On Meetings… 

Industrial practices have forged new and creative ways to waste people’s time. Within these practices however, meetings are the most excellent example that I can think of, in which anthropological insights about people and behaviour are especially pertinent. For those not in the know, here’s a breakdown for you:

Agendas

A document is circulated by email, sometimes early, sometimes late. For some, it’s a war cry, for others it causes a rush of panic as incomplete actions are called to account, and yet for others, it’s ‘highlight, drag into ‘Inbox 2017’ folder, dump it there, highlighted in bold as its never opened’. For me? The Agenda is the most exciting document to hit my ‘Inbox’ all day. I open it, hit the ‘Print’ button, ensuring I’m using double-sided copies on the B and W printer, just to make sure I’m being green. I race around to the photocopy room to pick up my freshly minted promise of focused interactions to come…

I LOVE agendas, it’s the only time people are frank and honest about their intentions at work. We should have agendas for dates, or family interactions too, maybe business could make better use of them in customer engagement …. At work the agenda theoretically sets the tone, the discussion points, the action plan, the tidy up of unfinished business, it’s a rally cry to get the right people together, at the right time, in the right room – sometimes virtually – to talk about really important stuff, the stuff that only THIS group of people are accountable for. It’s a material form, a document that sets out a future, anticipated history, an account of the intended interactions of this group.

So far, so good, but I hear you say, “What about hidden agendas?” Well, this comes after, usually at the meeting itself, but more on this later.

Along with the Agenda come the ‘Minutes of the Last Meeting’. Just make sure you read them, whether you were there or not. Many times history is reconstructed by those who kept the records, and writing up the Minutes of Meetings is not different in any way at all.

Before Meetings

Once the Agenda has been sent out, as an anthropologist at work it’s time to get your walking shoes on. Slip off the heels and pull on the runners, it’s time to walk this agenda through its paces. Take your Agenda and scan the names on the ‘Attendees’ list. This is where the hard work starts. Before ANY meeting you have to have the Before Meeting, otherwise you’ll never figure out what the real agenda is, what the hidden agenda is, or what the alternative agenda for the meeting is. And I lie, it’s not a Before Meeting, but usually a series of Before Meetings, and they typically happen on the day of the meeting, usually in the morning with a coffee in hand, and typically in your own or other people’s offices, the tea room, corridors, or on your way to or from somewhere else. Be prepared!

Before Meetings are often strategic, and you have to work these both up and down the power hierarchy in your workplace. These meetings are war councils (counsels?) where you offer up strategic information to your coworkers in exchange for similarly strategic information from them. This is where you strengthen your alliances, forge tentative new ones, and discard any strategies that don’t work well for you anymore. It’s a lion’s den out there… Personally, I love the flurry of activity that constitutes a Before Meeting, the rush of shoe leather up and down corridors and the unusual sight of closed doors with catches of whispered conversations on the other side.

From my experience, many, many issues that are formal agenda items for a meeting are determined, staffed and finalised at these Before Meetings. The formal meeting itself is merely the record-keeping aspect of the group itself. There is nothing that comes up on an Agenda that hasn’t already been seriously worked up, thought about, strategised, budgeted, planned and blueprinted, unless it’s come up in ‘Other Business’, but I’ll get to that too…

The Meeting

The Meeting itself can be an anticlimax if your workplace has been effective at the Before Meetings. You probably already recognise that Meetings sometime have the sense of the theatrical about them, that people have not only learned their lines, but rehearsed them at length. From my experience, it doesn’t really matter where you sit either, as people will align themselves consciously or unconsciously with people either like themselves, or with those that they wish to be aligned with. It’s so obvious.

At the Meeting, ask yourself:

  • Is there enough fresh air in here?
  • When should I pour everyone a glass of water?
  • Who shall I sit opposite?
  • Is there anything new happening here that wasn’t anticipated before the meeting?
  • Has someone taken a different position to that expressed at the Before Meetings? Why?
  • Does someone need to show themselves puffing up their chest in front of the others?
  • Do you need to support them?
  • Are there any issues flagged by the Before Meetings that haven’t been addressed yet?
  • Is anyone in trouble? Do they need an ally now?
  • Is someone writing down any and all decisions made?

