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  1. Would You Consider Hiring a 50 Plus Woman In a Leadership Role? It Would Be a Shame Not To

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    Here is my assertion. Women in the 50 plus age bracket are an untapped resource in the leadership space across industries. Even if they have never been in a senior paid leadership role. Older Women have a lot to contribute.

    That is not to say that younger women or older men are not also fantastic at leadership. But when women reach 50 and beyond, a range of stereotypes are wheeled out to keep us in our place and there is an increasing lack of employment opportunities available to us. Now women are not strangers to stereotypes and we know they have a big impact on women’s equality generally. I have written about this before. It commonly comes up in the coaching work I do with Women and I also address it in my online programs. But the stereotypes that exist for those of us past 50 are different. I am sure when you read them, they will be familiar to you:

    • We are overqualified
    • Or, we don’t have the skills due to time out of the labour market.
    • Unpaid work is devalued even by the spouses of women who have spent time working in the home (and who are often the ones hiring). Also a workers value is determined by their previous ability to earn
    • We poorly adapt to change
    • Will be sick a lot and may moan about hot flushes
    • The skills required in a caring role, still predominantly undertaken by women across our lives, are misunderstood, underappreciated and undervalued.

    No doubt you can think of others.

    So lets change the conversation and have a look at what 50 plus women have to offer. Lets flip some of these outdated and unfair views and stereotypes.

    To unapologetically generalise:

    Women in in their fifties and beyond have often been in a caring role, whether of children or ageing parents, the skill set is the same and it includes all of the following leadership qualities and capabilities. If you are not convinced think about your own mother or another amazing mother you know and apply each of these concepts to that role. Think of managing toddlers and teens, illnesses and boundaries and creating positive family cultures:

    • Visioning (for family, for children, for self)
    • Goal setting
    • Influencing
    • Negotiation
    • Giving and receiving feedback
    • Creating a shared understanding and creating positive cultures
    • Conflict resolution
    • Change management / adaptability
    • Problem solving
    • Having difficult conversations
    • Use of strategies and tools
    • Acknowledging and praising good work
    • Effective decision making
    • Delegation
    • High level of Emotional Intelligence and behaviour regulation
    • And they have wanted others to be the best they can be and helped them to get there.

    In addition, older Women:

    • Have had to keep learning and growing
    • Take less notice of their ego, are less concerned with what others think of them and are more outward looking
    • Know a lot about people and human behaviour
    • They communicate well, even in stressful situations
    • They know a lot about a great many things, but generally don’t need to keep proving it
    • Nothing much phases them they’ve seen it all before and know it will be ok in the end
    • They have failed many times and got up to try again
    • They have made many mistakes and have learnt to take responsibility for them. They have helped others to do the same.
    • They understand the importance of family career and well being across life

    Would you consider hiring a 50 plus Woman in a leadership role? It would be a shame not to wouldn’t it?

    If you are 50 plus and would like some support with your career planning please give me a call on  0421 775 924


    Women Over 50 Can’t Find Jobs [14.11.17]

    Never mind the menopause, why women in the workplace are finished at 50 [14.11.17]


  2. Is Your View Of Feedback Helping Or Hindering Your Learning And Growth?

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    What are the first words that come into your head when you think about

    • Giving feedback?
    • Receiving feedback?

    David Rock (2008) tell us that when we hear the word ‘feedback’ our brain responds as though someone is walking behind us down a dark alley. Do you answers to the above questions reflect that?

    Feedback, both positive and negative is of course central to learning. In such a changing world of work in which we must constantly learn and grow, it is important that we can both give and receive feedback well.

    Lets see if we can change our perceptions about feedback. This is what I believe about it:

    • Feedback stops gossip
    • Feedback helps us and helps others
    • Through feedback people learn and grow – it is a gift
    • Through feedback we can learn more about ourselves and become better people
    • It’s normal and ok to feel defensive after receiving negative feedback. It’s what you do with the information that is important
    • Asking for feedback about specific areas that you would like to develop is empowering
    • There is no magic formula for giving either positive or negative feedback. You can find many resources and frameworks. What is important is to:
      • Be authentic and do it from a place of caring about the person
      • Make sure it occurs as soon after you have noticed the need for it as possible (both positive and developmental)
      • Be direct
      • Give developmental feedback in private
      • Find out how each person you work with likes to receive positive feedback
    • While it important to consider all feedback, you don’t have to accept all of the feedback you receive. You can choose what is relevant to you and your situation based on
      • Who the giver is in relation to their relationship to you and their experience and knowledge in the area they are providing you feedback in
      • What your goals are

    Are your perceptions and beliefs about feedback serving you?

