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How to Lead with Presence and Not be Upstaged

Submitted by Womenworking on Wed, 03/04/2015 - 09:37

Today I discussed with my friend, Lauren, our impressions of the TV series, Madame Secretary. One of Lauren’s observations hit home with me. She noticed that Tea Leoni’s character has flaws. Some days, she is knocked down by challenges, and needs help. Don’t we all need help when we feel a lack of confidence to meet our needs and reach our goals? How can we take advantage of help without diminishing our leadership presence?

In the most recent episode of Madame Secretary, McCord invites the assistance of a consultant, Mike B, after she's humiliated at a public budget meeting. Apparently a dear friend of hers, Mike walks into her office with his dog in tow and behaves as if he owns the place. There’s no hint of humility in him while he plops on her office couch along with his dog. McCord brings Mike B into her confidence on staffing issues; he advises her to fire and replace her entire staff.

While McCord doesn’t take his advice, she permits him to remain in the room while she informs her staff that they are on notice. Mike chimes in with snarky quips, subtly upstaging her and giving the impression that his opinions have a great deal of power in her decisions. Neither Lauren nor I liked this one bit!  We didn’t like Mike B’s behavior and attitude and found his behavior disrespectful of the Secretary. McCord’s staff didn’t like him either. As a woman, permitting Mike to upstage her leadership is not good.

In one of my past blogs, I described what I mean by leadership presence. What impact does permitting Mike B to behave poorly have on McCord’s leadership presence? McCord has no trouble earlier in the episode letting a male staff member know he’s out of line and putting him on notice for his behavior. Is it inconsistent to allow a peer to behave in a way that can be construed as inappropriate and disrespectful? We thought so. 

On the positive side, McCord’s decision to seek assistance from someone she trusts as knowledgeable is a sign of respectful and constructive influence. Seeking help is part of exhibiting grace—relationship intelligence in the service of elevating performance. She values people, their contribution, and working in the spirit of partnership with openness and flexibility. She also demonstrated grit in putting her staff on notice. Grit means leading with an uncompromising commitment to performance excellence and strategic focus. 

However, she lacked grit in not drawing a line with Mike B on his behavior. Acting on this would mean facing and neutralizing negativity. In the first place, I would have asked him to step outside while I put my staff on notice. If I permitted him to stay in the room, I would have asked him to remain respectfully quiet while I executed my strategy with the staff. His behavior upstaged her leadership presence, and she permitted it. I would have called him on his bad behavior with equanimity and constructive intent. I would have done this with mental calmness and composure, and pointed out to Mike his impact on the perspectives, feelings and needs of others—especially my needs. This kind of balance between grit and grace is critical to a strong leadership presence. Don’t allow yourself to be upstaged!

-Andrea Zintz, Career Coach, President, Strategic Leadership Resources

Creating Change, Taking on Challenges, and Looking to the Future

Submitted by Womenworking on Tue, 03/03/2015 - 09:40

Svetha Janumpalli is the CEO of New Incentives, an organization she founded to bring conditional cash transfer programs (CCTs) to the nonprofit sector. New Incentives provides monetary stipends to HIV-positive women in West Africa, on the condition that they regularly visit clinics and take medication to ensure their children are born HIV-free. We were able to ask Svetha a few questions about social change, her challenges, and what the future holds. 

How were you influenced to get involved with social change?

Although I was born in the US, most of my family is in India. I frequently visited my mother's village and witnessed how great the struggle of everyday life can be. I saw how much more comfortable my life as a middle-class American girl was—just because my parents immigrated to the US. I felt a deep discomfort with the advantages I had, and hoped to someday reduce this difference. 

New Incentives utilizes conditional cash transfers, why did you choose this model?

Conditional cash transfers are quite simple: it's giving money to the poor for fulfilling health goals. Governments are investing over $30 billion every year on conditional cash transfers (CCTs), and there are hundreds of well-conducted studies proving the impact of these programs. Yet, how it is that there aren't nonprofits dedicated to raising money from donors to support these programs? When I learned about CCTs, I was furious that limited donor funding wasn't going into these proven programs. Evidence proves that giving cash transfers are the best gift, because there is no one who knows their needs better than the poor themselves. I fell in love with the simplicity and the impact of the CCT model. 

What are your biggest challenges, and your biggest rewards?

