Emotional Intelligence and Business Collaboration🤝

The point of this short post, is to remind us about how we need one another to survive at work – never mind the esoteric header. Another point, is to remind us not to be smarter than ourselves or think that we’ve scored a point when we give a quick comeback. How do I mean?

I was providing absence cover for a dear colleague one short period. This means that I had to do both her work and mine during this period. Because it was only a short cover, it meant, that I could afford to give some slack on work that came in for her except where urgent.

Well, a client of hers sent in some work at midnight without a background to guide review. The note was something along the lines of ‘please find attached for your comments.’ Because this wasn’t my client, I had no feel of the facts or what our aim was in responding. Anyway, I was still up when the mail came in and because I like to press phone, I saw the mail and noting the gap in context, responded that this client should let me know what the context was and what we aimed to achieve to guide review. Client in this context, means in-house client i.e. we all work for the same organisation but in different departments. This is not the external client situation where the ‘customer is king regardless of bullshit‘ slogan reigns supreme.

You know what this client did? They responded in the morning that I should read the documents and I would find the answers there.

I was already too busy with my own work. So I took the view that this document was obviously not important to this client and could wait till their primary business lawyer who had the background, returned to work to review for them. After all, there was just one business day separating the return and the heavens would not fall within that time. I didn’t bother pointing out the obvious – that if I had the facts, I won’t have asked for them. I carried on with other tasks.

Which brings me to the point – that in the work environment, no one is an island. Basic courtesy is required to thrive. In fact, there are some who are of the school of thought that a nice person at work is likely to be promoted ahead of a more competent but not nice person.

Sometimes, the difference between getting a positive response or silence to your request, is your attitude.

Cheers,

Fola

*image credit: http://www.google.com

Transferred Aggression: are you a bossy boss?😡🥵

I was in a ‘situation’ once where I was in a meeting representing one sub-unit and another team member in another sub-unit was to be at this meeting too. This team member’s input was crucial to discussions at the meeting. But due to high stakes involved, this team member was pulled in several directions and could not attend the meeting.

Well, some hurried update was provided by this team member elsewhere which I explained to the bosses at this meeting. But, the overall boss was not happy that this team member was not present at this meeting. And guess who got the heat? Me.

Sure, the boss knew this wasn’t my stream of activity and I also did not want to point out the obvious so it won’t seem like I’m throwing my team member under the bus and ergo a poor team player. I listened through the transferred aggression, pacifying the boss while inwardly seething. ‘Cos I did flag to this team member the cruciality of their presence at this meeting but this team member being pressured themselves, simply could not be bothered to attend.

The situation reminds me of what happens in homes as well. The boss of the home aka the husband, faces pressures in the office or from extended family expenses and comes home to transfer the aggression from those pressures to the wife and children at home like they are the cause of his frustration. Let’s do better please. I have had reason to call out my own ‘boss’ on this trend too. ‘Cos I mean, I couldn’t have faced it as a child and now face it as a wife. Ko jor!

Anyway, with my office ‘situation’, my learning was that I do not have to make myself available for meetings where my presence is not necessary – never mind whether my colleague who is the crucial part of that meeting chooses not to show up for that meeting. So I simply told the meeting organiser afterwards, to send me a meeting invite only when my input as an SME (subject matter expert) in my realm of work is required. Till then, everyone should answer to their father’s name.

A o ni soo’re daran o (we won’t do good to our detriment o).

Cheers,

Fola

*image credit: http://www.google.com

On misogynistic stereotypes and living alone as a single lady in a third world country…🙄😒

So, this is 2021 people and we’re counting down to #iwd2021, yet I kid you not; the header above is still an actual thing in a third world country like Nigeria.

I mean, it grates on nerves to think that the double standards meted out to male and female children is very visible even by parents. You have a male child out of school not yet married but the parents can’t wait to boot him out of their home ‘cos well, he has to become a man and fend for himself. Yet, generally, when it’s his sister in the exact same situation, the story changes. Of course, all sorts of excuses are bandied of wanting to protect her etc. But we know the real fear, don’t we?

That a lady staying alone, would involve in all sorts of sexual orgies and cap it up by perhaps getting preggy outside wedlock, thereby soiling the family name. That’s the real fear of parents – forget all the paparazzi. That and the related issue that if the lady is known to live alone, no self-respecting family may want to marry her because she may be seen as errhmm loose and of easy virtue.