    Thinking back to your answers to the questions at the beginning of this article consider the beliefs you hold about feedback and

    • Identify those that benefit you and that you need to keep?
    • Decide which ones are hindering you and that you need to change?
    • Now create for yourself a new positive way of viewing feedback.

    Once you begin to view feedback differently you will feel differently about giving and receiving it. The only thing left to do then, is to find a way using your existing communication skills, or by developing new ones with which you are comfortable to make it an even better experience.

    This article has been adapted from our online course Women in Leadership  If you would like more information about that or coaching, please give me a call on   0421 775 924.


    David Rock, SCARF: a brain-based model for collaborating with and influencing others, Neuron Leadership Journal, Issue one, 2008

  3. Poem: Women, We Are Enough

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    Both the ceilings and our feelings are made of glass.

    One tempered , seemly difficult to break,

    The other crystal and easily shattered.


    Self doubt, imposter syndrome,

    Need to learn more, must tick all the boxes.

    Failure means not good enough.

    Too timid, too bold,

    Too young, too old.


    We must change and temper our thoughts, beliefs and feelings,

    If we are to shatter those ceilings.

    We must remind ourselves,

    We must remind each other,

    Within each of us there are oceans more than enough.


    Poem and photo by Debra Pittam


  4. Extended DISC Workshops Now Available

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    Offering Two Extended DISC Workshop Options

    A Half Day Introduction to Extended DISC: How to Create a Shared Understanding and Enhance Communication Between Individuals and Within Teams:

    Half-Day Workshop: duration 4 hours

    Workshop can be delivered to up to 30 people


    $199 per person plus GST or

    $1100 plus GST for 6 – 15 participants

    $2100 Plus GST for 16 – 30 participants


    This workshop provides an appreciative inquiry approach to DISC theory. Participants will learn and explore in relation to each behavioural quadrant and combinations thereof:
    DISC theory and background

    • DISC and individual strengths
    • DISC and stress
    • DISC and blind spots
    • DISC and communication
    • DISC in a team (understanding team strengths)

    A One Day Extended DISC Team Workshop: Create a Shared Understanding in Your Team

    Full Day Workshop: duration 8 hours

    As each person required an Extended DISC Profile*, workshop numbers and cost to be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.


    This workshop provides an appreciative inquiry approach to DISC theory. Participants will learn and explore in relation to each behavioural quadrant and combinations thereof:

    DISC theory and background

    • DISC and individual strengths
    • DISC and stress
    • DISC and blind spots
    • DISC and communication
    • Review of Extended DISC Profiles
    • Understanding DISC in your team
      • Strengths of individuals
      • Team strengths
      • Gaps in the team
      • Communication within the team

    *There is also an opportunity for participants to access one on one profile feedback and coaching post workshop. This will incur an additional cost.

    For an overview of Extended DISC click here

  5. De-motivation and Procrastination: 2 Pre Exercise Companions We Don’t Want!

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    This is an article I wrote for my local gym. A little different from my normal posts, but still related to leading self and wellbeing.

    Do you plan to exercise and always follow through?

    Do you always eat the right things, drink the right things, do the right things?

    If you answered yes, no need to read on 🙂 If you answered sometimes, then this article is for you!

    First of all, lets give ourselves a break for being human and not always doing the right thing. Balance is more important for wellbeing, than perfection. That said, how can we conspire for our own success around making healthy choices most of the time? Try these mindset tips:

    • This first one is the key and you have probably heard it before and may have even done it. Set yourself a goal.

    But not a simple goal (the most common kind). For example:

    • ‘To eat more healthily’ or ‘To lose 5 kilo’s” are not specific enough
    • ‘To reduce the risk of poor health” moves you away from what you don’t want but gives you nothing to aim for.

    Rather, it is important that the goal be compelling and exciting and real. So get a piece of paper and write a timeframe on it – 3, 6 or 12 months. Now begin to write the goal as if it has already happened. Begin with the sentence ‘It is [insert future date] and I am…

    Now write down how it will be health and fitness wise for you by that date: How will you feel? What will are you able to do better than you can do now? What will people be telling you? What will you be noticing about yourself? What will you be wearing? What health improvements will you have achieved?

    Now you have a specific and measurable goal. Check back with the timeframe, is it achievable? If not, change the date, or revise the goal until it is.

    Finally answer this question: For what purpose do you want to achieve this goal? What will the achievement of it give you?

