confidence boosting

Are Women's Conferences Worth It?

Shawn Achor seems to think so!

(Vested interest: I’m in an airport lounge heading to speak at the Gartner Senior Women in Multinationals Retreat as I write this)

Back to Shawn - he was so challenged by the scepticism displayed by a fellow plane passenger that he conducted some research to test the theory.

In the year after connecting with peers at the Conference for Women -

  • the likelihood of receiving a promotion doubled 
  • attendees had triple the likelihood of a 10%+ pay increase 
  • 78% percent of them reported feeling “more optimistic about the future”

Other critical determiners from his own observations of 900 conferences included:

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  • a sense of social connection felt by the attendees
  • engaging sessions
  • leaders who role model & exemplify the qualities that the conference is attempting to instil
  • a memorable moment, and
  • a realistic assessment of the present with an optimistic look to the future.

My take? Put a few conferences designed for women into the mix - men included. Many of the journey stories and case studies are inspiring in their own right, and it might just lead to you winning the raise, promotion or recognition you truly deserve.

 

 

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

There has to be another way ....

There   had   to   be   another   way.

I was imagining the worst all the time and I wasn’t sleeping.

I was almost ready to throw it all in and get another job!

But that would have been quitting far too soon.

It was in early 2015, just a few months after I launched my own business.

My life was high on volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, and low on safety, security & comfort zone.

Then something shifted.

I adopted a morning gratitude practice. 

Of all the things I do to support wellbeing, physical & mental health (and I do a lot) ….

this was a game changer 

-    keeping me focused on possibility rather than fear or what wasn’t working. 

Now I've added this to my evening rituals as well plus my husband Russ plays along too. 

Most of us have a lot to be grateful for in our lives life and it's handy to remind ourselves. 

The punishment for thinking negatively is thinking negatively.

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The reward for thinking positively is thinking positively. 

I’d far rather be the one who has already finished the champers, while everyone else was debating whether the glass was 1/2 empty or 1/2 full! 

Wouldn’t you?

When you’re in the middle of executing bold, bodacious & brilliant career moves 

An attitude of gratitude delivers a huge ROI.

Here’s to a bold, bodacious, gratitude filled & brilliant 2018! 

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

"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 leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

What would your future leadership personal brand do?

In Australia there is an extremely witty television series on the ABC called Gruen which lifts the lid on the world of advertising, spin and marketing. As an aside, and as a glowing testament to the IQ of the viewing public, the show's ratings beat both The Block and The Bachelor in 2016.

What would your future self do?

What would your future self do?

Each week they have a segment that features a particularly dominant world personality. This season that was Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada - a self confessed feminist and driver of change.  With tongue firmly planted in cheek the host, Will Anderson, poses the question "What would Justin do?" with a graphic of a superhero ripping open his/her shirt to expose a superhero chest and then flick to a clip of Mr Trudeau doing something pretty amazing or unusual somewhere in the world.

But what about your personal brand?

So now it's your turn. When was the last time you clearly defined your future leadership personal brand?  Never? Well why not try now? Go on. Grab your 'confidence journal' and start describing.

  • What work would your future leadership self be doing?
  • What would you stand for?
  • What do you believe in?
  • What difference would you be making?
  • How would you behave or react?
  • What language and voice would you be using?
  • What would you be wearing?
  • How would you turn up to work every day?
  • What would be your leadership style?
  • What difference would you be making?
  • How much money would you be making?
  • Who would you be hanging out with?
  • How would you respond to criticism?
  • How would you respond to compliments?
  • What things would you share on Social?
  • What conversations are you having (and with whom)?
  • What decisions would you be making? and
  • Who, or what ,are you leading?

Your answers to these questions (and more) become your blueprint, or even a road map, to help you navigate more successfuly as you head into leadership territory. Your answers will also help others work out how to interact with you and what to expect from you plus keep you one step ahead of your competition. After all people are inspired by leaders who look like they know where they are going. 

Pro-active personal brand development is not as common as it should be

According to Glenn Llopis on Forbes

"less than 15% of leaders have defined their personal brand and only 5% are living it every day."

Yet with success and and a clearly defined personal brand so closely correlated I wonder why this is?

By doing this work pre-emptively are already well ahead of the pack. This becomes your competitive advantage - and makes tough decisions far easier.

Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.
— Toni Morrison

 

Use your leadership self to help Solve problems

So in the same Gruen vein, I suggest that any time you come up with a dilemma that you can't solve via the usual channels, you rip open your metaphorical superhero leadership shirt and ask yourself, what would your future leadership brand do? And solve it that way.

Decisions are far easier when you bring your biggest, best and most leaderly self to work every day.

