Ep 266 Women In Leadership: Awareness & Internal Bias

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Join me today as I share of information from the recent Women In Leadership conference I attended.  The goal of the next couple of weeks is for you to take these tools and concepts and apply them in a way that works for you as you start thinking about your goals for 2024.

  • Women in leadership, internal bias, and goal setting. 0:00
  • Women’s leadership competencies and hurdles. 1:52
  • Overcoming inner critic and limiting beliefs for personal growth. 3:53
  • Recognizing and managing thoughts to improve relationships. 8:12
  • Self-awareness and internal bias. 10:22

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    Episode Transcript: Transcribed by OtterAI with minimal edits:

    You are listening to it your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Bourque, and today’s episode I’m discussing women in leadership, gaining awareness and internal bias. Welcome to the it’s your time Podcast, the podcast where busy professionals like you get the practical solutions and support you need to gain control of your schedule so you can strive to be the best in your career, but without the stress and overwhelm. If you’re looking to increase your energy and decrease your stress, you are in the right place. Michelle Bourque 0:36 Hello, hello, hello. Welcome back to the podcast friends. Okay, here we are in the final weeks of the year, can you believe it? I mentioned in last week’s episode that I wanted to share some of the amazing information from the recent women and leadership conference that I had the privilege of attending. And let me just start by saying this was not just a company specific event. So you can follow linkage, which is a SHRM company. And the company is a global leadership development firm committed to advancing and accelerating inclusion, and leaders and organizations. And what I want to do is finish out this year each week with sharing concepts and tools and different things that I learned that I think might be helpful for you. As we look towards setting our goals for next year. Now. There were about 2000 folks in person there and another 1000 virtually, it was amazing. And I touched on part of it. And last week’s episode, I discussed some of the speakers and the author. So if you missed that, I would say go back and check it out, especially if you’re looking for some really good reads. Okay, let’s dive in to begin with pre work consisted of a 360 evaluations. So I did it for myself, every attendee had to do the same. And then I had leadership and colleagues complete. And the model of competencies, which they discussed, was based on the following number one, bold meaning asserts itself courageously and professionally. Number two, clear articulates ideas that enable forward momentum. Number three, connected, build and expand network of trusted relationships. Influential is number four positively impacts organizational decisions. And then number five, inspiring engages the commitment of others. And let me just say, it is not necessarily a list of 1234 or five, it is more of a circle. And the middle of that circle is aware, which is seeks and utilizes reflective, and in the moment, self knowledge. So in addition to the model, we also discussed, because those were going to be the competencies that we’re working on, right. But then of course, there are often hurdles. And the hurdles that we discussed were ones that women typically face, such as internal bias, clarity, proving your value, recognized confidence, branding, and presence, making the ask and networking. And before we start to tackle some of this, I will say the one thing that I had in common with, I think just about everyone in the room was we all graded ourselves lower than the others. Let that set in, and significantly lower in some cases, which is not really shocking, right? I mean, we know there’s research around the topic, women will often hold themselves back from applying for new jobs or promotions, because we think we need to have all of the boxes checked in order to proceed not only checked, I think oftentimes we need to think that we pretty much do it perfectly. And guys listen, no offense. In fact, I wish I were a little bit more like this, but guys will be like, Yeah, I’m gonna toss my hat in the ring. Wait, what were the qualifications? Oh, close enough. Let’s do it. So friends, as you listen over the next couple of weeks, because I’m gonna take each concept, tool, competency, and hurdle and discuss it and I want you to take it through the lens of how you can apply the ideas to your life in a way that works for you. In a way where you can become aware, or how you might already be ready for the big promotion or the jobs or maybe just being okay with not waiting to be ready. Feel the fear and keep going. Do you remember episode 80? Here I had the author of fear is fuel Patrick Sweeney on and he discussed how fear can be a surprising superpower to help you find purpose and passion and performance. If you haven’t listened, I would highly suggest you check out that episode and the book. Okay. Now, one of the big reasons that we don’t always go after these things or why we rank ourselves lower than everyone else is with the one thing that has the similarity running through all of this This, it’s the line. It’s the hurdle. It’s the path, it is called the inner critic. Your inner critic is that inner voice that judges criticizes, demeans Guess who mostly you and by the way, usually not very objectively or justified right and often can leave us feeling things like shame, self doubt, low confidence. And in her book in her own voice, the CEO of linkage, Jennifer McCollum really goes in depth talking about this. She talks about the woman’s rise to CEO and overcoming hurdles to change the face of leadership, and she refers to the inner critic as the mega hurdle, the inner critic is not something that we are born with, but it develops in childhood. And it’s usually when we are gathering information and taking on beliefs from peers, and family members may be teachers, it can come from a number of areas, it’s that voice that tells you the reasons that you shouldn’t be going after your dreams. Here’s the thing. You don’t always have to believe everything you think, right? Spoiler alert, you do not have to believe everything you think, thank goodness for that, right? Ask yourself, what are some of these stories or beliefs? Remember, a belief is just a thought that you have repeated for so long, that it is now a belief, and it often feels like a fact. But it is not. So ask yourself what stories or beliefs are no longer useful? You have to check in on your biases, and I will share one that I am constantly trying to change. I have to do it all myself. That