Dear member,

Adjusting to the idea that things aren’t ‘going back to how they were’ isn’t an easy one. Nor should it be. Growth, moving forward, and future thinking are not easy…but if you aren't challenged, you don't grow.

I am in awe of WWLF’s commitment to growth. Your WWLF board is discussing how we can support our members and create equal opportunities for those in the wireless industry. We encourage you not only to attend our events, but to become part of change on a larger scale.

Keep pushing yourself and those around you to do better. Keep having difficult conversations with yourself and your peers. Keep challenging your leadership and professional groups to support you so you grow personally and professionally.

This year has been stormy. We need to root ourselves in our support groups to maintain healthy growth. WWLF is proud to be a part of your support group…and we want your feedback about what you need to grow and thrive right now.

The future may be uncertain, but I believe the future includes new opportunities for those who are female, diverse, and who work together.

Sincerely,

Ashli Fuselier

Secretary, WWLF

Conflict resolution in the age of COVID

Under the best of circumstances, many people find conflict resolution challenging. And in 2020, none of us are under the best of circumstances.

“Before now, people's attitudes and deep feelings about conflict wouldn’t emerge quite as quickly,” says Elaine Yarbrough, PhD, Founder and President of The Yarbrough Group. This consulting group provides a range of services world-wide for Developing the Human Side of Organizations to Ignite the Genius of Systems, Teams and People. One of her specialties is conflict management.

“Now, stakes are higher. People are scared and worried, so every negative default about conflict comes faster,” she said. “And people have a hard time thinking ‘and/both’. They think ‘either/or’. This mindset, coupled with people’s natural defaults, impedes their clarity of thinking.

“It makes conflicts worse. When we're in that state of reaction, our brain can't access its creative and complex problem-solving centers.”

Yet even with the challenges we’re facing, basic conflict management tools still apply.

Tool #1. Confirm there’s a conflict

This seems obvious, but even under normal circumstances people have a hard time distinguishing between an annoyance or a confrontation and a conflict.

“Let’s say you and I both want respect and don’t think we’re getting it,” explains Yarbrough. “That’s not really a conflict because we can both have respect. And because we’re different, we probably want it in different ways. People think differences equal conflict, but usually differences are the way out of the conflict.”

True conflicts come about when your interests and the other party’s interests are at cross purposes—or you think they are. Which leads to the next step.

Tool #2. Investigate your interest

You know what you want. A raise. A promotion. Your kid to put away her shoes. But why do you want it?

“What you want is your position. Why you want it is your interest,” explains Lindsay Yarbrough Burr, CEO of The Yarbrough Group. Burr specializes in multi-generational workplaces and women’s leadership.

“You want the raise because you want to know you’re valued. You want the promotion because you want to know you’re a respected team member. You want the shoes put away, so your house feels like a welcoming place.”

If you aren’t sure of your interest, try asking yourself these questions: What would happen if I got this? What would happen if I didn’t? What would those things mean to me? What is that symbolic of?

“When you know your interest, you can jump into problem solving differently,” explains Burr. “If you can’t have the promotion, what else would help you feel respected?”

It’s this partthe problem solving—that’s the creative work of conflict resolution. And often if the other party understands your interest, it can help them meet it. They know you aren’t coming from a place of trying to control them.

Tool #3. Think about their interest

Speaking of control, Yarbrough says when she asks someone what they think the other person’s interests are, the answer is almost always “control.”

If you aren’t getting what you want, or think you aren’t getting what you want, you feel controlled. But what if control isn’t their motivation?

“Asking ‘What if it’s not control…what else could it be?’ is one of the most powerful tools you can use on yourself or with someone you’re coaching,” Burr says. “Often you don’t know why the other person really wants something. And the best way to know is to ask.”

Tool #4. Refill your resilience

“Resilience helps bolster your ability to stay calm, get connected, and have clarity,” says Burr. “It’s one of the keys to resolving conflict.”

Right now, though, most people's usual ways of rebuilding resilience are gone. "For some people it was going to the gym, or seeing family, or even listening to a favorite podcast during a commute,” Burr explains. “Then you add in simple activities getting much harder…grocery shopping is an ordeal now. So your depletion rate is much higher, and your refill rate is much lower.”

If you’re facing a conflict at home or work, take some time to rebuild your resilience before facing it. It’s important because more resilience leads to hope.

