I’ve noticed something for a while. When meeting in larger groups of men and women at work when a man has a question – he asks it. Often before a woman starts with her question the sentence begins with “I’m sorry”. And I also hear “This may be a dumb question” before asking their question. Recently, I noticed it happening eight times in a row during technical training for a new software tool. And it was different women beginning their questions this way. Educated and experienced professional women. I wonder why we have to apologize before asking a question. It really is self deprecating behavior. I’ve been guilty of it, too. I’m going to work on it. You should never feel like it is wrong to ask a question.
I read a book a few years back called “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” by Lois Frankel. It’s not about not being nice, it’s about being assertive. And how certain behaviors sabotage our success without thinking about it.
Recently, my team had to come up with some new team building ideas. The sentiment is when so many folks work remotely or in different offices, its hard to feel like we are a team.
$25 Backpacks for the homeless (the investment is $25 per backpack including contents)
Buy cheap back packs and fill them with:
- Toilet paper
- Baby wipes or hand sanitizer
- Hand warmers
- Power bars, peanuts or other nutritious snack
- Write a personal note of encouragement or advice.
These are things you can get at the dollar store. You can have back pack day and assemble them remotely or together as a team. I feel like foodbanks are great but this could make a person comfortable for more than a day.
Getting to Know You
How it works: We split the team up into groups of 5-6 people. Have a one hour meeting with a different group until your team is covered.
Each person prepares 6 questions to ask another individual in the group (you take turns asking a different person a different question)
Here’s are examples of questions (keep them non-intrusive):
- If you could live any where in the world for one year where would it be and why?
- You inherit $10M dollars: what are the first 3 things you’d do.
- What kind of music do you play in your car?
- What hobby is on your bucket list and why?
I came up with this a few years ago and used it at two companies. Its fun and you get to know coworkers in a small group personally with the idea that if you build relationships by knowing a little bit more about folks-you’re more likely to collaborate with them on projects. Getting their feedback and opinions.
Solve a Problem in a Month
- Split up into groups.
- Pick an inefficiency that you see at the company.
- Put together a plan to solve this problem.
- Fix the problem with minimal cost.
- Move onto the next problem in a month.
You’ll learn how to collaborate more effectively and it will stimulate your creative side to get the problem solved.