How to Blend Male and Female Problem Solving Skills in the Male-Dominated Workplace

I’ve probably mentioned this before but my biggest pet peeve at work is that people can’t problem solve. Working in the construction industry where we come across problems on a daily basis this is especially frustrating. Looking through some old notes this week, I found some example

Why the Male-Dominated Workplace Doesn’t Teach Employees to Problem Solve

There are days at work when I just want to yell “Leave me alone!! Do I have to solve everybody’s problems for them?! Can’t you guys solve problems yourself?” Twenty years ago, when I had fewer responsibilities, I liked solving problems, any one’s problems. I found it challengin

How To Train Employees In A Male-Dominated Workplace

When you attend training, what do you hope to get out of it? Do you expect to get step by step instructions or the answer on how to solve a problem? Do you expect the person training you to be better at the task than you? Is it Ok with you that person a professional trainer/instruc

How To Solve A Problem You Know Nothing About

How to solve a problem you know nothing about During the Ebola scare I noticed that our government leaders felt compelled to project that they had answers even though they clearly didn’t. They could not admit that they didn’t have the answer. They believe this gives us confidence i

Finding the Formula For Making Coffee

I came across this story that a woman (Linda) posted on LinkedIn.  It goes along with a lot of my recent posts so I want to share it with you.  This is one of those stories that we like to pass on.  And generally that is what we would do. But I want to take it one (actually several) s

Women Help Companies Improve Collaboration – So What?

One of the traits women are most credited with is improving collaboration. We get more people to open up and participate in conversations and problem solving. The result is a more complete solution to a problem. Sounds great – in theory! The issue many women face is that coll

Establish Yourself As A Leader With A Process Meeting

A few weeks after I got to my large construction project in the-middle-of-nowhere New Mexico, I walked into the superintendent’s area and found most of my staff deep in discussion about a process. A functional manager within the company distributed the process dictating - It must be

How To Map Processes, The Simple Way

I tell women to learn their company’s operating and management systems as a foundation for building a success career. But most women (and men) have never been taught how to think in terms of systems or how to map out processes so my advice may seem daunting. If you took the initia

If I Have To Get Down In The Weeds…

Have you ever heard a manager say “If I have to get down in the weeds then what do I need you for?” I’ve heard it many times. Why do they say that? Is it just to make you feel inferior – incapable of doing your job? When I hear a manager say this, my first thought is that he d

Don’t Be OnThe Swamp War Sidelines

I came up with the concept of Swamp Wars about two years ago. It stemmed from my work experiences and for a while I thought it was unique to my industry because we have so many classic Alligator Slayers. But as I wrote this series of articles (Swamp Wars and The Rachel Letter) the nat

How To Use The Power Seat

I introduced the concept of the power seat and told you how to find it in your conference room in my article Understanding the Power Seat.  Now it is time to learn how to use it so you can take lead a discussion and lead your collegues to better solutions.

How Men Are Taught To Solve Problems

From the example on the “Your Best Leverage” page, poor Bob has to build a wall but has no material.  There is a crisis!  And in the male workplace that is a cry for action!  But will the male approach really solve the crisis or just lead to new problems? Let’s look at how

Systems-Thinking is Critical to Our Success

For women it is critical that we have a basic understanding of the principles of LEAN principles and systems-thinking. It is through systems-thinking that we can improve the processes our employees use to perform work. Systems-thinking is a natural fit for women while men are taught

SAC Missile Comp

In one of my earliest career assignments I used processes to train a team for a competition. Even though the team was by far the most inexperienced, their knowledge of the singular best process allowed them to excel. I learned that having the "best and the brightest" does not guaran