Tool #5. Have hope

“When people don’t have hope, they don’t believe a conflict can be resolved,” says Yarbrough. “But we’ve seen hundreds of similar conflicts solved in a lot of creative ways.”

Admittedly the hope level these days is lower. It may be difficult to imagine that conflicts you’re facing today can be solved, given this year has thrown a lot of new situations at us. Yet people are remarkably creative and inventive.

Approaching a situation with the hope and expectation that it can be resolved is a vital step in conflict resolution.

Putting the tools into practice

“There are multiple interests in a conflict,” says Yarbrough. “You gain power in a conflict by meeting the other people’s interests.”

It also helps to establish the known constraints. In this particular time period, it’s easy because the whole world is in the same situation. (Which is about the only thing that is easier now.)

So, for example, what if you need flexibility in your work hours because schools are all virtual and you have kids too young to be home alone?

“I love the phrase, ‘as we all know.’ It’s such a powerful statement, coming from a place of wisdom,” says Yarbrough. “As we all know, we're all under extra stress. As we all know, schools and daycares are closed. As we all know, we still need to make a profit…”

“You also want to be clear that everyone matters,” adds Burr. “You matter to the company and the person you’re talking with. The person you’re talking with and the company matter to you.” By doing this, you’ve established you’re all coming from the same position of having value.

Once you’ve established the constraints and set goals in a common context, you can start exploring solutions. So don’t worry if you don’t have a solution completely planned out when you go to talk to someone.

Burr explains, “There’s great power in saying, ‘Because we all know, all of these things are true, I'm going to need some temporary flexibility. What key things do we need to talk about and what structures do we need in place so that this works for all of us?’”

“Then it becomes collaborative problem solving, rather than trying to persuade someone to give what they don’t want to give,” says Yarbrough. “Now you’re looking at how many ways can we solve this? And that’s the best it gets in conflict resolution… when people meet each other and begin solving the problem.”

To see more by Elaine Yarbrough, you can read her chapter "Transformative Conflict Matrix: A Guide for Practitioners" in OD Practitioner (Page 72), and her book with William Wilmot, Artful Mediation: Constructive Conflict at Work, available on Amazon or you can email ignite@yarbrgoup.com.

For more about the Yarbrough Group, check out their website, their blog "Catch Fire", or follow the company on LinkedIn.


Lower stress job searches: Part 1-Take control

"Uncertain times."

In just a few months, this phrase has become a clich√©. Yet it’s also our reality. Most of us simply don’t feel completely confident about what the next year holds.

Uncertainty brings with it a lack of control, which can lead you to feel unsettled and worried…possibly about your job and your career. 

In this two-part series, we’re talking with WWLF’s Director of Industry Relations, Carrie Charles. Charles is also a career coach and the CEO of BroadStaff, a talent staffing firm specializing in roles in the telecom and tech spaces.

This month we’re sharing what you can do right now to set yourself up for an easier job search in the future. Next month, we’ll go in depth on job searching and interviewing.

Insure your peace of mind

You insure your house or apartment. You insure your car. You insure your health. You insure your life. But have you done anything to insure your livelihood?

Most people don’t like to think about losing a job or looking for a new one. Yet, there are many reasons you may find yourself on the job market. Being laid off, yes, but also relocating, wanting to advance your career, or needing to find an all-remote position now that childcare options are limited.

Preparing now is like giving yourself a bit of insurance in the event you find yourself looking for a jobwhether the circumstances are in your control or not. As a bonus, most of these suggestions have benefits beyond your peace of mind.

1. Update your resume

“You really should do this once a year at least. And every time you get a promotion,” says Charles. “You should also do the same with your LinkedIn profile. If you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, you can hire professional resume writers.”

When you refresh your resume each year, your accomplishments are still in recent memory so you’re less likely to forget a key win. In fact, right after an annual review is a great time to make these revisions.

“Resumes aren’t just for job hunting,” adds Charles. “You need them for speaking engagements, proposals, and other business uses. And your LinkedIn profile is how a lot of people get to know more about you. Every professional should keep them both current.”

2. Keep connecting

“This is also something you should be doing regularly,” explains Charles. “How awkward is it when someone you haven’t heard from in 3 years reaches out to say ‘Hi’ and then asks if you know about any jobs?” 

“It's okay to reach out to someone you don't know on LinkedIn and let them know you’re building your network,” she adds. (For more LinkedIn tips on your profile and making connections, check out the Career Tip: Using LinkedIn article from our June 2020 issue.)

