Diversity Woman Magazine

FAL 2017

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/876458

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d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m Fa l l 2 0 1 7 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 13 THINKSTOCKPHOTOS Dear Feeling Awkward, You might consider talking with your former direct report to find out what she's achieved since you last worked with her, says Kelly Marinelli, founder of Solve HR Inc. and a talent acquisition expert with the Society of Human Resource Management. Learning about her recent professional growth may help you give a The Awkward Reference Check The Office Shortcuts Work Smarter, Not Harder Upfront > Break work into 90-minute blocks • Our brains concen- trate best for about 90 min- utes at a stretch. Synch your schedule to take advantage of this innate trait. Declutter your desk • All those files and Post-its in your workspace are like tiny alarms, clamoring for atten- tion even when you think you're not aware of them. Tidy up: file stray papers and keep visible only the top two or three things you're working on. Practice saying no • There will always be someone asking you to do more. Most of us have a little internal voice that pipes up when the best an- swer is no. Try to heed that voice more often; you'll be better able to concen- trate on what's most important. Dear DW, I've been asked by some- one I supervised a few years ago for a reference. She did only an adequate job, but I like her and wish her the best. What should I say? Signed, Feeling Awkward stronger reference. When you speak with her, be honest about what your feedback is likely to be, so she can decide whether to keep you on her reference list. If you'd rather not have this conver- sation, but still want to support this person, Marinelli suggests you give an honest reference highlighting exam- ples of things she did well. "If her work product was adequate, you can probably describe her as a 'reliable performer' whose work was 'consistent,'" Marinelli says. "Maybe you don't think she was the star of your department, but if she always showed up, did her work, and met deadlines, then these characteristics can make her a good employee." Be prepared to answer truthfully about whether you'd hire her again. You might say that you would, but with the caveat that she receive ad- ditional training in a particular area. Above all, don't feel obliged to give more information than you feel comfortable sharing. W e all want to get more done. But the solu- tion doesn't always require spending more time plug- ging away. Instead, try these tips and tricks for working smarter—and the result will be better efficiency. Get comfortable • Working all day in too-tight pants or at a too-high desk drains energy from the work itself. Finding ways to be physically comfortable in your work environment can help you work better, says Gina Trapani, author of Upgrade Your Life: The Lifehacker Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, Better. Create an end-of-day routine • Work can feel endless when one day blurs into the next. Devel- oping a wrapping-up ritual reminds you that you've done a good day's work, and now it's time to step away. Immerse yourself in nature • You prob- ably can't do much of this during the workweek, but research shows that contact with the natural world is one of the best ways to recharge. A weekend walk in the park is likely to pay dividends on Monday. Also, try to grab a 10-minute walk during the workday—most workplaces have at least a small urban park nearby.

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