Networking in High Heels
“Success is not a matter of what you know, but who you know.”
At Networking in High Heels (NiHH), we disagree. We know that success is both a matter of what you know and who you know!
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By Gail Hahn
It was on the Ivory Coast of Africa while facilitating teambuilding and communication style workshops with members from 34 different African nations who all worked for the same international organization. Bringing some assemblance of order, cultural understanding, corporate culture adherence and just plain getting your point across was no small feat.
The main point was that what we think of as ‘right’ may only be cultural. It is our belief, our values, the way we think and behave based upon what we learned from our parents, society, supervisors and general socialization. We can take this further in business and in life by saying what we think of as the right thing to do may be based upon regional, national, familial, political, gender specific, religious or corporate cultural norms.
We can take this to personal relationships and how we run our families and households to how we celebrate traditions or how we offer ourselves to the world. We see this play out in corporate culture not only among different nationalities, but in every single individual and what ideologies and work ethics they bring to the workplace. The clash between Baby Boomers, Traditionalists and the New Generation X and Y’s is a classic example of who holds what important and how they get things done.
Blending your personal cultural values with your corporate culture or even if it’s your personal corporation for entrepreneurs can be a tricky minefield. When you catch yourself saying ‘they should’ or ‘he shouldn’t’ or ‘that’s a stupid rule’, you may need to take a fresh perspective on the situation. Whenever you hear the words ‘should’ come out of your mouth, it’s a red flag that you’re in somebody else’s business or placing your way of ‘right’ onto somebody or something else.
Managing the ‘rightness’ of how things are done in your partnership, in your work, with your coach, in your family or in moving through the world takes awareness that your ‘right’ may not be somebody else’s ‘right’. Seeing the world through a different pair of eyes gives us a new perspective. Even is that someone else is a new and improved you.
After working with coaches, I am continually gaining new insight and new perspective on how I do my life and my work. I find where I once saw the ‘right’ line, is now a more flexible noodle of a line. It’s softer, more flexible, more gray and moveable. I find myself saying ‘isn’t that an interesting way to look at things’ much more often. Who is coaching you to take a look at what’s right or what doesn’t work in your life and in your business? Is your ‘right line’ bold, straight and immoveable or does it have some play or is it open for discussion?
I invite you to be more open and aware of different ‘rights’ that pop into your life and take a gander, then ask yourself ‘who says it’s right?’.
About Gail Hahn: Gail Hahn, MA, CSP, CEO (Chief Energizing Officer) of Funcilitators is an International Keynote Speaker, Author, Corporate Trainer, Coach, Talk Show Host of The Energized Entrepreneur Show, Executive with BizBuilderCards and Energy Expert inspiring organizations to optimize their motivation, morale and meaning at work, and educating entrepreneurs and executives to revitalize their work, workforce, wealth and well-being. Claim your free 50-page e-book on Energizing at her blog: www.GailHahn.com.
By Susan Shargel
What does health care really cost? What are our insurance premiums really paying for?
We at Shargel & Co. were inspired by the recent health care stories on NPR’s This American Life; specifically, the way Ira Glass and his team take complex policy issues and make them understandable. I wanted to create a piece that brings some light to the very murky area of health care costs.
So I decided to work with one of our clients who has recently completed treatment for breast cancer. She had been very satisfied with her medical care and very pleased with her insurance coverage. The client had a pile of statements from the insurance company showing what had been billed and what insurance had paid. She knew she had paid $12,900 but had no idea what her care had actually cost. We volunteered to find the answer for her.
We set up a spreadsheet and recorded all 71 claims statements, which are called “Explanations of Benefits”. Our client’s treatment consisted of a lumpectomy, which included an overnight hospital stay, a second outpatient lumpectomy to get clearer margins, and radiation therapy. The total amount billed by her heath care providers for her cancer care was $255,200.