    Now moving forward…

    • If you fall off, if you fail, treat yourself as you would your best friend. Compassion is a better motivator than hard heartedness.
    • Make a small decision towards your goal every day e.g.
      • Decide to put your exercise gear on when you get up in the morning
      • Decide to walk for 5 minutes
      • Eat a healthy breakfast
    • Give yourself a nudge; persuade friends to join you in either your goal or your activities.
    • Finally, notice your successes not matter how small they may seem. Success is a great motivator, so hunt for them, celebrate them!
  6. Women in Leadership Online Course Ready for Sign Up

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    I’m very excited announce that our Women in Leadership Course is finally live. I’m so proud that it’s different to most leadership programs in that it’s practical, personal and applicable to both leadership at work and in life. This pic is of the front page at log in and gives an idea of the content via the headings – there’s lots underneath. I’m still adding stuff because I love it!  🙂 #womeninleadership

    The course is 12 hours plus of learning for $199 plus GST – we are keeping it affordable so loads of women can do it. #equalpay #genderequality

    To get the the sign up button go to this page and when you get to pay pal you will see all of the courses – just remove the courses you don’t want and proceed from there. Once I receive notification of enrolment I will send you your link to the course – its as easy as that.

  7. How to Cope with a Bad Boss in a Dysfunctional Culture

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    When this happens it has a tremendous impact on a person’s engagement at work and also on their wellbeing and I have noticed it come up again and again in a range of contexts. It’s the double whammy that causes the problem I think – a great boss in a poor culture is often fine and the impact of a bad boss in a good culture can be managed much more easily.

    When it happens it is not a good place to be. Your mindset could be one of feeling stuck, that you have no influence and that it is impossible to change. If this sounds familiar, there are things you can do though to unstick yourself, shift your mindset and create some momentum:

    1. Remind yourself that other people’s behaviour is not your responsibility, it’s theirs. You didn’t cause it and you can’t change it, only they can.
    2. Use the circle of influence and circle of concern (Steven Covey) to work out exactly what you can influence about your situation and what you can’t. Ask yourself if you do the things you have identified that you can influence, will this make a positive difference or could it make it worse? What are the risks and benefits to you, your career, your family.
    3. Find someone you trust to talk to about this and work it through. Consider someone who will support you to look objectively at your situation rather than join you in it. Consider a trusted colleague (not necessarily in your department or even organisation), a Mentor, Employee Assistance if you have it or a Coach.
    4. Build your professional network. Make an effort to build relationships with a range of people both inside and outside of your organisation over time, who you can both add value to, who you can learn from, who you can help and who could be a resource for you you one day.
    5. If there is no influencing this situation and you feel stuck, make long term career goal at least 5 years ahead (it’s not a bad idea to do this anyway). Then work out where you need to be in 3 years, 1 Year and 6 months from now to be on track to reach it. Once you have this begin to take some actions, one step at a time towards your first goal. Ask for help from the people you have identified that you trust (see points 3 and 4).

    If you have experienced this and have some tips to add, or a specific question I would love to see your comments.

    You can contact me on or +61 421 775 924


  8. ‘Women in Leadership’ 12 Hour Online Course Outline

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    12 Hour Leadership Intensive for Women

    Below is an overview of the Women in Leadership Course now open for enrolment and due to commence at the end of September.

    If you would like to enrol in the course please click here and you will be taken to our website. Once there simply click on the green button and follow the prompts.


    To provide you with both information that has practical relevance for your own leadership development needs as well as tools and strategies you can use to implement what you learn

    What You Will Learn

    By the end of the 12-hour course you will have an increased understanding of the following six areas of women in leadership. This part of the course takes about 6 hours to complete.

    1. Women in leadership and the barriers we face
    2. What great leadership looks like so that you know what you want to aspire to
    3. Why great leadership is important to us in our workplaces and the link between leadership and wellbeing
    4. Your own vision purpose and values around your leadership
    5. Your own leadership strengths and the areas where you would like to develop, learn and grow
    6. The goals that you would like to achieve by the end of this leadership learning

    When you have completed the first half of the course, the subjects below will assist you to meet the goals that you set above. You can choose 6 hours of further learning from this wide range of content to make up the 12 hours of the course. All of the subjects are available to you, so you can do as many as you like within the 6-month timeframe that you have access to this course if you would like to. This however, will take you longer than 6 hours.

