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Please click to link to these chapters:
 
1. The New Face of Leadership
2. Business - The Winning Way
3. Entrepreneurship - Making it Work
4. Financial Fitness
5. Communicate with Confidence
6. Strategic Image Management
7. Education and Training - Investing in Your Future
8. Health - Making a Difference
9. The Art of Perseverance
10. Speaking Out
11. Social Responsibility - Giving Back
12. Proudly South African
 

Chapter 1: The New Face of Leadership

Leadership Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions

a) Which situations, incidents, struggles, challenges, experiences or special moments in this chapter can I identify with?
b) What of significance did I learn from any of the contributors featured in this chapter?
c) Which strategies, tools, skills or hints will I be able apply in my own life?

Take it a step further:

Although women represent more than 50% of the world population, there is no country in which women represent half or even close to half, of the corporate managers. Until the late 1970s women were virtually invisible as managers and their absence was generally considered a non-issue.

Since then, women managers have become increasingly visible in many countries. However, each country tells similar stories of patriarchy, of societies in which men control centres of political and economic power and of the profession of management controlled and dominated by men where women remain relative newcomers, especially at the top. South Africa is no exception and major barriers still hinder the progress of women in management.

Even though the South African government is seen as gender sensitive and has an almost filled quota of 30% women, men still dominate politics, business, the trade union movement and the economy in South Africa. Also in management training in South Africa, in line with that of the United States and Europe, women comprise only 20%, with women lecturing staff on the faculty of business schools, comprising only 23%.

What is the value of feminine leadership? International and local literature have shown that the approach to leadership needed in future is different from the current dominant male culture in corporate South Africa. This new leadership overlaps to a large extent with the female leadership style. Adopting and strengthening this leadership style will - apart from helping to bring about effective change - also lead to the skills of women being more readily accepted, valued and utilised.

Research shows that male managers tend to focus on performance, competition and winning, domination, control and directive leadership. They emphasise leadership as a number of social transactions, conducted in an unemotional, rational and objective manner. The traditional male leadership style focuses on the leader as the master or the boss, and tends to be forceful and directive. This type of leadership is more effective in hierarchical organisations where formal authority is centred at the top. Female managers emphasise collaboration, participation, intuition, empathy, empowerment, self-disclosure, indirect leadership style and subtle forms of control. They emphasise follower-leader relationships as interactional and transformational. The feminine leadership style focuses on the leader as the colleague or equal, and tend to be thoughtful and responsive. This type of leadership is more effective in flatter, transparent, network type and organic organisations. Women also tend to be more comfortable and competent in fulfilling multiple roles and executing more than one task simultaneously.

The time has now come for feminine values and for women themselves to assume their rightful and much needed place alongside men in both the South African corporate organisation within management training, as well as politics. Through general education and management training, managers - and indeed all employees - should be educated to realise the value of feminine values and the importance of gender equality. Our deeply ingrained socialised mindsets need to change:

•  The "think manager, think male" paradigm should change to "think manager, think
    competence" - irrespective of race or gender.
•  The "look like a lady, act like a man, work like a dog" paradigm should change to
    "look like a lady, act like a lady and work effectively".
This transformation will not only bring women and feminine values into the organisations, but will also instil a sense of pride in women and will enable them to recognise and value their own identity and the contribution they, as women, can make towards achieving corporate goals. It will also enlarge the pool of talent available for management in general, in the interest of organisations and the country as a whole.

There are five guiding questions to help make you a successful leader. Ask yourself:

1. Do I give my followers what they want, and do I even know what they want?
2. Do I have enough support systems to free me up to be there for my followers and
    myself?
3. Do my followers experience me as congruent, as real?
4. Do I really value myself as a woman leader, or do I also conform and simulate
    males in order to be accepted - taking the easy way out?
5. Am I really there for the other women in my organisation?

Top of Page

Chapter 2: Business - The Winning Way

Business Modern Mentoring for Business Success

a) Which situations, incidents, struggles, challenges, experiences or special moments in this chapter can I identify with?
b) What of significance did I learn from any of the contributors featured in this chapter?
c) Which strategies, tools, skills or hints will I be able apply in my own life?

