Introverts may feel powerless but they can successfully influence others in the workplace to affect change and inspire others. Some may think the way to get things done in business is by being the loudest or the most charismatic, but introverts can be highly effective influencers as well when they use their natural strengths instead of trying to act like extroverts.
My guest , Jennifer Kahnweiler, is an expert on the subject and an international speaker and executive coach. Her new book, Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference, helps us to understand the qualities that introverts possess and how they can leverage these strengths to be successful.
Jennifer specializes in developing and coaching introverted leaders. She holds a doctorate in counseling and organizational development from Florida State University. She has also written articles about introverts in the workplace for Forbes, Bloomberg Business Week and The Wall Street Journal. Her first book, The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength, has sold more than 20,000 copies and has been translated into multiple languages. You can learn more about Jennifer at her website, www.jenniferkahnweiler.com and via twitter @JennKahnweiler.
My mom is in her nineties and she is constantly telling her friends to focus on what they can do; not to dwell on what they used to be able to do when they were younger. “That will get you depressed. Having a positive attitude is everything.”
It’s not easy getting old in our society. (That could be the subject of a whole other blog and is not the focus of this one.) What I really want to stress here today is the great lesson I have learned from my mom about having a positive attitude.
Mindset is everything when it comes to living a purposeful and fulfilling life. Mindset is everything when it comes to building a successful career. You can always look at the half empty glass and bemoan your lack of progress. You can always see a glass ceiling as a formidable barrier to your success. But none of those perceptions help you to move forward. Not only will they keep you stuck and frustrated, but can contribute to your unhappiness.
So it’s Mother’s Day and as I write this blog to honor my own mother and the best lesson she taught me, I want to use this opportunity as well to remind you that your mindset about your life and career shape your life and career. What you believe is what will happen!
Happy Mother’s Day!
This week’s topic is office romance. We spend most of our time at work so it’s natural to assume that we will meet someone that we want to date and have a relationship with. We will discuss the challenges of having an office romance and how best to navigate around this issue in the workplace.
Joining me is Dr. Lisa Mainiero. Lisa received her doctorate in organizational behavior from Yale University She is a sought-after lecturer and consultant, with appearances on Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN’s Newsnight with Aaron Brown, and numerous other radio, television, and talk-show programs. Dr. Mainiero’s latest book, co-authored with Sherry E. Sullivan, The Opt-Out Revolt: Why People Are Leaving Companies to Create Kaleidoscope Careers describes contemporary trends in the career landscape for women and for men. Dr. Mainiero has published several articles on executive women’s careers, issues of power and politics, office romance, and crisis management, and is the author of Office Romance: Love, Power and Sex in the Workplace. She is a Full Professor of Management at the Charles F. Dolan School of Business at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut.
I have spoken with thousands of women since I started my coaching practice in 2006; women of all ages, with very different backgrounds and experiences; all interested in being successful in business. Most recently, I asked myself why some of them succeed and why others never do. I came to a conclusion based on my years of coaching that may surprise you.
Experience and educational background don’t seem to contribute to career success as much as mindset and attitude. The secret sauce to success is owning your ambition and taking action.
When I look back at my own career, I see how my ambition and drive contributed to my success. I wasn’t looking for excuses why I couldn’t succeed, but focused on what I needed to do to get where I wanted to go…and I did it. No excuses! I started with no business experience. I was divorced with two young children and needed a job. I knew I didn’t know much about business but I was willing to learn and I surrounded myself with people who could teach me what I needed to know to be successful. I took action and embraced my ambition wholeheartedly.
Many women pay lip service to their ambition. They say they want to get ahead but they back off. They opt out. They look for excuses why they can’t make it instead of finding ways to make it. These are the women, who no matter how talented and well-educated, don’t make it to leadership roles.
So the secret sauce to success is to embrace your ambition and take action. Ask yourself how serious you are about your professional growth. If you truly are serious and intentional, then take action. Put a plan in place to reach your goals. Invest in your professional growth.
What I’ve learned also is that women who do this are my ideal clients. If you are ambitious and are willing to take action and want a clear plan to reach your career goals, give me a call.