And as a model of excellent self-care, limit your involvement to less than an hour and then excuse yourself; you can set an alarm if you have to… You can also make the exclamation, “Oh look! We’ve only got x minutes left for our meeting/before lunch/before we go home/before the coffee cart comes/Armageddon”

Other Business

This is such a great meeting strategy, because if you think about it, meetings are very, very controlled but this little category here is the fireworks package isn’t it? After all, ANYTHING can come up here. And the beauty of the Other Business category is that, like much of real life, it’s unplanned for, unanticipated, a surprise and has to be dealt with now anyway. I love this category. I live for a meeting with Other Business and anticipate the call for “Has anyone got anything they’d like to raise that’s not been dealt with on the Agenda?”

My advice to anthropologists in business is to make use of this part of meetings as best you can. I’m not going to go through a formal process of how to do this, just to highlight the benefits of getting an item up for discussion at a formal meeting without being censored beforehand, and Other Business presents this opportunity to you to do just that. There are other added benefits of raising issues here:

  • There is less gate-keeping of new ideas presented here
  • It gets minuted and dealt with formally next time there’s a meeting
  • As it’s last minute, you’re not likely to get a well-considered oppositional force
  • You get to flag an issue without having to do a full presentation, but get the opportunity to think about, and work up an idea with consultation ready for the next meeting
  • If you can’t get an item on an Agenda, try to get a variation through here

Minutes

Just make sure that this is NOT your job. If you’re an Anthropologist, it’s impossible to keep Minutes because you’re far too into “He said…” “She said…”. Do yourself a favour and get someone else to take them. As a matter of policy, if you’re taking Minutes you’re usually strategically positioned outside the core business of meetings. So if you don’t want to be in that position, don’t offer! And remember, Minutes are NOT fieldnotes…

The After Meeting

If you’ve been paying attention to your fieldwork lectures, then you knew this was coming… This often starts even as you’re exiting the Meeting Room and walking back to your desk. It’s a bit like the debrief after the game in the change room, the rush of power after a well-delivered lecture (it’s a thing), everyone’s still hyped up from the Meeting (or desperate to get away, but that’s another thing)… there’s still chatter and this needs to be behind closed doors, often with the same people from the Before Meetings.

As you can see, the reality of meetings exist in the Before Meetings, where agendas are set, positions are taken and alignments are made. The Meeting itself exists only to serve as the formal aspect, the playing out of the plan determined beforehand. And the After Meetings similarly are where key players touch base to ensure that the plan was executed appropriately, or if otherwise what to make of a new trajectory.

After Meetings are usually full of phrases like:

  • “Why are there never any cream biscuits?”
  • “That was awful/great/predictable/a surprise…”
  • “Why is s/he allowed to chair meetings?”
  • “Oh my God, s/he goes on and on…”
  • “Can you believe what s/he said about… ?”
  • “Well, that was new!”
  • “There was nothing new!”
  • “How are we going to … ?”
  • “This is going to be hard/terrifying/not likely/great…”
  • “How are we going to find the time/fund/staff/produce/deliver/just substitute x, where x = the impossible… ?”
  • “Who knew?”
  • “Where did they get that idea from…?”
  • “Do they have any idea about what’s needed at the coalface?”
  • “That’s it, I’m checking the job ads right now…”

In this brief blog I haven’t dealt with other aspects of meetings, some of which I did promise to address. Don’t forget to pay attention to daydreaming and paying attention when it really counts; observations of other people, especially who’s looking at who and the exchange of non-verbal signals; group dynamics: see if you can identify and analyse these; power plays and lastly, pay attention to making the invisible visible: unspoken agendas – see if you can identify these. As anthropologists we’re full of people skills, you just need to be reminded how to apply these outside of traditional anthropological field sites.

Now, where are those Attachments?

Image credit: Pixabay

For anthropologists, is interdisciplinarity ever truly a meeting of equals?

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I recently read a Twitter post which asserted that interdisciplinarity was never a meeting of equals. As an anthropologist working outside of an academic department I met this statement with some unease. Currently, my working relationships are built on a premise of difference, of working with others from bounded, clearly demarcated professions and of thinking critically about if not directly challenging the taken for granted world views in the industry in which I work. I have written elsewhere about the role, function and value of anthropologists in workplaces, but in doing so I wrote from the basis of anthropologists as different but equal.

However, thinking more critically about this has led me to problematize this idea. I don’t believe I’ve adequately taken into account the importance of boundaries, of professions and their knowledges, and the challenges that anthropological thinking may represent for work practices. This is especially true for working in business contexts when we bring anthropological understandings of persons in the world and our armoury of social and culturally based research skills that recognise, situate and give voice to difference into business contexts. Can work environments which may value and seek unifying concepts and ideas tolerate diversity in conceptualisation, in approaches, in performance, in views and at the end of the day, in business practices themselves?

