Working styles and their impact on finding balance as a female professional

In my work with female professionals around achieving balance,  focusing on self- awareness is key to understanding firstly what balance means to them as well as what may be getting in the way of achieving it.   Some clients have already noticed how they work to a pattern, and through our work come to understand that because of this pattern they have certain strengths but sometimes may work or behave in ways that limit their effectiveness. For example,  In a previous article ( I referred to a “please people” working style or pattern and outlined how it can be beneficial, as those with a please people working style can be good team members, encourage harmony and are intuitive and considerate of others feelings, but it can limit the effectiveness of  female leaders and indeed their ability to achieve balance if they are expending all their energy on pleasing others.   I was inspired to talk about the “hurry up” working style in this article having recently encountered a client who identified through our work together that she may have been “over- drawing” on this style which was thwarting her attempts to find balance both in her personal and professional life. Those who report having  “hurry up” characteristics enjoy having lots to do, work at speed and pull out all the stops when urgent work comes up. They also report getting sense of satisfaction from completing tasks in a short space of time and may even become more energised under pressure.

The weaknesses associated with this style and for my client in particular is that sometimes in her haste to complete tasks at work she often made errors which meant she had to revisit work which regularly resulted in missed deadlines. She reported that she spoke fast, walked fast and ….ate fast. This led to issues both with workplace relationships – where she found herself becoming impatient with others (including finishing their sentences in her haste to move things along) and again often had to revisit conversations with others as well as regularly spending time “mending bridges” (which cost more time than if she had held a quality conversation in the first place).  At home she reported running the household like a military operation, where she continued to do household chores and even mealtimes at speed and as a result often failed to hear the needs of those around her which when not attended to returned as crises to be resolved as a later stage. For this client, she recognised that her overuse of this style lately was rarely returning the sense of satisfaction that she earlier reported with completing tasks in a short space of time rather it was sending her spiralling into a sense of overwhelm and a sense that everything was out of balance. If this working style is resonating with you and you feel it may be something that is impacting on finding balance in your life, considering the following:

  • Ask yourself what matters most to you ; be quick, get on with others, tackle crisis regularly or find a sense of calm.
  • Consider what you will do with your new awareness

Hay, 2009 offers suggestions for those with the “Hurry up” Working style and recommends that once awareness is gained the next step would be to “obtain the advantages of your preferred working style(s) without the potential problems”

Hay also advises to “plan your work in stages, setting interim target dates, concentrate on listening carefully to others until they finish speaking and learn relaxation techniques and then use them regularly”

If you are a female professional and feel you are ready to take the next step to “Finding Balance” in your personal and professional life contact me to organise a complimentary 30 minute call to start this journey

Ref:     Hay, J. (2009). Working it out at work: understanding attitudes and building relationships. Sherwood