Take it a step further:

A mentor is a trusted colleague, expert or business professional, an advisor in the organisation or in life who willingly shares knowledge based on experience, insight and wisdom. It entails helping individuals set goals and build networks and relationships necessary for their success. It is a process and a partnership whereby a mentor and mentee work together to discover and develop the mentee's latent abilities. Mentors are people who have a special or memorably helpful effect on our lives. This partnership can be formal or informal, and can happen within organisational context or as a private but deliberate attempt on your side, to develop yourself, grow as a person and learn from somebody else.

Why mentoring?

Mentoring is a wonderful way to empower others or to empower yourself - all that is required is time and two people! The mentee gains a greater understanding of the total organisation and how to "navigate their way around", can develop their skills and their career, gain confidence in applying themselves and have a safety net in rapidly changing environments.
 
The mentors gain an understanding of the overall performance of the organisation, have enhanced roles in the organisation, feel they are contributing to the future success of the organisation and are improving their own leadership skills. The organisation ends up with people who are better trained, an improved organisational culture, better leaders and retention of key skills.

The roles of the mentor and mentee:
It is important that the mentor set up the relationship, but allow the mentee to take control of the process. The mentor clarifies expectations and structures the sessions. She helps the individual set goals and monitors and assists in goal achievement. She provides learning experiences for the mentees according to the goals.
The mentee sets up meetings and shares expectations and mission! goals / personal issues. The mentee keeps record of learnings and progress and applies new skills, knowledge and behaviour.

Good mentors have the following competencies:
•  Good listening skills, interpersonal sensitivity, empathy.
•  Abundance mentality - the willingness to share resources and knowledge openly.
•  Nonjudgmental and trustworthiness - integrity and honesty.
•  Ability to give feedback for growth - positive and constructive negative feedback.
•  Inspirational - high levels of positive energy.
•  Understanding of diversity and maturity.

Remember, as a mentor you commit yourself to the following:
•  Sharing your knowledge without expecting something in return.
•  Making your time available.
•  Keeping appointments.
•  Making the mentee feel important and respected.
•  Keeping all information that is shared with you confidential.
•  Being a good role model.

It is important to remember that the ethics of mentorship is vital. Successful mentors are honest and consistent in their communications and actions. They hold all information discussed with the mentee in strict confidence.

Questions to assist you in becoming a modern mentor or in choosing the perfect mentor:

1. Assess Your Mentor Skills

How many times in the last week did I...
a) Give someone unconditional praise.
b) Give someone constructive feedback.
c) Check a colleague's level of motivation.
d) Inspire someone.
e) Ask for feedback around my own performance/behaviour.
f) Delegate tasks.
g) Check the morale of the people working with/for me.

2. How should I choose a mentor?
Answer the following questions:

What do I want to learn / develop?
 
Of the people I have in mind, who...
a) Have the technical / people skills in the area I want to develop?
b) Display a keen desire to assist others to develop and grow?
c) Are known for their good interpersonal skills?
d) Have good networks and relationships that can assist my development?
e) Are inventive and able to find creative ways to overcome obstacles?
f) Do I feel comfortable with from an age/gender / religious / cultural viewpoint?
g) Would be willing to commit to such a process in terms of time and energy?

3. How do I determine that my mentor is doing a good job / How do I know whether I am being a good mentor?

At the end of each session, discuss the following points:
1. Did we have good contact with each other?
2. Was the content we discussed relevant?
3. Did we both display professional behaviour?
4. Is there a clear aim emerging?
5. Are ideas being turned into actions?
6. Are goals being achieved?
7. Is the mentee increasing in autonomy?

Once you have completed the evaluation, write down the areas you feel can be improved.

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Chapter 3: Entrepreneurship - Making it Work

Entrepreneurship - The Challenge and Liberation of Building Your Own Business

a) Which situations, incidents, struggles, challenges, experiences or special moments in this chapter can I identify with?
b) What of significance did I learn from any of the contributors featured in this chapter?
c) Which strategies, tools, skills or hints will I be able apply in my own life?