In working across traditional disciplines, we hope to inform and build something greater than the sum of parts. While this is a hackneyed expression, it’s true in my work where my current project challenges and reinvents our products and services, situating what we would be seen to do traditionally in a postmodern context.

I can’t tell my workmates that we are intimately informed by post colonialism in formulating our practices, or that we’re in the process of radically deconstructing our beliefs in reconfiguring power relationships, or that our project is partially informed by cultural theory, whiteness studies or the centrality of thinking about the authority of the first world within globalisation in determining how our business will proceed and upon which specific decisions will be made. But this is in fact, what we are currently doing. And I do try to tell them.

How have we created a space where these practices are okay, more than okay in business? Is this the armoury that partly informs the anthropologist at work outside of the academy? Or am I on my own here??? And how does this and other knowledge affect the decisions made in my workplace? I still ask myself: what does it mean to work with professionals in bounded disciplines?

While we hope that it isn’t so, in fact what I have termed ‘hierarchies of relevance’ do exist when working across disciplines. And this is part of the reflection on power that demarcates one professional group from another. By this I mean that each professional group maintains the boundaries of its knowledge base, its practices, its rules for conduct and less overtly protects the prestige and culture surrounding its existence within the community. Professionals also maintain control over entry, exit and rule breaking within the profession as well as maintaining controls over the education and transmission of the education that helps to create professionals. In this, professional groups control the knowledge base, language, practice and boundaries that form the basis of their professional identity. As anthropologists, we do this too.

So what happens when professional groups collide? I’m not master (or mistress) of the theories behind interdisciplinary thinking, but I do work within an interdisciplinary context and so am familiar with its practices, if not the theories that underpin it.

So in discussions, working on projects, working both internally and externally the issue of relevance often raises its head. If as the anthropologist I am identified as not having the ‘relevant’ expert knowledge, then my contributions are marginalised, often identified as contributing knowledge in some other, exotic way that runs counter to the usual core practices of knowledge acquisition within the business itself. My contributions are ‘interesting’, ‘quirky’, ‘outside the box’ and, paradoxically sometimes also ‘right on target’. In this way I am relevant, but not as relevant as those practitioners who are seen to belong to the core groups, our consultants, experts and the ultimate targets: the consumers of our products and services. Sometimes, I just feel so not-relevant, it’s just not funny.

As an outsider I will never automatically gain entry into the professional groups with which I work. However, if I hang around long enough maybe they’ll give me an honourary membership after toiling away looking at, investigating, updating, improving, teaching on and training people within their disciplines for so long. As an anthropologist I maintain that little bit of professional paranoia that harks back to Anthropology 101 and studies of ritual, sacrifice, demonization and scapegoating, which not so surprisingly still exist and speak to modern day work practices and contexts quite succinctly, especially for those anthropologists working outside of research in business settings where it’s all too easy to take on the identity of the Other.

It would be so much easier to talk frankly about exactly what I do and where I work, but unfortunately that’s not a luxury that I’m allowed right now, due to an array of policies that police my behaviour both publicly and in private, so suffice to say this is the best that I can do. This form of writing however forces me to think ‘bigger’ about what I do, and so while not completely honest is not dishonest and offers food for thought for many anthropologists (I hope) who work outside the academy as I do.

So are we different but equal? Or just different? As the project I’m currently working on gains pace, I find myself central to the think tanks at work, consulted over and beyond my current job title specifications and have access and input into arenas of work that I wouldn’t ordinarily warrant based on my position alone. I went from fear about this project and its implications, to neutrality, to feeling positive, to being involved by responding to requests for inputs, to embracing and now championing this project.

Now, whenever I’m asked I always come to the party and by that I mean that I complete tasks and contribute over and above whatever’s asked. If I’m asked for an opinion, I give it. If a project needs appraisal, I take time to read, review, comment and advise on it. If a vox pop is required to test the feeling and views of staff on an issue pertaining to the change, I’m already all over it (by nature a chatterbox and also keen to find out how my co-workers are going with things generally). Through my silences and non-attendance, I also make clear my views on some work practices, which in less industrialised and unionised times it is difficult for workers to address directly.