Moving to Nigeria with my husband on a 2-month notice was quite challenging, especially given how differently things work here. At the same time, moving to Nigeria and working on New Incentives has helped me become part of a rich culture. I have grown more in the last year than I could've imagined; personal growth is a very important reward for me.

The biggest reward is working on the ground and getting to know the lives of the women we are serving, and knowing how we’re impacting their lives and what we can learn from them.

What do you hope to achieve in 5 years? 

I hope that New Incentives is able to scale across Nigeria and serve tens of thousands of women. I also hope to start assisting governments with cash transfer programs to help people out of poverty. 

What is your advice to young girls who want to get involved and make global change?

It's always very important to question the value of what you are doing. When you find a project that you are passionate about, take the time to thoroughly question how it works and evaluate the results of it. Understanding how exactly something works is not only rewarding, but essential to creating lasting change. One of the websites that taught me how to question impact is

A photo from Svetha's recent wedding

Women Who are Tough, Fair, and Smart

Submitted by Womenworking on Mon, 03/02/2015 - 09:26

I love watching Tea Leoni. She stars as the Secretary of State, Elizabeth McCord, on the series Madame Secretary, where she plays the character of a tough, fair and smart leader who is both driving international diplomacy and wrangling office politics. She is also shown at home with her family, modeling a loving and functional marriage and having normal interactions with her kids.  

The constant gnarly challenges that her character faces require the kind of behavior with which any leader could identify.  Although the show uses high-profile dramatic issues, most female managers in the workplace face difficult challenges. Women face problems associated with making difficult decisions under pressure, managing a staff of professionals, and trying to balance work time with self-care and family time. 

What makes this TV program so compelling for me is how McCord demonstrates her gravitas - a depth of professional knowledge and competence that contributes to excellence in performance.  The U.S. president values her apolitical leanings, her deep knowledge of the Middle East, her flair for languages and her ability to think creatively. She performs her role with a keen sense of responsibility, credibility, and reliability. When the pressure is on, McCord owns the problems as well as the solutions, and takes accountability for successes and failures.  

A college professor and a brilliant former CIA analyst, McCord left her job for ethical reasons to become Secretary of State.  And when McCord speaks with her stakeholders, including her staff, she gives her undivided attention, by speaking and listening attentively. 

I enjoy watching her handle situations with an executive presence that is both tough and feminine – through her voice, carriage, and dress and demeanor.   McCord speaks in a way that forwards the action. She’s not frivolous, yet has a sense of humor. She speaks with energy, clear enunciation, and uses her pacing of speech, so others understand.  She has good posture, direct eye contact, and her demeanor communicates openness, approachability and invites connection.  

In short, Madame Secretary features a fine example of a woman in a powerful role who reflects her gravitas in her way of being – consistently in all her relationships.  Women on her staff also stand out in their qualities of gravitas.  Is this all too good to be true? I don’t think so, and I believe this type of presence is available to all women.

-Andrea Zintz, Career Coach, President, Strategic Leadership Resources

Meet our Career Coach for March

Submitted by Womenworking on Sun, 03/01/2015 - 06:57

I am Andrea Zintz, March's Career Coach. I am happy to be your resource as you pose questions, concerns, ideas, and goals about leading, navigating the workplace, relationships and career.

A little about me: I specialize in executive and high potential leadership strategy, succession and development. I have over 30 years experience in Leadership Development, Change Management, Human Resources Development and Training. I am the president of Strategic Leadership Resources.

I cultivated my experiences as a coach and in the development of executives and hi-potential leaders within the diversified healthcare and pharmaceutical, defense, and retail industries. As Vice President of Human Resources and Management Board member of the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Ortho Biotech, Inc., I helped lead the growth of the company from $40 million to $500 million in a 6-year period, and launched breakthrough biotech products. I also led executive leadership development for North America from J&J Corporate.

My special interests include executive women advancement, diversity/inclusion, and mentoring. My doctoral dissertation was about mentoring: What constitutes effective mentoring for women who are stuck in their careers within large corporate settings? I received my M.A. and Ph.D. from Fielding Graduate University.

A specialty of mine is how we can successfully adapt to our environment while progressing in the direction of our dreams. I help others to craft powerful and strategic questions you can ask yourselves (and others) to access the best thinking. Since all thought and actions are answers to questions that we run at all times, questions are a strong leverage-point for thinking; if we change our questions, we can change everything that flows from them.

