Kate Winslet’s character, Iris, meets her charming neighbor and script writer from the Hollywood’s golden age, Arthur Abbot. He introduces her to strong, smart female characters in classic films. He tells her that he wrote women with gumption. Something Iris seems to have lacked in her life.
Gumption means ‘initiative and courage’. There is no successful woman in business which doesn’t embody some level of gumption. Often it is need simply to take the bold steps needed to get noticed, get promoted, and get ahead.
An Affair to Remember: Avoid avoidance.
Despite it’s happy ending, the conflict in the movie comes from two hurt and angry people avoiding each other and the conversation which is needed for them to remain connected.
As stress at work and challenging co-workers and clients frustrate us, we have a desire to avoid conversation. We email instead of calling. We take a different path to the kitchen or fail to keep clients as up-to-date as necessary. The more challenging the relationship or situation, the more important it is to initiate and maintain constant and open communication.
You’ve Got Mail: It’s not personal, it’s just business.
Tom Hank’s character tells Meg Ryan, ‘It’s not personal. It’s just business.’ But Meg’s character disagrees and says, ‘It’s personal to some people. It should start by being personal.’
I can’t disagree that it should begin by being personal, but the truth is that, in business, taking things personally will slow your career, make it hard to work with some people, and take your focus away from your future, keeping you in the past.
Frozen: Let it go.
Almost everyone has heard the Oscar winning song from the Disney movie, and its message is not lost for women in business. It has always struck me as odd that two men can have a heated and aggressive disagreement at work and still go out to have a beer at the end of the day. Two women have the same disagreement, and they go home and bitch to their friends or husband.
I am not saying this is true of all women, only most. I have fallen into pit before because I found it hard to ‘Let It Go’. If the argument happens, if she gets the promotion even though you deserved it more, let it go. By letting go, you can keep yourself focused on your goals and your eye on the prize.
Try these tips and next time you watch a chick flick look for lessons you can take back to work. Then let me know in the comments so I can share them.
Send Monique your question for next month’s Q&A column!