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My ex-boss passed away last year. Ironically; she had no children but regularly had to deal with working mums. As a young mum, at times I felt like pulling my hair out. Juggling the morning run with tantrums and at the same time thinking I need to make that early morning meeting scheduled early, with no thought of people with kids. I remember a woman colleague (who had no children at the time) making snide comments to me, which, if left it can chip away at your self-esteem and stop productivity.
Anyway getting back to my ex-boss. One day she noticed my frustrations and called me into her office. I will let you be a fly on the wall for a moment, and tell you that she spoke about her own personal life and then just listened to me go on and on. I realised then, that all I needed was the personal acknowledgment; someone to listen to who saw things from my perspective; a safe space to just laugh and a push in the right direction. She ended by saying “Maureen, I know you have it in you” and reminded me about my well-earned law degree.
That was one of the changing points for me. My productivity shot through the roof, so much so that I was called into the office again, but this time she congratulated me; after that year after year I received bonuses and an award celebrating my productivity. This experience was just one of many times when the personal helped with the productivity. I learnt that you need to be the best you can be regardless of toxic people, misunderstandings and difficulties. Don’t be afraid to say how you feel if people have not taken your personal work life balance into consideration. You’re important too.
As a trained Action Learning Facilitator I have learnt that many people develop better by having a safe space to express themselves and others to listen. Working with vulnerable women continually reminds me that dignity and self-worth is important to succeed. Working mums will stay in work when they are given the opportunity to excel despite their personal commitments at home. I believe productivity increases when personal recognition increases. ALS support companies and individuals to get the best from work, guaranteeing more sales, retaining more passionate people and getting results. What do you think?
*Maureen C Bailey runs the Inner Strength Network.
The following are her tips for greater productivity:
1) Avoid toxic people in your workplace.
2) Focus on the positive words of others who understand motherhood
3) Speak up when someone has forgotten you as a working mum
4) Don’t be afraid to say how you feel, if people have not taken your work life balance into consideration.
5) If you drop the ball just find it and pick it up again.
6) Love what you do and hold on to your passion.