Ep 269 Women in Leadership: Being Bold, Personal Brand and Negotiations

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Join me today as we close out the Women in Leadership Series.  Today we are talking about the competency of being bold, the importance of personal brand and negotiations.

In this episode:

  • The importance of boldness in women’s leadership, including branding and presence, negotiations, and challenging limiting beliefs.
  • Importance of clear communication and bold actions in professional settings.
  • Personal branding and authenticity in the workplace. 5:42
  • The importance of self-awareness in branding.
  • Negotiation strategies and mindset. 9:43
  • Overcoming limiting beliefs and negotiating with empathy. 13:26

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Episode Transcript:  Transcribed by OtterAI with minimal edits: 

You are listening to the it’s your time podcast and I’m your host certified life coach Michelle Arnold Bourque, and today’s episode we are discussing women in leadership, being bold personal branding, and negotiations. Welcome to the it’s your time Podcast, the podcast, we’re 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. Hello, hello, hello. Welcome back to the podcast friends. Okay, here we are in the last episode of the last installment of the women in leadership series. As a reminder, or in case you missed it, this series has been all about sharing some of the tools and concepts recently presented at the women and leadership conference, which was hosted by linkage. And each week, I have been sharing a couple of the core competencies that they discussed and their leadership model, as well as some of the hurdles associated with each competency. We’ve talked about being clear, connected, influential, inspiring, and, of course, the importance of awareness, which is the center of all of them. And today, we are wrapping it all up just like a little gift under the tree talking about being bold. Now, before we jump in, let me just remind you about some of the hurdles that we’ve talked about. We discussed internal bias and inner critic, clarity, making the ask, proving your value, and networking. And today’s hurdle that’s associated with bold is branding and presence. And I also want to touch on negotiations, because I think it is super important when we’re looking at the idea of being bold, and also knowing what our brand is that when we come to the negotiation table, we are very clear on that. And the negotiation piece was another class that they offered at the conference. And I think for many women, it’s an opportunity for improvement, right, we can all probably pick up a thing or two, on improving our negotiation skills. And I wanted to keep bold as the final competency to wrap it up. Because I think a lot of times as women, we are socialized to not be bold, we are in fact supposed to be nice little girls. And that presupposes that you can’t be nice and be bold. The importance of what we say to ourselves and to younger ones is so influential. It wasn’t that long ago that I was talking to my sister, and she was saying how they don’t say the word bold to the girls, my two little nieces. Like you can’t say, oh, you’re being so bold. But when you look up the definition, the definition of bold is showing an ability to take risks, confident and courageous. So of course, I am like they sure should be bold. Now in full transparency. That’s also the ant suggesting such a statement, right? And then you know, peace outing, going back home two hours away. But it is just curious how we say things to ourselves, how we make judgments, how we have beliefs. And sometimes I find that we haven’t really taken the time to understand what exactly does that mean? One of my earlier coaches pointed this out to me Listen, as humans, we are often fighting for our limiting beliefs. Our brain wants to be right about things. So when someone suggests that we try something wild and crazy. We often have stories around why that is just not possible for me. Quite frankly. It’s usually hogwash, right? I mean, speaking of looking up words, where did that one come from hogwash? Oh my gosh. Anyhow, years ago, I was in a coaching session and my coach question, what I meant by the story that I was telling her, and I don’t even recall what it was about, but I for sure was telling her how it probably wasn’t possible. For me. What I do recall is that she kept questioning what I was even talking about. And I will tell you the art of questioning what you are telling yourself to get really clear on what the language means that can make all the difference and shifting some of your thoughts into ones that might be a bit more useful for you and accomplishing your goals. Okay, little bit of a tangent but it is important to know what things mean when you are saying them and what it means to be bold and specifically with a conference. The behaviors that they listed include. Speak assertively and be willing to promote yourself or your ideas. Present actively manage a professional image. And this, the professional image is what we will be talking about around the hurdle this week. And I’ll get back to it. Next