Take it a step further:

The idea of starting your own business is attractive - being your own boss, flexitime, running things your way, making yourself financially independent! It is, however, important first and foremost to become aware of the importance of utili sing your natural talents, developing your talents by committing to lifelong learning, applying those talents to create self-employment in niche markets, but also to create jobs for others.

An entrepreneur needs certain life skills in order to succeed. Here they are:
1. Believe in yourself and your skills! Focusing on your good qualities will help you to believe in yourself! Soon others will believe in you too!
2. Be positive! A positive attitude attracts good things, good energy and good people!
3. Confront your fears! Acknowledge and face your fears - do not allow your wonderful brain to think negatively about the future.
4. Take action! Nothing will ever happen without you taking action. Just get going!

The following questions will assist you in developing the entrepreneur in you!

1. What excites you? (Draw up your dream list. Visualise your best possible scenario 1,2 and 5 years from now. Focus on what you envy about others, it acts as a compass and points you in the right direction.)

2. What is unique and special about you and how can you translate this into a service or product offering? What are your unique qualities that will add value to your business? What is your unique business idea? (Remember, you will always be happier and more effective if you are working in your top 5% of that at which you are really good.)

3. Decide on a project - your unique business idea (real or imagined) - and walk your way through it from promoting it to delivering it (pricing, logistics, packaging, marketing etc.) Visualise it from the first to the last steps. Ask yourself the following: How will you reflect your uniqueness?
a) Your approach?
b) Your personal and business image?
c) Relationship building / networking: who / when / where?
d) Your unique service signature?
e) Promotion context and content?

4. How best can you manage your priorities? What is the best personal support system you can afford?

5. Why should clients use you? Why are you ideally suited to this particular venture, field, target market?

Now, develop your 700-day Business Plan and have the discipline to follow it and the flexibility to challenge it.
 
Do your homework and seek expert advice (legal registration, PTY (LTD) or CC etc., financial contracts, marketing).

Don't lose momentum - DO IT - before someone else comes up with your once unique idea!

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Chapter 4: Financial Fitness

Finance Financial Freedom for Women

a) Which situations, incidents, struggles, challenges, experiences or special moments in this chapter can I identify with?
b) What of significance did I learn from any of the contributors featured in this chapter?
c) Which strategies, tools, skills or hints will I be able apply in my own life?

Take it a step further:

Women who have elected to continue with careers while raising children and running a household have a formidable responsibility ahead. As a result of juggling multiple tasks, she often has very little free time. So when it comes to money, men are usually the ones taking care of the financial management portfolio of the family and household. The implication is that women are very often not as financially fit as they can or should be.

The process of becoming financially fit is really a simple one - it does not require a degree in applied mathematics nor does it require a diet of bread and water. It does, however, require commitment and fair degree of knowledge.
Remember - when you are economically self-sufficient, it is easier to remove yourself from vulnerable situations.

Questions to ask in order to ensure that the basics of your money matters are in place:

1. Do I have the following in place:
•  A bank account in my own name
•  My motor vehicle registered in my own name
•  A monthly budget
•  A will - if it is a joint will, do I know what it entails?
•  Life cover
•  A retirement plan / pension plan
•  Disability insurance / disability cover
•  Our / my property registered in my name
•  A financial advisor / consultant I can trust

Yes / No

2. Which of the above is not in place, when will I have it in place and who will be involved to assist me?

WHAT WHEN WHO
     
     

3. Do I really understand the following:
•  Personal Tax
•  Inflation
•  Capital Gains Tax
•  Marriage Contract
•  Divorce Settlement
•  My / our family's financial situation

Yes / No

4. Which of the above needs further reading, clarification or research, by when will it happen and who could possibly assist me?

WHAT WHEN WHO
     
     

5. Am I guilty of believing in and endorsing the following money myths?
•  Someone will take care of my money matters for me! Yes / No
•  Investing my money is a risk - I could lose everything! And it takes far too much
    time! Yes / No
•  I don't have enough money to invest! Yes / No
•  Financial independence will lead to more personal conflicts! Yes / No
•  It will be selfish to take care of myself and plan my future! Yes / No

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Chapter 5: Communicate with Confidence

Communication Requirement of the Organisation of the Future

a) Which situations, incidents, struggles, challenges, experiences or special moments in this chapter can I identify with?
b) What of significance did I learn from any of the contributors featured in this chapter?
c) Which strategies, tools, skills or hints will I be able apply in my own life?