This week’s topic is integrated leadership and we’re going to discuss the importance of having both men and women working together in leadership. Recently, scientists have discovered that men and women process information and think differently. It has also been demonstrated that these different approaches and points of view complement each other and strengthen the leadership team.
Joining me today is Rebecca Shambaugh. A nationally known leadership strategist, Becky has over 20 years of experience helping organizations and executives respond to critical leadership challenges and opportunities in today’s business environment. She is CEO of Shambaugh Leadership. Becky founded Women In Leadership and Learning (WILL), the first executive leadership development program in the country, dedicated to the research, advancement, and retention of women leaders and executives.
Becky is a known thought leader in the industry and is the author of two best seller books titled, “Leadership Secrets of Hillary Clinton” and “It’s Not A Glass Ceiling, It’s A Sticky Floor,” and her new book, “Make Room For Her: Why Companies Need an Integrated Leadership Model To Achieve Extraordinary Results.”
She has been showcased on Fox News (New York), Washington Business, ABC, and numerous syndicated radio talk shows. She has been featured in publications such as: Leader to Leader, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Time Magazine, USA Today, Fortune Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Pink Magazine, and Entrepreneur Magazine.
This week’s discussion is about how to balance the competing interests of a challenging career and personal life. Our feelings of happiness come from being successful in both, yet the stress from trying to manage the expectations and responsibilities can often be overwhelming.
My guest this week is Susan Smith Blakely. Susan knows what it takes to succeed in the practice of law. During her 25 years of experience she has viewed the legal profession from many perspectives—as a law firm associate, counsel and partner, and as a chief of staff to an elected official in the public sector. As the wife of a fellow litigator and the parent of two children, Ms. Blakely has first- hand knowledge of the difficult decisions women lawyers must make in terms of work and family life.
Ms. Blakely’s first book Best Friends at the Bar: What Women Need to Know about a Career in the Law, is the first true guide book for young women contemplating law school, young women law students and young women in their first years of law practice.
Her second book, Best Friends at the Bar: The New Balance for Today’s Woman Lawyer, digs deeper into the issues of work-life struggle and balance and proposes a new balance of work/self/home and family to attain the happiness and satisfaction that will keep young women in the law profession
Leadership Emotional Intelligence is not new- however it has been shown that leaders in today’s market need it more now than ever before. Emotional Intelligence is the understanding of how we interact with other and build relationships. It is not how much you know that is important – it is how we interact with others.
My discussion today will help us to better understand why emotional intelligence is so important for successful leadership and how we can use EI to advance our careers.
Joining me is Lauran Star. Lauran Star is a sought after author, consultant and speaker who inspires vision and strategic change in any economic environment. She is the leading thought leader in Emotional Intelligence and Women’s Empowerment.
With more than fifteen years of leadership experience with several Fortune 500 companies, as well as an active consulting career in the Dental / Healthcare and Financial arena –Lauran has an understanding of what today’s audiences are facing. Lauran became a proud member of the United States Armed Forces in 1989 and served for ten years.
Lauran Star also is a national syndicated radio host on Contact Talk Radio – where she engages her audiences weekly on topics ranging from Emotional Intelligence, Client Retention to Organizational Development.
Lauran holds a Master’s Degree is in Organizational Psychology and a Bachelors in Psychology. Her certifications include;Executive Coaching, Emotional Intelligence, NLP, Firo and TKI Conflict Management. She is an active member of both the National Speakers Association and Global Speakers Federation. Her website is www.LauranStar.com
Last Friday at the Bay Path Women’s Conference, I listened intently to Queen Latifah talk about her career and her bold move at 17 as a hip hop star to call herself “Queen Latifah”. She said Latifah was always her nickname, but putting “Queen” in front of it was certainly a bold statement, especially at such a young age. But she did it and the rest is history!
This made me think about the different bold moves I’ve made in my own life and career and specifically what has prompted me to step out of my comfort zone at times. I’ve always been a bit of a risk taker, but a risk taker in a very strategic way. Sure, sometimes I do things impulsively but for the most part I seek opportunities to move my career forward and evaluate those opportunities that present themselves to determine if they make sense for me and where I am in my career.
