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Posts by Maree Harris, Ph.D.

Are You Valued in Your Workplace?

Valuable Old Watch

Do you feel valued in your workplace? If not, why do you stay there? Why wouldn’t you move to where your expertise is valued?

In my work, especially as a mentor, I constantly talk with people who don’t feel valued at work. What keeps them there, however, is a doubt about their own ability. Part of them believes they are making a valuable contribution, but because no one actually acknowledges it, they then feel that maybe they are not as valuable as they think. They rely on the people around them to validate them. Because that doesn’t happen, they then fear to go elsewhere, feeling they have nothing to offer.
That’s one of the great things about mentoring. It validates you even while it challenges. If it is one-on-one mentoring, the mentor does that, but if it is group mentoring, a whole group of like-minded, equally motivated people share their experience with you and you find it validating yours.

So if you want to discover your real value, ask the right people. A mentor is one of those people.

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Don’t Wait! The Time Will Never Be Right.

The time will never be right

How often have you waited for the time to be right and in retrospect missed out on a great opportunity?

How many years have you actually been waiting for the time to be right to do what you really want to do, knowing it will change your life? But the time will never be right. There are no guarantees either that any decision you make will be right, that any action you take will be successful. What you can guarantee is your own absolute commitment to it. I can do this. I will do this. I can make this happen no matter what gets in the way. Now is the right time. I will make this the right time.
Empower yourself for success. Take action now!

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How Women’s Lack of Confidence Can Jeopardise Their Careers.

Mentoring Group with Maree Harris

When I read recently that Michelle Obama feels a fraud and imposter and feels she shouldn’t be taken seriously, I wondered where that left the rest of us. She is one of the most admired and inspirational women in modern times. She drew audiences of 6000+ people as she promoted around the world her book “Becoming”. Yet in spite of her constantly feeling that way on the inside she presents as an empowered and empowering woman on the outside.

I realised how big an issue this is for us as women. Most of us have had that feeling, or carry it around with us as unnecessary baggage. We doubt ourselves often even when we are successful and accomplished at what we do. So we don’t seize opportunities that would enhance and accelerate our careers.
We, together, can break through this lack of confidence and self-belief, learn how to self-promote in a way that fits your values, find your voice and negotiate the future career you want. These are absolute essentials we need as women to accelerate our careers and become empowered and empowering leaders.

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Light Your Fuse – Empower Yourself.

Light Your Fuse-Empower Yourself

We are all like sticks of dynamite. The power is on inside us, but nothing happens until the fuse gets lit.

That really inspired me when I first read it. It is just so true. I really believe that every single person has something special and unique inside them. The reason why some are able to develop that and show it to the world is because they light the fuse. That’s what it means to empower ourselves. No one else can empower us. We have to do it ourselves. Others can encourage, support, motivate and inspire us, but only we can take that final step and light the fuse. When we do that, we take off. All those talents and all that potential we have inside us is activated and released.

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What Does The CEO Do About Mark Who Can’t Manage People.

can't manage people

Last week I told the story of Mark the highly skilled technical expert who was promoted to management but couldn’t manage his people. What happened next was the organisation’s worst nightmare.

This was a blog post I wrote back in 2016. I recalled it when I recently had a CEO come to me to talk about a Mark in his organisation. I’m not going to detail exactly what we talked about for his Mark, but as this is a very common issue, I am going to give you some approaches for how to handle this kind of situation if you are a CEO or leader in your organisation.

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What Happens When People Are Promoted To Management When They Can’t Manage People.

Manager can't manage people

Mark has technical skills your organisation cannot afford to lose. No one else in the organisation has his level of expertise. You really want him to focus on bringing that expertise to research and development, enhancing the product development and service delivery in the organisation. Mark, however, has been wanting to move into management for the past 18 months, saying that having been with the organisation for 3 years at the same level, he deserves a promotion given his significant contribution.

You don’t deny any of that and you are quite concerned that if you don’t grant that management promotion to him, he may seek it elsewhere. So what do you do? You make him a manager. What happens next is an organisation’s worst nightmare.

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Send a Hand-Written Note and Make An Empowering Impact

Hand-written note

It is so easy, but hardly anyone does it. In these days of digital communication, it’s considered old-fashioned. Most of the people who still do it are over 50. Have all of my readers under that age already decided this article is not for you and moved on to the next email?
But if you do want to make an impact, if you want to be remembered, if you want to engage your people and lift morale in your organisation, then becoming aware of the power of the hand-written note becomes an important skill to embrace.
It is because so few people write hand-written notes today that they have such impact.
Writing a hand-written note is not an obligation; it is an opportunity. It is a differentiator.

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How To Retain Your Talented People

Retain Your Talented Peopled

There is presently an overwhelming global concern among CEOs and senior leaders about their inability to find talented people with the right skills for the job. One of the most important skillsets they are looking for is the soft skills for leadership, the ability to lead people, to engage them so they become intrinsically motivated to give 150%.
But the challenge is not only about attracting the right people with the right skillsets. It is also about how to retain them. It’s about looking after them.
These two articles I’m sharing this week have insights and strategies for how to do just that. They are a valuable resource for leaders and their organisations.

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Empowered Leadership in Practice

Enpowered leaders

Every leader wants a team of high performing professionals in their organisation. How you achieve that is the big question. I’ve written previously about what I consider are the three big motivators – Engage, Empower and Elevate that will see you achieving that.
There are also many other skills that can enhance your leadership. I have selected six that when developed and enhanced are the ones that I believe will bring the most significant outcomes. Those of you who know my work will know that my focus is on the soft skills needed for leadership.

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Learning From My Dying Brother

In Memory of Colin James Rickard

Today, July 31, is my brother Colin’s birthday, but he is not here to celebrate. He died in 2012. Ever since he died I have gone dry in July to raise money for cancer research and the Andrew Love Cancer Centre here in Geelong. My fund-raising page is still open until August 15 so if you haven’t already made a donation to cancer research this year, please consider supporting my cause at https://www.mycause.com.au/page/207577/maree-harris-in-memory-of-colin-rickard

In the new year after Colin’s death, in February 2013, I wrote the following blog post for my Colleagues and clients. I am sharing it with you all here because I learned so much from sharing his journey with him and you might learn something also from reading my reflections.

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