Fiona Kearns, Business Psychologist
Fiona is currently creating our Pushy Bitch Toolbox. Here’s a little more about her…
Tell us about what you do and why?
I’m a Business Psychologist and Commercially Savvy Senior Executive of an IT Company
I’m a huge champion of empowering people to do great work so that the whole organisation improves performance. It sounds simple but it’s not easy. Every individual is motivated differently and behaviour doesn’t tell us what’s going on inside their complex brains. Business Psychology uses scientific methods and research to predict and improve performance. With my commercial background, I very much lean on the practical side of things. Combined with the evidence-based approach of business psychology I help organisations improve performance in a real world way. I distinguish myself by focusing on the bigger picture and then empowering organisations to take practical steps to lead there.
Can you tell us about one big moment or situation where you had to draw on your inner bitch to get through it?
For me, a bitch is Being In Total CHarge. Some years back, I had a very difficult time when I become a senior leader and it was so personally battering, it took me years to recover. It felt my like own personal glass cliff (look it up, Ryan & Haslam 20061 it’s fascinating!) At that time, drawing on my inner bitch was resigning as that was how I could Be In Total CHarge of my life again. All the wisdom seems to say never quit but I was never going to come out on top in that situation. I was incredibly ashamed of failing at my dream job. Now, I view it from a completely different perspective.
When was the last time your inner bitch came out?
Last time my inner bitch came out it was to help an acquaintance with a business challenge that made it’s way to the public domain. I knew I could help but felt challenged about seeming to capitalise on their situation. Finally, I took charge and offered assistance which was very gratefully appreciated.
What triggers your bitch?
Usually, it’s something that impacts me personally like the situation above or where I feel I’m being taken advantage of. In the latter situation, I remind myself to focus on the actions of others not their words and that help me see the situation properly. Then, I decide on the best strategy and I’m unstoppable.
What are your confidence/self esteem wobbles (we all have them!)
Generally, I put on a very good front but my confidence/self-esteem achilles heel is wanting to be liked. My mood can be a big factor in my wobbles so I try sleep on it and wake up with a different perspective.
Who are your bitch icons and why?
It’s not necessary for me to look at celebrities, politicians or business leaders for icons. I’m most inspired by women I know personally – my friends and family. I often reflect on how lucky I am to know these impressive women. It gives me hope that I might be impressive to them! In addition, I get to see first-hand the challenges they encounter, how they overcome them and best of all I know they’re not perfect but that’s what makes them so exceptional.
What’s your favourite piece of advice for anyone looking to find her inner bitch?
Look beyond the word ‘bitch’ and brainstorm what it means for you. You’ll find it eye-opening and it’ll help you focus on what you need to do to be in totally charge of your own life.
Where can we find you? (site/insta etc)
1 Michelle Ryan, Alex Haslam, (2006) “What lies beyond the glass ceiling?: The glass cliff and the potential precariousness of women’s leadership positions”, Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 14 Issue: 3, pp.3-5, https://doi.org/10.1108/09670730610663150