Tagged words of wisdom

Top Five Things Highly Successful Women Should Remember

These tips are for successful women on the importance on presence, presenting and the perception others may have of you.

1. Be prepared.  Most sophisticated people can tell if you are using a ‘cookie-cutter’ presentation that you’ve used over and over.  Do a little homework about the audience – sense of where they are, what they expect, what the issues are, what will they be inspired by.  Inspiring, motivational, charismatic – AND knowledgeable, capable, skilled, experienced is the winning combination.  Most of these can be learned and you can do this in a way that matches your own personality and sense of who you are.

2. Be observant.  You need only to LOOK at the non-verbal language of those you are addressing to guess what they are thinking about.  An audience will give a lot of context cues particularly when you are not connecting.  You will note that they aren’t listening (like answering calls, texting, sitting away or slouching from the table, looking away, etc.)  This should tell you how engaged they are and if they are interested in what you have to offer. Much of what we communicate, we do through body language.  If you suspect they aren’t ‘present’ – regroup and rethink what you are talking about.   Ask a question to try to reengage and then follow that thread of conversation to see where it leads you.  Call on someone that looks engaged or ready to say something and ask them to share their thoughts.  Be ready to ‘bag’ whatever you were presenting, slides, talking points, etc. in favor of what they want to talk about.

3. Be genuine.  People like it when a leader shares what they care about (including them) and admits what they know a lot about and what they don’t.  Using humor is okay without being self-deprecating.  Some may not know your ‘story’ – so share some of it when appropriate (where you’re from, where you’ve been, etc.) in a succinct and sincere manner.  Remember, under stress you will be tempted or simply forget, to acknowledge others around you.  Make it a point to connect with your staff/ leadership team regularly and with others in the organization when able.

4. Listen carefully.  You may be surprised how much you learn from what you hear AND (equally important) what you didn’t hear about (or from).  The ‘silent’ group can be very influential and the informal leaders for the larger group.  They will be the ones that walk out of a meeting and head directly for someone else that was in the room to ‘regurgitate’ what they heard and give their opinion on the issue.  You can demonstrate that you are listening in real-time by using ‘check-back’ – repeat and confirm what you think you heard.  Top leadership is sometime accused of being dis-connected from the real world issues.  Active listening and follow-through on key or ‘no-brainer’ issues addresses that.

 

 

  • Remember, take advice gracefully.  It isn’t easy to ‘take’ it from the rank and file or others that are in lower ranks of the organization.  You may be surprised at the wisdom that others have/will share when they feel safe/comfortable and believe you are humble enough to accept it.  When needed, circle back at a later time to check in with them/ask about something they said.  People will be grateful that you cared enough to ask.

 

 

7 Tips for Women Managers and Leaders

These tips are straightforward, common sense things women managers and leaders should remember for the workplace.

1. The less you confide in others in the organization, the better. What you intend as harmless chatter with someone that is not trustworthy can do serious harm.

2. Keep your speculations and worries to yourself.  Don’t let your guard down and know when you are being ‘baited’ to give your opinion ‘off the record.’  Nothing is ever ‘off the record’ in leadership.

3. Leadership is a full-time job and the duty clock is never off. Every little sign is being read and your impatience, disappointment or insecurity will be magnified by others.  There is no time for casual and unplanned candor, and messages must be sent only when carefully thought out. Be especially careful about what you put in writing, especially emails—they never disappear.

4. Keep listening to and for advice. If someone wants to speak to you, there is every reason to listen. If criticism is offered, take time to respond with care even if you don’t agree with it.

5. The important thing is to be sure that the important thing remains the important thing. Explain your strategy frequently and then rephrase it and repeat it.

6. Expect the best from others but don’t be surprised if you get the worst.  Be ready for disagreement and sabotaging strategies by colleagues.  If this happens, be careful of your public reaction.  Better to be silent than to speak out abruptly and do damage.

7. Remember – take a deep breath, relax, be yourself, and accept what you cannot change.