behavior, volunteer to work on high profile projects, which I will just also interject the reminder to make sure that it’s a volunteer and not a voluntold. Right, there’s a difference. So make sure you’re volunteering and you want to do it. Next behavior, you are willing to take calculated risks to accomplish results. And you seize the moment to make decisions or recommendations to move things forward. And that’s if you are not even in a leadership role. Again, the behaviors each week have been pretty straightforward. It’s looking at the associated hurdles, where I think we can really learn a few things. So let’s dive into the hurdle here, which is branding and presents, you being able to claim your unique superpowers. And I want you to think about how much time you put into thinking about what your personal brand leadership is. And are you being authentic? And are you being intentional with projecting that? And I think for many, the answer is likely. Not so much. And it makes sense. Think about even back to like middle school, right? How much did you worry about what others were thinking about you? Maybe you didn’t raise your hand? Because you were afraid that you would have the answer wrong. Or maybe you didn’t raise your hand because you didn’t want to seem like the No at all. It’s so messed up, right, we really do put ourselves in this double bind, we try to fit in with the cool girls. And quite honestly, I think a lot of this still happens even as we get older. Society tells us to be smart, but not too smart, to be strong. But don’t be to the point of being a bitch be thin. But if you’re too thin, maybe there’s something wrong with you. We can make ourselves crazy trying to please everyone else. And I’ve told this story before, when I was new to this job, I had a manager say shell, you need to let your accounts see you. They need to get to know you. And I was like, ah, let’s just keep this very corporate vision going because I can be a little crazy at times. What is that cool from that movie? Like you can’t handle the truth, right? And I laugh. But it’s true. The importance of showing up and being you. Listen, I look at some of the folks that I admire most. And the reason I usually dig them is because they keep it real. They don’t always show up as perfect. They are a little wacky, and you need to be willing to show your true self in order for your people to find you. It helps people to get to know you to get to trust you. And when positions become open. They know who to tap. Remember, we talked about this in networking. It’s not always who you know, it’s who knows you. And in the book and her own voice, Jennifer McCollum, the CEO of linkage talks about brand and presence consisting of the things that we say and do. And that is what reveals our character, the things that we write, our social media presence, the people and the groups we are affiliated with, and how we express ourselves. She also talks about the importance of getting feedback to see how are people perceiving you, and being able to manage your brand proactively listen, if you aren’t writing that story, someone else will. She suggests an exercise where you start by writing five words that describe what you want your brand to be. And then text three folks who you work with pretty closely and that they know you will, and ask them for a few words that they would use to describe you at work, and then compare the list. And from that point, you get to decide, are there areas where you want to evolve? Does it all seem in alignment, and then the work is for you to show up in your way, using your words and your actions. And with that consistency, you will ensure people are clear with what you want them to perceive you as what you want your brand to be. Listen, it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there to make the effort to build your brand to take the time to ask for and receive feedback. And, sidenote, when you get the feedback, the answer is always thank you. Let’s keep it simple, right? You asked for it. Take it, do with it what you want, but just say thank you. It’s not for the faint of heart. And there was a quote in the book that I have underlined with a note that says love this and an asterix so I want to share it with you. It’s from Marshall Goldsmith, and his latest book is The Earned life he says When I convinced myself that any uncomfortable task is for the greater good, my discomfort suddenly becomes a price I am happy to pay. I love that quote for so many areas of our lives. And it’s a great reminder for the work that we do here. Right. Okay. Speaking of uncomfortable, I mentioned I wanted to touch briefly on negotiations. And I specifically want to talk about Game Changer negotiations, because this was another workshop at the conference. And the tie in here, the connection is that the speaker for the competency of bold was Molly Fletcher. And she is the founder and host of the game changer podcast, which I highly recommend. It is so good. And she is the presenting partner for this course. She, in fact, is an expert negotiator, she has negotiated $500 million in contracts, and is often referred to as the female Jerry Maguire. Now, if