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Women in need, need other women, indeed

Columnist Kristen Asleson says when moms need a helping hand, often they turn to other women who can help carry the torch.

Women at Work - Kristen Asleson column sig
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The first couple of weeks after school lets out are hectic; and that goes for working women who have kids and even those that don’t.

If you are perplexed by that statement, let me explain – women who have a child or children are often trying to get schedules, nannies, babysitters, camps, and other summer items organized and in a routine. At times, that can take them away from their work responsibilities, which leaves those up to others. Therefore, coworkers are impacted by this, and those coworkers, may or may not have children.

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Make sense? And, sometimes, emergencies arise outside of the normal start-of-summer chaos that really throw one for a loop, especially if there is a deadline involved. And when this is the case, it sure is nice to have a “buddy” at work who can pick up the slack at a moment’s notice.

Women like that, the ones you know you can turn to while in crisis mode, are irreplaceable.

For instance, just this week, there was a miscommunication between a leader of a team and an administrative assistant. To make matters a little more serious and urgent, it also involved a grant application that had a due date of, yes, that very day.

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Once the panic subsides, one must be able to leap into action and solve the problem. Of course, two heads are better than one, so one person dove right in and called “her person” she relies on to help get the job done. Did it get completed? With a couple of phone calls and emails to get started in the right direction, the collaboration began. After a lengthy conference call between the two discussing facts and figures, the grant was completed and submitted.

Teamwork at its finest.

The best part of having a person like this at work, is the comfort level. Throughout the conference call, we were able to say, “No, that isn’t right, or, no, let’s put this.” Or even, “Are you out of your head, no.” And, neither woman involved was offended, put off, or pouty over the conversation. The comfort level to disagree and talk through was high, and that pays off in the long run. Coworkers who can work together quickly, while being productive is fantastic to say the least. That “can do and let’s get this done,” attitude goes far.

What is the benefit of having this type of coworker you can truly count on in a time of need?

For one, it creates a sense of calm while knowing what needs to happen will happen because the two of you working together is a dynamic duo to say the least.

Actually, there is a benefit for employers, aside from getting projects done, as well. When employees have coworkers as described above, it is creating job satisfaction. People do not leave a place of employment where there is satisfaction, no matter how small. Having great coworkers or team members may seem trivial, but it is not. To some, that’s all it takes to retain their employment.

Matter of fact, according to the Gallup organization, “people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs.”

Although the poll mentions having a best friend at work, that is not exactly what is meant by having your “person” that you can lean on in times of need. In fact, some of our coworkers who we also deem as friends, aren’t necessarily the ones we turn to when projects and/or tasks need completing.

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Kristen Asleson is owner of Midwest Virtual Assistants. Send comments and ideas to news@postbulletin.com .

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