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Is ‘Imposter Syndrome’ Just Another Way Of Blaming Women?

Posted by on Nov 9, 2021 in Coaching, compassion, Leadership, Success/Promotion | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com

“Can coaching help me with my imposter syndrome?” asks Sue-Lin, a new client who was recently promoted to director of customer success in a growing tech company. She is not alone among my women clients in making this self-diagnosis. Over the years I have worked with many highly skilled and talented women of different ages, backgrounds and experiences. Despite great qualifications, many cite imposter syndrome as one of their toughest inner struggles. However, a recent article in the Harvard Business Review by Ruchika Tulshyan and Jodi-Ann Burey questions the very notion of imposter syndrome and suggests that it is yet another way in which we blame individual women rather than acknowledging and tackling systemic bias in the workplace. 

The term “imposter phenomenon” was coined in 1978, and captures the feeling familiar to so many women (and some men, too) that they are not good enough for the job or environment in which they find themselves, that they are always at risk of being discovered as a phony and a fraud. This notion has been popularized and has given rise to a plethora of advice on how to boost one’s confidence. However, as Tulshyan and Burey write, “What’s less explored is why imposter syndrome exists in the first place and what role workplace systems play in fostering and exacerbating it in women.”

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How To ‘Be More Strategic’ – Questions To Ask From The Balcony

Posted by on Nov 9, 2021 in Decision Making, Goal Setting, Goal Setting, Individual, Leadership, Organizational | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com

“Be more strategic.”

This advice comes along in the careers of most professionals seeking a management or leadership role. They reach a point at which it is not enough to be productive or to be an expert. In order to progress in their careers and contribute at a higher level they must be–and be seen as–strategic. But what is it to be strategic? Advice about being strategic is often a little vague, accompanied by the exhortations to “https://www.forbes.com/sites/hannahart/2021/03/15/how-to-be-more-strategic-questions-to-ask-from-the-balcony/get out of the weeds” and “see the bigger picture.” But once you get out of the weeds, what do you do? It can be tempting to think that some people “have it” and some don’t. But I have seen clients build their own strategic capability as well as coach others on their teams to develop a more strategic mindset and approach. Strategic thinking can be learned and practiced.

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Giving Feedback: 5 Elements of a More Inclusive Approach

Posted by on Nov 9, 2021 in compassion, Employee Review/Feedback, Feedback, Inclusion, Leadership | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com

A client recently asked me to provide workshops to all employees on how to give and receive feedback. There is nothing unusual about that—I do it frequently. What was newer was the growing imperative to cultivate inclusive leadership in all aspects of organizational life, including traditional bread-and-butter management skills. Bringing an awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) issues to the skill of giving and receiving feedback is critical to creating an inclusive workplace. 

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The Four Cs of Decision Making

Posted by on Nov 9, 2021 in Decision Making, Decision Making, Getting Things Done, Individual, leadership, Leadership | 0 comments

In a world of abundant data and complex organizational dynamics, many companies and organizations struggle with a proliferation of meetings in which inefficient processes lead to uneven quality in decisions. This is discouraging and annoying for participants and costly for organizations. A 2019 study by McKinsey & Company reported that fewer than half of respondents said that decisions were timely and 61% complained that at least half of the time spent making them was not well spent. That adds up to a waste of over 500,000 hours of managers’ time in an average Fortune 500 company—that’s some $250 million worth of people’s time. And that’s not even counting the business cost of the decisions themselves. Chances are that if your organization can get even marginally better and more efficient about decision-making, it will save a lot of time and money, improve morale and lead to superior business outcomes. 

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How To Quit Your Job (Without Quitting Your Job)

Posted by on Nov 9, 2021 in Boundaries, Career change/Job search, Happiness, Individual | 0 comments

“Maybe I should just quit my job.”

I heard this from not one, but two executive coaching clients last week. Both are high achievers. Both love some aspects of their jobs but find others almost unbearable. And both have families to support, so quitting is not something they would do lightly.

