Why Success Is Not About Being A Superhero

Why Success Is Not About Being A Superhero

For 20 years, Jean Oelwang successfully climbed the corporate ladder and broke glass ceilings, but she says, “With each shattered ceiling, I felt more and more alone and less and less myself.”

Her life partner, Chris Waddell, is a world-champion mono-skier who set Paralympic history. As he achieved each new physical feat, though, he said there was a sense of isolation that kept him feeling separate and alone.

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2 Tools To Boost Your Resilience And Bounce Back After Failure

2 Tools To Boost Your Resilience And Bounce Back After Failure

The application I’d submitted to join a leadership development program was not accepted. Unfortunately, the rejection email had landed in my inbox a few hours before I was about to give a speech. While I wasn’t devastated, my confidence was a bit shaken. Rejection stings.

Here are two tools I’ve discovered to become more resilient and bounce back after failure. 

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What ‘Stranger Things’ And ‘SNL’ Can Teach Us About Sexual Harassment

What ‘Stranger Things’ And ‘SNL’ Can Teach Us About Sexual Harassment

On a recent episode of Saturday Night Live, Colin Jost captured my feelings surrounding sexual harassment rather perfectly, saying, “Well, it’s a good weekend to stay inside, since it’s 20 degrees out and everyone you’ve ever heard of is a sex monster.” 

There’s a not-so-small part of me that would love nothing more than to “stay inside” and ignore it all. Even as someone whose business focuses on gender dynamics in the workplace and who also happens to moonlight as a sex educator, the culture of sexual harassment often feels intractable and overwhelming. 

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What’s Pie Got To Do With It? Ace Your Next Negotiation With Pie In Mind

What’s Pie Got To Do With It? Ace Your Next Negotiation With Pie In Mind

A classic negotiation tool is to overcome the “myth of the fixed pie.”  Generally speaking, if I eat a piece of pie, that’s one fewer piece you can have. Instead, we want to make a bigger pie. 

Consider this example. Sadie is a scientist and Jolon is a chef, both of whom are traveling to a farm to buy rare plants. There are a finite number of plants, and each of them hopes to purchase all the plants that are available. 

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How An Imaginary Sidekick Can Help Your Negotiation

How An Imaginary Sidekick Can Help Your Negotiation

According to the book Getting To Yes, “The reason you negotiate is to produce something better than results you can obtain without negotiating.” You want to go into the negotiation with a clear sense of what you can do if you don’t reach an agreement, in other words, what is your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). 

Think of your BATNA as your special invisible sidekick reminding you that you don’t have to agree to unfair or unfavorable terms in your negotiation. It serves as a reminder of when to walk away. (My BATNA definitely wears a red cape.)
 

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People Who Have It All Together Share This Secret

People Who Have It All Together Share This Secret

Melissa Gibbs has many of the markers of professional success. She’s well-respected within her male-dominated industry (construction) and outside of it. She is regularly asked to sit on boards and commissions, and I generally consider her a powerhouse in business and civic engagement. 

At a recent conference speech to young professionals, Gibbs shared some of the more impressive aspects of her resume and said, “You may think I have it all together, that I have all the answers. I can see how it looks that way... I totally, absolutely, don’t. I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time."

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The Three Stellar Negotiation Traits You Probably Didn’t Know You Already Had

The Three Stellar Negotiation Traits You Probably Didn’t Know You Already Had

If you’re using the news, popular media, or the latest episode of House of Cards as an example, good negotiators are stern, demanding, and uncompromising. However, when researchers identify the characteristics of successful negotiators those aren’t the traits that come up. Instead, top negotiators listen carefully, collaborate, and empathize with their counterparts.

If you had to associate these qualities with one gender, which would it be?

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Reality Check: When You Don’t Hear Back, Maybe It’s Not About You

Reality Check: When You Don’t Hear Back, Maybe It’s Not About You

There’s a cartoon that’s often referenced in the literature on professional confidence for women. In it, a woman and a man are each putting on a pair of pants that is too small. The woman’s thought bubble says, “I must be gaining weight.” The man’s says, “There must be something wrong with these pants.”

Sound familiar? We take responsibility in situations that are out of our control to a much greater degree than men. We tend to internalize a lack of information as a negative, taking responsibility for something even though it may not have had a damn thing to do with us. It’s a classic feedback trap.

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Should You Change Your Appearance To Get Taken Seriously At Work?

Should You Change Your Appearance To Get Taken Seriously At Work?

In an effort to get taken seriously as a young female CEO, Eileen Carey dyed her blonde hair brown, switched to more androgynous clothing and ditched contacts for thick-frame glasses.

While Carey’s change in appearance was dramatic, aspects of her story echo the decisions of women across sectors and other demographics.

Research from Harvard Medical School shows that, based only on appearance, people evaluate your competence and trustworthiness in a quarter of a second. For women who face other biases surrounding their age, race, or gender presentation, this adds another level of complexity to achieving coveted “executive presence”.

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This One Tool Will Make Getting To Yes Easier

This One Tool Will Make Getting To Yes Easier

When women are asked what prevents them from negotiating, the most common answer is “fear of damaging the relationship.”

Negotiation doesn’t have to be adversarial. With the right mindset, it can be quite the opposite. The authors of Getting To Yes encourage counterparts in a negotiation to “sit on the same side of the table.” They suggest that instead of thinking of two attorneys battling it out in front of a jury, imagine instead you’re judges working together on a joint opinion.

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