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Mindfulness Manufacturing


Jul 15, 2020

What does it take to progress your career when you are a woman in Manufacturing on the shop floor running production? Diana Soares joins us for this episode to discuss her journey over the past 30 years from loading parts, to leading plants through continuous improvement activities. As you may have already guessed, it has a lot more to do with mindfulness and relationships than it does being technical. Join us for some laughs and lessons to make your next day better!

  1. 00:55 Introductions, Mike and Trevor welcome Diana to the Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast.
  2. 4:27 It’s a man’s world, isn’t it? Diana speaks openly about a comment made to her after asking a question.  Being a woman in a manufacturing environment and the challenges she faced in the beginning.  Diana talks about working very hard, her main goal at that time was to learn everything and understanding the equipment, doing every job as a focus when she started.
  3. 6:58 Is everything okay, you don’t smile? This comment made by a team member took Diana back and really made her think.  Diana’s body language had the team members thinking she was upset and this changed things for her.  I had to show them that it is fun and I had to shift focus to be not only on the equipment but to ensure I spent time on the people. The team member that asked this question brought the mindfulness out in me and made me think about this.
  4. 10:07 How do you become more intentional? Diana explains ways of being more intentional as a leader.  Be authentic!  Be open to listen to feedback and don’t be afraid to step back, listen to the people and be true to yourself and you can make it anywhere in any role.
  5. 11:37 Do you remember the broom one Mike? Diana talks about an experience that she encountered a long time ago, first starting out.  I asked a team member to clean up and sweep and he said to her “I don’t’ get paid to sweep”.  Diana didn’t know what to do and headed for Mike’s office in a panic.  Diana and Mike took the time to role play the situation and practice on how to handle it.  Doing this helped to build Diana’s confidence and as time moved on with more role playing she became very good at handling all different situations.
  6. 15:46 We also had fun! Mike opens the conversation with Diana, even during the stressful times we always laughed and this helped me so much.  Diana speaks about when we had to get the work done we did it and we genuinely cared about each other, we we’re a team and when we could we always had fun and this helped so much during chaotic times.
  7. 16:30 Hotspot. Diana openly discussed about Mike putting her on the tougher areas, the “hot spots” She recalls one time being out on Line 12 a very strong male dominant team, we reduced from 18 to 11 and Diana thought how am I going to do this?  Diana speaks about taking the time to learn every station and this gained me a ton of respect.  Diana had people bringing her coffee and drinks and really warming up to her.  At the end, we produced more parts with less people and the team ended up being just amazing!
  8. 20:02 Short notices and coming to help others. Diana shares her experiences on being asked to go to other divisions to assist with operations and helping to improve the numbers.  Another time she was asked to go to another plant and not to focus on the equipment, she was asked to help with the people and ultimately the culture.  3 months of talking with the people!  Another experience was going to a plant the unfortunately experienced a fire and help them rebuild and get production going. The corporate world knew who Diana was and the value she offered!
  9. 22:34 So what do you do different? Diana had an AGM ask her, “so what do you do different’?  How do you get the numbers?  Diana’s reply was I don’t know and I truly didn’t know.  It was natural to be myself and be there working with the team, be yourself and be authentic.  Wherever Diana went the results followed and therefore those questions got asked.  Mike explains Diana’s ability to build a relationship was so great and worked very well and this is how she built teams and achieved results.
  10. 27:10 You put me and a co worker on opposite shifts. Diana shares a time when Mike put herself and another co worker on opposite shifts to achieve results.  The chemistry Diana had with this other leader was like no other.  The two of them created a one team culture across two shifts which is very hard to do. They both took care of each other and it was important for them to be one unit and one team.  At times, some teams will work against each other. People struggle on how to get two shifts to perform as one.  The best way is to not point the finger at the team member but to get the leadership together and share ideas and see how we can help each other so we all can be successful.
  11. 31:25 Spare me the labour pains, just give me the baby! Mike had a saying he said to Diana, “Spare me the labour pains and just give me the baby”! The intent was to deliver and don’t get caught up in excuses!
  12. 32:26 What advice would you have, a couple key take aways for our listeners? Never give up, be authentic to yourself and don’t be afraid to take a couple risks.  Mike and Trevor pay their compliments and respect to Diana for all she has done for them professionally and personally.
  13. 34:38 What was your first concert? Guns and Roses!  Stranded on an island what artist would you take with you?  Diana picks Eric Church!