Tips for Women to Bring Value at a Meeting

Women often do two things at meetings:  

  1. Try too hard to be heard and in the process lose their credibility.
  2. Say nothing and become an nonentity in the conversation.

Both decrease their value. High performing women and men with executive presence have keen self-awareness. They anticipate their emotions, become a third party observer of them and allow them to pass like clouds before the emotions show.   

Tips for women at a meeting:  

  1. Watch three YouTube videos of speakers you admire. List what you like about their delivery, presence, voice, intonation, cadence, use of hands.
  2. Place your phone on a shelf and record yourself speaking. Listen to what you sound like. Observe your presence. Become familiar with what it is to have “certainty” in your voice. Practice using a pause to make a point. Raise intonation on what is important.
  3. At a meeting know your role and where you bring value.
  4. Listen first. Process what others have to say.
  5. Introduce...
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The #1 Step to Get Unstuck

Having gone from being a single parent of four children on welfare, food stamps and medical assistance, homeless and without an automobile to a CEO of a $24 million organization and married to a wonderful man I know a thing or two about evolving versus repeating old patterns. Both are hard.

The difference is that the with latter, the end of the story is familiar yet you deny the truth and feel like a victim when you get to the last page and already knew the ending. With the former you have no idea where you might go, it scares you to death because you don’t want to believe happiness is attainable yet sustainable for fear of being let down. Then you risk openness and release all the assumptions disguised as excuses you used to grasp onto. Here you realize you deserve all that is good and your tory keeps unfolding.

When we repeat old patterns we are stuck. Most achievers tackle being stuck by getting back on the treadmill to nowhere and working harder only to find that not...

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When they say, "Just get over it."

Yes, we want to help our loved ones and friends who are suffering. But, how do we help someone ‘get through it?' How do we help them move on and resume their lives as they were before crisis or tragedy. How do we help them usher in something new that they may never have experienced before - something that might be interesting and/or rewarding.

For a long time we thought we were showing strength to suck it up and just move on. The military bred this concept into the armed forces until they realized it wasn’t helpful and actually was quite damaging. When we deny our feelings and try to push past them they get further buried only to resurface with triggers - triggers that keep coming more frequently. Triggers, such as a painful memory, sound or situation, place us right back in thick of the emotion that we never reconciled.

People who are hurting don’t need you to fix them. They just want to know you care and are there. Just be with them. Often their discomfort makes...

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Do you need a mentor?

Some leaders think they need to formally engage a mentor, advocate or sponsor to advance. Not so. The best of these for me never knew I considered them such.

Sometimes I created a friendship whereby we supported each other in different ways - me being curious, listening and being honest and them opening doors because they wanted to help me.

Some of my mentors never knew me. I simply observed them, their values, their presence, their leadership and their struggles.

And sometimes I asked people to lunch or called them to answer specific questions that I had thought through ahead of time to make good use of their time. Your best teachers are right in front of you. Self-awareness and executive presence build by observing others and then observing yourself.

My clients define leaders they admire and then list why. They watch YouTube videos of presentations and read their material.

Wishing you one person you admire you will study today.

>>> If you are ready to get off the...

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When You Know What to do But Can't

You’ve read what the experts say. You’ve collected the necessary tools. You are committed. You are trying. Yet nothing changes. And you feel stagnant. 

When I was a divorced single mother of four children under seven-year's old on welfare, food stamps and medical assistance, homeless and without an automobile I didn’t have time to go back to school to learn a new profession. I had four hungry mouths hanging open in front of me like baby birds. 

Failure wasn’t an option. I decided to cease seeking what was “fair”, stop throwing money away on lawyers and accept that it was a far better use of my energy to focus on succeeding as the sole provider for my children than to expect family court to give anyone a conscience. 

I had to put a plan together to hold my family together. I felt anxious, rejected and exhausted. I can’t tell you that I thought much about planning. There wasn’t time for ideal, only real. There wasn’t...

