I have always had the natural ability to communicate with people. My focus is to build strong, genuine bonds and I excel at this by being open, receptive and happy to share my own experiences (good and bad).
- Finding common ground - Work colleagues by nature are a diverse group of people, finding that common ground helps to build relationships. It may be a sports team, a TV show, an author or even a silly meme. I’ve always found once you find ‘that thing’, your bond is stronger, you increase trust in each other and naturally, you work harder for the people you like. Currently a developer and myself have nothing in common except Survivor - we are both diehard fans!!
- Being approachable - I smile and give relevant eye contact so colleagues feel comfortable when asking me a question or bouncing an idea off me. I strive for a collaborative, receptive environment.
- Bringing humor - A joke between colleagues brings enjoyment and alleviates stress when we are hitting a roadblock. When I’m working with a developer hurtling towards a deadline, I’ll approach them with a light greeting and maybe joke to break the ice and then we’ll get stuck into developing a solution for the obstacle they are struggling with.
These personality traits and skills I bring to the workplace form a solid foundation for a team that is motivated to work hard and perform at their best. More importantly, in stressful times, my team needs to be comfortable approaching me to find a way to move forward positively.
When working in a dynamic agency, I come across a diverse range of projects and people. By building strong relationships, I am able to navigate challenging situations with confidence and empathy.
Team Challenge - I am a project manager working with limited or inexperienced team members
Irrespective of the people available, I am able to guide a team to achieve project outcomes. I understand my colleagues’ strengths and am able to delegate tasks accordingly. If a team member is finding their role challenging, I will work closely with them to assist with problem solving or project roadblocks. If required I can bring in a more experienced team member to assist, when they are at a natural juncture with their own work.
Team Challenge - There is conflict between team members
Working in driven, diverse teams can sometimes be challenging. When passionate debates occur between team members I am confident playing a pivotal, mediator role. By approaching these scenarios with warmth and an unbiased opinion I can often help diffuse conflict and find a positive way forward.
People Challenge - A team member comes from a background dissimilar to my own
Being a gay woman, I understand what it is like to be different. However, I am a strong believer that greater diversity within an organization, along with the policies and culture that allow diversity to exist, gives voice to a broader range of viewpoints throughout the creative process. I encourage an environment where everyone feels welcome to participate, safe to express themselves, and empowered to contribute — regardless of rank, tenure, gender, race, sexuality or role.
See more about this in a blog article I wrote about the success of diverse teams.