"You're the reason that I get bad hires!"  No, I'm the reason you get great hires ...

"You're the reason that I get bad hires!" 

This was feedback to me last month when I was chatting with someone about how I help executive women to win raises, promotions or better opportunities. 

And he was referring to the interview role play and rehearsal that I offer.

My response? 

"Actually, you're the reason you get bad hires.  And my clients are simply smart enough to know that people who win interviews are great at interviews. Why would they shoot themselves in the foot by not preparing?  In fact, I'm the reason you get great hires!"

And he laughed.

True story.  

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So is it wrong to role play interviews? 
 

No, it's just super smart 'n savvy.  

Some people are naturally gifted at talking 'a good game', but they aren't necessarily good at a role.

Some people are good at a role, but find interviews themselves incredibly stressful and intimidating.

And some people have been interviewing others for so long, that they've forgotten what it's like to be on the other side of the panel.

With smart and savvy interview preparation you can demonstrate that you can talk AND walk a good game.  And that's where it's at.

  • The purpose of the cover letter? To get your CV read
  • The purpose of your CV? To get you an interview
  • The purpose of interview rehearsal? To help you feel more confident and comfortable, so you remember the important detail about specific projects, and articulate that in language that an interview panel will understand and value, in a format that cuts through the clutter.

To all of my clients who are interviewing this week - power on! 

And remember - 

  • Confidence equals competence in the eyes of most people so even if you don't feel confident, 'fake it til you become it' a la Amy Cuddy
  • It's a conversation, not a performance or a test to catch you out 
  • Keep your answers succinct 
  • Cover all the important bases (use a formula like STAR or STRE)
  • Do have responses for those random questions such as "tell us about your improvement areas", or "how can you add value?"
  • Don't be afraid to reframe (?!) yes reframe - its a great tool, more on that later .... and
  • Smile 

It's tough putting yourself out there over and over again to be judged. I know you feel uncomfortable and I'm proud of you anyway.

And good luck!

Feminine leadership superpowers + strategic interview role play = priceless

Liked this? Read more on interviews

 

Feel like your career has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 45 min one on one to learn nore

This is the game

“It’s okay for some, but my situation is different“
"I can't do this right now because I’m waiting for the right time“
“I’m not as good as some of the clients you are used to working with.”
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I get these comments every day ...

And I love them.

They help me see that what I do is important!

It's easy to feel like you’re not good enough, don’t compare, or need to do more work.

We tend to push back because we’re scared that we may fail.

I know this, because I’m the same.

I'm a solo fempreneur.

I’m pushing myself every day.

Everything is new and I’m frequently flying by the seat of my pants!

And I underestimate myself, just like everyone else.

I regularly blog and share meaningful content, because I’m in the business of helping people.

And sometimes I simply don’t want to share because I’m worried about getting it wrong.

But I have to remember, I can help more women in their leadership journey when I get out of my own way and publish.

So, next time you use an excuse like “I’ll just wait til I feel better prepared” or “I’ll put my hand up for this big opportunity when I feel ready” remember

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Playing small, doesn’t serve anyone, least of all yourself.

And for anyone who does take a big step up despite fear of failure?

Congratulations! You’re awesome! This is the game.

 

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition

  • Reposted from LinkedIn 
  • Why not connect with me on LinkedIn as well!
     
  • #success #career #executivebranding #personalbrand #standout #leadership  #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing
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Feel like your career has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 45 min one on one to learn nore

One easy tactic to help boost your credibility

We know from the research that women have a tendency to over apologise. It can be a socialised habit that we aren’t even aware of.  

Pantene's Shine ran a really interesting commercial a few years ago highlighting the issue. See right.

Hand on heart, I can honestly say I'm not immune. I do it too. It's fairly ingrained unless I concentrate.

Typical categories for apologies include:

  • Apologising for taking up too much space
  • Apologising for the inconvenience 
  • Apologising for making too much noise
  • Apologising for strong opinions
  • Apologising for having contrary opinions
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 Or ironically?

  • Apologising for apologising.

Apologising where an apology is due is really powerful, but when we over apologise and throw them out willy nilly, it degrades a real apology anyway. 

Apologising not only focuses on the fault, but also assumes that the fault, if there was one, was yours.