    Activities Related to Leadership Strategies and Tools

    • Your leadership standard
    • Goal setting and action planning
    • Managing difficult conversations with bosses, peers and direct reports,
    • Delegating effectively
    • Time management
    • Giving and receiving feedback

    Activities Related to Behaviors and Beliefs in the Context of Leadership

    • Lacking confidence / imposter syndrome
    • Being assertive and managing difficult conversations
    • Danger of assumptions
    • Introversion and extraversion in leadership

    Activities Related to Building Positive Cultures and Fostering Engagement

    • Creating shared understanding around team purpose vision, values and expected behaviours
    • Helping your team connect to purpose
    • Acknowledging and appreciating others contribution
    • The importance of connecting with others in the workplace
    • Promoting wellbeing through leadership
    • Barriers to change
    • Developing facilitation skills



  9. Six Common Culture Killers and What to Do about Them

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    This article describes six key things that commonly have a negative impact on workplace culture and provides some ideas leaders can use to creating a more positive environment.

    What You Stand for as a Leader is Unclear

    Our standard of leadership is the foundation upon which our behaviour and our responses to issues and situations depend. If you have not fully explored the criteria that underpin your leadership, it may be that you don’t always respond in a consistent way. You may lack certainty or confidence. You could end up agreeing to things that in fact don’t sit well with you, or not always stand up for what you believe. You may also feel incongruent about the choices and decisions that you sometimes make.

    In addition, bot being able to express what your leadership standards are (because I’m sure you have them) makes it difficult for you to set expectations for the team, as well as model and teach leadership.

    Take some time to explore what is important to you as a leader. What is it that you stand for? What is important to you? What do you expect of your team members?

    People are not Connected to a Common Purpose

    Because we spend so much at work, if what we do lacks meaning for us, our sense or feeling of wellbeing both at work and across life generally may suffer as a result and so might our work and our level of engagement. It is important therefore, to create an environment in which people truly feel that what they do has meaning and is meaningful.

    To help people feel connected, try having regular conversations with your team and individuals about:

    • Your collective purpose and how that relates back to the organisations broad mission and goals
    • Why you as a team do what you do and how each individual in the team contributes to this
    • What the individuals and team have achieved and how this has contributed to both the team and organisations short and long term goals.

    People are not Connected to You or Each Other

    Connecting with those we work with at all levels is important. It helps people feel valued and engaged which in turn promotes wellbeing. To foster connection try:

    • Being genuinely curious about peoples’ wellbeing. Learn about them – their interests and family, remember what you learn and check in with them often.
    • Creating the opportunity for social contact within the team and go along as well.
    • Finding out what the long term goals and aspirations are for the people you work with.
    • Making sure that team members spend time doing things they are good at and give feedback – help people grow though your connection towards where they want to be in the future.
    • Recognising and celebrating good work.

    People Feel a Lack of Appreciation

    Following on from the last point above, people like to be rewarded for the work they do and as we know, pay is not the biggest driver as a reward. Most people prefer to be shown that they are valued in some other way as well, for example:

    • Through personal recognition and acknowledgement
    • Knowing that they matter
    • By being enabled to do what they are good at most of the time and have their achievements celebrated, both publicly and privately
    • Being autonomous


    Team members who feel trusted, who feel like they are accomplishing things and making a difference are likely to feel more engaged. Micromanagement occurs commonly because of a lack of trust in self and others, commonly around:

    1. An unconscious fear of losing control e.g. work, timeframes, quality, outcomes
    2. Feeling that the job would not be done the way we would do it
    3. A fear that the job wouldn’t be done to our standards
    4. Concerned that a team member may not have the knowledge, skills and capabilities they need to complete the work


    To increase trust, try being SMART about delegation:

    • Specific – what do you specifically need to be done?
    • Measurable – how will you know it is done?
    • Achievable – does the person have the skills and capabilities to do the job and if not how can you help them learn
    • Relevant – how is it important to you, the team, team goals, KPI’s etc. Also how will the learning be important to your team member?
    • Time bound – when does it need to be done by and what reporting mechanism will you put in place to keep track of this

    Bullying Behaviours Tolerated

    Last but not least, ignoring, denying, justifying or living with bullying behaviours is a significant culture killer. These behaviours have negative impact on individual’s wellbeing, both the person being bullied and the others in the team.

    If this is happening in your workplace take steps to address it. Be clear on your leadership standard and make sure others are too (see point 1). Find out your bullying policy. Talk to someone you trust like a mentor, HR, EAP or a coach and find a way of solving this problem.


    By Debra Pittam: working with you on to effectively manage change, foster employee engagement and build positive cultures through executive/leadership coaching and facilitation. Let me know how I can help. Call 0421 775 924.

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