5 things I’ve learned from being part of Elevate

5 things I’ve learned from being part of Elevate

5 things I’ve learned from being part of Elevate

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Amandy Jap

Mentee on the 2021 Elevate Programme 

The SCSI Women in Surveying Mentorship Program not only helped me meet many other women in my profession, but also connected me with my mentor, and also broaden my knowledge. Here are the 10 things I learned while participating in this program::

#1. Leadership


Leaders cannot exists without followers

Until recently, I thought one had to acquire all the skillsets and qualities necessary to be a successful leader.

However, one could possess all the traits of an effective leader, but not be a leader if one does not have a ‘follower’.

Manager and leader are not the same

Manager and leader are two different roles, but one can be both at the same time.

A Manager creates and assigns tasks and ensures that subordinates follow the steps appropriately.

A manager who exemplifies leadership, encourages his or her team to grow, to develop vision beyond the goal, and to bring out the best in them.

To become a highly effective leader, emotional intelligence is an invaluable skill, which consists of self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.


#2 Self Awareness


Self awareness, key element of  emotional intelligence

Through self-awareness, we can become a better version of ourselves by understanding and attending to our own and others’ needs.

If we lack self-awareness, for example, do or say something wrong in certain situations, we can negatively affect ourselves and others.

Additionally, it helps us with setting long-term goals,  stepping outside of our comfort zones, and understanding of our own intrinsic and extrinsic motivations.


#3 Strategic Thinking


How to think strategically

In order to accomplish a goal, we must have a strategy, which a long-term plan designed to achieve that goal.

To develop a strategy, we could use a variety of readily available.

An example given during the mentorship is a ‘2-1-4-3 Model’ ,which contains four main questions: where we are now, how we get here, where we want to go, what we are going to do.

Executing Strategy

Strategy is important, but execution is even more important, especially when it takes a team to execute it.

Hence, it is important to know what could hinder strategy implementation, for example, does everyone with different roles or levels understand what is required?

Also, It is important to assess the progress of strategy implementation efforts in a timely manner, e.g. is the strategy still up to date with the current company vision/ mission.


#4 Stakeholders & Communications


Identifying stakeholders

Strategic planning at the organizational level should begin with identifying the stakeholders.

It is important that we understand who they are, how they will be affected, and that we communicate with them early to avoid confusion.


Communication pitfalls

Moreover, other non-direct communication such as tone of voice, body language, communication style, and cultural differences should also be considered.

Furthermore, I learned that story is a good means of communicating, as it engage audiences better, and stick with them longer.

Storytelling can take many forms, but the most important thing is targeting the right audience, and speaking their language.


#5 Negotiation & Facilitation skills

Communication  is the ability to effectively and efficiently convey information to another, and neogitation is about reaching an understanding and solving differences through communication skills.

Having good negotiation skills would help with problem solving.

One interesting negotiation theory I learned is called Negotiation tactic (BATNA), which means ‘Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement.’

Having this mindset helps us to think what is our walkway point,  what we would do if we don’t make this deal and brainstorm ideas such as what else can both parties provide to each a deal.

Also, the other party may not always want money, it could be time, services or other terms.


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