<![CDATA[Skills and knowledge are the building blocks for preventing damage to relationships and to your career. The steps below will help prepare you for both.
- Practice feedback skills as much as you can. As with any skills, they get easier with practice. You can practice giving positive feedback to family members, friends, or coworkers so that you are ready to give negative feedback when the need arises. Be sure to include all the important elements of effective feedback: specific behavior, reaction (thoughts), and feelings. Each component gives a different type of information about the impact of a person’s behavior, and they are all important.
- Practice using the mother-sister-daughter triangle. Notice when you have strong reactions to another woman, either positive or negative, and ask yourself where you have placed her in the triangle. Whom does she remind you of?
- Investigate the current support structures in your organization for strengthening a women’s community, for learning and creating a shared vision and code of conduct, and for assessing the company’s policies and procedures. Is there a diversity effort? An existing women’s forum? If yes, get involved in the program committee. If not, get a group of women together, including women bosses, for a monthly lunch or dinner and talk about how to shift the patterns to support each other more. Discuss the company policies and practices, and consider how you might develop a business case to present to the leaders about changes that are needed.
- Research the EEO and harassment policies in your organization. Every organization has them. Be aware of what they say and know your rights.