Connections are great for your career even if you aren’t expecting to be in the market for a new job.

3. Know what you really need

Ideally, it’s best to look for a job when you are still working, but that is not always possible.

“If you’re job hunting and you’re worried about paying bills, you’re going to be searching from a place of fear,” Charles says. “That’s not a great position to be in.”

She shares it’s smart to come up with a survival budget. This budget has only the essentials you need to survive a month. Housing payments, utilities, food—cut out all the things you could live without for a little while. Once you have that, multiply it by at least three and start saving as much as you can each month until you have that amount built up.

“Having six months of basic expenses is better, though,” says Charles. “The hiring process can take several months—even if you’re the top candidate.”

When you have this financial cushion, you can operate in a more thoughtful place. And if you never need to use it? Well, it will make a nice retirement gift to yourself!

4. Create a checklist

This is the least pleasant item on the list, but it’s an important one.

“Our identities are tied to our professional lives. It can be a real hit to your psyche to suddenly find yourself out of work,” explains Charles. “Those emotions can hurt your ability to make a plan."

Developing a strategy before you need it means you can move forward with a clearer head. Should you need it, your plan will help you remain calmer, give you control, and stave off inaction. 

Imagine what you’d need to do if you suddenly found yourself out of work and needing a new job.

What would you do and in what order? “The plan will be different for everyone,” Charles says. She adds that some items on the list could be:

  • File for unemployment
  • Call creditors and ask for extensions
  • Cancel unnecessary services and subscriptions
  • Update your resume (If you haven’t been doing that)
  • Reach out to connections
  • Find a recruiter
  • Sign up for job alerts through LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, and other job sites.

5. Express your emotions effectively

“Job changes are a big life event, even if you’re in complete control of the circumstances. And big emotions—especially if they’re negative—can keep you in a stuck place. Writing in a journal, talking with a trusted friend, meeting with a therapist…all of these can help you navigate your feelings,”
explains Charles.

“The point of these tips and suggestions isn’t to freak you out,” Charles concludes. “It’s to do as much in advance to ensure your quick success with minimal stress. It’s all about bringing as much inside your control as you possibly can.”

And control is something we’re all craving a bit more of in these "uncertain times."

What we're reading: Atomic Habits book review

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
Author: James Clear

Review by: Lynn Whitcher

If you are anything like me, you have a long list of things you want to finish, start, or stop doing. I want to drink more water (and less coffee), find the time to learn a new language, and stop eating sweets after dinner.

Atomic Habits provides an easy to follow framework for creating new, good habits and getting rid of bad ones. It is based on the premise that small changes in behavior (our habits) can help us achieve big things.

Habits are the automated behaviors we have developed through our past experiences. Our weight is a lagging measure of our eating habits. Our knowledge is a lagging measure of our learning habits. Our clutter is a lagging measure of our cleaning habits. We get what we repeat.

In other words, we do not so much rise to the heights of our goals, but fall to the level of our systems, or habits.

To tackle a habit, it’s important to be mindful of triggers and track your responses. To create good habits or avoid bad habits, break them down into four partscue, craving, response, and reward.

To Create a Good Habit:

1.       Cue - Make it obvious.

2.       Craving - Make it attractive.

3.       Response - Make it easy.

4.       Reward - Make it satisfying.

Changing behavior starts with awareness. Recognize your triggers, or cues. Then find a satisfying, easy-to-accomplish reward for engaging in good new habits. When you see your cue, you will start to be motivated, or crave, that reward. The key to mastering a habit is repetition, so make the practice of your new habit effortless and automatic. The feeling of success in having achieved a new habit is critical because it is often what we remember most.  

Breaking a bad habit is similarly structured.

To Break a Bad Habit:

1.       Cue - Make it invisible.

2.       Craving - Make it unattractive.

3.       Response - Make it difficult.

4.       Reward - Make it unsatisfying.

Here, you want to identify your cues to bad behaviors and remove the temptation. If you are still confronted with your trigger, add a cost that makes that behavior unattractive, difficult, and unsatisfying.  A great way to do this is by appointing someone as an accountability partner so that your behavior has an element of being public and painful.

To create new habits, create a new image of yourself and any behavior that does not match this vision will not last. If you want to stop biting your nails, take pride in how nice and healthy your nails look. You will start to want to avoid behaviors that are incongruent (i.e., nail biting) with this new identity. Decide who you want to be and prove it with small wins.