Guys, can we wake up please! What has living alone got to do with adding or subtracting from loose morals!! She who would engage in sexual orgies would – whether living alone or with her parents. After all, it’s not like her parents would be with her 24/7. Even if they were, whose business should it be, the sexual activities an adult chooses to engage in?

I lived for seven years alone as a single lady. And my life is the best for it. The career/professional/social growth/emotional maturity I garnered in that period, won’t have been gotten if I hadn’t stayed alone. And no, I did not soil my family name during the period – howsoever you may wish to interpret ‘soil.’

Guys, it’s 2021, can we please get over ourselves and let adults live their lives???

The flip side is that with freedom, comes accountability – for those that may be smiling in glee at this post. If you want trust, you must earn and not breach it.

Cheers to #iwd2021,

#ChoosetoChallenge misogynistic stereotypes

Fola

*image credit: http://www.google.com

Give up your financial security for love – who does that!?🤯🤥

Hey! Hold your gun powder ok? Ain’t here to judge…just wanted to ehrrm, grab your attention with that header😉

So on to the business of this post. Should you give up your financial security for love? What are the drivers? What are the considerations? Sorry darla, only you can answer those questions, not me. Surprised by my bluntness?

Thing is, there are no right or wrong answers to this one. This is a question of what works for A may not work for B. You see, in this thing called life, there are a few definite boundaries on issues and a lot of grey areas in between with room for flexibility. I mean, I was in a convo with female cohorts at work the other day and the discussion turned on precisely this issue. As you can imagine, this is a dilemma faced more by women than men especially when married. Ask me how?

Generally, when a man wants to make a career or financial decision that requires relocation for instance, his family constraints are not so much a biggie. Not saying they are not important – mind you. After all, many a man would tell you that their family is their number one priority. Where your treasure is your heart would be in’it? But the fact is that society expects the family to up and follow the man wherever he chooses. Not so for the woman. The woman cannot move with such ease especially where children are involved. As society’s primary caregiver, there are issues around their schooling and the likes to consider. I won’t be cheeky and add that ‘never mind that the children belong to both her and hubby not just her – perhaps moreso the hubby since they bear his name not hers’ Anyway, I digress.

Ordinarily, it should be a no brainer for the woman to sacrifice career for family. But when it’s a high paying career – perhaps even higher paying than hubby’s – it’s no longer as clear cut. See? A lot of grey areas in life sho get? So this cohort were exactly in this position so the answer wasn’t so easy. Some said they would sacrifice career. Some said they would, only if they got a good or better career elsewhere. Some bluntly said they won’t ‘cos their financial security is important to you know, avoid yeye that smell.

I bet some that may be quick to judge anyone who refuses to sacrifice financial security for love may pause for a second, when the financial stakes in question are very high. Just drives home the point that we should not be too quick to judge another before we walk in their shoes. Also brings to bear that the person who may be said to have done the right thing, may only have done so because it was very convenient to do so – e.g because there was either no job or a there was only a low paying job to consider. If such person had a high paying job, a different decision may have been made by such person.

Don’t forget – the value of decisions are appreciated when the stakes are very high.

So would you give up your financial security for love?

Ultimately, this is an issue of ‘to each their own.’ As I always say, whatever you decide, own it with your full chest. It’s one of the benefits of adulthood – personal accountability. But it would be wise to consult with your partner before deciding sha.

Cheers,

Fola

*image credit: http://www.google.com

The Paradox of Time⏰⏳

A paradox is something that sounds strange but is true…nkan be as is said in Yoruba land in Nigeria. In the case of time, there are quite a bit of paradoxical facts about it. Brian Tracy muses that, ‘time management is a vehicle to take you from wherever you are to wherever you want to go.’

With that in mind, here are some sobering facts about time:

  • Everyone is getting older by the second. Time waits for no one;
  • An often inevitable way to be late is to have plenty time;
  • Time is indispensable…every action requires time;
  • Time is perishable, you cannot save it;
  • Time is consumable, you can only spend it;
  • Time is irreplaceable, you can never bring back time;
  • Time is sufficient…you have all the time you need. It depends on how you use it;
  • You cannot manage time, you can only manage yourself;
  • Generally, only about 20% of what you do daily accounts for 80% of the value for that day.

As Shakespeare says...’better three hours too soon than one minute too late.’ Every second counts – in life, one tenth of a second could be the difference between success and failure. In the Women’s 100m final race – Barcelona 1992, the difference between the winner and 5th position was 0.05 seconds.