But that’s not the amount that was paid for her treatment. Why not? Because she has insurance. If she had been uninsured she would have been responsible for the full billed amount. With insurance, the amount paid for her care is determined by the prices that her insurance company has negotiated with the doctors and hospital that are part of its preferred provider network (PPO). In this case, Blue Shield of California’s negotiated pricing reduced the cost of her breast cancer treatment to $124,500; she paid $12,900 and her insurance paid the rest.
It is hard for most us to grasp why this kind of care is so expensive. The treatment itself did not require major surgeries. It did not require weeks or months of hospital care. Yet the cost exceeded the price of a house in many parts of the country; it exceeded the cost of 4 years of public university education.
We can draw several key conclusions from this story about what is going right in our healthcare system as well as what is wrong. First, we all are grateful for the successful treatment of diseases such as breast cancer. We value the research and the care of medical professionals that have made many cancers and other chronic health conditions treatable. Secondly, we realize the value of insurance; without it, these costs are unaffordable for almost all of us. But we also know that the cost of insurance is becoming unaffordable for too many.
Our call to action is that health reform must directly address the cost of care. The cost of our insurance can’t be controlled if the cost of care continues to skyrocket. Health reform must promote, support, and fund health care innovation that focuses on the delivery of quality care at a much lower price.
About Susan Shargel: Susan Shargel is a California health insurance broker and small business owner. This site provides information on health insurance issues. I welcome your comments and questions.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer. Dont wait…survival depends on early detection!
By Pam Houghton
Getting kids up and out the door in the morning without being late to work is a challenge many working moms (and dads) face, no matter how old their children are. Kids dawdle and tempers flare while parents struggle to get their children ready for daycare or school.
One mom I know confessed to screaming when her two children were young. Something always seemed to go wrong. Either one of her kids couldn’t dress quickly enough, or another refused to eat Cheerios, hampering her ability to prepare them for daycare and get to work on time. By the time she got to her desk, she felt guilty for losing her temper and acting like such a “bad mom.”
When my own daughter reached adolescence, her snail’s like pace at getting out of bed and ready for school fueled my impatience, resulting in a regrettable scream-fest of our own. Slinking into my cubicle well after an 8:00 am start time, I felt bad about the morning’s events. It wasn’t until our son told us about a school assignment that I realized it was time to change the way we behaved.
Required to write a tall-tale, an exaggerated version of a real life situation, he had entertained his 4th grade classmates with a Jerry Springer-like version of our morning routine. Yep, in front of the whole class. There was a lot of yelling and screaming and “shut-ups” in his tale, but at least he didn’t portray us as a chair-throwing family. Oh, the humility of having our morning friction exposed.
So how can we get our mornings off to a more peaceful start?
1. Remind yourself you aren’t alone. Factor in a long commute, one or more drop-offs on the way to work, and you have a recipe for parents who arrive late to work. Most parents responsible for getting the kids off in the morning struggle with a strict got-to-be-there time. If your work environment allows, flex your work hours to accommodate this issue. Agree to start and end your work day later, work through lunch, or catch up on projects at home.
2. Keep in mind that kids’ developmental schedules are not always going to be in sync with your work schedule. And that’s just the way it is. Is it worth it to battle it out every morning? Probably not, especially if one of your kids rats you out in front of the whole school. Find a way to make peace with that. Once your behavior improves, so likely will your child’s.
3. Time and patience resolve a lot of issues. Children who struggle with their clothes eventually learn to dress themselves at a reasonable pace. Kids who don’t like breakfast cereal sooner or later find something else they like to eat. And the young adolescent who had a hard time getting out of bed? Well, she is now a mature, responsible 17-year-old who drives herself (and her 15-year-old tale-telling brother) to school every day. Yep, she’s on time.
Do you struggle with the morning rush? How do you make sure you get to work on time? If you have a flexible work schedule, has it helped reduce the stress?
About Pam Houghton: A technical editor, product release manager and faithful cubicle dweller for over 20 years, Pam is currently a freelance writer of website content, marketing and employee communications, personal essays and travel articles.