We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.
— Carol S. Dweck, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
 

Don't listen to the itty bitty shitty committee

When it comes to a situation at work that you don't prefer, or a dilemma you can't solve easily then you want to approach it with your leadership personal brand front and centre. Don't listen to the itty bitty shitty committee, or the scared weird little guys who frequently sit on your shoulder and give you small and safe advice.  Simply approach the situation with your future leadership personal brand blueprint, along with the those three feminine super powers (active listening, clear communication and emotional intelligence) and work your way through. You'll thank yourself later.

Plus by doing the work and unpacking your future personal brand pre-emptively you're already one step ahead of the curve so when a difficult situation occurs in the future, you'll feel far more clear, confident and certain far sooner.

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #feminineambition #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes

My mission is to help women to play a much bigger game – change the world if you will – and do so with big ideas, big vision and big, audacious bucket loads of confidence.

 

If you enjoyed this please spread the word! Let's inspire women everywhere to keep their eye on the prize

 

AmandaBlesing
  • I am the creator of The Ambition Revolution – the science and art of amping smart and savvy
  • I mentor busy professional women to ensure they remain smart, strategic and focused on the bigger game.
  • I also work with organisations who are trying to increase the profile of women in leadership, but are struggling to do so.

 

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

The importance of collecting evidence of wins, achievements and positive outcomes

Most of us are really good at seeing the negative, pointing out potential flaws or things that might go wrong.   And if someone pays us a compliment we’re usually the first to demure. 

“Oh it was nothing, I was just doing my job. The whole team helped out too. And did you see that in February the project nearly came to grief?  But we got there in the end."

If you’ve heard me give a talk lately you know what it sounds like, and you laugh along too, because you’ve heard yourself and others respond in a very similar manner. Whether it’s because we’ve been socialised to be humble, demure and not brag, or we simply don’t actually see the positive, no one is really certain.  But that very collection of sentences and phrases in the face of a compliment from a colleague, boss or Board member just diminished your credibility all in one.

Ironically, we're brilliant ....... at seeing our own mistakes!  Even when we collect feedback from others about our leadership capability we may even have a tendency to focus mostly on the improvement areas.  

Evidence

Some of us even pride ourselves on our ability to be at self aware, yet sometimes we can take it too far. Self flagellation via self awareness is probably yet another tactic that gets in the way of simply getting on and doing great work, creating a career that counts or making a bigger difference. And while leadership requires a degree of self awareness and a willingness to work on ourselves, the main component of leadership is... well ..... leading - rather than continually preparing ourselves to lead.

Making the shift from good to great more easily

So how do we move from:

  • feeling defensive, to feeling self assured?
  • feeling like we need to prove our worth, to knowing our worth?
  • needing to convince people we are right, to simply having quiet confidence and conviction in our abilities, capabilities and opinions?

Step one - learn to accept compliments gracefully

Did you read my article Language Warning! Four bad habits that undermine your credibility? If not, head on over and read that now because when you start stepping up, speaking out and taking charge, you’re going to be accepting compliments fairly frequently.  Because getting noticed for doing great work, taking ownership and being willing to accept responsibility is part and parcel of being an Ambition Revolutionary.

 

“Thank you” is my suggested response. Pure and simple. Nothing more. No including others. No demurring.  

"Thank you.  And then get on and do it all again.

Step two - learn to see the good.

Sometimes though we come from a world of worry, navigating rabbit warrens of what if’s and what might go wrong. We’re stressed, we’re worried and we feel uncomfortable out there doing big bold brave new things.  We need to start to train our brain to find positive evidence, train our thought patterns to see the good, and train ourselves to recognise our wins and achievements.

I recently came across an app called WinStreak which “is a simple tool for making sure that, at the end of every day, you feel positive about your accomplishments and excited for the next day. “  How cool is that!  They encourage you to get in charge of your own story, rather than the story driving you.

If you don’t want an app then you can do this yourself.

  • Morning routines inducing gratitude meditations or journalling are a great way to start the day.
  • Take time at lunch to “smell the roses” so to speak. Get out of the office and go appreciate the day even if its just for a few minutes.
  • And finally at the end of each day be sure to make a list of your wins. I use this particularly if I’m feeling down or blue.

As the Buddha says

The mind is everything. What you think you become.

As Amy Cuddy says

Fake it til you become it.

So make today a new way of collecting positive evidence.  Because if there is a chance that you become what you think, then wouldn’t it be better for all involved if you became something great?  Ultimately leaving you with more energy and capacity for getting on with the important business of making a bigger difference.

Have you got any tips, tools and suggestions that you could share to help others see the positive?  Comments in the box below. Thanks for sharing!

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  •  I am the creator of The Ambition Revolution – the science and art of amping smart and savvy.
  • I mentor busy professionals to ensure they remain strategic, agile and focused on the bigger game.
  • I also work with organisations who are trying to increase the profile of women in leadership, but struggling to do so

 

 

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months