Keyot MN was a sponsor at a recent WLiT, Women Leading in Technology event. It was a great program with a speaker from Linkage. www.linkageinc.com She spoke on the SEVEN HURDLES WOMEN FACE:
- Confidence (Can I do this?)
- Branding and Presence (How am I showing up?)
- Ambivalence (Do I know what I want?)
- Networking (Who has time?)
- Making the Ask ( How do I ask for what I want?)
- Proving our Value ( Why can’t I do it all?)
- Bias ( Bias? What bias?)
The speaker was targeting Woman growing their careers in Technology but the advice is really genderless. My personal takeaway from the speaker relates to How am I Showing Up? Many times throughout my career I was given feedback that I was “too nice”. I struggled to understand what that meant or how I was supposed to change? What was wrong with being nice anyway? What I needed to see was how others saw me. I needed to ask myself what I wanted people to say when I left the room. Did I want them to say, “Gee, isn’t she nice?” or did I want them to talk about my work, my wisdom, my contributions?
The speaker told a story of a professional woman who received similar feedback…”you aren’t tough enough” . The tip was given to change the language that describes you by using that language about yourself. The leader started work into the conversation things like “I am looking forward to seeing your report. I am tough on details, so I hope you are ready.” She would work the word “tough” into conversations by describing what she is tough on; details, numbers, team dynamics, sales, work ethic, mentoring others, etc. Over time people started to say things like, “You better be prepared, she is tough on…”
Keyot has a program called Crew212. The Crew are new graduates from college who attend boot camp training and year-long mentoring and skill development to become future Project Managers, Business and Data Analysts. Laura Kelly, Keyot Partner, recently met with a group of these young professionals and shared this story. She gave them a challenge to come up with “their WORD” of how they want to be described, how they want others to see them, how they want to show up. Their WORD is a secret, must be genuine and true. Their assignment is to try for the next month to define themselves and then report on the results. I can’t wait to hear about it.
Choose how you want to show up. Change up your language and see if it impacts how others see you. Then watch what happens.