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We're all busy. That's why this works.

The past year and a half has held a lot of transitions in my life. My father passed away. I moved my mother into a nursing home. I had to sell my childhood home, become power of attorney for my mom which then made me executor for her brother’s estate when he passed away. I am now trying to sell his home and handle both of their financial affairs in addition to my job as a CEO, executive coaching practice, and a family with six children.  

I felt as if I was living a peaceful life and one thing after another compounded more responsibility on me than I never expected. Yet during all of this is when I started to knit and paint with watercolors. Yesterday my husband said that I’m ‘calmer’ than he’s ever known me to be. I attribute that to my mindful daily practices and simple goal setting that give me confidence, connection and calm.  

I’m busy just like everyone else. I don’t have time for long journaling. Neither do my...

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When You Are Overwhelmed and Pointing Fingers

I work with clients a lot on how mindful daily practices impact your effectiveness and happiness. Recently, I bought some water color supplies on Amazon, watched a video on watercolor painting and experimented one evening. I had fun then tucked the supplies away for another day.  

Last week, after the overwhelming and emotional experience of having to clean out my parent’s house to sell, I got out the box of supplies, threw inhibition to the wind and on the first page of my new watercolor journal painted an image from a peaceful photograph I had taken in the low country of South Carolina. It won’t be in any art contests but the experience of doing this with a shuffle of Michael Buble playing in the background calmed me.

In that space I could get curious about my emotions instead of running from them. I felt frustrated that my brother was not there to help me. I was sad going through the papers and memories of my father. I was worried about my mother who we had...

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The Tool to Narrow the Gap in the Equation of Career Happiness

Throughout my years as an executive coach I have seen people triumph over immense hardship while others falter over minutiae. I’ve seen a sense of urgency spearhead achievement while chronic victimization hamstring progress. I’ve been party to personal transformations because people risk vulnerability with great courage and I’ve seen stagnation be the end-product of complaining about unmet expectations. Most often the underachievers carry self-doubt that they don’t know how to convert to confidence. 

It’s pretty clear to me what makes people happy and empowered to create the life they want and what does not. It’s a simple equation. 

The Golden Rule of Happiness

The shorter the distance between what you want and where you are the happier you will be and the more risks you will take. 

You Want a Better Job

Let’s say you want to move up in your career, possibly changing companies. And right now you are in a miserable role. There...

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Three Ways to Manage Up When You Have a Bad Boss

One of the tests of being a leader is knowing how to navigate a boss who doesn’t score highly as a leader him/herself.

Mapping a Course to Manage a Difficult Boss 

  1. Manage Yourself 

Start from the perspective that the disconnect might be a miscommunication. “I want to make sure I understand what you need from me.” Then clarify.  

If you internalize a bad boss’s anger, insecurity or lack of skill you could allow your weaknesses to show instead of your strengths to shine. Their lack of confidence, disorganization or lack of inclusiveness is about them. Not you. Don’t mirror their insecurity. Be self-aware. Who are you when under fire? How do you demonstrate grace and grit – executive presence? If your work life were a movie who would play you and what would he/she do in your situation? 

Be a mindful third-party observer of your own thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself what is really going on with you? What are you afraid...

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8 Tips for When You Fear Age Bias in the Workplace

I see a trend in the American workforce and as a coach struggle with how to make sense of it. This week alone one of my clients was terminated, one was put on a 90-day Performance Improvement Plan that is likely to end in termination, and another had his compensation decreased by $100,000. I find it no accident that the ages of these three people respectfully are 56, 57 and 61.

In many ways, our culture does not value the seasoned wisdom of decades of experience or appreciate the dedication of years of service. Companies see that they can replace “aging” employees with younger people they can pay less. It’s as if they feel “younger” energy will bring more innovation and greater results at a lower cost. They feel the aging employee’s mindset is outdated and that they can’t keep up with technology. That is just plain and simply — Age Bias — and short-sighted.

Employees see this coming. Organizations send people they have...

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