Pick The Most Important Ones

christmas-ornament-wreathAs I’ve continued to blog about insight from senior leaders that I’ve crossed paths with in my professional life to hopefully help any readers of this blog gain a better understanding of how senior women leaders are able to do it all. Through this exciting journey of blogging about these key take-a-ways I’ve heard, I myself have learned a great deal as well.

One of the key points I’ve gained out of many different conversations I’ve had and listing to different speakers on this subject, is you can have it all just not at the same time, and closely following that statement is the advice to pick the most important personal events to go to that most to you and same applies to your professional world as well. Pick the most important, the most strategic projects that will only assist in getting you towards your next career goal, whatever that may be.

So with this in mind this holiday season when we all tend to be blessed with many different social functions pulling us in a million direction, coupled with family in town, your children’s holiday programs, your holiday decorations, and oh ya, actually finding time to go Christmas shopping, and did I mention this is all while of course you continue to work with your best effort forward in your day job….Sound a bit overwhelming, umm, probably because it’s dang near impossible for one person to manage to do ALL of this.

So my advice to all of you full-fledged career women out there pick only the most important family and professional events to go to and to the ones that you can’t go to, sending a nice note will do just fine. Everyone knows it’s the holidays and they are probably feeling the same pain as you, so don’t be afraid to decline some invites, because at the end of the day how are you supposed to savor the holidays with your family if your mind is never truly present….that’s not fair to anyone so do yourself a favor and stick with the most important ones this holiday season.

Cheers!

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The Importance of Being Planful

In this video post I talk about the importance of being planful both professionally and personally. This is extremely important to do because it will allow you to make the right career moves at the most optimum time in both your personal and professional life. An example I use is if an overseas job opens up, maybe you don’t have that much personal life responsibilities at the time so it would be a great fit to make a decision to act on something like that but on the other hand maybe you have a family who is tied down to where they are at now and this wouldn’t be a good fit for your overall plan right now. This is not to say that you could never make that career move but if you take the time to be planful you would already know, an opportunity like that just isn’t in your plan until later on down the road in your career when maybe you have less personal responsibilities.

There are many opportunities that will come your way throughout your career and if you take the time to really sit down and think about what your career goals are and be very strategic about what the next steps are in order to get you there and where they fit best in correspondence to what you also want to achieve in your personal life so the two can be in somewhat of a balance you will be in a much better position to fully embrace your career moves when they happen because you’ve already put in the time to think and be planful of them ahead of the game.

 

Pay Attention to Your Phrasing

In this video post I talk about my next point in my series of posts about tips on how to keep ourselves (women) in the game before we taking ourselves out without even giving ourselves a chance.

I recently got some guidance on this topic from a very senior level female leader and one of her points was to pay attention to how your phrase your statements. There is a term called gravitas and this is where you phrase a regular sentence like a question by going up in your tone at the end of the sentence when you say it. By doing this it insinuates you don’t have full confidence in what you are saying and are looking for people to reaffirm what you are telling them, when this should not be the case.

This is even more important to pay attention to based on the audience you are talking to and the forum in which you are talking to them. If you are on a professional business conference call where there is no video sharing, your phrasing and tone is all your audience has to go off. So if you are ending your sentences in a question format when you say them you are not being an effective communicator and your audience only perceives that you have a lack of confidence in what you are telling them.

We have a tendency to do this more then we think, and I myself didn’t realize how much I do it personally and others I interact with do this until this point was called to my attention. So from my observation we tend to do this phrasing more then we think and the goal of this post is to call attention to it so you can be more mindful of this going forward and hopefully limit the times when this is done.

 

 

Don’t Assume Others Are Better

In this video I continue to talk about the topic of ways to avoid taking yourself out of the game before you even give yourself a chance. In point of this post is don’t assume others are better then you.

We tend to do this more often than we think and by calling this point to your attention my hope is that we are all more mindful of doing this. So when you are thinking about possibly applying for a new position, submitting a new proposal, asking to take on a certain project, don’t doubt that you would be a great fit for it because someone else might not be doing it at all, or even if they are doing something similar who’s to say they would be doing it better then you? You can’t.

This is why you need to just go for it! Don’t doubt your own capabilities because people you interact with can sense this about you and this isn’t the persona you want to portray to your peers or management. You want to show case what you are really made of and show management your true ability, so next time you are looking at an exciting opportunity or possibility don’t not apply or not do it because you think someone else might be able to do it better, you never know until you try.

 

The Fine Line With Feedback

In this video I talk about the fine line you need to walk in respect to soliciting feedback. In a previous post of mine I talk about the importance of feedback, and it is greatly important, but the frequency you ask for it is also very important.

If you are cosntanting asking for feedback from your manager on everything you do that can come across as being insecure in your abilities and you don’t want this. Chances are if you have a good manager you will be given feedback when you need it without ever needing to ask for it, and if you don’t have a manger is good about this then yes, maybe you have to ask a little more often than others but there is still that fine line to walk in over soliciting for it.

So in the end, I hope you take this point with you and are more mindful of this going forward, because your management will notice that you aren’t asking for constant reassurance on everything you’re doing and it will come across as you having more confience in your work and abilities.

Lose the Hedge Words

This is my first post in a series of posts to come that talk about ways for women to keep themselves in the game. All to often we undercut ourselves and take our selves out of the game before we give ourselves a chance. I was recently able to hear a question and answer session from a senior leader on the topic of women in leadership and had the opportunity to ask a question on this.

In this post I talk about one of the simple points that I got in response to my question to put into action to avoid taking yourself out of the game, and it is simply to lose the hedge words. As soon as you start a sentence with “Well this is just my opinion” or “I could be wrong but…” it takes away the credibility of what you are saying because it’s showing you don’t even have confidence in what you are saying so why should others?

So the goal is to call attention to this happening so hopefully you start to catch yourself before the next time you are going to start a sentence with any hedge words, and it helps you come across with more confidence in what you are telling your audience and helps you come across in a more confident manner.

 

Don’t Let Fear Get In The Way

In talking with some peers of mine lately I’ve realized a common theme, the tragedy of letting fear mask your confidence.

I know that most people in the business field have some level of confidence or they wouldn’t last, and for that matter wouldn’t have made where they are today. However, I’m seeing starting to see how the fear of the unknown and maybe it’s the fear of failing or looking stupid, is getting in the way of people showing their true confidence in their abilities.

People can sense fear, and when this happens the only thing they will see from that point on is how scared you are which in turn translates into them thinking you have a lack of self-confidence. No one want s this to happen to them. We all work too hard to let fear mess up all the hours we’ve put in, right?

So my suggestion on this is to find whatever it is that makes you feel confident and DO IT, and keep doing it for years to come. You owe it to yourself to do this, because the last thing you want is to be passed up for a promotion or a new opportunity that you would have loved to have because you let your fear mask your confidence.