Expert Interview: Complementing Beats Competing–Women Supporting Women in the Workplace
Paula Brown Stafford and Lisa T. Grimes
Achieve Success. Create Balance. Experience Fulfillment.
It’s the elusive trifecta every working woman desperately seeks. Do you find yourself trying to be everything to everyone? Do you run yourself ragged but still feel something is missing? The struggle is real and all too common. Paula Brown Stafford and Lisa T. Grimes are two award-winning, C-suite executives and authors who together have accumulated more than 60 years of work experience at the highest levels, 60 years of marriage, and raised four children. Paula and Lisa have collectively managed over 25,000 employees globally. Although fierce competitors 20 years ago, they eventually formed a friendship and now, as a team, speak to corporations and women’s groups on a number of topics including Complementing Beats Competing and The Juggling Act.
Complementing Beats Competing—Women Supporting Women in the Workplace
“Too often, we have seen and experienced that even women who aren’t in competing companies often wind up competing with other women within their organizations. Ultimately our message is: Let’s support other women. There is plenty of room for all of us to work our way up the career ladder, and it is certainly a lot more fun and a lot more fulfilling. It starts by learning about yourself, your strengths and how you like to work, by learning WHO you are. Then, you can begin to see how you can complement and complete others instead of compete with them.”
Why Is This Important?
By knowing yourself and your strengths, you can begin to identify people whose skills, strengths and personalities naturally complement your own. This self-knowledge makes it possible to resist unnecessary competition in situations where cooperation will work better for you. Women, in particular, can fall into the GATT trap: feeling Guilty All The Time. By setting clear priorities and remaining true to them, it’s easier to distinguish between legitimate reasons for guilt and the abundant pressures for taking on false guilt. By committing to meet and exceed expectations, and communicating clearly as your conditions change, it becomes possible to enlist the support you need from family members, business partners and customers.
What Are the Key Lessons Learned Here?
Find people that you can complement, then explore specific ways where you can complement one another and not compete. Start by getting clear about who you are and what your priorities are so you can be the best that you can be. Secondly, remember there is always something you can give back, something you can do to brighten someone else’s day. At different stages of our life, what we have to offer will change. At one stage, we can volunteer time or give money to a charitable organization, or at another stage we may be in a season when we don’t have an extra dollar or an extra minute, but we can smile at someone who needs a smile in the grocery store, or we can spend one or two minutes helping someone who is newer at the company where we might be working, to help them get a bit further ahead. Or, we may be able to mentor others.
Connecting With Paula Brown Stafford and Lisa T. Grimes
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