Hi Elizabeth, can you tell us a bit more about your background?
"I'm true to myself and respectful of others, that's my ethics. It is the foundation of who I am. Ethics and respect go hand in hand" - Elizabeth Cowle, Managing Director of International Medical Clinic
I’m an Australian living & working in Singapore in the healthcare industry. I’m a mature person but at heart, I feel young. At the same time, I believe that with age, comes experience, knowledge and intuitiveness. Experience comes in different ways, in life and with people. And that, is really immeasurable and irreplaceable.
After gaining so much life experiences, I believe you have become a really wise person. Is there a new habit that you picked up along the way?
As you get older, the things that used to bother you, don’t have the same bearing anymore. Initially, I will always take a step back to analyse – and ask myself, "Does this incident really matter? Do I need to be affected by that problem?” – and then I’ll assess the bigger picture before reacting to it.
Being in a Managing Director role in a multi cultural company, you get to work with a lot of people and that’s when you will realise that everyone has their own various personalities and mindsets, different ethics and cultures. I’ve learnt that it is imperative to be aware of differences people carry in all those areas. Sometimes, you cannot always be right and you have to accept that. I will listen to other points of view and learn where I can. There will be times, however, when you have to ‘agree to disagree’. I believe you have to pick your battles wisely.
Speaking of which, was there a moment when you lose confidence?
I’m generally a confident, but humble, person. We do always feel confidence in ourselves but you can always question yourself. And personally, I don’t necessarily think it is a bad thing. You can learn from there. If you are confident all the time, I don’t think you’ll ever continue to learn and grow.
Recently, I went to a retreat with all the top people in our company. My presentation wasn’t delivering the CEO's expectations in the way that he wanted to. In the end, I adjusted the information and delivered what was expected. I lost some confidence then and thought "am I really worthy of this job?" but what it taught me was that, communication is vital and in this instance, I had to adapt my misinterpretation of what was required to deliver the necessary information.
So, of course, when you lose confidence, your self-esteem reduces and you feel low but I don’t go into a depressive stage or beat myself up. Instead, I try to always learn from it and move on. Life is nothing but one big continual learning curve.
How quickly do you bounce back up after that occurrence?
It might take a couple of days, a couple of hours. Depends on what it is. In this particular instance, it probably took about 3 days. But from it, I’ve learnt that clear communication and adaptability are vital. I really analysed and looked at that situation to see how I can improve and learn from the experience.
That’s a strong mindset to have. People think time heals everything but it actually requires consciousness and constant work. In those moments, does it show through your face?
Nobody would know. These are just my personal emotions that I keep deep within. These occurrences are something for me to learn from. It would just be something that I deal with, internally.
After all these years, how do you manage to keep yourself centered?
I’m true to myself and respectful of others… that’s my ethics. It is the foundation of who I am and it is developed over time. Ethics and respect go hand in hand.
What’s your one advice in life?
First thing that comes to my mind is listening to others. There’s listening and LISTEN. You’ve got to really listen to that person to know where the words are coming from. Words have to come from the heart as well, so to speak, because a lot of people will talk but it will be rubbish. And to really get to know somebody, you have to listen.
Just a fun question, what’s your greatest fear?
Amongst snakes and spiders everything else, I’m fearless.
Lastly, what’s your life motto?
Elizabeth is also an avid photographer. She has gained her Licentiate Distinction with The Royal Photographic Society and ultimately aiming for her Fellowship. She has a solo exhibition planned in Bath, UK in November 2017.
Elizabeth’s work can be found at: www.lizfstop.com