I live in New Jersey, am married to an elementary school teacher and have two wonderful daughters. I look forward to hearing from you and offering some good questions to reflect upon and suggestions. So feel free to ask!

Andrea Zintz
President, Strategic Leadership Resources (SLR)


Stop Making Change Hard

Submitted by Womenworking on Fri, 02/27/2015 - 09:44

My two daughters are grown and married now, but I remember clearly when I taught both of them to drive a car with a stick shift. They were excited to learn to drive, and I couldn’t wait to be a part of a milestone in their lives. I also remember that every single person who heard I was going to teach my daughters to drive warned me about how hard it was going to be. One person said, “You’re going to pull your hair out—just don’t yell at your daughter.”

Each time someone predicted how difficult it would be to teach my daughters to drive, I replied with some version of, “Are you kidding—this is going to be great.” And it was. Did they stall out at times, release the clutch too quickly causing us to lurch forward, and make other mistakes? Yes, and we laughed each time. That was our agreement—“You’re going to learn by making mistakes and we’re going to have fun along the way.”

Learning to drive, like learning any skill in life or improving something, has to do with change. I realize changing aspects of our personal life, a team at work, or an entire company culture is more complex than learning to drive—but why do I always hear how hard it is to achieve change—either personally or organizationally? Google the question “Is it hard to change?” and you will be overwhelmed with explanations as to why change is so hard.

Could it be that we think change is hard because:

We’ve been told change is hard:

Is it possible change is often hard because we expect it to be? We’re told by experts that people hate change and that change initiatives usually fail—because they're so hard to pull off. They tell us most company mergers fail and most New Year’s Resolutions fail. Both are true, but does that prove change is hard? 

I suggest it only proves that the way we go about these tasks is not conducive to change. Instead, why don’t we learn from those who successfully made change and who look back on it with pride and good memories?

We believe change is hard:

When we’re told “change is hard” we’re not being told, “There’s going to be challenges along the way, but you can handle them well.” What we’re being told is, “This is going to be unpleasant—you’d better just accept that.” Isn’t that called a “Self-fulfilling Prophesy?”

I’m not saying we should be naïve and say, “Everything about this is going to be smooth, easy, and wonderful.” I’m saying the attitude we bring to change will either make it harder than it needs to be, or make it a great learning and growing experience.

Maybe we’re trying to change the wrong thing:

If your company is making a change you “hate,” that’s a clue you’re in the wrong place. The problem isn’t the change that’s being proposed—the problem is the company’s vision isn’t your vision. We love the process of change when it’s what we want. If you’re confronted with or thinking about a change you don’t want, say “NO” to it. Otherwise, you’re going to be in conflict—and that’s what is painful.

Think about a time you learned to do something you considered fun, like skiing or photography. On one hand, there were times that were difficult—but overall, you didn’t experience what you went through as “hard” in the way change is often experienced. When you’re in the right “job,” change is stimulating, engaging, and (at times) even pleasurable.

Making Change a Positive Experience:

The bottom line is that there is a difference between something being “hard” and it being “challenging.” “Hard” means some version of “I don’t want this.” “Challenging means “I want this, and I’m up for the challenge.” These are two very different sets of attitudes, and each one will create a very different experience. 

We get to choose whether we will change or not, and we get to choose the attitude we bring to it. We get to choose between “Hard”—this is bad and I don’t want it” and “Challenging”—this is good, bring on the challenges! It’s time we dropped the victim mentality when it comes to change. Instead, let’s choose the change we want and go after it with an ownership mentality.

-Alan Allard, Executive Coach

Get the Recognition you Deserve

Submitted by Womenworking on Thu, 02/26/2015 - 12:55


Today Helene’s guest is Ana Dutra, CEO of The Executives’ Club of Chicago. Ana started from scratch when she moved to the US from Brazil, and worked tirelessly to become the business dynamo she is today. Here, she offers her advice on how to choose your battles, stop second-guessing yourself, and get the recognition you deserve.

Check out some of the highlights of the program here:

On choosing your battles...

ANA: The ability to determine and understand what’s really important and what’s not is a skill. Like any other skill, it can be developed over time. It also gets better with maturity and experience. When I was younger and less experienced, I definitely picked battles I should not have. 

Sometimes there’s a lot of pride and ego in fighting for something just because you want to make your point. But the results are not going to change, so why not look forward and think, “Okay, I did not win this one.” It’s hard to recognize when you don’t win. But there’s something to be said about getting closure and saying “You know what, I lost this one. What can I do differently, so that next year I win the battle?”