Take it a step further:

Research indicates that the organisation of tomorrow is a flatter, more responsive organisation that is built around people. The traditional boss-subordinate relationship will be replaced by employees working in clusters who complement each other and who are focussed on the accomplishment of the company's vision and mission and the satisfaction at all costs of their customer's needs.

In the world of work, the ability to relate with others has therefore become most critical. The employee of tomorrow will require expert interpersonal skills in order to survive in this new world of work. In short, this means that you will need to be interpersonally effective by becoming behaviourally flexible!

There are five interpersonal skills that will be required of the employee who wants to succeed in the organisation of tomorrow. These include:
1. The ability to manage your image and the impressions that are formed about you. This includes the ability to present yourself competently to colleagues and clients at all times!
2. The ability to communicate effectively and to get your message across to others in such a way that they interpret it in exactly the way you wanted them to!
3. The ability to understand other people's behaviour and to interpret this behaviour correctly.
4. The ability to influence your colleagues and clients' behaviour, attitudes, opinions and beliefs and to persuade them to think and act the way you want them to.
5. The ability to use power to your own advantage and to the advantage of others.

Do you have what it takes to be an effective communicator in the world of work of tomorrow?

To be effective personally, you need to answer YES to as many questions as possible.
Think about these things:

1. Can you listen to others adequately? Yes / No
2. Do you encourage others to discuss their problems with you? Yes / No
3. Can you tolerate others disagreeing with you in general and in public? Yes / No
4. Can you deal with an unpleasant situation without becoming unpleasant yourself?
    Yes / No
5. Are you usually able to raise sensitive issues? Yes / No
6. Do you like confronting others when they make a mistake? Yes / No
7. Do you find it easy to share you thoughts and feelings with others around you?
    Yes / No
8. Do you usually seek out new or different experiences or situations? Yes / No
9. Do you like change in general? Yes / No

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Chapter 6: Strategic Image Management

Image Management - Making Yourself More Marketable

a) Which situations, incidents, struggles, challenges, experiences or special moments in this chapter can I identify with?
b) What of significance did I learn from any of the contributors featured in this chapter?
c) Which strategies, tools, skills or hints will I be able apply in my own life?

Take it a step further:

An informal study including many of the women featured in this publication was conducted to determine how successful, high-profile and dynamic businesswomen manage to make themselves more marketable. The following strategies were emphasised and will help you too to make yourself more marketable - this can be confirmed by most of the inspirational women in this publication!

1. Increase your visibility. Be seen:
•  At events, in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV.
•  By writing an article for a newspaper or magazine about your area of expertise.
•  By saying yes to invitations to act as guest speaker or MC at business functions,
    community meetings or other conferences and events.

2. Become a lifelong learner:
•  Make it a challenge to become a lifelong learner who develops new skills constantly
   (formally and informally), finds ways to improve existing qualifications, is well read
    and knowledgeable.

3. Find a mentor:
•  Select women whom you look up to and respect for different areas in your personal
    and business life.
•  Build and maintain a formal mentor / mentee relationship.
•  Get together regularly, ask questions and learn!

4. Be passionate about what you do:
•  Allow for some introspection and ask yourself whether you are really passionate
    about it. If this is not the case, it might be time to make some changes!

5. Be different, be unique:
•  Make sure that what you offer your employer, your colleagues or your clients is
    unique, fresh, different, new, creative!

6. Manage your image:
•  Carefully manage the impressions that are formed about you on a daily basis.
•  Manage how people see you / what they see of you.
•  Manage what they say about you.
•  Manage what they hear about you and from you.

7. Get involved:
•  Join the Businesswomen's Association, the Sowetan Women's Club, SAIM, Rotary
    Club, Toastmasters or International Women's Forum.
•  Benefit from excellent networking opportunities and professional and social
    interaction with like-minded individuals.