As Jessical Bennett, TIME Magazine, says -

Sorry is a crutch — a tyrannical lady-crutch. It’s a space filler, a hedge, a way to politely ask for something without offending, to appear “soft” while making a demand.


SO WHAT TO DO INSTEAD?

Credibility is key in your success and leadership journey. 

While rude is bad (and 'unfeminine'), gracious is good.

And the best bit? Gracious is ‘the feminine” and seen as a highly desirable leadership trait in both men and women. 

And graciousness is a credibility builder.

So how do we be gracious and not over apologise?

TRY THE REFRAME

Say “Thank you” instead of “Sorry”

  • Example 1:  “Sorry I’m late.”
    Instead say  “Thank you for your patience”
     
  • Example 2: "Sorry for the needing the meeting moved"
    Instead say "Thank you for your consideration"
     
  • Example 3: "Sorry, but I don't agree with you"
    Instead try "Thanks for that. I don't agree however. Have you considered this other aspect?" 

Everybody likes to be be acknowledged. By thanking instead of apologising you not only don't diminish yourself in the process but you acknowledge the other person's contribution as well.

Give it a try and let me know how you go.

And if you have any other suggestions for reframing an apology, do let me know.

Feminine leadership superpowers + credibility = priceless

 

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #success #career #executivebranding #personalbrand #standout #leadership  #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

 

Useful? Read some more - 

Feel like your career has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 45 min one on one to learn nore

When Fixer Upper Mania is Bad for Executive Women

There are three typical areas in life where Fixer Upper Mania is bad for us.

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  1. Fixer upper houses - when it becomes a renovation rescue project that descends into a scene out of The Money Pit
  2. Fixer upper relationships - relationship rescue - because you truly can't change anyone else but yourself
  3. Fixer upper jobs/depts/organisations - reputation rescue - where you stay past your use by date because you keep thinking "just one more project and it will be ok".

If we focus on #3 - tomorrow never comes, and sometimes just over the crest of the hill is another crest, or worse, an even bigger mountain!

If you've been employed to deliver transformational change, then deliver that, then find another transformational change project and move on. That's your expertise. Own it and use it as a super power. No regrets.

If you've been employed in a BAU capacity, yet circumstances require transformational change and it's not floating your boat anymore, maybe it's also time for you to let go and move on.

If you've found yourself with a fixer upper role/dept/organisation that's more of a CLM (career limiting move) - perhaps it looked enticing on paper and at interview, but the reality is far, far different with resistance to change ingrained into the organisational DNA - then life's too short to keep wearing yourself to the nub trying to mend a broken promise anyway. 

Does this mean we stop trying any more? No way. It's just you need to draw a line in the sand that's going to be better for both you and your organisation. 

Fixer Upperers are expensive - on your time, on your energy and even your money. Don't let your version of a Fixer Upperer ruin your reputation and your longer term happiness as well.

Just saying.

Your thoughts?
 

Feeling like it's time for you to win? Book in a 45 min one on one  phone call with me to learn more.


Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition

#success #career #executivebranding #leadership  #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

Feel like your career has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 45 min one on one to learn nore

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.
— Gertrude Stein
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Thank you!

Thanks for being part of my tribe of ambitious, badass woman of impact. It's been, and continues to be, a wonderful journey.

Thanks also to everyone who is connected to me on LinkedIn for helping me reach my first 10,000 connections on the platform! 

One of my fabulous clients (who incidentally was acknowledged by LinkedIn with a 2017 Power Profile) challenged me to crack the 10K mark a little faster. Congratulations to Jayne Ward, for her strategy and determination to stand out in the crowd. Awesome work. And thanks also to her for issuing the challenge to me to up my own game.

(And yes, I'm so uncool, I was watching as the counter clicked over.)

And while it was a significant milestone in my mind - it felt no-where near as rewarding as hearing from you with one of your wins and/or achievements!

So do drop me a note with one of your own wins! 

 


Remember the Friday Formula?

EVERY Friday, never fail, from now on until the end of eternity ....

  • What did you achieve this week?
  • What is the benefit you delivered (financial or otherwise)?
  • What is the expertise you used to deliver that achievement?
  • Can you quantity this? ($value or % turnaround, CSAT etc)?

Let's get in the habit of quantifying wins and building confidence. 

Let's Connect!