Ultimately, time management is life management. As we say in Nigeria, time na money…if you waste time, you squander money. Time wasted is opportunity wasted. So, schedule your priorities not your preferences and make adjustments for interruptions. As a colleague put it, ‘there’s no need catching butterflies when there’s a hippopotamus in the room.’ Identify your most productive time then do your most productive tasks at that time. Be strong to say no and let your money work for you as applicable to free up some time for more important tasks.

The key is not to prioritise what’s on your schedule, it is to schedule your priorities.

So help even me!

Cheers,

Fola👩🏽‍⚖️

*image credit: http://www.google.com

Sponsor v. Mentor: Verdict👩🏽‍⚖️

Quite frequently, I get questions from younger professionals and sponsors as to who is my mentor. My consistent answer is ‘no one.’

Don’t get me wrong. My answer is borne out of the context in which the question is asked i.e. is there anyone I would typically discuss my career moves with and get steers from or that one person who I go to as an accountability partner in making career decisions or one who inspires me to be a go-getter career wise?

I patiently explain that there is no one person who occupies such a place as mentor in my life. Sure, I frequently bounce ideas off le hubz – after all what is he a life partner for if I can’t do so😁 But in terms of that formal person high up the ladder who I ask before taking steps – there’s none. I tell those who inquire that professionally, so many people inspire me so I prefer to just glean bits and pieces from different persons as opposed to one mentor to make up the unique me. And most times, I even do this from a distance. Of course, if I need to ask questions before making a move, I do so.

For me, I would choose a career sponsor over a mentor time and time again. Perhaps, you wonder, is there any difference between the two? There is.

A mentor advises the mentee; while the sponsor advocates for the career advancement of the protege. You see, a mentor tells you, do X, don’t do Y while a sponsor makes a case for you to be given X or Y at closed-door executive meetings where you are too far down the ladder to speak for self.

For me, a mentor does quite some talking while the sponsor acts on your behalf with fewer words. Sure, you’ve heard the truism that action speaks louder than words right? That right there is what a sponsor (not a mentor) does.

Of course, if you are extremely fortunate, you may have your sponsor + mentor embodied in one person. But if I were to pick one, I would definitely pick a sponsor over a mentor.

Sponsors have been responsible for my rapid career progression and in fact beyond my skills, it was sponsors that played a huge role in landing my current gig. And while there, other sponsors again make my landing soft, smooth and seamless.

Sponsors definitely trump mentors for me.

Best,

Adefolake

*image credit: http://www.google.com

Don’t Burn Bridges

‘Hey! I don’t need this bridge no more, so who cares if it goes up in blazes!’ You say…

But not too fast, who says never say never, huh!

Granted, we cannot say ‘yes’ to everyone and everything at the same time – it’s why there is such a thing as opportunity cost in economics. But then, we can say ‘no’ without making enemies – it’s why there is such a thing called emotional intelligence.

At a point in time, I had two job opportunities – both great opportunities by the way – a dream come true for most. But here’s the snag, I couldn’t take up both opportunities at the same time; I had to disappoint one organisation. Here was my dilemma – how to say ‘no’ without making enemies.

Of course, I could just say ‘no’ and move on. But because I knew I may be needing the rejected one later in life, I had to be creative about how I said the ‘no’ so it did not become a personal vendetta.

The thing is, in this thing called life, you often cannot get divorced from having a roller coaster ride or coming back full circle even at the most inopportune times. Hence, wisdom is key.

I kid you not, I spent a number of sleepless nights ruminating on how to say this ‘no’ even engaging with about three very senior persons in the know and of course my personal ‘yard’ people on how to go about it.

In the end, the ‘no’ was said – feelings were hurt and maybe one or two silent enemies made. But then, I tried to say the ‘no’ in such a way that there were very viable reasons behind the ‘no’ which could not be faulted. I also retained many of my senior friends in the process.

Kinda reminds me of when I need to say ‘no’ to le hubs. I mean I could very easily tell him to go to hell, but then ‘who e epp’ when he gets pissed? So I often think of how to couch my ‘no’ in a way that doesn’t alienate him – which in turn also impresses on him the manner in which to tell me ‘no’ in a respectful way.

You see in this life, choose your battles; don’t burn bridges if you can help it. Emotional intelligence is key and wisdom is supreme!

Cheerio,

Hugs,

Adefolake

*image credit: http://www.google.com