On not giving up...

HELENE: All of us have a dream to put forth. It’s takes courage not to let that negative mind-talk get the best of you. To go with what your heart is telling you to do—to follow your intuition and make a difference.

Sometimes what I see is that when people get a “no,” they get upset and may abandon the idea. A “no” sometimes means “not yet.” Don’t throw out your good ideas when it just might not be the right timing.  A year later, it may be the perfect timing to resurrect that idea.

To hear more of Helene and Ana's motivating conversation, CLICK HERE. 

This program and future shows will also be available on iTunes. Don't forget to give us a 5 star rating!

Confidence Boot Camp

Submitted by Womenworking on Thu, 02/26/2015 - 09:34

We're on day FOUR of the Confidence Boot Camp, but you can still sign up! During the camp, you will receive daily reflections and exercises in your inbox. These sparks of confidence are a sneak preview from my new book The Confidence Myth: Why Women Undervalue Their Skills, and How to Get Over It, which is available for preorder. Stay up-to-date with what's going on by checking out #ConfidenceCamp on social media.

Sign up NOW!

Video Editor: Michelle Purpura

Two Tips to Get Them to Say YES

Submitted by Womenworking on Wed, 02/25/2015 - 09:32

Your success and happiness depends on your ability to get others to say “yes” more than they say “no.” When you have an idea you would like others to adopt, when you want to raise money for an important cause, or when you ask for a promotion at work, you have to deal with the question, “How can I get others to say ‘yes’?”

Here two ways to get more people saying, “Yes!”

Give more than you take:

Relationships are built upon reciprocity—giving and receiving. If you’re hearing “no” more often than you’d like, it could be because you’re making more withdrawals than deposits in your relationships. The people who have mastered the art of getting more yes's are the ones consistently asking, “What can I do to help you?”

The late author and speaker Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” The fact is, we’re all more inclined to help someone who has a history of helping us. When you give more than you take, you will hear more yes’s than those who take more than they give.

Appeal to their self-interest:

If you ask your child to go to the grocery store with you, chances are they might not find that appealing. However, if you ask them to go with you to choose their favorite ice cream, that’s another story. When it comes to self-interest, children and adults are the same. When someone shows us how to get what we want, we’ll follow them almost anywhere.

If you want your boss to give you more responsibility, show her how it will free up her time for more important things. She might be motivated to help you further your career, but if she sees how helping you helps her as well, you’re almost guaranteed to get a “yes.” In essence, find out what your boss’s “ice cream” is and you’ll hear “yes” more often than not. Just remember, not everyone wants ice cream—but everyone wants something. Your job is to find out what that is and wrap it up in what you’re asking them to do.

-Alan Allard, Executive Coach

3 Tips to Step Up and Start Achieving More

Submitted by Womenworking on Tue, 02/24/2015 - 09:49

Last week I got an email from a potential client. This person was looking for help with something very specific that I knew I could help with, but I did not respond to the email right away.

The client was too big. They were a well-known entity in the industry with a very established business.

This has happened to me many times. Especially as I think back to when I began my career as a Business & Life Strategist.

The symptoms and conversations in my head are familiar:

  • “Impostor syndrome,” when we are not able to recognize our own skills and accomplishments 
  • “There are so many other people that can do a better job than me” 
  • “I’ve never done this exactly this way”
  • “I don’t have what it takes”
  • “It’s too risky, what if I fail”

It also happens to my clients as they experience the growth they are looking for, as they stretch their boundaries and step away from their comfort zone.

In spite of this, I, as well as my clients and many women out there, still plow forward to reach our next level. We serve that challenging client, take that job that seemed too high for us, step up to a microphone in front of a large audience.

So how do we do this? How do we get out of our own way? Here are 3 ways that have worked for me:

Identify your inner leader. Connecting with the essence of who you are will allow you to refer to your internal leader for guidance and reassurance. 

Connect with your why. We have a purpose in our lives. When the next challenge comes and your fear steps in and says, “THIS IS TOO HARD DON’T DO IT,” ask yourself a simple question: “Is this next challenge aligned with my WHY, the belief that I hold for the work I do?” 