Joelle, a partner at a global consulting firm, loves working with clients and enjoys the substance of her work but finds the 24/7 responsiveness incompatible with being the parent and spouse that she wants to be. Meanwhile Boris, a senior strategist in a pharmaceutical company, is passionate about helping bring therapeutic drugs to market that can improve the lives of patients but finds his own health suffering because of the stress of carrying too many high priority projects on his shoulders.

Both feel at the end of their ropes and unable to continue on the current trajectory. They are not alone, as the so-called great resignation demonstrates. But do they have to join the trend and give notice? Instead, I suggested they “quit” parts of the job that are not working for them and try to create a more sustainable path forward. 

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Leadership User Experience: 5 Tips For Managing Your Impact

Posted by on Nov 9, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.com.

Are you user friendly? What is it like for people to work with you?

All leaders have a user experience (UX). For a product—say an app—the UX includes the interface, ease of use, features, etc. of the product. Some products are “user friendly”—intuitive, responsive, satisfying; others, not so much. For a leader or manager, UX is the experience of working with them, how easy or difficult it is to interact with them, and what is their impact. Do they leave people feeling motivated? Trusted? Frustrated? Confused? Empowered? Included? Is their experience consistent or unpredictable? Effective leaders and managers are aware of and intentional about their leadership brand, a significant part of which is their user experience.

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Is Perfectionism Holding You Back? Try Imperfectionism Instead

Posted by on Apr 3, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.

Perfectionism is on the rise. Much has been written about the perils of holding yourself and others to unrealistic and unreasonable standards. Perfectionism has been linked to depression and anxiety in individuals and can be destructive to relationships. And though some argue that striving for perfection can be positive, if you live or work with a perfectionist you know that, more often than not, it leads to frustration and feelings of inadequacy. Moreover, in organizations, perfectionism simply doesn’t scale: it’s wildly inefficient and not conducive to collaboration. 

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Easiest Stress-Buster Ever: This One Tip Will Help You Calm Down And Focus

Posted by on Apr 3, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.

A major component of many of my coaching engagements is stress management. Whether my client’s primary coaching goal is about executive presence, prioritization, inspiring a team, or navigating complexity, chances are, they are facing big challenges and experiencing stress. In my experience, they will be unable to tackle these issues if they don’t get a handle on their stress. Some of my clients find relief in mindfulness and meditation, but even more struggle with establishing a regular practice. 

My most recent post on stress identified three ways to complete the physiological stress cycle. But here is an amazing shortcut to provide immediate relief: exhale.

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Leadership and Being Uncool

Posted by on Apr 3, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” This is one of my all-time favorite movie lines, spoken by Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Creem magazine’s editor Lester Bangs giving advice to the fictional William Miller, a teen music critic whose story is based on filmmaker Cameron Crowe’s own youth in the 1970’s writing about rock ‘n roll for Rolling Stone magazine in Almost Famous (2000). 

I have always loved the story of this naïve teenage journalist’s adventure and his relationship with his offbeat and curmudgeonly mentor. Bangs is portrayed as a true lover of rock ‘n roll, an anti-authoritarian with a passionate commitment to authenticity and to being brutally honest in the face of celebrity culture. He connects to the boy through their shared love of music and their mutual uncoolness. Throughout the story he comes to William’s aid and offers comfort and advice.

What struck me when I watched this film the other night with my husband and son is how this celebration of uncoolness applies to personal development and leadership. You can’t be a creative leader or a good teammate if you are worried about being or seeming cool. 

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How to Overcome Your Fear of Looking Stupid at Work

Posted by on Apr 2, 2020 in Curiosity, Fear, Individual | 0 comments

This post first appeared on Forbes.

How much is fear a driver for your behavior?

Fear and anxiety are pervasive themes in many of my coaching engagements. Whether a client is working on communication, prioritization, delegation or other leadership challenges, fear is often at the root of what makes change hard. There’s fear of failure, fear of missing out (FOMO), fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, fear of change. And here in Silicon Valley, where knowledge is king and imposter syndrome is rampant, there is a huge amount of fear of looking stupid

Fear is an emotional and physiological response to a perceived risk. It is a healthy response to physical danger and is often accompanied by evolutionarily useful behavior: fight or flight. But in everyday life, fear can be triggered by situations where we perceive a risk that is greater than the actual risk. That can lead to problems.

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