Avoid doing this, it doesn’t help

As Kristy explained to me her struggle with planning her MAT leave which would incorporate KIT days, I realised how unhelpful it is.

Speaking in abbreviations can really cloud your message.  When your discussion involves you, your future, the support you need, the plans you have I recommend dropping as many abbreviations as you can.  

Make sure it’s super-clear for your colleagues.  Remind them – and yourself – of the importance of what’s about to happen.

MAT Leave – Maternity Leave – is one of the biggest developments in any woman’s life.  The way of working, the adjustment in your body, the adjustment to your whole life and how you think about yourself is encompassed in the phrase “Going off on Maternity Leave”.  The abbreviation takes away some of the power of what it actually means and represents.  Why do that?

KIT Days – Keeping In Touch Days – again, critical for you to plan, to have on the radar and be intentional about when you get to that stage.  

These are, of course, just two of a myriad of abbreviations you’ll hear and potentially use every day.  Some more key and influential than others.  

Another client of mine was Head of Domestic Violence Campaigns for a local Council.  It was abbreviated to DV Campaigns.

A group of nurses came to hear her speak and she was told they thought the talk was about Diarrhoea and Vomiting.
We also assume others understand all the abbreviations we use.  I know I often haven’t a clue what a client will be referring to when she talks about an “SLA” for example – Service Level Agreement.  I always ask.  Confusion and misdirection can result if you don’t.

As for signing off an email KR or VBW – Kind regards or Very best wishes – I’d rather the person didn’t bother !  If you can’t take the extra 3 seconds it takes to type it in full, don’t.  

My response to that is KMA.  You might have to look that one up.

3 articles to share with you  which are worth reading for further inspiration, ideas and strategy.  3 things I love!

  1. Discussing a Payrise – an article I wrote for Freelance Magazine.  Whilst it’s focussed on freelancers, the principles are just the same for corporate women.  It’s like a Chess game, whether you play Chess or not, it’s more than one conversation/move…
  2. Women Talk Too Much – “Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee believes women are the culprit when it comes to meetings that drag on too long.”  Any woman who’s not had to endure men over-talking and taking too much time in a meeting hasn’t worked for very long.  
  3. Women Are Better In A Crisis – my friend Lissa alerted me to this from the Harvard Business Review.  It’s a positive assertion that our flexibility, willingness to listen, collaborative tendencies all point to great leadership in a crisis.

 And talking of great leadership role models….

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