Be in the now. As Eckhart Tolle writes in his book “The Power of Now,” all we have is the present moment. When fear is stopping you from your BIG life, simply know that fear comes when our minds are in the future, not in the present moment. Be present and take the next step that is right in front of you.

If you would like more help in clarifying your inner game, I want to give you a special offer. This program is designed to help you master your inner game, so you can win in your life, your business and career.

--Dolores Hirschmann is a coach, entrepreneur, writer and speaker and lives in MA with her husband and four children. 


How to Boost Your Happiness

Submitted by Womenworking on Mon, 02/23/2015 - 10:30

Happiness is important. Most people would agree with that. At the same time, there’s a lot of confusion and mixed messages about happiness. Some experts tell us we should seek to find meaning in life, not happiness. We’re told that happiness is fleeting and seeking happiness directly almost guarantees we won’t “find” it. We end up confused and promise to come back to the matter later.

In my blog posts, I often give three tips or keys to achieve whatever I’m talking about. I’m not going to do that today. I’m not going to, because I don’t think what we most need is more information on happiness. I’ve written a book on “enlightened happiness,” so I’m not saying three tips about happiness wouldn’t be helpful. I’m just not going to do that today—and I bet you can guess why.

As important as being reminded of how to boost our happiness is—what is more important is using the insights we already have. We know enough about happiness to increase our happiness right now. The problem is, we haven’t committed to making happiness our priority. That’s the biggest obstacle we face. 

My coaching challenge to you today is to ask yourself if you’ve ever prioritized your happiness. If the answer is no, that’s your first step. If you have, then it’s a matter of following through on your commitment to make happiness your focus.

If you have questions or comments about committing to happiness, speak up and I’ll be sure to respond.

-Alan Allard, Executive Coach

It's Time to REDEFINE Confidence

Submitted by Womenworking on Fri, 02/20/2015 - 10:19

It's time to REDEFINE confidence! Check out our Confidence Boot Camp, it's our gift to you! Starting today February 23rd, you'll receive reflections and strategies for fourteen days to help JUMP-START your confidence. 



Video Editor: Michelle Purpura

Move through Fear and Do It Anyway

Submitted by Womenworking on Fri, 02/20/2015 - 05:34

What is holding you back? FEAR? Most likely when you are contemplating taking a step forward outside your comfort zone, fear will rear its ugly head. But don't let it stop you, and here's how:

. Know that stepping out of what you know is followed by GROWTH.

. You can take action anyway even if you are afraid.

. The alternative of not taking a smart risk is inertia and stagnation.

What is your life about? Don't you want to actualize your potential? Have the courage to move through discomfort. And get comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Just take the next right action, and then another, and another.

You go gal!

The Solution to Stop Blaming Yourself

Submitted by Womenworking on Thu, 02/19/2015 - 09:37

I was having a phone conversation yesterday with a colleague and it was going well. Then, seemingly out of the blue, it wasn’t going so well. Our conversation had taken a turn, and I could tell “Susan” was irritated, if not already angry. As the tension rose, my first thought was, “She’s being unreasonable, no doubt about it.” No sooner had I thought this, I wondered:  “Am I’m the problem here?" That’s when my mind went back to, “No, this isn’t about me—it’s about her.”

That’s never a good place to end up—even if it’s true. Which brings us to the question, “Am I the problem?” That’s an appropriate question, but again, it's never a good place to end up. “Am I the problem here?” That question takes emotional intelligence to ask, but we don't want to stop there. Is the real issue one of blame? No. The real issue is, “What’s a solution for this?”

Fortunately, this time that’s where my mind went. As soon as I shifted to a solution mindset, I could feel myself relax. I could also feel my power coming back—the power I previously gave away by asking who was at fault. Taking responsibility isn’t about blame. It’s about being response-able—being able to respond to whatever is at hand. That's why the question, "What's a solution for this" is so powerful.

This is true when it comes to communicating with yourself, just as it is true with how you communicate with others. Something magical happens when we skip blaming ourselves when something goes wrong, and instead we and go right to finding solutions. Who really cares “who’s at fault?” If you make a mistake, even a major one, there’s no need to beat yourself up over it. The fact is, whether you're dealing with someone else or just yourself, the power question to ask is, "What's a solution here?"

-Alan Allard, Executive Coach

How to Stop Self Sabotage

Submitted by Womenworking on Wed, 02/18/2015 - 09:39

Today we’re going to take a closer look at what stands in the way of unleashing more of our potential. 