After having been with one company for 9 years and losing a promotion, I took a tremendous leap out of my comfort zone. I moved from the east coast to Chicago to run a national healthcare company. It was a huge step up to be a CEO and I could have easily talked myself out of it. “I’m not ready to do this.” “It’s scary to move away from my family and friends.” “I am afraid I’m not good enough.” I’m sure you’ve all had similar thoughts, but in the end despite my fear I was bold and made the move and I’m happy that I did. It was a turning point in my career.
Being bold can be different things to different people. In some cases, it’s taking on a new job, changing careers, leaving work to raise a family. In some cases it’s calling yourself “Queen”.
In the end, Queen Latifah said she was comfortable enough in her own skin to celebrate who she is, as she is and told the women in the audience to strive for the same.
“Be bold, be brave enough to be your true self,” she said.
What bold move have you done lately?
I was dumbfounded and perhaps a little embarrassed when in an interview last week with Sharon Sayler, body language and communications expert, she said that to look more intelligent we should breathe through our noses. Who knew I was coming across as stupid when my cold forced me to breathe through my mouth? I felt lucky just to be breathing quite honestly!
The lesson here is not to dwell on my recent cold, but to make the point that there are many ways that our body language influences the way we are perceived by others.
There has been much talk lately of Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, and her new movement. I happen to be a fan of the premise of the book that as woman we can learn much about how to better position ourselves for success. Certainly our awareness of not only our communication patterns but body language is a great place to start. In fact, leaning in, is literally one way that you can communicate to others that you are engaged and ready to listen and take action.
You can listen to the full interview for more great tips, but the take-away here is that we already know that we need to do great work to be recognized. Of equal importance is positioning ourselves in the organization as confident and capable of taking on more responsibility and challenges. Confident and competent women are much more likely to be considered as having leadership potential.
Another pointer that I picked up from the interview with Sharon Sayler is that keeping your chin up helps you to look more confident. Can you fake confidence until you feel it? Apparently so! Keeping your chin up is one way to demonstrate confidence. Try it before you head into a meeting or make a presentation. Lifting your chin actually feels powerful and does give you a feeling of confidence.
Maintaining eye contact during conversations and presentations also contributes to the perception that you have confidence in what you are presenting or discussing.
Try some of these simple tips and see how you feel. Even when you make small changes in your behavior it changes the way others think of you. Ask a trusted colleague or mentor for feedback as you continue to try new approaches to your communication and body language.
Lean in. Chin up. Step up into your own talent and power and demonstrate to others that you have the potential to move up.
I finally hit a wall. I thought I was superwoman. I foolishly believed I had some kind of super power that would shield me from this flu bug that knocked everyone off their feet. But after weeks of traveling, speaking, a heightened workload, and moving, that nasty bug finally caught up with me and I’m flat out.
It made me think that I’ve always had this “superwoman” identity my whole career; thinking that there was nothing I couldn’t conquer if I set my intention to doing it. I was a single mom building a career with two young children trying to break through the glass ceiling in companies run and sometimes owned by men. Determined and passionate, I always had the energy to power through any obstacle…that is, until I periodically dropped of exhaustion.
I believe many of us suffer from this superwoman demon. We think we can do it all and we drive ourselves forward with great determination until we run out of fuel. Our bodies remind us time and time again that we are mere mortals and because of that, we need to take the time to take off our cape and take it easy. Why don’t we ever see the wall up ahead that we are certain to hit forcefully if we don’t put on the brakes?
I’m one of those people who believe that there is nothing that can’t be conquered with intention and passion. What happens in the process, however, is burn out.
Sticking to a good routine of a healthy diet, regular exercise, meditation and reflection (in my case journaling) helps all of us superwomen to avoid collisions with big brick walls.
Right now, I need to make some more tea and honey and nurse my wicked cold. It will take a few days before I can put my cape back on and conquer the world.
Can you relate to any of this? Do you qualify as a superwoman? Building a career? Raising children?