Melbourne Business School News New virtual workshop series designed for women leading from home

New virtual workshop series designed for women leading from home

Melbourne Business School is launching a new series of webinars for women leaders facing the challenges of working remotely.

Melbourne Business School Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour Carol Gill

The Women in Leadership Workshop Series will begin on 8 October, with a webinar featuring Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour Carol Gill on Managing Difficult Conversations.

"When people are at home, it's not just about conflict with work colleagues or managers that could occur, you might also be having conflict or difficult conversations with a partner," she says.

"We know that women tend to take up a greater share of home duties and looking after children and other dependents, who may be more likely to go to her rather than her partner. Colleagues also might assume she's always looking after the kids if they can't reach her when they want to."

Associate Professor Gill says that while conversations with partners and family are difficult in the current climate of increased anxiety over job security and financial stress, communicating with work colleagues can also be a breeding ground for misunderstandings.

"A lot of problems arise from what is called asynchronous communications, when you send an email. For example, someone told me very nicely the other day that I came across as blunt in an email – but I think I was just busy," she says.

"You have to be more intentional or extroverted when communicating in situations like that. Both parties have to include more messaging about what's happening in their situation so each party has information about the context they are operating in.

"Women also need to communicate skilfully to manage perceptions of others stemming from unconscious gender bias."

As with other events in the series, the Managing Difficult Conversations workshop will be based on content usually delivered in Melbourne Business School's Women in Leadership Program, which was unable to run in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Other contributors to the series will include Professorial Fellow Amanda Sinclair, who will host a workshop on Quieting the Critic Within in November, and Professor Mara Olekalns, who will deliver a workshop on negotiation skills in December.

Each one-hour workshop will feature practical tools that women – as well as men – can use to minimise conflict and maximise productive outcomes in difficult situations, along with a Q&A session where participants can share experience and advice with each other.

"The webinars are an important way to get women leaders together in the same room in 2020 to learn from each other and not just our fantastic faculty members, such as Amanda Sinclair, who helped start the Women and Management dinner nearly 30 years ago, and Jody Evans, who more recently started the Women and Leadership Program," says Associate Professor Gill.

Associate Professor of Marketing Evans will co-host the first workshop with Associate Professor Gill. Learn more and register to attend at the Managing Difficult Conversations page.

To keep up to date with Melbourne Business School webinars, visit our Events page.

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