A Common Problem: 

This sounds counter-intuitive, but achievers on all levels (high, average, and under achievers) stifle their potential for greater performance and well-being when they push themselves instead of inspiring themselves. There are many ways our "pushing" shows itself, but here are three examples:

  • Judging ourselves: “I should be further along in my career by now.”
  • Criticizing ourselves: “Why can’t I be more assertive?” 
  • Having unrealistic demands: “I know I’m sick, but I’m going to push through my normal schedule anyway.”

You might think high achievers don’t limit their potential in any way, but the truth is, many limit themselves in the ways described above. They use these three behaviors to “motivate” themselves without any awareness of the damage it does. By the time they get to me, their self-judgment, self-criticism, and unrealistic expectations have made them easily irritable, cynical, anxious, burned out, or depressed. 

These three traps also explain why we see so much average and under performance around us. As illustrated by a senior manager’s recent comment to me: “The problem with average and under achievers is that they don't expect enough of themselves. They have all these reasons explaining why they can't perform at higher levels.” 

This manager's thinking isn’t unusual. Many managers think that way—and many individuals who are average or under performers think that way as well. I had a former client who was a solid (but average) performer in his company when he began working with me. He told me in the fourth coaching session, “Alan, I think you’re too easy on me. I want you to push me harder.” 

The Solution:

Truthfully, he didn’t need me to push him harder. He also didn’t need me to tell him he could be doing better. What he needed was to learn how to inspire himself into greater performance, not put more pressure on himself. As a coach, I am quite capable and willing to challenge my clients, to expect more from them, and to give them uncomfortable feedback. However, I can only do that if we have a relationship that allows it.  

And that’s where we often fall down. We want to get more out of ourselves, but we don’t have the relationship with ourselves to do that. We’ve criticized, judged, and made unrealistic demands on ourselves too often—and we're often oblivious to that. What about a manager who tries to help an under performer do better, but who doesn't know how to connect with and communicate with them effectively?

We need to learn how to inspire ourselves and others instead of judging, criticizing, and making more demands of ourselves. Leaders and managers need to learn how to inspire their teams instead of pushing them. The fact is, we can't demand potential to be released, we have to inspire it to come out.

-Alan Allard, Executive Coach

How to Rediscover Your True Passion after a Huge Challenge

Submitted by Womenworking on Tue, 02/17/2015 - 09:56

We have all faced challenging times in our life, such as a new career, the loss of a loved one, or divorce.

When faced with any of these challenges, it is suggested you take your time, come up for air, and use this precious opportunity to rediscover yourself. Think of this time in your life as an adventure to explore the real you. 

Treasure Your Gifts Within

Realizing we are all born with “gold nuggets” is a hard concept for many women to believe. You are magnificent just the way you are! Over time, you might have forgotten your unique gifts and are only thinking of what you don’t like about yourself or your life. Set a new intention, starting today, to list all of your great qualities. Read that list every day.

Give Yourself a Break

When dealing with major life challenges, many women feel the need to stay busy to keep their minds off this stressful time. For example, they may try working overtime or cleaning the house from top to bottom. It’s essential to let this time include pampering yourself. Barter with a friend/neighbor to watch your children, or leave work a few minutes early so you can enjoy a quiet cup of coffee. Try sitting on a park bench long enough to get that sense of the unique and special YOU. Take this time every day to experience life without feeling like a wife, mother, sister or daughter… simply you!

No regrets! No bitterness!

Holding onto regrets and bitterness will only keep your life from moving forward. Is your inner voice working overtime with all the “what ifs” and “if onlys”? Are these thoughts serving you or helping you feel better? Will thinking about them over and over again change anything? To move your life forward, it is important to acknowledge your feelings. Learn from your past experiences to prepare yourself for the next exciting chapter of your life. 

What really matters to you?

What do you feel is your true purpose in life? If someone asked you that question, how would you answer them? Why is it so important to be clear on what your purpose is? Knowing your purpose will give your life direction and help you make clear and easy decisions concerning that direction. It’s your compass. Take this time to focus on what really matters to you. Feel the true passions that exist in your heart and write them down.

Be True To Yourself

During challenging situations, we are often filled with doubts. We question ourselves about what is right, what we should do do, and how we feel. Should I or shouldn’t I? It seems difficult to make a decision. Listen to your heart. What feels right? What doesn’t feel quite right? If a situation does not feel right, honor your resistance by pausing. Sometimes waiting is the best thing to do. If a decision feels good, usually that means you are heading in the right direction. When we listen to our hearts, we are in integrity with ourselves. When we are in integrity with ourselves, we learn to say NO more easily.  