If you have yet to connect with me on LinkedIn then why not do it now? I share great content and have a lot of fun on there. I'd love you to join me there too.

Feminine leadership superpowers + wins & achievements = priceless

 

Feeling like it's time for you to win? Book in a 45 min one on one  phone call with me to learn more.
 

Feel like your career has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 45 min one on one to learn nore

How to Be a LinkedIn Ninja - 10 levels

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  • Still unsure about how LinkedIn really works?
  • Need help letting go of your training wheels and getting more confident on the platform?
  • Just maybe you need to aim for LinkedIn Ninja status - executing bold, audacious LinkedIn connection, engagement and positioning tactics with grace and effortless ease.

Here are some typical LinkedIn profile types and behaviours to avoid so you gain mastery more easily.

Which profile type are you?

1. The Naysayer – totally in denial about the platform. You refuse to sign up for the platform, and criticise/judge those who do actively engage.

As unbelievable as this sounds, there are people out there who have yet to buy the LinkedIn dream. But as you’re reading this on LinkedIn I’m guessing you aren’t one of them!

What would I say to those who haven’t bought the dream yet? Social selling is a skill that is becoming increasingly more important. With flexible working arrangements, remote teams and globalisation of customer bases and followings, you definitely need to be able to persuade, influence and sell you and your ideas, both face to face AND online. LinkedIn is a great training ground and enables you to do this efficiently, smartly and affordably. Be there or be square. Don’t miss the boat.

2. The Loser - you have less than 100 connections, you’ve never heard of the 500+ connections unwritten ground rule and it’s obvious you’d really rather not be on LinkedIn.

Time to switch up your thinking. Start strategically connecting on a weekly basis – up, sideways and down – and with your future career goals in mind. Also, don’t forget to sync your mobile and/or your email device as a quick hack. Crack that 500+ barrier sooner rather than later.

3. The Near Enough is Good Enough - your profile pic is a selfie, or a glamour shot, or it looks like you cut your significant other out of the photo in a rush, and any of your LinkedIn activity is by happy accident rather than by design.

If you think of LinkedIn as a high end department store window display, that might help. In that window display you want to have next season's fashions on show. Not last season’s stock or end of line run-outs.

So how does that impact your LinkedIn profile? Your profile pic needs to be you on a good (and professional) day at the very least. And if you’re really serious about this, do invest in a photo-shoot done by a professional with your aspirational career goals in mind. Your profile needs to be pitched for the job you want, not the one you have.

4. The Behind the Times - you think of your profile purely as an online CV, and not even a very good one at that, and you’re playing a passive waiting game

A few years back the pundits were predicting that LinkedIn would replace the CV. And we’re seeing that right now, with some organisations providing interview panels with LinkedIn profiles only, not CVs, to help with candidate selection.

However, as the candidate, LinkedIn also enables you to demonstrate so much more than a regular CV, with the three tools of Executive Branding - presence, personal branding and positioning. For those aiming for LinkedIn Ninja status, go beyond the notion that LinkedIn is an online CV and focus more on carving out a powerful Executive Brand instead.

5. The Cheer Squad - you limit your involvement to random 'thumbs up' and 'great article' comments, and you wistfully observe others who are more confident expressing their opinion.

This is particularly relevant to those in the business of creating a movement. Quite possibly The Cheer Squad activities provide a great training ground, but you’ll need to move onto commenting, sharing and publishing sooner rather than later, or your movement may end up being more of a ripple.

6. The Stalker - you passively read articles and view profiles in the background, maybe even with your identify hidden.

Given the importance of trust in building meaningful on and offline relationships, stalkerish behaviour will undermine trust. 

As Lao Tzu said

"He who does not trust enough will not be trusted."

Obviously there are some situations where protecting your identity is paramount. But in most circumstances, being more overt will help build trust more easily.

If you are in the business of leading, then as Jesse Lyn Stoner reminds us

"People follow leaders by choice. Without trust, at best you get compliance." 

7. The Now You See Me, Now You Don’t - where you are super active in fits and starts, but when work gets busy you are least in sight. You try anything once or twice but with no plan, no system and no strategy.

