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PlayingWithTheBoys newsletter 1

Earlier this week, I saw Alice Cooper live in concert. It was a great show! It’s remarkable that at age 69, he’s so energetic – a real showman, and a true professional. He gave an excellent performance!

But while Alice is, of course, an amazing musician, what impressed me most was his guitarist, a young woman named Nita Strauss. Nita has been involved with a number of rock groups,

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I’m very happy to announce my participation in this exciting event, being held for a wonderful cause. Please see the information below to book your place.

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Own Your Space: Confidence, Competence, Charisma

Playing with the Boys (Literally!): A Lesson From Alice Cooper’s Guitarist

PlayingWithTheBoys newsletter 1

Earlier this week, I saw Alice Cooper live in concert. It was a great show! It’s remarkable that at age 69, he’s so energetic – a real showman, and a true professional. He gave an excellent performance!

But while Alice is, of course, an amazing musician, what impressed me most was his guitarist, a young woman named Nita Strauss. Nita has been involved with a number of rock groups, including the band Femme Fatale, and the musical backing group for the Arena Football League team LA KISS.

One of the friends I was with remarked on how hard a female guitarist must have to work to get to that level. Like many other industries, rock and roll is male-dominated. So, reaching Nita’s level of success requires a lot of dedication, navigation and talent.

After the show, I was able to talk with both Nita and Alice. I said, “Nita, as a female musician, do you think you have to work harder than your male counterparts?” Her answer? “You bet!”

And Alice added, “Yes, I only surround myself with the best!”

“People don’t think about the time that it takes and the work that it takes to put in,” she observed in an interview on the No Guitar is Safe podcast. “You have to sweat it out,” was her advice. “That’s how you get good.” [Source: https://soundcloud.com/guitar-player-magazine/episode-11-nita-strauss time: 25.59]

The hope, of course, is that one day women and men in the workplace will truly be on an equal playing field. But for the time being, women often have to work extra hard to prove we deserve to be there as much as the men.

Advancing your career is not just about the work, but also who you know, and who knows what you are doing. Every successful woman in business has connections, work associates with whom business is the basis of the relationship, as well as strategic relationships that are helpful to both parties. Women who want to advance their careers need to develop a network of smart, influential people who are familiar with their knowledge, accomplishments and strengths. And if you are one of very few women in the upper reaches of a corporation, it means learning to network with men.

You have to work hard, stay disciplined, and meet the guys where they are. This means being able to comfortably converse with them, and show them you’re an equal.

Whether you’re in a rock band or in corporate America, it’s harder for women to get ahead. You have to know how to navigate the landscape. Be like Nita. She truly owns her space and holds her own – even alongside a renowned male rock star like Alice Cooper. She seems to be totally comfortable with herself, and everything about her says I deserve to be here! She truly OWNS her space!

Own Your Space: Confidence, Competence, Charisma

Are You Checking In With Yourself?

As I checked in for my flight this morning, I couldn’t help thinking the following:

We check in for travel, we check in with our significant others, we check in at work, but how often do we check in with ourselves?

So, all I encourage you to do — starting today — is to ask yourself the following three questions:

What right now in my life do I need to STOP doing?
What do I need to START doing, and what’s stopping me?
What do I need to CONTINUE doing?

I recommend beginning by listing the sabotaging behaviors you want to STOP, really thinking about ways to implement what it is you want to START doing, and looking at what you want to CONTINUE doing.
And remember, we are often so busy thinking about what we want to give up and what we want to accomplish that we forget to look at all the things we already doing that work well for us.
As leadership expert John Maxwell says, you will never change your life until you change something you do daily.

I urge you take a moment and reflect on all THREE: what to STOP, what to START and what to CONTINUE as you embark on a fulfilling, productive and hopefully VERY happy remainder of your summer!

Having A Greater Impact Every Time You Communicate

Are You Communicating with MORE HASTE AND LESS SPEED?

So often, in an effort to respond to a situation immediately, we hastily send out an email, answer a question or make a call that lacks thought.

As a result, the recipient either misunderstands the communication, doesn’t get the full context, or is unnecessarily annoyed.

Had we just taken a couple of minutes to craft our message, think about our response, or plan the call, we could have been so much more effective and in the end, the problem or situation would have been dealt with much more efficiently.

My mantra is simple. Practice conscious, thoughtful communication and you will save so much time!

Here is another technique, and a great mnemonic by the way! STOP, CHALLENGE & CHOOSE.

STOP:  Don’t respond in seconds. Take a minute. A slow deep breath and exhale might help.

CHALLENGE: Re-read the communication and double check that you are not misinterpreting anything or making assumptions.

CHOOSE: Choose your words carefully. As in email, the recipient can’t hear your tone, so how you phrase something is critical. If you are responding via phone or in person, be aware of the words you use, but focus equally on your tone, vocal inflection, and overall demeanor.

Think about how much time we waste because of misunderstandings, lack of clarity and overall hasty communication! In the end, a couple of moments of thought can make your personal and professional life not only more pleasant, but far more efficient.

 

Own Your Space: Confidence, Competence, Charisma

The Greater Impact of Your Facial Expressions

FacialExpressions newsletter 3
In a recent workshop on Leadership Presence, one of the participants shared that  her manager often asked her if something was upsetting her.

She was mystified, because as far as she was concerned she had been fully engaged and positive in the meetings. When she asked why he thought that, he said she often looked upset.  That was when she realized that  her look of concentration and thoughtfulness was in fact being interpreted as consternation.

So, the question is what exactly does your facial expression say about YOU? You will often hear me say, that your “Brand” is how you show up in other people’s minds, and the fact is your facial expression plays a big part in that.

As you know, you don’t need to be speaking to communicate. Nonverbal language is Para-language and the look on your face truly does speak a thousand words. Behavioral therapist, Dr Albert Mehrabian famously said that 93% of the overall way we are perceived comes from our non-verbal communication. This includes our voice and vocal intonation, but in large part it is our body language and facial expression.

With this in mind, it would be very helpful to become very conscious of your facial expression at all times.

Are you sitting in meetings frowning, looking distracted or  are you looking engaged, with a relaxed demeanor? I am not suggesting your grin or even smile, but I am suggesting that you consciously try to relax your facial muscles, look engaged and ensure that your face reflects interest and positivity.  I am also not saying  you should hide your emotions, but I am saying that the  power of your facial expression to impact the overall way you are perceived should not be underestimated!