--Joanie Winberg


Two Secrets to Higher Achievement

Submitted by Womenworking on Mon, 02/16/2015 - 09:38

Julia is a new senior manager with a loving family and close friends. When she began working with me as her coaching client, she told me she feels happy and fulfilled with most of her life.  Of course, I asked about the “most” part. Julia told me about an area of her life where she gets easily frustrated, and even though she is a high achiever, she feels (as she put it) like a “fraud” at times.

Denise is an average performer. No one complains about her work because she is dependable and does good work. However, her manager knows she's capable of doing great work. Denise also knows she's capable of more and wants to "get to that next level" of performance—but she doesn't know what to do next. 

Tom is considered by his co-workers and family to be an under-achiever. It’s not that he doesn’t have talent—he just never seems to be able to tap into it. Tom claims he could do great things (and he could), but it just seems to be all talk and no action. He wants to do better, he promises to do better, but so far he's disappointed everyone, including himself.

Wherever you fit on the spectrum, here are two "secrets" to achieving more success and happiness.

Ease up on yourself

Regardless of what kind of achiever we are, when we’re not making the progress on something important to us, it’s easy to criticize ourselves. Or we push ourselves harder. Both high achievers and under achievers can easily fall into these traps. However, we can’t criticize ourselves into being more “successful," and pushing yourself harder can backfire on you. You might think otherwise (many do), but often whatever success you have will be offset by the inner conflict you create for yourself. 

“Going off your diet” doesn’t mean you need to berate yourself with guilt and shame. More than likely, it’s proof you need something you don’t have enough of yet, which brings us to the second secret to achieving "impossible" goals.

Get more support

One of my clients was a former Special Forces member; an Army Ranger. I learned from him that even the toughest of the tough know how vital it is to have the support of a team. If you’re a high achiever feeling drained instead of energized, perhaps the missing element is more support. If you’re an under achiever or an average achiever, what could you do if you had the support you needed? 

Whether you're an under achiever, average achiever or high achiever, more positive support will give you more fuel to run on. Reaching our "impossible" goals requires collaborating with those around us. Human beings are wired to connect with others, and when we try to do everything by ourselves we limit who we can become and what we can achieve. If you want to achieve more, perhaps the missing element is getting the support you need.

-Alan Allard, Executive Coach


Submitted by Helene on Sun, 02/15/2015 - 10:15

You are more than your everyday identity.

You are a soul beyond your current form.

Your true identity is your Higher Self.

You have a purpose that is more than your job.

Cultivate and live in the space of your True Self.

This is what we must remember in our everyday life.

It is through our struggles that we learn about our authenticity.

To walk through our fears helps us live in the NOW.

The present moment is where truth is.







This Year YOU'RE Your Valentine

Submitted by Womenworking on Fri, 02/13/2015 - 17:59

The idea of self-love is a new-ish concept, or dare we say “New Age” idea. Often we hear people say, “I love myself, but I’m still alone.” Or, “Sure, I love myself, but if only my partner would [change in some way.]”

Understanding what self-love actually is will help you cultivate it in your own life. Self-love is the actual way you behave toward and about yourself.

Do you treat yourself kindly? Do you speak to yourself kindly?

What about when you make a mistake? Do you beat yourself up and call yourself stupid? Are you invested in the attempt to be perfect?

Having the expectation of being “perfect” is unrealistic. Even when you are with your Beloved, you will have miscommunication, you will disappoint each other, you will disagree, and possibly argue.

Love your “mistakes” and embrace them. Own them – they belong to you. Conflict is the door to deeper connection. This is true with every single relationship you have.

All too often we find that people want to deny their feelings. This is not a loving act. Feel what you need to in the moment. The great thing about emotions is that they shift and change on a dime. Resisting one will only make that feeling persist.

This Valentine’s Day give yourself a gift – simply be with you for awhile. Put your hands on your heart, breath deep, and feel. Be present in the moment and embrace your glorious beautiful self.

If tears come, let them. If laughter comes, great! Just be with you because the gift of your time is important, and choose what you say to yourself with loving kindness.

You are the only you that exists. There will never be another you!