8. Do that little extra:
•  Write articles for the local paper or specialist publications.
•  Give extra lessons or find ways to empower others.
•  Lecture part-time at a college or university.
•  Get a creative weekend job.
•  Invest time in the community.

9. Make a difference:
•  Use your power to empower others.
•  Make a difference in the community by offering your time or resources.
•  Ask: what can I give without expecting anything in return?

10. Network, network, network:
•  Research at Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership confirms it: women are
    natural networkers. "Talking leads to contacts and contacts lead to business
    opportunities."
•  Make networking a monthly goal and see how your confidence and database will
    grow.
•  Build and maintain relationships.
•  Do not waste contacts and spread the benefit by giving that business card to
    someone who can use it if you can't.

Questions to assist you to make yourself more marketable:

Question 1:
List what you can do to make a difference, get involved or do that little extra. Select only one activity per month for the next six months. Write it down.

Question 2:
Set a personal networking goal: Going to one event, or meeting one new person per month for the next six months. Now plan which event/s it will be for each of the next six months. Write it down.

Question 3:
Name three groups/clubs/organisations in your immediate area that will allow you to network and to spend time with like-minded individuals. Now identify the group that you would like to join. Do research on the organisation, their structure, projects, benefits for members and how to join. Join a new group this month.

Question 4:
Which area of your personal or professional life will benefit from interaction with a mentor? Who will be an appropriate person? Now set up a meeting for your first mentor / mentee get-together.

Question 5:
I will ensure that I am well read and knowledgeable by subscribing to and reading (newspaper / magazine)?

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Chapter 7: Education and Training - Investing in Your Future

Education - A Lifelong Investment; Becoming a Lifelong Learner and Teacher

a) Which situations, incidents, struggles, challenges, experiences or special moments in this chapter can I identify with?
b) What of significance did I learn from any of the contributors featured in this chapter?
c) Which strategies, tools, skills or hints will I be able apply in my own life?

Take it a step further:

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an experience is worth a thousand pictures - Dr Bruce Copley

The concept of lifelong learning is a new one in education, training and development and has become one of the most profound strategies in our country with which to develop young and old.

There was a time when we believed that it was simply OK to finish school and get a job! Or to get that MBA certificate framed, put it on the wall and then finally relax! Today, however, employees are encouraged to maintain an openness to learning and growth - we are all expected to carry on learning until we die, to keep on reminding ourselves that we are never too old to learn.

A commitment to lifelong learning is essential for organisations, businesses and individuals who want to be open, responsive, flexible and adaptive to change and improvement. Remember, organisations cannot grow if people do not grow. The concept of lifelong learning is relatively new and for some it may seem to apply exclusive to those with all available resources at their disposal. This is not the case. All people have an inherent desire to know more, to explore, to develop and to compete for success. Expose yourself to new opportunities for learning at work and in everyday life. Utilise all available resources, e.g. intellectual capital of colleagues, partners in business, educational institutions, the corporate environment and all personal and life experiences. Continue to explore, to grow and to make the most of all possible learning opportunities. Realise that we can basically be taught by anything, even a rock!

Hints and questions to assist you in becoming a lifelong learner:

1. Make the most of all learning opportunities on a daily basis and explore all possible opportunities of learning eagerly. Continuously enrol for short courses, workshops and refresher courses to keep abreast of the latest trends and developments in your field. Attend seminars or conferences to learn from specialists. Set an example - it will encourage others to do the same!

Question: What learning opportunities are offered in the form of workshops, refresher courses, conferences or seminars that I can enrol for within the next month? For the rest of this year? Is it time to improve my qualifications by means of formal studies at a university, technikon or reputable college?

2. Age is not an obstacle to learning, rather a stepping-stone. Your knowledge and wisdom, acquired over the years, provide a valuable frame of reference for future learning.

Question: What am I good at? What do I do well? What do I know? What have I learnt in the School of Life over the years?

