Mary Foley | Engineering & Energizing Women's Careers, Communities & Events
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[Gotta Quick Question] What to do about supervisor's lack of support?

 Have you ever shared Bobbi's dilemma:

“I'm finding a lack of support from my immediate supervisor.  It's frustrating because when he needs support I work overtime or go the extra mile.  But, when I need his backing he's absent.  It's very upsetting!

Instead of a supervisor, it might be your co-worker, supplier, or friend.

And I call this one as I see it.  Watch now to see what I mean...


P.S. – What YOUR question?  Ask me now here and I may use it for an upcoming video!

[Gotta Quick Question] How can I “kiss butt” without getting personal?

 See if you can relate to Sue who asked me:

“I love what I do, but at this point with a Masters degree completed, I should be making more money.  I know I have to start 'kissing butt', which I'm not opposed to, but I want to do it in a tactful way.  Any suggestions on how to 'kiss butt' without getting too personal?”

I love how Sue says exactly how she sees it!  And I share with her exactly what I would do. It's a 3-part strategy you might find useful as well!

Watch now to see what I mean...



13 Simple, Powerful Shifts and Solutions to Work-Life Balance

By Mary Foley and Debbie Fisher

The “Housewives of…” reality TV - gossipy, drama-filled chic-chat - gives women’s conversations a bad name.  The other reality is when women share openly and authentically on topics that truly matter, and the results are powerful. 

Ah-ha’s happen, clarity happens, a renewed sense of self and motivation happens.  In short, according to the research by co-authors Katty Kay and Claire Shipman of The Confidence Code, confidence happens.

work life balance mouth diagram

Such was the case when about a dozen women – some younger and some more seasoned – gathered for The Richmond MBA Dinner Series hosted by the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business MBA Program. The younger women were MBA candidates.  They were joined by experienced local businesswomen from several industries, as well as the School’s Dean, Nancy Bagranoff.

Working with Debbie Fisher, associate director of The Richmond MBA, the Women’s MBA Leadership group decided the topic they wanted most to discuss was the illusive “work and life balance.” 

Many of these aspiring young women were already concerned about how to create and manage a fulfilling career while having a life.  Perhaps women who were well into their careers could shed some light. They asked expert conversation facilitator Mary Foley to help.

The results were electric!  Not only did this conversation reveal that many women had similar thoughts and feelings on creating balance regardless of age, experience, or situation, it also generated a list of key takeaways—specific ideas, concepts and solutions

These takeaways were so good we wanted to share 13 of them to encourage other women as well:

 1.   “Work-life balance looks different for everyone.  It’s not one size fits all.  Talking about it and gaining advice from colleagues and friends can give you the encouragement and confidence you need to address work and life integration formally.”

2.    “Saying out loud what you want/think/perceive can feel so good!  We don’t have to process all things internally and deal with emotions alone.”

3.   “Set expectations with others and make decisions based on what you value.  Don’t be afraid to pursue what makes you happy and ask others to help you get there.”

4.   “Lay out your work and life balance expectations early—for yourself, your family and your employer.”

5.   “You don’t have to have the answer for everything all at once.  Often you have to make a Sophisticated Wild Ass Guess (SWAG) in choosing whether it’s best for you to do this now or that now!”

6.   “Don’t feel the need to say ‘yes’ all the time.  You get more respect at work if you are honest and upfront about your time or other constraints. Don’t over explain, don’t over complain. Don’t feel obligated to give reasons for why you are saying ‘no’; this may provide fodder for questioning your decision. When you suggest another solution you are still handling the problem.”

7.   “Just as saying ‘no’ can be a good thing, being labeled ‘bossy’ or ‘pushy’ can be a good thing.  It may get you where you need to be.  Women are socialized not to speak with an authoritative tone and tend to undervalue their worth.  Verbalize what you need/want in a manner that leaves no confusion.

8.   “You can have it all, but not at one time.  Sometimes being forced to step back can lead to several steps forward.  Make choices and put some things on the back burner.  You may need to shift your needs and wants around to have the life you desire.”

9.   “If you are a Mom, being available to your children as they grow is important; and it’s a small chunk of your life.  If you work, perhaps you can wait before doing extra things like volunteering in your community.  Don’t over commit.

10.  “Single woman, wife, CEO, mother, volunteer – as you change roles in life, you need to change, too.”

11.  “The playing field has changed for women, and they often feel they have something to prove. They don’t. Do your best and live by your values, and your worth will be evident.”

12.  “Don’t wait until things are perfect to move forward.  Let go of being a perfectionist.”

13.  “The rush we place on ourselves to create this amazing life filled with everything at once is really our self-inflicted, self-imposed race to wherever. Life happens in phases, what you choose not to do now, you can do later. Stop the racing. Breathe.”

These aren’t comments that you will likely hear on a reality TV show, but they are proof that authentic, open, real conversations by women produce personal shifts that matter.  So, keep talking!

Question:  What tips or ideas about creating a fulfilling career while having a life would YOU add to this list?  Add them to the Comments below!

The MBA Dinner Series is an intimate gathering of MBA students, alumni and corporate friends designed around dialogue regarding a specific topic. The program creates an opportunity for these diverse groups to interact, learn from each other, and build new networks. For more information about The Richmond MBA Program contact Debbie Fisher at 804.289.8553

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