Informally I’ve identified myself not so much as a manager in the workplace – my anthropological training and background would definitely preclude this I think – but definitely as a leader. As there are about a thousand theories on leadership, there’s one that fits the kind of work that I undertake in the workplace, that I inspire and the work that I envision as well. And none of this is on my job description per se, but is alluded to as a potentiality, much the same as the potential or capability of any number of workers with contemporary CVs.

So mostly I find that I’m different but equal and have given my peers, co-workers and management a taste of what the social sciences and anthropology specifically can offer to contemporary work settings, both private and public sector organisations. I still believe that the greatest benefit of having an anthropological background lies not so much in trying to attain a position within the academy, positions which are few and far between and not so easily available to women over forty, but in taking up the challenge of flexibly applying our body of knowledge in diverse contexts, of making the theories, theorists, knowledge and practices real.

Do we lose our specialness, our anthropological know-how, our unique identity as globe trotters seeking to document the life of the Other when we’re not surrounded by like-minded, similarly trained professionals like ourselves? Is our knowledge base and are our practices corrupted and diluted because of our work in interdisciplinary settings? I don’t think so. In contrast I believe that we are strengthened by our ability to work across boundaries as anthropologists continue to fight for relevance in contemporary work place settings. We can only make ourselves relevant by, well being relevant. And this is the challenge that I rise to meet when I go to work every day, carrying the identity of the ‘anthropologist’ through all that I do.

And as I’m always blathering on about anthropology I like to think that I’m also educating people who may still think that my satchel secretly holds a pith helmet, notebook and safari suit. But please see my last post for an update on what to wear to work as an anthropologist.

Photo credit: https://www.newton.ac.uk/files/covers/968387_0.jpg

Online learning: new worlds of connection in education?

After an eight hour day I race home to put on a load of washing, sit down at my computer, grab the USB headphones, plug them in, tell the household to turn down the music and keep the chatter down, and log on the website that runs my ‘postgrad’ course (it’s a private company but completion of coursework counts for credit at an interstate university’s Master’s program). I log on to the webinar room using some groovy software and lo! I’m in a lecture with what started out as 28 other like-minded students from all around the world, a number that’s now dwindled to 17 by Week 10. We sit in anticipation, positioned on all continents, having prepared ourselves by completing all of the previous week’s tasks. But as I sit and wait I sense that there is slightly less enthusiasm for the offerings ahead than there was when we were all fresh-faced in Week One.

I like the online learning environment. Let’s face it, this form of learning really suits people who love to sit and write at their computer. The webinar is great in that it contains the Powerpoint presentation, a list of online participants including their country of origin (OK, where is SKN?), a chatbox that you can type into (why am I always the funny one?), a live video of the presenter (always feel like I’m watching an ageing DJ with a headset on) and room for ‘interaction’ through our student responses to live surveys posted by one of the admins supporting the whole venture. And then there are the tutorials conducted through web forums.

In doing this course I’ve suddenly discovered that there are at least eight other people from my country involved in the same work enterprise as me. And one is doing exactly what I do. Small world huh? But the thing that most intrigues me is the fact that while I’m new to the enterprise, there are some very highly placed, top management also undertaking the course. Which makes me wonder who’s running things as they stand now…

The company running the program have a host of offerings for students and professionals. And for professional students it seems. There’s resources, readings, more webinars, conferences, their own home-brand of readings and guides and opportunities to participate, present and critique. It’s a whole other world of learning. And they host their own conferences, often in gorgeous European locations that I can only dream of attending. I’d have to present, wouldn’t I?

But the everyday experience of learning this way is strangely satisfying. I feel like I’m in control of the pace of my learning. I can time my course readings, my contributions to web forums and the production and sending of short assignments to my tutor on the other side of the world. It’s a strange intimacy to share your thoughts about a topic with someone you’ve never really interacted with, never met. And at times I feel like I’m being taught by a movie, by eternal Facebooking and via email.

But I don’t really feel connected with the other students. Sure we post on the web forum and some have put up nice photos of themselves, some in work gear and some in leisure gear. Depends on the message you want to send out about yourself I suppose. And there are profiles to read, and some read really well. But there’s no coffee shop, there’s no uni bar, there’s no library to hang out in, no anarchic groups to join. And there’s certainly no social life attached to learning this way. It really is all about the education.