3. Learning is not a selfish process - share it with others, cognitively, spiritually, emotionally and physically where possible. Make it a daily activity to distribute reading material (like professional magazines), to e-mail interesting articles or industry information to colleagues or simply encourage staff to share their on-the-job learning with one another, even learning from mistakes.

Question: Who can benefit from what I know? What can I teach them? When and how can I create opportunities to transfer my knowledge and empower others?

WHAT WHEN WHO
     
     

4. Do not wait for someone to create an environment for learning, but be the master of your own challenges in learning - and create a learning environment here and now, an environment that appeals to all five senses and allows you to enjoy the process.

Question: What within a restrictive environment or with restricted resources can I do to create a more holistic learning environment - involving all the senses, which is learner focused and conducive to learning? A learning environment in which I feel comfortable and eager to learn?

5. Have fun - learning empowers impoverished souls, enriches the spirit, provides wealth and wellness. Why would you not become and stay a student for life? The challenge is to become a lifelong learner by committing yourself to learning every day - from your job, from colleagues and even from customers. Most importantly, however, is to apply this learning to your job and your life.

Question: What did I learn from a colleague or customer today? How will I apply it in my personal job situation or life?

Most importantly, do not forget to celebrate learning achievements at work or at home! Throw a party when you / someone else upgrades their qualifications, or make sure that you acknowledge the achievement at a meeting.

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Chapter 8: Health - Making a Difference

Health - A Healthy Balance

a) Which situations, incidents, struggles, challenges, experiences or special moments in this chapter can I identify with?
b) What of significance did I learn from any of the contributors featured in this chapter?
c) Which strategies, tools, skills or hints will I be able apply in my own life?

Take it a step further:

No right-minded woman would want to sacrifice her health and happiness or that of her family in favour of career success. However, career-oriented women everywhere agree that managing the competing demands of home and work is their greatest single source of stress. The further you venture on your career journey, the harder it is to keep the balance between your personal and professional interests, work and play, stress and relaxation. And unfortunately the workplace is seldom designed to accommodate the multiple roles that you have to play.

The following guidelines may be helpful in keeping the balance:

Resist the desire that all achievers have - to do everything yourself. A happy home demands teamwork from everyone and an equally busy and upwardly mobile partner and children can make a substantial contribution towards the smooth running of your home. Discover ways to share the load:

Question: Which of the responsibilities attached to your roles could be delegated to other family members / individual sharing the home?

Specific Responsibilities / Tasks Things I Can Delegate To Whom
     
     

Question: Which support structures can be implemented / utilised to assist in the effective management of home and work?

Streamline your household management by asking the following questions:

Question: Which chores are really necessary? Which chores are nonessentials and can be eliminated? Is there a simpler way? Does anyone else prefer this job?

Manage your stress by keeping healthy, enjoying relationships, being creative and taking breaks!

Question: If you had a free week (all expenses paid, kids taken care of), what would you do?
(Your wish list is a clue to how you can find a little peace. Which of all those wishes could you act on now?)

Question: What gives you instant relief when you are stressed? What can you do that costs nothing?

Celebrate your family / those that are important to you, work or school accomplishments and successes. Have a family celebration! Celebrate regularly with your family and loved ones by taking off from your hectic work schedule to treat yourselves to a special meal, a picnic, a walk or a movie.

Write down the dates you have decided on for celebrating togetherness / individual successes / school or work accomplishments.

Date Occasion
   
   

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Chapter 9: The Art of Perseverance

Perseverance: Changing Obstacles into Stepping Stones

a) Which situations, incidents, struggles, challenges, experiences or special moments in this chapter can I identify with?
b) What of significance did I learn from any of the contributors featured in this chapter?
c) Which strategies, tools, skills or hints will I be able apply in my own life?

Take it a step further:

Everyone will experience obstacles in their lives that they haven't necessarily chosen for themselves. The real challenge is to make the right choices that will stop those obstacles from becoming baggage. Always remember that you may not be able to control the problem, but you can always control your attitude towards it. Sometimes a problem becomes so dominant that you think of nothing else but the problem. Train yourself to take a step back and shift your focus.

