Respect and equality, that sounds like a really deep theme, doesn’t it? Well, the past week was full of really inspiring talks on some challenging and complex issues.

Equality and respect for each other

Sounds obvious, I know. I used to think that people around me were also aware of the issues of gender and cultural equality in society and in business. Living in a highly-educated and open-minded place like Cambridge made me think that I’m surrounded by open-minded people. And most of the time that is the case.

But it surprised me that when in a business situation some people seemed to be intimidated by a young professional with a strong voice and decided to use aggression and threats as a solution. It was a shock for me! Until now I’ve only read about gender discrimination and inequality.

It’s a tricky situation to be in and I’m struggling to find the best way to deal with it. Do you have any experience or suggestions how to deal with it?

Personal development and efficient teamwork

When you work for a company, the HR team helps you create a professional development plan (usually). When you work for yourself, it’s easy to forget about learning and training as there’s always so much to be done.

What do you do to keep yourself at the top of your game? Do you have a clear training and development plan in place for yourself and your team members (could be also subcontractors or business partners)?

These days, there’s so much available knowledge out there that sometimes it’s difficult to choose and commit to one thing. Aside from reading the latest blog posts and listening to industry podcasts, I’m trying to read at least one book a month and watch a few webinars or online courses. There are also lots of opportunities to learn in person from experts or peers. Networking can provide a great source of knowledge if you find the right groups.

The art of networking

Over the past week, I’ve also learnt to appreciate different networking experiences. In certain groups, you get to know people more closely, which allows you to have deeper and more meaningful conversations, while other networking groups are good for making appearances and building an awareness of your brand. It’s quite easy to see from which type of networking you get better value. Would you agree?

Book Corner

Over the weekend I reached for an older book that I read a while ago. As I was thinking a lot about creating valuable relationships I reached out for There is No B2B or B2C: It’s Human to Human: #H2H written by Bryan Kramer.

This book is quite short but packed with amazing facts, tips and inspiring quotes!

Communication shouldn’t be complicated. It should just be genuine and simple, with the humility and understanding that we’re all multi-dimensional humans, every one of which has spent time in both dark and delightful parts of life.

That’s human to human.

Do you identify yourself with this statement? Let me know in comments or tweet me at @lenkakopp.

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