And this is great for the delivery of education. You get to participate in really new ways, ways that suit you and your lifestyle. But I would have hated doing my undergraduate and postgraduate studies this way. It’s mentally stimulating, but socially isolating. And at the end of the day there’s only so much that you can type. And typing just STAYS there on the page seemingly forever, unlike the wisps of conversation that float between people, leaving their impression on your senses and then float away…

I also feel the burden of being the flag-bearer for my place of work, since my work has sponsored my endeavour in this field. What are the expectations going to be of me when I complete this course? Will my contributions be worthy of the expenditure that’s gone my way? If I do OK will they pay my way to take the leadership course on offer through this organisation too? I think there’s too much leadership training on offer and not enough personal leadership training. Hello! Anyone looking for opportunities to teach, here’s a good one.

You don’t create memories about your education in the same way that you do when you experience it ‘live’. I still vividly recall my first tutorial presentation, the time a lecturer (a Professor no less) quoted something that I’d said in a tutorial to a large lecture hall, meeting that bloke who’s now my husband and cementing friendships that have lasted many years. I grappled with catalogues and wandered around the campus participating, living and experiencing my learning which was reinforced in social ways and recreated through discussions, arguments and debates with friends.

But all you have to do now to access higher education is log in to ITunes University or enrol in your local uni’s online offerings or any one of the many local, interstate or even international offerings. And throw money and time at it.

I wonder too about the dropout rate. What’s happened to the other dozen or so people that were with me at the start of our learning journey (everything’s a journey these days)? Have they simply dropped out and done their dough? Have they opted out of participating in the webinars, instead choosing simply to view the recorded version? How’s that for even-further reducing the active participation rate? There’s no corridors to hang out in to find out, no student cafeterias where you can run into people and ask, no other subjects that you’re taking together where you’ll hear about what’s happened. It’s odd really, not knowing your classmates this way.

As an anthropologist I’m taking this all in my stride. I’m just not sure of the terrain here though. Where is my world? Where is my field of interactions? And trying to develop anything that resembles meaningful interactions in this forum is, well, trying. I don’t feel that this is really my group and for the relatively short time that we’re together it’s hard to build bridges, hard to connect really when we’re all just trying to succeed in this adult education online learning experience. I guess it’s just hard to hang out in cyberspace this way. Even with intent.

Perhaps I’m overthinking this, over-reaching the intent and the experience of online learning in this way. As many forms of face-to-face education – especially professional training – move to the online environment we have to wonder about not just the content, or the delivery, but the experience of workers sitting each at their computers undertaking the exact same forms of mandatory or voluntary education and training in isolation in this way. Online training and education take many forms: some are interactive and some are simply modules delivered in the same way to everyone. And these have no forum for two-way interaction, for questions, for deeper or more meaningful learning. Or even of having a shared, participatory experience with other learners.

Is the construction of education such a functionalist enterprise? Or are we returning to functionalist forms of education? I’d really like to hear people’s views on this.

And only three weeks to go until I complete my course. Now that I’m addicted I’ll have to fill the hole with something else. But that will have to be after I complete my ITunes course, for which I will receive education but no credit as it’s not a current offering and not ‘live’ and I can’t submit any coursework. Oh well, at least I’m filing in the gaps in my knowledge and hopefully preparing myself for a new pathway in my working life. We will see…

Photo credit: http://www.evolllution.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/online-myths-sized.jpg

How can you lead at work when your power has been taken away?

There is an inbuilt problem with all forms of leadership training. It doesn’t matter which school, which philosophy, which era you’re dealing with, if you’re working with women and if 1 in 4 of those women have a history of sexual abuse (which, according to national statistics they do), then there is a problem with your theoretical approach if it doesn’t take into consideration the powerlessness associated with sexual trauma, women’s attempts to grow through this and the effects that this has on work performance, including the ability to take up the mantle of leadership at work.

Leadership training encompasses a variety of approaches, and often starts early with girls and boys encouraged to adopt representative and leadership roles at school through a number of avenues, including student representative councils, captaincy and heads of sporting teams and the school. The education environment mirrors the later workforce through the promotion and early adoption of leadership philosophies by sending children to mega events at stadiums to hear about leadership from iconic practitioners and embodiments of excellence in leadership from earlier generations. Youth leadership is also fostered through a number of civic, religious, sporting and state organisations with a similar bent on encouraging separation from the pack and building future leaders.

Within the workforce leadership training is endemic. Workplace trainers, specialised consultants, universities and the public sector all offer forms of leadership training and encourage staff to undertake sometimes protracted courses which can last over a period of months as workers fresh from earnest training sessions are missioned to return to their workplaces to put in place some of their freshly honed leadership skills newly learned in order to reflect on the outcome of this in future leadership training sessions.