--Orna and Matthew Walters, Getting It Right This Time™




The Secret to Finding And Keeping Love

Submitted by Womenworking on Fri, 02/13/2015 - 13:41

Regardless of how you feel about Valentine’s Day, it remains that in order to really thrive in life, we must master intimate relationships. So regardless of your status: Single, Divorced, or Never Married, let us share with you how to really thrive when it comes to your love life. 

The answer is inside of you! That’s right, if you want your relationships to change, the only thing you can do is change yourself. 

Please don’t stop reading here. We want to be really clear that we don’t mean to sacrifice, twist in a pretzel, or in any way abandon yourself. Actually we mean quite the opposite. 

In order to bring in a beloved relationship and create the true soul partnership of your dreams, you must change your relationship with yourself. 

We hear all the time about how people don’t have time to date, that dating isn’t “for them,” that all the good ones are taken. Every excuse puts the ‘problem’ outside.

We also hear how the problem is the partner: If only he would ______________? Why do I have do everything? If I don’t do it, it won’t get done. 

The problem is inside of you, not outside. 

If you are not putting yourself first and making time for you – how can you expect anyone else to do that? 

Our relationship with ourselves is the foundation of what we see reflected back to us in the world. The world is how we believe it to be. You can find evidence of love everywhere, or nowhere – it depends on your beliefs. 

Take inventory of your beliefs around love and ask yourself this important question: Is this True? (We put a capital T there on purpose.) 

Invest time in yourself and make this important decision: Choose love every day.

Love is not something that happens to you, it is a choice. When we make the effort to choose love in every circumstance, we open our heart to receive that magic and bliss.

In choosing love every day, every day is a celebration of love! Happy Valentine's Day!

--Orna and Matthew Walters, Getting It Right This Time™


Love Is In The Air...

Submitted by Womenworking on Fri, 02/13/2015 - 09:26

It’s not the kind of love you’d normally think of in February, but there truly is a warm and fuzzy feeling that occurs when one thinks of JEWELRY! I want to take you away from the dreariness of winter for a minute to think ahead and get you ready for SPRING. Seeing so many designers feature these accessories on the runway last season sparked a frenzied demand for them in all of our looks, from casual tees to business attire, they’re even perfect with your little black dress and red carpet looks. These accessories are taking a chic hold of our attention, and come in metals, heavy gems and much more.

Here are a few of the HOT TRENDS for jewelry this spring/summer season: 

Yes, chokers are back and it’s no longer a 90’s throwback to wear them! From the traditional style, to ones that are super embellished, to open-style versions that lay perfectly along your clavicle—NOW these necklaces are all about having that tight embrace!

The pendant necklace is also coming out swinging this spring, both short or long. Pendants are a great accent to the deep v-neck trend, gracefully adding some sparkle to your look with subtle but deliberate sophistication. This style can be appropriate for the office too, not just for after hours. 

The choice metal of the moment are richly hued brass, yellow and rose golds, done up bold and brash in a wide variety of styles.

Wrap your wrist in simple sophisticated and delicate skinny bangles. Embellishments should vary; wear some with tiny diamonds, some with spikes, asymmetrical details, like orbs or simple sleek gold metal in classic settings. Regardless of your style choices, they are sure to add sparkle to your soon to be warm weather looks. My tip is to stack them; not too many… keep it to no more than 4-5, accent your signature watches or wear singly. Speaking of single, this brings me to our next trend…

The single-earring trend is also known as—the unbalanced look. Whether off in color, shape or length, the beauty is found in the oddity of it. For the last few seasons, it has been all about that statement piece of jewelry; which still has its place, but right now it’s all about the return of dainty. If you want to follow this trend you should pair a big earring and a mini stud earring. Don’t throw away that earring you can’t find the match to, now you can pair it with a totally different earring and be stylish, chic and right on trend. You can’t beat that! Let’s be honest, this is one of the easiest fashion trends to pull off. 

Fashion is cyclical, “new” trends are often reminiscent of days gone by. This cleaner, softer, dainty take on jewelry has taken over the statement jewelry piece and is making its mark as the “go-to” way to accessorize and update any basic outfit.

Pamela Watson is an experienced stylist who currently works as the trend expert for Builders of Style, where she prepares A-list clients for red carpet events, music videos, concerts and award shows. Have a question for Pamela? Either ask below or email administrator [at] womenworking [dot] com