is not affect friends, in case it resonates with you, you do not have to do it all yourself, either. I also have the thought that I’m the one to take care of all of the things, or I’m not doing enough. Do you guys even see the craziness of that? I need to do it all. And it’s never enough. It’s not really leaving us in a win win situation, right? And it often feels terrible. Hey, fun fact. Pretty sure I’m not alone here. Michelle Bourque 7:18 But pay attention to that. Because we often tell ourselves things that are not super useful. You are doing enough, and you do not have to do it all. What needs to be true in order for you to start believing that? Where can you pause and ask yourself, what else could be true here? Guess what? Leadership is really helping others achieve their best, right? So what if instead of always having to do it yourself, you trust that you can allow someone else the opportunity to shine, just a thought. I’m working on it myself. So I figured that I would just share it here with you. And listen, it might not happen overnight. Sometimes we have to take the time to poke holes in the beliefs that we’ve held for so long. You just need to start to wiggle and wiggle and wiggle the thought. And then one day you realize, Wow, there always was another option. But the first step, of course, is to become aware. And I always talk about the importance of awareness here. So many folks are just going through life thinking life is happening to them. Not true. We are always creating our life, whether we realize it or not. The things you’ll do model will show you that day in and day out. And they discuss this at the conference to basically it means you have a thought. And let me pause here is where you need to be aware. You need to be able to recognize that a sentence in your head is not necessarily a fact. Your boss, for example, does not make you angry, you have a thought about what she or he said or did. And then you feel angry. This isn’t to add blame to ourselves. And I want to make sure you hear me when I say that. Because oftentimes when people start realizing how our thoughts create our feelings and our feelings, create our actions and our actions create our results, we start to use it against us. That is not what I am suggesting at all. I want you to just start becoming aware of those thoughts and how you’re feeling when you’re reacting in the moment. And it’s in addition to not like blaming ourselves about it. It’s also not allowing them quote unquote, off the hook. In fact, it’s some of the best news ever because we always get to choose how to react. And I love one of the quotes that keynote speaker Shannon Bayer said, when we react, we must repair. Think about that side. No, I think she was also the one that suggested asking yourself is being right more important than the relationship? That is a great question, right? When we are thinking that someone else is causing all of this anger, frustration, whatever it might be just taking a moment to pause and think about the way we are reacting, and asking if it is more important to be right. Or is it more important to keep the relationship? And did you know, two people can be right? I will tell you, I am guilty of always wanting to be right. And I will attribute that to being the eldest daughter, I think they call that eldest daughter syndrome. So I love the idea that two people can be right. Okay, let’s head back to the thing Phil do. And the idea of creating your life, you need to be aware of the thought, notice how you feel and then watch the actions or sometimes inactions that happen. And here’s an example. Let’s say you see a promotion posted, you think I’m not qualified to get that, and you feel unsure. And when you feel unsure, you don’t apply. And guess what? You don’t get the promotion. Of course, not because you weren’t qualified, because you didn’t even go after it. Because you had a thought that you were not qualified, we will always prove our thoughts to be true. Which can go both ways, friends, just take a note of that, right. That’s why we have to be intentional with what it is that we’re thinking, what it is we’re putting into our brain and what it is we are putting back out into the world. And let’s take another example. You might maybe have a thought like, I can’t apply, I need to be there for my kids. Again, what is the feeling? To be honest, I’m not a mom. So I don’t know exactly what the feeling would be. But I think it’s something along the lines of like, not willing, right? If you’re feeling like you’re not able to apply, because then that would not make you a good mom. Again, you don’t apply, that would be the action and you don’t get it. Of course you didn’t get it because you didn’t even apply but not because you’re a mom, there are many moms who might think I will totally figure this out. And then the feeling is more in line with determined. And then you do everything you can to get the job. So I want you to really start paying attention at the ways that you are creating your life. And what I want us to do more of here is own that. So often we think it’s the external sources. And when we’re in that victim ish mentality, when we’re thinking it’s everything around us that’s creating our life, we will make many changes, owning all the ways that you are creating your life leaves you more empowered to do more of what you want most. Okay, I can keep going. But I will stop this episode here because I like to keep them short for you. And today as a recap, we talked about the importance of awareness of internal bias. And I will be following up next week with more of the competencies and the hurdles. But for this week, I just want you to start paying attention to the things that you say to yourself about yourself question, would you ever say that to a friend or think about a mentee that you’re helping or think about your younger self? I actually have two pictures of myself as younger versions. And I tried to think would I ever talk to her like that? One picture is me actually around the same age as one of my nieces right now. And I would never speak to her the way that I sometimes catch myself talking to myself talking in my brain, the voices that go on I will tell you, I wish they paid rent. I could probably be very, very rich. And I will also say I am very grateful that it is not on an external system for others to hear. You know, sometimes I might say crazy things but I would just like to note most of that is actually filtered. Okay friends with that we always like to have fun here. I want you to get to work on looking at how you’re talking to yourself becoming more aware of how you’re creating your life and choosing with intention. Let’s be back here next week but for now, make it a great day. Take care

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