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Marcela Niemeyer, Global HR Expert

It's a pleasure to introduce Marcela Niemeyer, a truly accomplished peep and change-maker in global HR. Marcela has worked with several multinational companies, from the banking industry to huge multinationals as a director of HR and HR business partner.

Her role is independent of the title and is one that is very dynamic due to the work she does with businesses to support their needs. This involves a lot of guiding senior leaders, coaching, mentoring, and advising. Her role also involves working with organizational development, succession planning, diversity, equity, and inclusion, talent acquisition, return to office implementation, and learning and development. It's a lot about navigating through changes and new challenges that always come up and require resolution.

In our recent conversation with Marcela, we wanted to get to know more about the habits and rituals she follows daily to keep herself sharp. Without further ado, let's dive in, and start with what Marcela shared was her favorite part of her role.

What do you love most about your role?

There are always challenges and new things to learn, and I really love these challenges and the learning opportunities presented with them. I also love the collaboration piece - teams working together from different areas and countries. I like the partnerships at work and I love working globally. I work with very diverse teams and therefore, naturally, gain a lot of diverse perspectives.

What's one habit or ritual you need to start and finish your day and why is it non-negotiable for you?

Back in June of 2019, I started meditation again, and that has made all the difference. I've been trying to meditate for six years before 2019, and I couldn't. I tried many different techniques and apps. Then, I heard about Ziva meditation, from Emily Fletcher.

It's a meditation for high performers who have little leisure time. When I started Ziva meditation in June, I did it twice a day, first thing when I woke up (around 15 min), then at the end of the day. I meditate for how it makes me feel and the results that it brings. It's the three M's - Mindfulness, Meditation, and Manifesting. So with those components, I have an opportunity to reflect on the past, present, and future. It also makes me feel less stressed and I'm more productive because of it.

My day is very dynamic and things change all the time, but in general, I like to keep a schedule to limit distractions. I normally decide by the hour what I plan to do, ie. meditation from a certain hour to another, then I'll shower and eat breakfast until the next hour, then from eight to noon I'll plan to work on something else.

How do you limit distractions while working from home...or do you?

It's not minute by minute, but more or less. Following this, I have my To-do's that are pending items, both work and personal, that I write down daily. I like to keep them there otherwise I'm thinking about them throughout the day and I'll get distracted. Once I have everything on paper, I can just leave it there and know it won't be forgotten.

I always leave some extra time so that if something comes up, or a task ends up taking longer, I've already accounted for it. If I think something's going to take me one hour, I block off two. Emergencies and unexpected situations can always pop up. I also put down extra tasks at the bottom of my paper, so that if I do have extra time, or something took me less time than expected, I have added things to work on.

How does your team use asynchronous communication to stay in the loop while working remotely?

So as you mentioned, I'm used to working with global teams even before the pandemic. And if we think about asynchronous communication, it allows people to respond at their convenience. I think it's really great. In my teams, we use communication channels like emails, online forms, Microsoft teams, and collective documents that everyone can contribute to and share their ideas on. Overall, we use a mix of both synchronous and asynchronous communication.

When using asynchronous communication there's a huge trust element that needs to be consciously practiced. When you trust your teams, even if they are spread across the world, you trust them, you know they're working, and you know they're doing their best.

What do you believe makes you a successful leader?

Successful leaders have specific characteristics, one of which is supporting others to succeed. I focus a lot of time on the people I am leading and do my best to make them shine and lead them to discover their motivation.

I like being transparent in my communication. Also, something that I learned with the years is to be more vulnerable. Lastly, trust and collaboration!

Is there one particular podcast or Youtube channel that you can't stop listening to or watching?

There are two podcasts that I would recommend; one with a woman and one with a man.

  • Your Stories Don't Define You How You Tell Them Will - This one is from Sarah Elkins. She's really great, and interviews people from different backgrounds to speak about everything from business to personal life.
  • Mindset Mentor - Rob Dial is the host and he's always speaking about mindset shifts and positivity, which is very aligned with my philosophy of gratitude and positive leadership.

If you could be doing anything else than what you're doing, what would it be?️

I will keep working with global HR. I'm very, very passionate about the area I chose to work in and I don't want to be doing anything else. I just love what I do.