Hello, I'm Cat Ainsworth

The best way to give me feedback is …

Directly and constructively. I really welcome feedback and, as someone who is passionate about creating inclusive spaces I am very open to hearing feedback if anything I've done or said has made you feel uncomfortable or excluded. I like to learn and improve. I also like to understand different people's perspectives.

I find it really hard to hear feedback second hand, so I would much prefer to hear feedback you have directly than from someone else on your behalf.

I add value to teams by …

Translating visions into a way forward, understanding how to create an enabling environment for individuals so that they can thrive, pulling information together swiftly and presenting back to align on collective understanding. I'm building my confidence and capability in communication practices - such as the FONT framework and consent based decision making process in order to help team members understand each other better. Still a long way to go on that but I do think it's important for a cooperative way of working.

The basics you should know about me are ...

I'm Cat, full name Catherine but I never really use that. I co-founded DOT PROJECT alongside Annie. I generally support the overall strategy of the coop and deliver client work directly - my strengths lie in building confidence of charity teams to understand the potential of digital for their organisation and helping teams navigate how to get funding and support for their digital journey.

I sit in Madrid currently but I move regularly, every 2 years, so the ability to work in a location independent way is quite important for me.

I'm generally energetic, optimistic and relaxed.

You’ll convince me to get on board by …

Sharing any context and information in advance, I like to understand a situation fairly deeply if I'm being asked to make a decision about it or support it. Making space in discussion to hear any concerns I might have - I generally worry about money so sometimes I need support to understand financial implications.

In times of stress I prefer support to look like …

I am usually good at managing stress and maintaining boundaries. I'm also quite good at masking if I'm under stress - so it may not be immediately obvious and I may not be initially forthcoming in asking for help. This means that if I ask for help I generally really need it. When I'm under stress I am likely to push through and try to deliver, even if I'm not in the best state to. You can help me by listening if I ask for help and working with me to find solutions to alleviate stress.

I find that if I'm in an environment where I feel my asks are dismissed or not understood then I'm unlikely to ask for help again in future.

What motivates me to come into work each day is …

I'm really inspired by the people I have the opportunity to work alongside. My deep rooted passions are equality and humanity - so having the opportunity to work with organisations who operate on these issues is inspiring to me. I am regularly stretched and challenged by the work we do at DOT PROJECT and I enjoy that, no day feels the same. I really love to see people and teams thrive.

My best working patterns look like ...

I'm on a journey with this at the moment as my best working patterns don't quite match with the rhythms I need to take care of my daughter. At the moment I try to really listen to my body and energy levels and fit the activities I'm working on to where my head is at.

I'm an hour ahead in Madrid so most days I need to be offline for a bit around 3.30pm to pick up my daughter from nursery. Generally I'm up by 5am and I may do some quiet work between 5-7am then my main working time is between 8am UK time to 3.30pm UK time. I may pick things up in the evening or at the weekend to fit around childcare. I really don't mind working at the weekend, early mornings, late nights as it will often allow me time with my daughter.

The environments in which I thrive have …

Some space for reflection and sense making. I find that things can move quickly in DOT PROJECT and I often need to reflect on whether we're making responsible choices for the communities and organisations we support. Therefore I need some time for reflection in order to thrive, at the moment I find this by avoiding calls and meetings on a Friday.

Generally I structure my time and day quite a bit to ensure I can get through things before I pick up my daughter from nursery - this means that if you need something from me quickly I find it helpful if you can say when you need it by so I can prioritise effectively.

I thrive when I have had time in my day to get outside and be active, usually I do that first thing in the morning but I might also block time away from my desk in the early afternoon to enjoy some time outdoors with my daughter.

I struggle with living in online spaces so I'm finding myself being fairly intentional about my use of tech. At the moment the best way to reach me is via Slack - I have now reached the point where my phone is often on silent and in a box unless I'm using it so I can be fairly unresponsive to phone calls and Whatsapp. That's nothing personal I am just overwhelmed by digital contact at the moment.

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