Finally it is important to make a deliberate choice to be happy! Yes, sometimes life is very unfair in the way it distributes problems. But I still believe that we can be happy - no matter- what happens - because happiness is not a matter of the circumstances that we find ourselves in, but a matter of choice.

Spend a moment thinking about a challenge that you face in your life right now and ask yourself the following:

1. Can I change my attitude towards the problem?
2. If so, how can I change my attitude for the better?
3. How will changing my attitude towards the problem affect the outcome / impact on
    my life?
4. Here are five reasons why choosing a better attitude towards this challenge is
    worth it for me:

Top of Page

Chapter 10: Speaking Out

Speaking Out! Say Your Say With Confidence

a) Which situations, incidents, struggles, challenges, experiences or special moments in this chapter can I identify with?
b) What of significance did I learn from any of the contributors featured in this chapter?
c) Which strategies, tools, skills or hints will I be able apply in my own life?

Take it a step further:

Getting more of what you want out of life, and saying your say when you believe it is called for, might require of you to become more assertive.

Assertiveness is the ability to stand up for your own rights, without violating the rights of others, to say NO without feeling guilty, to express some basic rights, like expressing yourself or making mistakes, expressing your needs and opinions, insisting on getting what you want and need (by using reasonable and fair means), exercising your authority by giving instructions and telling others what to do (without threatening or punishing them).

If you have identified some people with whom you need to be more assertive, you need to have all your facts at hand and be prepared as well. The more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel coping with the situation. The following checklist will enable you to improve your ability to be more assertive:

a) Improve your tone of voice.
    (Is it firm, decisive, calm and authoritative?)
b) Improve WHAT you say and plan an assertive message.
    (Am I prepared for my encounter with a problem person or situation?)
c) Watch your body language.
    (How do you sit, walk, stand? Have I checked my gestures and facial expression?)
d) Learn how to confront tough issues or people head-on.
    (Have I established the who, what, where, when, why and how of a situation in
     which I need to become more assertive?)
e) Do not get angry (was I aggressive?) and do not avoid the issue (am I being
    submissive?).

Exercise:

1. Think of a person with whom you need to become more assertive.
Now consider a typical situation in which you might find yourself with that person. Analyse that situation, using the following checklist and then plan your assertive message:

Situation:  
Who?  
When?  
Where?  
Why?  
How?  

2. Planning an assertive message.
The following sequence will help you plan an assertive message in a difficult situation or with one of your problem people. Imagine yourself in a location where an encounter is likely to take place. Imagine yourself using the following feedback sequence to manage the encounter. Prepare what you are going to say by finishing the following sequence:

When you __________ (do something) This happens __________ And I feel __________ Would you __________ (do something else) Because / that way / this would mean __________ I / you / they would feel __________ So what do you think?

3. Remember your "Assertiveness Bill of Rights":
•  You have the right to change your mind.
•  You have the right to make mistakes - and be responsible for them.
•  You have the right to say "I don't know".
•  You have the right to say "I don't understand".
•  You have the right to say "No".
•  You have the right to keep quiet.
•  You have the right to know what is going on.
•  You have the right to express your opinion and negotiate for change.
•  You have the right to be listened to.
•  You have the right to make decisions and bear the consequences of your choices
    responsibly.
•  You have the right to insist on courtesy and respect.
•  You have the right to decide what is important to you.
•  You have the right to notify others how their behaviour negatively affects you.
•  You have the right to offer no excuses for justifying your behaviour as long as it
    does not infringe upon the rights of others.
•  You have the right to express yourself in any way as long as it does not infringe
    upon the rights of others.

4. And now:
a) Arrange for a meeting or encounter where you will not be interrupted.
b) Set aside appropriate time to plan and process the problem.
c) Where necessary, arrange for others to be present or observing, to witness and to provide feedback.
d) Finally, imagine yourself walking away from the encounter, having achieved your goals. Hang on this image of success and replay it continually in your mind!

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Chapter 11: Social Responsibility - Giving Back

Social Responsibility - Service Above Self; Making it Work for You and for Others

a) Which situations, incidents, struggles, challenges, experiences or special moments in this chapter can I identify with?
b) What of significance did I learn from any of the contributors featured in this chapter?
c) Which strategies, tools, skills or hints will I be able apply in my own life?