You’ve probably heard of visibility as part of a career strategy. This is where you need to ensure you are seen and heard by decision makers inside and outside the business to ensure your own career progression. Well it works the same online. In a nutshell, if people can’t see you, they’ll forget about you more easily. Remember the rule of thumb ‘consistency trumps frequency’, stick a weekly LinkedIn visibility appointment in your calendar and you’ll be fine.  

8. The Squeaky Wheel – you’re on a mission with a cause with articles you like, share and publish clearly articulating a problem set, but never offering solutions.

Just like the boy who cried wolf, you want to make sure that people stay tuned into what you have on offer. It’s great to critique, but even better if you can then back that up with painting a picture of the future that others will want to inhabit. Unpack your key messages in multiple ways, to ensure you don’t sound like a broken record. Share positive and aspirational messages also, to ensure you don’t get a reputation as as ‘The Department of No’.

9. The Dominator – where you dominate the feed morning, noon or night, leaving others wondering when you fit work in, and you yourself begin to wonder why your post engagement is dropping.

Stop being busy, start being strategic. Think about how someone already super successful in your industry would typically behave on LinkedIn and emulate. If people start believing that all you do is sit on LinkedIn all day, you’re defeating the purpose and appearing desperate rather than successful. Bashing someone over the head with an idea, won’t make them believe in it any faster. In a nutshell, entice people in and leave them wanting more.

10. The LinkedIn Ninja – aka Linked-Ninja - you have fine tuned your social selling abilities and execute them effectively, efficiently and with effortless ease. You understand that LinkedIn is predominantly about building engagement, trust and rapport, so all your efforts are nuanced, coordinated and graceful. By way of metrics you’ve got;

  • A top 1% viewed profile in both your industry AND in your network,
  • A social selling index of 90% (check it out www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi/)
  • 3000+ connections with a repeatable plan for both engaging with those connections and growing new connections in the direction of your goals
  • Your average viewing rate on shares = 3000+
  • Your thumbs up rate on shares averages 50+
  • You have an average of 300+ viewing/eyeball rate on articles published
  • Your activity is all branded or themed and in alignment with your long term goals
  • Most importantly, you have a game behind the game – a long term goal that you hope to achieve with LinkedIn as just one part of the plan. And for the LinkedIn Ninja you are achieving in all those other areas of your life as well.

It’s a wrap!

Don’t mistake the map for the territory. Person to person connection and networking should still make up a significant part of your plan.

And here's wishing for you to achieve LinkedIn Ninja status with ease.

Share if you dare! And help a friend achieve LinkedIn mastery more easily.

And here are a couple more articles you might also like

___________________________________________________

 

  • Amanda Blesing is a speaker, mentor, trainer and thinker on all things Executive Brand
  • She has accidental LinkedIn Ninja status and helps busy experts and executive women to avoid making the same mistakes that she did!
  • Sign up for weekly inspiration straight to your inbox www.amandablesing.com

 

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #success #career #executivebranding #personalbrand #standout #leadership #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

 

 

Feel like your career has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 45 min one on one to learn nore

112 million reasons why doing less might be far better for executive women

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Melanie Whelan is the CEO of Soulycle in the USA - an incredibly successful spin studio business that has taken the industry by storm, yet started just 10 years ago in a candle lit basement.  

Now with 60+ studios, thousands of full and part time employees and revenues that exceed USD$112 million/annum, plus a company culture that is shattering expectations and standards in the USA, she is a role model for many. 

The demands on her in her day are endless and relentless and this is one of her strategies for keeping focused and strategic is to disconnect from her day in order to let the priorities settle.

"I play mental Tetris to let the pieces of my day fall into place, so I can come out and really prioritise ...... I can be busy with a million things, but to have impact, it’s got to be a couple things and without the disconnection for me, I’m not able to see where that is.”  - Melanie Whelan, CEO Soulcycle


Sometimes we imagine we need to be busy and productive all the time in order to be successful and have impact, when quite the opposite is true. Research tells us time and time again that downtime and recalibration are invaluable - allowing us to regroup, reenergise and course correct if we need.

So try it.  Take a moment, disconnect and allow your priorities to recalibrate once again.

Feminine leadership superpowers + downtime & recalibration = priceless
 

Feeling like it's your time to put yourself first? Book in a 45 min one on one  phone call with me to learn more.


Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition

#success #career #executivebranding #leadership  #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

Feel like your career has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 45 min one on one to learn nore