But who is all this aimed at? To the middle managers? To the upcoming trainees? To those with the sparkle of promise? Are they men? Or women? What happens if you don’t cut it in this regard at work, will you be overlooked and not have your name put down on the list for leadership training? And who determines whether you’re leadership material or not? And lastly, what about the self-promoters that just put themselves down for training sessions to craft and fine tune their leadership potential, because well, they’re always putting their names down for things…

Part of the trouble with this paradigm is the question of whether leaders are born or made. Clearly the industry promoting education, courses and training works from the premise that leaders are made and not born. And therein lies the problem: lots of women are unaccustomed to leadership roles, often not through choice but through circumstances, adverse life experiences and plain old sexism. And that’s before we get to the problem of histories of sexual assault. If you’ve suffered from sexual assault your power is taken away from you. You lose the ability to trust those around you and it’s very hard to put into place and embody the very values that leadership often requires.

Not everyone can wear their heart on their sleeves easily in this way, by professing their status, to mark themselves as imperfect, yet management and leadership manuals will tell you that in an effort to be an authentic and respected leader, you need to do just this. I’m not referring here to histories of abuse, but these too can be included here and are by some women.  You must offer up an imperfection because human nature is such that people will just make stuff up about you and so the theory goes, you might as well give them something because it’s better (and more manageable) than anything that they can make up.

So these days as workers we wear our soiled identities at work with pride. This is the school of authenticity, and authenticity in leadership is highly prized. This is an endearing state in which leaders are modelled on the greatest leaders known to humanity: flaws make leaders human.  There is an honesty, a humility, a frailty and an earnestness about being flawed, being real. And it’s very attractive.  Authenticity is the hipster beard of leadership training.

Authenticity is but one of a number of theories about leadership: we have models of excellence in leadership from the military, from those who think you can have it all by instigating effective habits, we not only have leaders, we have great leaders, quiet leaders, leaders on the line, leaders modelled on leaders from last century (and the one before), tribal leaders, technical leaders, high altitude and inspirational leaders, grateful leaders, servant leaders, wise leaders, principled leaders, values-driven leaders, spiritual leaders and transformational leaders. Where I wonder, is the tome on had-the-life-sucked-out-me-when-I-was-young-leaders? I did spy a volume on bad leaders and wonder if this is a joke (because hey, they’re really good leaders) or whether they’re just bad, in which case, why write a book about them?

For women who are quiet, who lack self-confidence, why are shy, who may be either introverted or extroverted in their social interactions it’s hard enough to play the confidence game in work cultures. But if on top of this women are suffering from the long term and lingering effects of sexual assault in childhood, with a legacy of having suffered the abuses of power, abuses of trust, exploitation by those who profess to care for them, boundary violations, and succumbed to the threats involved in maintaining secrets on fear of death and a misplaced, yet protective loyalty towards the very perpetrators of abuse, well, it’s not a level playing field is it? And we’re talking about one in four women here.  The echoes of this are mirrored in the present.

The trouble with child sexual assault is that the dynamics never really go away. They continue to be felt in far reaching and unanticipated ways as women negotiate their way through their everyday lives, and this includes work. A new manager starts work and asks you for something and you respond in a familiar pattern of subservience and wonder why? Someone startles you at work and you recoil as if you’re about to be hit. Disclosures on the news about the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse cause an abreaction, unusual behaviour and cause you to want to flee. You always seem to take on a lower role than you know you’re capable of, because you’re not able or willing to subject yourself to the stresses involved in taking on more.

Glass ceilings speak to the overt sexism that denies women opportunities to progress but there are far more subtle ceilings that need to be broken through in order for women to really flourish at work. And leadership roles, leadership training and all the insights, benefits and rewards that accompany this are part of this.

The seductiveness of leadership training and its potential rewards in leadership may not be available to all. However there may be a group of women at work who could benefit from all that leadership training has to offer, and in turn would benefit the workplaces to which women are attached. If leadership is part of the road to self-actualisation, then the lessons inherent within leadership training are desirable, even essential for women in the workplace with private histories of sexual assault that prevent them from becoming fully empowered both in their work and in themselves.

Just imagine it.

Image from: http://blog.nus.edu.sg/wpla/files/2013/02/Leadership-1wr0gqz.jpg