Archive for: March, 2016

How interacting with people at work is a lot like interacting with toddlers

The other day I was in a training that talked about effectiveness and it made me realize that being effective is really tested the most when dealing with toddlers. The trainer talked about how being effective is not only about the quality of the outcome but also about the acceptance of everyone involved. This made me think about getting a toddler to put their shoes on. When it would be only about quality, I can put those shoes on in about 5 seconds. However, when effectiveness is about getting out of the door with a toddler with their shoes on, I've found that often the only way to get this done is by having the toddler put their own shoes on, however testing for my patience that might be. The alternative would be that the toddler has shoes on, but is laying on the ground yelling that they want to do it themselves for much longer than it would have taken them to put them on themselves...

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I'm trying to remind myself of this example, because I've found that my initial reaction very often is to figuratively speaking put the shoes on the toddler myself and run out of the door, while this might not be the best way to interact with people (collaborators for example) in the long run.

 

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Blog meme: Who should rescue you?

Mar 09 2016 Published by under blogging

It seems like Drugmonkey is back in the early 2000s when people used blogs instead of twitter to exchange ideas. Without emojis too, can you imagine?! He started a meme with the question: which top five movie or TV characters should come rescue you from a bad situation? This is another hint that he's back in the early 00s because who on earth watches TV? Or does Netflix/Youtube count as TV too? I'm tagging Doctor_PMS and challdreams!

Mine are:

  1. Hugh Glass (when I'm cold I'd really like someone to hand me a warm horse carcass to sit in)
  2. Claire Underwood (when a situation is so bad you can do without ethics but with very classy outfits)
  3. Saul Goodman (of course!)
  4. The octonauts
  5. Story bots (every kid should watch this!)

What are yours? Post a link or your answers in the comments and join Drugmonkey in the early 00s!

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Women: when there's a lot of them they are just like people.

When I went to college the majority of professors were male. I remember that the few times we had a female professor, classmates were quick to categorize them as "bitchy", "motherly", or "good-looking". This is not unlike what happens in many movies, when the female characters often remain uni-dimensional.

Now, I work in a company with a much better gender ratio. The other day I found myself in a big meeting with 3 of the bosses and all three of them were women, as well as many of the team leaders and scientists*. And I realized while I was listening to the meeting that we were all there to contribute with our own expertise and knowledge and personality. And I realized how great it is to be in the presence of so many women as role models. There were just too many women to fit them in the one-dimensional categories. When there are many women, they are just like people, I thought to myself.

 

* Before you think that this is a complete utopia: when you're asked to present something in front of the board, you will still look at >85% men.

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Challenges and being careful what you wish for

Last year, I learned a ton of new things about doing science in industry in my new job. I've worked on new things like patent applications, collaborations and other things I hadn't done before when I was in academia. This year, the learning curve seems to be much less steep, and I felt that I needed to add something in order to keep myself challenged and engaged. So after long deliberation about how exactly to phrase this, I wrote in my notebook that for my weekly conversation with my manager I wanted to discuss:"more challenges, rather in interactions with people than in content".

15 minutes after I wrote that down my phone rang and somebody called to inform me about a Problem with one of my projects. All the rest of yesterday was spent on this Problem that can definitely be categorized as challenge, both in interacting with people as well as content.

The Problem isn't entirely solved yet and I haven't had my weekly conversation with my manager about me wanting more challenges (and I'm not sure if the timing is right in light of the current Problem), but I am wondering about the power of writing something down in my notebook...

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My 4-year blogiversary!

Mar 01 2016 Published by under blogging, Decisions, role models, science

Four years ago today, I published my first blog post. Since then quite a bit has changed: I had another baby, I moved, I quit academia and I'm still busy figuring out what I want in my current job.

To celebrate my blog-birthday, I'd like to know a bit more about you, my dear reader! Please comment (or de-lurk) and tell me about:

  1. who you are
  2. how you found my blog and how long you've been reading here
  3. what you like and don't like about my blog

Thanks!

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