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Think about your day yesterday. What did you tell yourself about the kind of day you had, how well you did a certain task, how you looked, or whether you made the right decision about something?
We are always judging ourselves, comparing ourselves, and telling ourselves little stories about what we can’t do. It’s a human instinct. But the stories don’t stop with just us. Our little judge sets us up with stories about the people we interact with. We go into meetings with stories already in our minds about the other person, why they behave the way they do, what they “really meant” by that comment, and so on. That doesn’t mean you can’t deal with your little judge. You absolutely can, and you must if you want to be an effective leader.
If you want to silence your inner judge, you start by increasing your self-awareness. You have to listen for those little stories your internal judge tells you. Then recognize them for what they are…stories. When they are based in your personal history, look for the positive, empowering lesson the experience taught you, and make that a new story. Just remember, stories are self-talk. It is our choice whether we listen to them.
Mining organizations for hidden talent should go beyond the traditional approach of mirroring those currently in power. The problem with this is that it usually rewards white males at the expense of women and minorities whose path may look different. In order to solve this, it needs to be a two pronged approach:
If you feel you are a hidden leader, here are some steps to position yourself to be “discovered”:
I have personally done all these and it works! We can help hone your leadership skills! Come join us!
What was your reaction when you heard that Elizabeth Warren had been silenced on the floor of the U.S. Senate? It turned my insides cold.
My reaction had nothing to do with the politics of what she was talking about. Rather, it was that several men made similar protest arguments. They were allowed to speak. But when a woman’s voice went up in protest, she was shut down, hard.
I flashed back to the many times in my life when I have had “voice-stifling” experiences. I thought about the times in meetings where the thoughts and ideas that I expressed were ignored, until a man expressed similar, or near identical, ideas and was applauded. Has that happened to you? I thought about dismissive attitudes and being told to “sit down and be quiet” (yes, that has happened in the workplace).
I thought about how in my family and in my childhood classrooms, the boys were treated with far more deference than the girls. Their words mattered more. Their voices were expected and accepted.
But I thought we were past that day. Until Elizabeth Warren was silenced. And that made me angry!
What about you? Have you ever been silenced? Is it still happening to you today, or have you found your voice?
The Movie “Hidden Figures” is in the headlines. It is about three black women responsible for making great strides in the success of NASA and the space program back in the early 1960’s. It is a piece of history we haven’t known about for many reasons. In an article this weekend in Parade magazine, they gave two reasons:
The second reason is why women should step into their power. There are too many of us that “just do our jobs”, yet either have so much more to offer OR don’t take the credit we deserve!
The title “Hidden Figures” is so apropos for various reasons.
During the month of December, many people slow down in their business life and ramp up in their personal life. Taking the energy of the season and using it in both arenas can give you a head start for the new year!
Here are some tips to have a more productive holiday season:
Here’s to a very PRODUCTIVE holiday season!
We’ve all heard the saying “When one door closes, another one opens”, but let’s think about that open door………
Joann Lublin’s second chapter in her book, “Earning It” is titled “Doors Open with a Strong Push”. She talks about situations where women received a strong push for advancement. That push can be internal or external.
Think about examples in your own life. Were you ever SO CLEAR about what you wanted that you would do anything (ethical) to get it? That would be considered an internal push. Starting at the bottom of an organization and working your way up is an example that many of us may have experienced.
Maybe it was a mentor, friend, parent or spouse that pushed you through that open door. In this chapter, Lublin lists some “Leadership Lessons” pertaining to “Doors Open with a Strong Push”:
Typically opportunities don’t fall in our laps. We need to be thinking strategically, especially in the corporate world and taking that push wherever it comes from.
According to McKinsey & Companies most recent report on gender equality, one result wouldn’t surprise most of us:
Women don’t get promoted as often as men
But, the most significant finding is that we are less interested in seeking the promotion – 40% vs. 56% for men. At first, the question was “not as ambitious?” But, it turns out that our experiences at work gradually lead us to believe we won’t have equal opportunities for growth and development, and that our gender will diminish our chances of getting ahead. Those accumulated years of inequities and frustrations have led many of us to conclude that the end doesn’t justify the means.
The study found we are also less likely than men to think that becoming a top executive will give us a chance to significantly impact the business.
Three unconscious assumptions appear to underlie this thinking:
We are also more comfortable leading as the hub of a wheel vs. the hierarchical top-down model. We feel we can make more of a change this way, but in reality, we don’t have enough experience at the top to understand our power to impact change using the hierarchy model.
So what do we do? We need to re-frame our own unconscious biases-an exercise made easier by having strong female colleagues. There is power in numbers.
This Friday, August 26, is Women’s Equality Day. It’s the day each year that we commemorate the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. Are you aware that in 2020, we will mark 100 years of the 19th Amendment?
Have you thought about the leadership skills, the courage, and the self-motivation the suffragists must have had to change America in this way? Every leader of the suffragist movement has a unique story (just as we all do). Many were wives who stood up for the movement in opposition to their husbands and their communities.
Imagine the sense of passion and purpose these women must have felt as they stood as the Silent Sentinels, picketing the White House to gain the right to vote and participate in our government. The women picketed six days a week for two-and-a-half years, from January 10, 1917 until June 4, 1919. June 4 was the day Congress passed the amendment (which still had to be ratified by the states).
They stood in silence for long days, through rain, scorching sun, and bone-chilling cold and snow. And they stood even as police began to arrest them for “obstructing traffic,” as they were sentenced to jail, and as they became the first Americans to be force-fed by their jailers.
Their years of dedication and incredible self-motivation were rewarded when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920.
If you are impressed by this incredible display of purpose and passion, share the story of the Silent Sentinels with young women in your life.
As women, we are all going to say a big resounding YES! We all may think this is a good thing – we get more done when we multitask, right? The answer is really NO!
Many studies have been done recently on multitasking and the research has determined that we are just “switch-tasking” – going between tasks. It usually slows us down AND we make more mistakes.
There is actually a stop/start process in the brain that wears us down.
Multitasking is one of the no-no’s of time management. We will be more efficient if we focus on one thing at a time —- 20% to 40% more efficient — according to research. t is more efficient to do things in batches – pay bills, answer emails, make phone calls, etc. When you multitask, you never get “in the zone” for the task at hand.
According to “12 Reasons to Stop Multitasking Now”, some main reasons to stop:
So next time you think you are multitasking, stop and become aware that you are switch-tasking. Then give yourself a time limit. See if you complete your task in less time. Bet you surprise yourself in how fast you get things done!