are open. That’s a safe environment. You help people reach their potential, which already makes you a great leader.

Emotional: Rather than derision, the ability to know yourself emotionally and be able to connect with others in an emotional way is a skill to be celebrated. It gives you the edge when it comes to reading people successfully.

Honest: Your honesty goes a long way to building relationships. Relationships are important to you. That’s why you’re a great team builder. People know you’re a person of integrity. That’s inspiring.

Creative: Goes hand in hand with curiosity. Don’t worry if you think you don’t have a ‘head for business’. Creative people make great leaders because they’re flexible and adaptable. They think outside the box – a really powerful tool for solving problems and developing strategies. They know there’s more than one way to get there from here.

Conscientious: Meticulous detail person? As a leader, you can provide thoughtful, impactful feedback and direction to your team.  Things don’t get lost in the process when you’re in charge.

So now that you know you have what it takes to lead, how can you develop the skills you need to lead?

See yourself as a leader. You can’t expect others to see you in a leadership role if you don’t see it first. Find women in leadership roles and invite them to mentor you. Attend presentations and seminars where women are keynote speakers. Develop a network that includes successful women leaders. Act like a leader.

Develop confidence. Read, take a class, find a counselor, offer to lead or present seminars, take on smaller projects and form a team to achieve results. You’ll gain confidence with each success and learn from your mistakes. You’re building an arsenal of skills – mistakes are a big part of that.

Assess your skill set and update/refresh where necessary. Train, attend seminars, and fill your education gaps. That’s something you should be doing on an ongoing basis.

Define your style. Women are often caught between a rock and a hard place. They’re advised to assert themselves and called aggressive when they do. When they speak up, they’re considered pushy and when they’re quiet, they’re often overlooked. By identifying who you are and how you operate best, you prevent others from defining you.

Start early. Be the mentor you’d like to have. Get involved in educational institutions, programs and organizations you can mentor young girls in the skills they need to become leaders down the road.

You have to empower yourself before you empower others. That’s difficult in a society where you’re that half the population that’s underrepresented, and in a culture that undervalues your contributions and undermines your qualities as leadership material. But it’s not all negative. Things – and attitudes – are changing, perhaps with the speed of glaciers, but changing nonetheless. The more women seek, ask for and take on leadership roles, the more ‘naturalized’ the whole process will become. Think about that.

 

Want more insights on becoming a great leader or download a copy of our Women Shaping Business Study 2015? Go to http://www.womenshapingbusiness.ca

Join the Women Shaping Business Linkedin Group, and keep the conversation going all year around!

Follow us on Twitter @RandstadCanada with hashtags #womenshapingbiz and #mywfactor

 

 

 

Tags: Women Shaping Business, Leadership & Ethics, women in leadership

Introverts, extroverts and everyone in between: how to connect in the workplace

Posted by Marie-Noelle Morency on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

 Psychologists have long debated the ‘nature versus nurture’ argument  – the struggle between what we’re born with and what we learn – in making sense of how humans behave in the world.  

Our inherent features and qualities, including our personalities, come into the world with us, while our behavior – how we act and react – is shaped by our personal experiences.

We are who we are – introvert or extrovert. It’s a wide spectrum, bookended by extremes with most of us falling somewhere in the middle. Those of us with both tendencies are called ambiverts. While our preferences and predispositions are hard wired, understanding ourselves and others goes a long way to helping us operate at our best and ensuring optimal production in the workplace.

We’ve talked a lot about generational stereotypes and biases in the workplace, and come up with ways we can undo these preconceived notions to everyone’s benefit. Biases and stereotypes also exist around personality traits, specifically introvert and extrovert personalities.

The effects of those biases are no less detrimental to a highly functioning team, and its subsequent productivity and engagement than those of ageism or sexism. That’s because anything that negatively affects an employee’s sense of self in relation to the world around him/her – in this case, the workplace – negatively affects the organization itself. What’s inherent in an individual is ultimately inherent in the organization, because the organization functions only as well as its employees.

Introvert vs Extrovert

The conflict between these two personality traits is an unfortunate construct that comes from a lack of understanding of how each operates ideally. We judge the manifestation, often missing the real value each brings to the table. That’s because we live in a culture where people who speak up and first, are more expressive and seen as ‘people’ people are valued and highly regarded in the workplace, while quiet, introspective employees are often overlooked. Employers who don’t learn how to value the personalities of their introverted employees miss out on the contributions this other half of the working population brings to the table.

The Difference

Introverts and extroverts are different by virtue of what energizes them. Extroverts feed off other people, social situations, lots of stimulation and conversation. Introverts are energized by quiet time alone to think and recharge, small groups of people, less talk and more face-to-face communication. Polar opposites that make up a community of workers.

Extroverts

Extroverts process quickly (if not always completely) before dashing off to the next idea, meeting or group activity. They’re considered natural leaders because they’re gregarious and are generally good public speakers. Their leadership style tends to be positive because they like people. They pick up and feed off the energy in the room and respond to it.  Generally, they’re comfortable communicating.

Well known extroverts include Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, Muhammad Ali and Winston Churchill.

Introverts

You won’t get a quick response from an introvert, and you don’t want one. That’s because while this person needs time to process, he/she is really multi-tasking – processing and assessing thoroughly while formulating a well thought out, analytical response that often contains a plan. Introverts are great listeners and keen observers, which compliments their leadership style. They value the opinions of others (even if it’s because they’re reticent to share their own), prefer one-to-one communication and, because they’re analytical, they’re well positioned to anticipate problems and come up with solutions. What we’re saying here is that introverts are great leaders as long as their style is valued and understood.

Well known introverts include Ghandi, Hilary Clinton (yes, she is), Bill Gates and Mother Theresa.

Ambiverts

This is the rest of us who fall somewhere towards the middle of the spectrum. That is, we share traits common to both categories. While our true natures are what they are, we can bring ourselves more easily and readily towards the opposite personality type and function well within it when required to do so.

Working with an extrovert?

You want to appreciate and respect their independence, offer opinions and let them talk things out. Often, extroverts sound like they’re rambling when really, that’s how they formulate and clarify ideas. These people function best in open workspaces where they can be in the company of colleagues and hold – or run – frequent meetings.  Extroverts are motivated by public praise and rewards for a job well done.

Working with an introvert?

Respect their need for privacy and down time. Don’t assume that someone eating lunch alone is shy, lonely or antisocial. They’re probably recharging. Suggest one-on-one, or small group meetings instead of large, back-to-back meetings. Don’t single them out, interrupt, publicly criticize or push them into situations that make them uncomfortable. Give them time to think without demanding an instant response. Introverts appreciate advanced notice - they excel when they have time to prepare or learn new skills at their own speed.

And in conclusion…

If you’re an employer, you want to get to know your employees and how they function so your management style is inclusive, not restrictive, and allows everyone to contribute. Employees would do well to get a better understanding of their own personality traits so they can function alongside and better relate to coworkers.

Remember, we all want the same things from our working lives – we just go about achieving them differently. Good news is we humans are nothing if not able to adapt.

 

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Tags: Women Shaping Business, Leadership & Ethics, work styles