A great way to start new habits is to tie them to existing ones. These new behaviors should take less than two minutes. If you want to floss more consistently, decide that when you put your toothbrush away at night, you will immediately pick up the floss. After picking up the floss, you will start flossing.

Stacking new action(s) onto an existing one makes it easier to accomplish your goal. To master your new habit, focus on repetition over perfection. Practice your new behaviors consistently.

To solidify your commitment to new behaviors, surround yourself in an environment where you have something in common with the group and they share your desired behavior. Harness the power of the tribe to your advantage.

After reading this book, the first thing I do when I wake up each morning is drink a glass of water. I have to do this before I let myself have any coffee. In fact, I drink my water while waiting for the coffee to brew. Before I eat a meal, I drink a glass or two of water. Before I got to bed at night, I drink a glass of water. This is a simple and painless way to work in five plus glasses of water day.

Now, I’m on to the next goal!

Membership Drive

WWLF is staying on track with our mission to provide educational and national networking experiences for the Wireless Industry. 

We could not provide our programs without the support of WIA, our Corporate Sponsors, and you, our Members.  We've been making the most of 2020 with many virtual events to keep our message alive. 

In case you've missed them, here are some of the highlights from Spring/Summer 2020:

  • Impact Events: 
    • "How to Pep-Up your PowerPoint Presentations" 
    • "Cookies from the Heart" to support Ronald McDonald house
    • National Zoom Yoga Day
    • “Best-kept leadership secrets” Zoom roundtable during Connect X
    • Virtual Happy hours all over the country to a Wine Tasting Journey in Chicago
    • Virtual Coffee Break, featuring Jennifer Fritzsche of Wells Fargo Securities
  • Great advice from Barb Teicher, Global Leader and Author, on her webinars addressing “Overcoming Isolation” and “Work-life Balance”
  • The announcement our 2020 Fellowship Recipient, Aneta Karkula
  • Mentorship kick-off event with 13 mentors and mentees paired for 2020
  • Corporate Membership Drives


You can look forward to these events in Fall/Winter 2020:

  • More Virtual Impact Events via Zoom
  • “Tech Talks” and professional webinars
  • Voting on the WWLF 2021 Leadership Team (you must be an active member to vote)
  • Monthly Newsletters
  • Complimentary Headshots at various local and regional events (check the website for more information)

Many of you renew your memberships at our regional or national events.  We want to encourage you to renew your annual membership enabling you to take advantage of our opportunities for 2020-2021.

If your membership has lapsed this year, or your renewal is upcoming, we want to offer you this 20% discount by using the code COMP2020.

As always, your feedback and suggestions are welcome as we add events and webinars to the calendar.  Please visit our website to contact our board members, check our events calendar, and access our current and past issues of our monthly newsletter. 

Please reach out to Beth Yglesias at 404-663-4674 or Julie Anderson at 813-708-1121 with any questions concerning your membership.

Thanks for supporting WWLF!

Renew or sign-up now!

Upcoming Events

Developing People on Your Team

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Noon (Eastern) | 11 AM (Central)| 10 AM (Mountain) | 9 AM (Pacific)

1 hour

Have you ever wondered how leaders develop winning teams?

Yes? Then you're in luck!

SBA's Ed Roach, VP Associate General Counsel - Legal Compliance, and Matt Kohl, Director of Business Intelligence, are sharing their leadership tips and strategies for developing team excellence.

Don't miss your chance to hear directly from these experts in our industry!      

Reserve your space here.

After registering, watch for your confirmation email with information about joining the webinar.

Not a WWLF Member yet? Sign up here!

Special thanks to SBA Communications, a WWLF Gold Sponsor, for bringing us this webinar! 

Organizing Your Remote Office for Maximum Productivity

Free LinkedIn Learning Course

Did you know that after two weeks, a person will not remember whether they met you in person or over video? 

For this and other great insight and tips for working remote, check out this LinkedIn Learning course, Organizing Your Remote Office for Maximum Productivity.  It’s available for free through September 5, 2020!


Have ideas for the newsletter? Email newsletter@wwlf.org.

Thank you to our exclusive newsletter sponsor


Connect with WWLF

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WWLF is committed to creating an inclusive environment where diverse voices are welcome in all aspects of our organization. WWLF values the knowledge and perspectives that our members bring to our organization from their diverse backgrounds. While all members are welcome to participate in both regional and national events, WWLF remains committed to the design and delivery of content to support the development of women in the wireless communications industry.


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