Take it a step further:

The needs of society are challenging all of us to get involved in making a difference. Without love, care, compassion and understanding you cannot begin to reach out. Mobilise and motivate actions by incorporating a network of people from all spheres of life. You need empathy with the community and to understand how you can support the needy by using your profession, skills and experience to the best advantage as a basis for service.

Involvement calls for a holistic view of society. The physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of a community will ensure the full and complete restoration and sustainable healing process. Pre-set goals, e.g. "I want to assist the project by finding twenty volunteers to paint and restore the roof of the old age home, will give focused direction while communication will enable you to understand their plight."

Ask yourself the following questions: how, when, what and where could I assist. Giving of yourself, your skills and time adds credibility to your actions. Passion is the driving force in using ordinary people to achieve extraordinary goals.
True fulfilment is when you realise that you receive in abundance for the sole purpose of giving.

Questions to assist you in "lending a hand":

Question 1:
Name five of your personal strengths, e.g. personality, education, experience, own wealth, networks, innovation, passion, etc. that will enable you to become involved in community upliftment.

Question 2:
In which avenue of service do you want to participate? (Examples: youth, education and training, elderly, feeding schemes, food gardens, job creation, the lonely, health care hospice, HIV/ Aids, cancer, etc.)

Question 3:
Name five organisations, active in your own community, that focuses on the needs of others. Many service organisations such as Rotary, Lions, Round Table, Hospice, MES Action, outreach programmes of institutions, churches and women's groups, etc. could be active in your area. Now identify the group that you would like to join. Do research on the organisation, their structure and involvement in projects and how to join as a member.

Question 4:
How can you use your profession (vocation) in reaching out to the communities? Name three actions.

Question 5:
List five goals or objectives that you wish to complete within the first year regarding your community involvement.

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Chapter 12: Proudly South African

Proudly SA! Being Proudly South African Today; Play Your Part in Promoting a Positive Image for SA

a) Which situations, incidents, struggles, challenges, experiences or special moments in this chapter can I identify with?
b) What of significance did I learn from any of the contributors featured in this chapter?
c) Which strategies, tools, skills or hints will I be able apply in my own life?

Take it a step further:

There is a growing realisation today that the dominant world powers may not hold all the solutions. In a world searching for a better tomorrow, success depends on finding sustainable, creative solutions to every person's needs. Our country, at the southern tip of Africa, inspires the world to new ways of doing things, because our unique combinations create refreshing possibilities.

Anyone in this country - and around the world - can have a positive effect on the quality of life of all South Africans, specifically thought and opinion leaders, decision makers and all South Africans, locally and abroad.

Reasons to believe include:
 
1. Who we are:
•  Extraordinary people
•  Tenacious boundary breakers
•  Daring pioneers
•  People with courage and determination
•  People with incredible achievements
•  People with African soul, spirit and energy

2. What we have:
•  A unique combination of governance, democracy, infrastructure and
   entrepreneurial pioneering
•  Productive diversity
•  A world of contrast and a world of choice
•  Experience, opportunities, resources

3. How we do it:
•  Through sociopolitical and economic transformation
•  Through a collaborative approach
•  Through active adaptability
•  By being a learning nation
•  Through our ability to make a quantum leap
•  Through agility

Questions to assist you in becoming a positive and proud South African today:

1. Add a name (or two!) of South Africans you are proud of, who are:
•  Extraordinary people
•  Tenacious boundary breakers
•  Daring pioneers
•  A person with courage and determination
•  A person with incredible achievements
•  A person with an African soul, spirit and energy

2. What is unique to our country and our people that makes it interesting, different and worthwhile to live in?

3. What aspect of our sociopolitical (and economic) transformation are you really proud of?

4. Which qualities of your unique cultural or social background can you use to make our country a better place?

5. As a unique, courageous, determined, incredible person with an African soul, spirit and energy, YOU have the ability through a variety of creative actions, to make our country a better place. How will you do it?

6. And finally: List five goals or objectives that you can implement tomorrow and within the next week.

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