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Take Your Power Back

Take Your Power Back

A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult. ~Melinda Gates I rarely talk about politics, mainly because they seem to bring out the worst in people. I mean the absolute worst! This last presidential election in the United States was just downright brutal. Whether you were a #NastyWoman or a staunch Trump supporter, I believe that is one thing everyone can agree on. It was one ugly fight. However, that is not what this article is about so breathe. I want to talk about one of the themes that arose after the election and that was women and how we process our feelings. Every woman I know felt some type of way about the presidential election results. She was disappointed. She was afraid. She was happy. She was angry. She was confused. She was indifferent. She was hopeful. She was numb. She was worried. She was frustrated. She was relieved. She was sad. She was excited. She was mad as hell. She may have even been some combination of all of the above. It doesn’t really matter, but one thing was for sure… she had some feelings about what was happening in the world around her. And that’s where things became interesting. As women turned to social media and other outlets expressing their feelings about the election results, those who expressed those feelings of anger, disappointment, sadness, and grief were “encouraged” to get over it, stop focusing on the negative, to pick up and move forward, etc. Why? Why must we stuff our feelings so...
Why Can’t We Just Say NO?

Why Can’t We Just Say NO?

No is a complete sentence. ~Unknown Over the years I have become quite fascinated by this tiny two-letter word ‘no’. Normally in my sales trainings, I encourage participants to get comfortable with the word ‘no’ because it’s a normal part of the sales process. Unfortunately, you can’t get to yes without a few no’s. Yet this tiny two-letter word has the power to stop people in their tracks because they are afraid of hearing it. Lately, I’ve noticed that not only do many of us hate to hear it, we also hate to say it. Particularly us ladies. I will be the first to admit that I am VERY guilty of not saying NO sometimes even when I know I want to or really should. I love how my husband Toby deals with no, he just says it. He doesn’t offer any explanation nor does he feel any guilt after he says it. If only that could be the case for myself and many of the women, I work with. You may be wondering what suddenly piqued my interest in evaluating how I deal with no. It all began in the grocery store. I recently went out to our neighborhood Fry’s grocery store and as I was walking in I saw the Cub Scouts standing near the exit. I hate to admit it, but my initial thought was “oh great… why can’t I just shop in peace?” Oh but wait… it gets better. I realized that once I was inside the grocery doing my shopping this was the day for the pillow ladies to be there. O-M-G… these ladies...
What to do as a Leader When You Don’t Have the Words

What to do as a Leader When You Don’t Have the Words

“If you are tuned out of your own emotions, you will be poor at reading them in other people.” – Daniel Goleman What do you do as a leader when you don’t have the words? When you cannot articulate how you’re feeling or quickly come up with an answer to a situation that looms so large it feels as if there is no real solution? As a nation, this past week has been challenging. We have watched some horrific events unfold right before our very eyes. And it seemed that just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, you woke up to the news that it did. What do you do as a leader when emotions run high and solutions seemingly run low? This is the question I’ve pondered over the past week or so as I worked to gather my own thoughts, assess my own emotions and determine my next course of action. It’s bad enough when things like this occur and you have to deal with your individual emotions, responses, and reactions. It’s an entirely different thing when you then are faced with the thoughts, emotions, and reactions of your team, your children, your family, your colleagues, your neighbors, etc. The world didn’t stop because bad things were happening. Many of us woke up to bad news, went to sleep to this news, watched it continue to unfold on TV and social media and yet life…continued…anyway. We watched (some of us continue to watch) as many of our friends, colleagues, and loved ones lashed out in hurt, anger, disbelief, and confusion. And let’s just face it, the issue...
5 Keys to Own Your Power

5 Keys to Own Your Power

“Power is the ability to take one’s place in whatever discourse is essential to action and the right to have one’s part matter.” ~Carolyn Heilbrun When speaking of power many women leaders struggle with being powerful. This is often because women leaders have a warped view of power and haven’t developed a personal definition of power. If you are going to lead like a lady and shatter your inner glass ceiling, you MUST own your power and understand that you are NOT a victim. You are a powerful leading lady. You are a doyenne! Say it out loud: I am a doyenne! While there are many obstacles that you may face as a woman leader on your way to the top, having a victim or ‘woe is me’ mentality will not serve you well. The truth is, as a leader you have power. It simply comes with the territory. And women are more powerful than you think. Did you know that women control $12 trillion of the world’s wealth? And that companies who are led by women have a 36.4% greater return on equity than firms that do not? When leading like a lady, you must understand the importance of power and know how to use that power to move your career and team forward. However, before we talk about this further, I must ask you a question: how do you feel about being a powerful leader? What is your perception of power? I want you to pay attention to the thoughts, images, and feelings that come up for you. This will provide key insight into how you view...
Do You Have the Courage?

Do You Have the Courage?

“Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?” – Elizabeth Gilbert On a recent flight to Salt Lake City, Utah, I started reading the book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I’d heard some good things about the book from friends and colleagues. And while I purchased the book several months ago, I hadn’t yet made the time to read it. So there I was at 30,000 feet (or so) and I decided to dive in. It wasn’t long before I came across this question, which caused me to pause and close the book for a moment… Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you? Yikes! Well that’s an interesting question. Do I? Do you? As I opened the book again to continue reading, little did I know that this question would somehow be the basis for the entire trip. Once I arrived in Utah and got checked into my hotel, I ventured out for breakfast with my colleague Mark. During our meal, as we were talking about business, I shared with Mark my idea to host more luxury retreats for women leaders and the laundry list of reasons for my hesitation not to do so. Mark being the numbers guy that he is was more than happy to share ideas on how that could become a reality without it sucking all of the joy and fun out of the project. My growing excitement about this idea and the possibilities was not lost on Mark and he asked me this question: “what if you...
Master Your Emotions

Master Your Emotions

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” – Oscar Wilde There are those who may believe that women and emotions are synonymous. And while men are not void of emotion, I think we can all admit that they do not process their emotions in the same way. Overcoming the “too emotional” label is a challenge that women leaders face. No matter how ludicrous the notion may be, it still exists. Although there is no evidence to support the idea that women are too emotional to be effective leaders, there is wisdom in making sure that your emotions are not running the show. However, you cannot allow yourself to be held hostage in a place where you equate not being too emotional with not being allowed to feel or express emotion. The danger isn’t in feeling emotions, but it’s in allowing your emotions to rule your thoughts, actions and decisions. Emotional leaders allow their emotions to dictate their actions and from day-to-day you don’t know what to expect. We’ve either worked with them or heard the horror stories. They are the leaders who one day they are fine and all is well and the next everyone is walking around on eggshells to avoid encountering their wrath. When a leader creates an environment that is unsafe, it damages morale, hinders connection and has a negative impact on team productivity. It also adds unnecessary stress and drama to the life of the leader. Below are six tips to help you eliminate the drama and make sure you are...