Orange County Branch Newsletter

August 2017

ASCE OC and SWE OC Joint Program - Pattie Grimm Presents

Head, Heart, and Guts Leadership - How to Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Your Team



Josue Candelario

Have you ever been involved in a project where you found it difficult to work with your teammate? Or perhaps the interpersonal communication was not as efficient as you wanted it to be? Well, we all have experienced these at one point - and it occurs even in the professional work force. To help shed some light on this topic, ASCE Orange County YMF and Orange County Society of Women Engineers hosted a soft skills workshop earlier this year on April 11, 2017.

The workshop was facilitated by Pattie Grimm, a certified training professional and an empowerment expert. Pattie helps organizations and individuals successfully navigate through their endeavors by providing tools for leadership and effective communication. She is also the author of “Quiet Women Never Changed History – Be Strong, Stand Up, and Stand Out.” This book has valuable career advice for both men and women who are looking to take the next step into leadership and was the core material explored during this workshop.

The event started with some friendly competition. We formed groups of eight and each team was handed a bag of building blocks. The rules were simple: the team with the tallest free-standing structure at the end of ten minutes won. By the end of this exercise the room was covered with unique (most likely not structurally sound) towers.

One of the towers built during the team building exercise

Now that the energy in the room had been raised, the real reasoning for the game was revealed. Pattie wanted us to reflect and look back at how people took on different roles in their team. Some instantly took charge of the situation while others organized the pieces or brainstormed ideas. The intent of this activity was to demonstrate that everyone had a different end product due to the individual qualities that comprised the team.

People’s “natural communication style” affects the whole and Pattie has organized these styles into four groups. First, there is the Eagle, someone who is decisive and direct. Second, there is the Peacock who is excited and interactive. Third is the Dove, someone who is supportive and sincere. Lastly, there is the Owl which is detail focused and careful. These four categories all have strengths and weaknesses and interact differently with each other resulting in different team dynamics.

Pattie explaining the four categories

Being aware of other peoples’ natural styles and learning how to approach them individually is an important skill to have. For example, if you have an Eagle personality type, you get straight to the point and are not afraid of confrontation. This personality may sometimes be perceived as being too aggressive and dominating compared to someone who is classified as a Dove. The key to having an efficient work relationship between the Eagle and Dove is acknowledging the differences between the two and working toward finding a middle ground.

The next topic was the “dos and don’ts” of leadership. Ask yourself these questions: “Who was the best, and conversely, worst leader you ever worked for? And what were the differences between the two?” Odds are the person leaving a positive impression was an effective leader and he/she was able to motivate you to do your best. An effective leader has a clear vision of who he or she wants to be in the future. This vision is usually influenced by others whom the leader respects. Having a plan for your style of leadership is important and sticking to that plan, even more so.

Lastly, Pattie left us with new people coaching skills so that we can bring out the best in others. Her four step method includes connecting with an individual, assessing their point of view, reinforcing what you see in them, and establishing a follow-up plan. This method is not only for the workplace but can be applied to someone in your life who may need some coaching. It is good practice to help others think positively about themselves because you may be making a connection with someone who will later have an impact on your career.

Overall, this event was a huge success! It provided soft skills that I could use for my career and made me reflect on what type of person I would want to be in the workplace. It was a pleasure working with Pattie Grimm and OC SWE and I look forward to working with them again. If you’d like to know more about YMF or when the next event is please visit our website at www.ymf-oc.org/

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