you are too young to know who Jerry Maguire is, do a Google search, and then go watch the movie, especially if you’re in sales. Show me the money, right? I’m a bit of a fan girl with Molly, the people on my team at the meeting really had to deal with me about talking constantly about how great she is. I mean, listen, hey, we’re embracing our authenticity here, right? This is our authentic self. This is what you get. Again, I am just touching on some of this info. And I really encourage you to follow Molly. She has books on negotiations, she has books on energy, she has a new book coming out, I believe it’s September of next year. So if you want to dive in, check her out. But a few things that I wanted to touch on that I found as new perspectives around negotiation was that number one, it can be fun. Who knew? I think sometimes we think there is a winner. And there’s a loser. And so we might shy away from that. But she talks about the importance of connection, and everyone feeling like they are leaving the table having won something. And they talked about how men are more likely to look at negotiations at as like a game. And I mean, I can see this even at a small level and life. Mark loves to ask for upgrades at hotels for free. And I’m usually like, oh, no, no, no, we shouldn’t do that. Again, back to questioning the stories that we tell ourselves, why not? If they have the room, and nobody is in it, I feel like I get the win because I have the upgrade. And guess what that place will likely get a win win, I have a great experience and want to come back and tell others about it. So where might you be able to just start asking for little things that you want. Now, here’s the other thing that they discussed, oftentimes, as women, we might not want to hear the answer. No. And we think that after we hear no, that is the end. So let me just start by saying it doesn’t mean anything about you personally, when there is a no involved. Maybe it’s just a no, not yet. How can you better understand the other person’s perspective in order to gain the negotiation in order to accomplish what the goal is? Like? What what make it valuable for them as well? And who is in your network that maybe you can enlist the help of or support of in order to accomplish the goal? I will tell you I know for me, it’s often the limiting beliefs that I have. I know, I know, shocker, right? Alert. It’s often our thinking, and belief or lack of itself that holds us back. Listen, I’m hoping the second half of my life here, I get this all figured out. But for now I’m in it with you, I share as I go, and we will figure this out. Anyhow, the story goes a couple of years ago, my entire team quit and went to my manager at the time and asked for a guarantee basically guaranteed money for X amount of time, because the team was non existent. Right. And I brought some reasons why I thought it made sense. And I was told nobody had ever asked for such a thing. And the company doesn’t do this. And if I wanted to take it to the next level, I would have to make the presentation a bit more solid. Well, my crazy brain, of course, made it about me. I went to I know that this company does it. In fact, they offer competitive reps, joining the company even more than what I was asking for. And at the time, I thought I had a decent case. But looking back after this workshop, I for sure didn’t fully take into account who I would be dealing with along the way, like all of the different perspectives of who I would have to negotiate with, like the perspectives that they might have as far as like what’s in it for them right. And I likely didn’t add as much of the what’s in it for them value in the initial presentation. But instead of going Back and reworking it, I thought, I know myself. If I end up getting this, I will feel like I owe them. And I will be working even more than I already do. And that goes back to that winner loser mentality right? Next time, I would do it entirely different. Well, hopefully there is not a next time specific to that situation. But next time you’re starting a conversation, maybe you’re asking for a raise. Remember to begin with connection? How can you show up in a compassionate way that allows everyone to feel like they are walking away as a winner. And I think when we can do that, and we pair that with being bold, we will truly see transformational changes in our lives. Okay, friends, thank you so much for being part of this series. Again, check out linkage check out the women that I’ve discussed over the past couple of weeks. Check out the women and leadership programs specifically the conference is already scheduled for next year and I highly recommend it. Don’t forget to also take a peek at all of the speakers that I mentioned, check out their books, check out the podcast see what kind of jives for you they were all so good. Hopefully you were able to take home a couple of gems over the past couple of weeks and more importantly not only take them home but start implementing them in your life. Okay, let’s meet back here next week for the final episode of 2023. Until then, make it a great day. Take care

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