The Fair Play Method: Tara Ryan’s Approach to Work-Life Balance

December 8, 2023
Content Marketing | Marketing Strategy | Taking the Lead

Episode Summary

In this episode of Taking The Lead, host Christina Brady welcomes Tara Ryan, CEO & Founder of InfiniDEI, for an insightful discussion on leadership and work-life integration. Tara shares her journey, highlighting the challenges and triumphs she experienced in her career. She emphasizes the importance of understanding one’s own values and priorities to achieve a fulfilling work-life balance.

Tara delves into her Fair Play Method, a unique approach to managing work and personal life. She explains how this method has helped her navigate the demands of her career while maintaining her well-being. The conversation also touches upon the evolving workplace culture and the role of leadership in fostering inclusive and supportive environments.

The episode concludes with Tara offering valuable advice to aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs. She stresses the significance of resilience, adaptability, and the empowerment of women in the workplace. Tara’s insights offer listeners practical strategies for personal and professional growth.

Featured Guest

Name: Tara Ryan

What she does: CEO & Founder

Company: InfiniDEI

Noteworthy: Tara Ryan is a seasoned professional in sales and technology, with experience at notable companies like HubSpot and Brightcove. She has a profound focus on leadership, work-life balance, and empowering women in sales.

Key Insights

Human-Centric Leadership in Sales

Tara Ryan discusses her experience in sales leadership, emphasizing the importance of human-centric conversations for team and individual growth. She reflects on her career journey, noting a lack of time for meaningful discussions in sales due to high work demands. This realization led her to pivot towards coaching and eventually start her own business in 2021. Tara’s journey underscores the value of personal connections and development in the professional realm, even in fast-paced environments like sales.

The Fair Play Method and Organizational Structure at Home

The episode highlights the Fair Play Method, a concept developed by Eve Rodsky, which addresses the lack of structure in household management. Tara Ryan explores how most people accept unstructured family dynamics as normal, without realizing the mental load it carries. The method aims to organize home life with the same clarity and expectations as a professional organization, thus promoting equity and efficiency in managing household responsibilities.

Implementing Fair Play in Relationships

Tara Ryan discusses the challenges of implementing the Fair Play Method in relationships, emphasizing the need for a non-confrontational approach. She points out that often, attempts to adopt this method occur under high emotional tension, leading to resentment and frustration. The key is to approach the method in a way that fosters cooperation and understanding, rather than assigning tasks in a manner that feels burdensome or unilateral. This insight is crucial for couples seeking to balance household responsibilities fairly without straining their relationship.

Episode Highlights

Challenges for Women in Sales

Tara Ryan addresses the difficulties faced by women in sales, emphasizing the gendered division of unpaid labor and childcare responsibilities. She observes that even before having children, women often carry a ‘second shift’ after work, managing household duties. This, she notes, significantly hinders their professional growth.

“I started to see like really two themes that were holding women back […] they were working their full-time job at work. And then also working the second shift after work to make sure that their entire home was functioning.”

Mental Load and Personal Challenges

Tara discusses the mental load and burden women often carry, particularly during challenging periods. She reflects on a difficult time in her life, highlighting how it provided valuable insights and lessons, despite being a dark phase.

“It was so hard — the toughest darkest time of my life — but it did give me a lot of really incredible gifts and insight into where I wanted to take my life.”​​

Managing Emotions in the Workplace

Tara speaks about the importance of recognizing and managing emotions in the workplace. She advises against reacting impulsively in high-stress situations, emphasizing the need for strategic and inclusive thinking.

“And really being able to identify our stressors […] our cognition is going to be low, and we’re not going to present a solution, even if it is with good intentions. We’re not going to be able to present a solution with an inclusive lens in mind with a like a strategic lens in mind right?”​​

Communication and Workplace Dynamics

The conversation shifts to how individuals often overlook the need to address minor irritants in the workplace, like ‘a rock in our shoe,’ which can impede overall performance. Tara and Christina discuss the potential for a deeper conversation on workplace emotions and communication.

“So instead we all just run a marathon with a rock in our shoe because we couldn’t possibly take the time to stop, slow down, take the rock out of our shoe, so that we can run quickly and comfortably.”

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