Maree's Blog

Leadership

Achieving Success as Women in Leadership – Knowing the Rules of the Game

Women in Leadership

I know from talking with many women over many years that much of what I am going to say here is very difficult for them. Some are quite indignant that they have to engage in what they believe is a game. In many ways it is, but as someone else has said, we have to play the game to change the game.Karen Mitchell from Kalmor Consulting, who consults to women about career success, says that many of us as women make the wrong assumption in believing that if we work really hard we will be successful. Rather, she said, the key to success for the corporate woman is knowing the rules of the game. She said that we may not like it, and we don’t have to agree with it, but we need to work out how to play the game without losing our souls. Here are some ideas I’ve put together. It’s not a comprehensive or inclusive list, but rather some ideas and strategies that I, and other women, have found helpful. Wherever you are on the ladder of success, there is something here for you.

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Podcast – Empowerment, Soft Skills, Reflection, Self-awareness and Much More

Podcast Microphone

It was a privilege last week to be interviewed for this podcast by Joanne Law from the Mediation Institute. Its regular podcast has generally been about specific mediation issues, but Joanne has been engaging with people like myself to provide mediators with a broader perspective of ideas that will further enhance the skills and insights of mediators. In this wide-ranging interview we discussed empowerment and being an empowered and empowering person, soft skills and what they mean, the importance of reflection and self-awareness among ofther issues.

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Monday Motivation October 22, 2018 – Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem?

Part of the Solution or Part of the Problem

Peter Wilson, President of the Australian Human Resource Institute, has said that only 24% of employees in Australian organisations are engaged, 60% are neutral – just there but not really engaged – 16% are turned off. Not only are these statistics worrying, they raise a big question – WHY? Why do so many people in our organisations feel unable to take the action that would see them become more engaged?

If you had a magic wand, what 3 problems in your workplace would you like solved? Now, I’m going to challenge you to be very honest with yourself.
Have you even tried to solve them?
Why haven’t you been able to solve these problems up until now?
In every workplace. people complain about the problems and about why “someone” isn’t doing anything about it.
Those who complain become part of the problem. The more they complain the bigger the problem becomes.

The late President John F. Kennedy once said:

I thought “someone” should do something, and then realised
I was “someone”.

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Why Get A Coach?

Coaching

There is still a perception in some people’s minds that getting a coach is a sign of weakness or even failure. I’m a professional. I’ve got so many qualifications. If I was to get a coach, people might think I’m not coping.

There are other people for whom coaching is a badge of honour. It’s a sign that they are committed to high performance and to doing everything they can to develop and enhance their career. If their organisation offers them coaching, they see that as an expression of their value to the organisation, that it is an acknowledgement they have something to offer and the organisation wants to give them an opportunity to develop their talent.

I recently wrote an article for LinkedIn on 9 reasons why you might get a coach. Here is an edited version.

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Rethinking Performance Appraisals

performance appraisals

Are performance appraisals the bane of your life?

Do you dread doing them and you find your employees hate them also?

Do you know that there is no other business practice that fails so often to bring about the outcomes it sets for itself, but continues to be used year after year?

Did you know also that increasing numbers of organisations are abandoning them in favour of better ways of motivating and enhancing the performance of their people?

You can also do that!

It has surprised me as I work in this area how many people do not realise there are alternatives to the traditional performance appraisals and alternatives that produce much better outcomes for motivating the performance of their people.

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The Australian Leadership Project Asked Me Who The Leaders Were That Impacted Me Most.

Maree Harris, Ph.D and Australian Leadership

When Victor Perton asked to interview me on Australian Leadership for the Australian Leadership project, I thought I would easily be able to speak about leadership in 2018. Instead I went on a reflective journey, thinking about the leaders who have impacted me most. What surprised me was how many of these were part of my life in my 30s and 40s but left a lasting legacy that has shaped my professional development and career ever since.

Victor asked me 3 questions:

What are the unique qualities of Australian Leadership and Leaders?
What do Australian leaders want from their leaders?
Who have been the leaders in your life journey ? What or who has inspired you?
To read my reflections and answers, continue reading.

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How To Motivate High Performing Professionals

high performing professionals

If Your People are Your Greatest Asset as I wrote in a recent blog post, what do you as a leader need to be doing to look after that greatest asset. You need to convince them of that by your actions, not merely mouth the words. You need to inspire their intrinsic motivation. You need to Engage, Empower and Elevate your people. When you look after your people, they will look after your organisation. Here are 15 ways you can do that.

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Your People are Your Greatest Asset

your people are your greatest asset

How often have you heard that? It rolls off people’s tongues like jelly and it often has no more substance. Cliches tend to become like that. Yet these are powerfully true words. Your people are your greatest asset, but unless they are treated that way, they will react and become your greatest liability.
People join an organisation because they admire and respect what it says it stands for. They leave because the leaders who manage them don’t walk the talk. They also they don’t feel valued, appreciated or acknowledged for the contribution they are making. They disengage long before they leave.

Peter Wilson, the President of the Australian Human Resource Institute, has said that only 24% of employees in Australia are engaged, 60% are neutral – just there but not engaged – 16% are turned off. This results in a  $42 billion cost in lost productivity in Australian organisations. Why is this happening?

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What Do Women Want From Mentoring?

Mentoring Women

I recently re-visited Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In : Women, Work and the Will To Lead”. I had 3 women approach me for mentoring in the one week. I remembered she has some excellent advice on Mentoring. While this is normal part of my work, it is always helpful to step back now and again and reflect on what I am doing as a mentor and why I am doing it.

There was one part of her Chapter 5 on “Are You My Mentor?” that really got me thinking about my initial conversations with these 3 new mentees. She believes that many women coming for mentoring want a dependency relationship with their mentor which she says is not at all helpful for women. So what she said provoked me to think about how I wanted to engage with my 3 new mentees so that the relationship was an empowering one for them. I share my 7 insights here with my readers.

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How Mentoring Can Help A Low Performer Achieve Her Goal.

Coaching

Mike sent me an email that went like this:
I employed a 22 year old new graduate for a position in my organisation. She presented well at interview and I was very impressed with her attitude. I wanted someone with more experience but here (in the regional centre where he is based) it is very difficult to get people with the experience I want. So as everybody says: “Hire for attitude and train for skills”, I hired her.

Her 3 month probation period is almost due and I can’t see how I can keep her on. I fear I have to dismiss her. I’m quite anxious about it and the impact it will have on her. I feel responsible because I hired her knowing that she didn’t have the skills I wanted. I thought that with her enthusiasm and my support she would develop them. Now I realise that the job is way above her and it’s not just about developing skills, but having experience.
What did Mike do that was a win/win outcome?

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