Convener and Notetaker: Michelle F.
Summary:Â In this follow-up to the session, “The Art of Asking,” Michelle Florendo (@whatifyoucouldb) led a discussion on how women can avoid selling themselves short and position themselves better to get what they deserve.
Building awareness of how we as women deposition ourselves:
Beginning sentences with “sorry”
◦Â Â Â Check out this article on “How to Suppress the Apology Reflex”
De-positioning: verbally downplaying your accomplishments/achievements
Qualifying our accomplishments
◦Â Â Â Attributing success more to external factors than to your own effort and skills
◦Â Â Â Ending sentences in an upward tone, so that it sounds like you are asking a question rather than making a statement
Exercise: Spend 90 seconds talking about all of your accomplishments
◦Â Â Â Pair up
◦Â Â Â For 90 seconds, Partner A tells Partner B all of the awesome things she has done, while Partner B actively listens and provides Partner A with affirmation
◦Â Â Â For 30 seconds, Partner B tells Partner A what were the key accomplishments that stood out,Â lets Partner A know where she may have de-positioned herself, and provides feedback on how she can position herself better next time
Posture has an impact on confidence
◦Â Â Â Check out Amy Cuddy’s Power Poses
Articulating your values can help you overcome stereotype threat
◦Â Â Â Written exercise on values
How to deal with impostor syndrome
◦Â Â Â Check out the training on the Ada Initiative site
Asking for recommendations
Keep a “celebrations file”
◦Â Â Â Whenever you receive a thank you or a kudos in an email, file it into a folder so that you can refer back to it later
◦Â Â Â When you receive a kudos via email, reply to thank the person and cc your supervisor
Proactively ask for feedback at the end of big projects and document it over time
When asking peers, offer to write a recommendation in exchange
On dealing with fear (e.g. “If I ask for a recommendation, I’m afraid of what if they…”)
◦Â Â Â “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear” – Ambrose Redmoon
On the topic of bragging
What is the definition of bragging?
◦Â Â Â What is the difference between telling the truth and bragging?
◦Â Â Â “Telling the truth may be ok, but bragging has a negative consequence”
ÂÂ Â Â What exactly is that negative consequence?Â Does it matter?
◦Â Â Â Is bragging in the content of what you say, or how you say it?
Why does the definition of bragging even matter?
◦Â Â Â If the definition of bragging is ultimately in the ear of the listener, and thus is not within your control, should you let it affect what you say?
Resource on bragging: Brag! How to toot your own horn without blowing it
How you introduce yourself to strangers is an opportunity to experiment with positioning
Michelle shared the introduction she crafted for the She’s Geeky event and asked for feedback
◦Â Â Â Most of the room expressed that it sounded natural and not “bragg-y”
◦Â Â Â One expressed that “name-dropping” turned her off
◦Â Â Â Lesson learned: For years, Michelle previously thought 9 out of 10 people would be turned off if she disclosed where she went to school, but in reality, the number of people who were turned off by it is far fewer than she originally thought
A good introduction will establish:
◦Â Â Â Credibility
◦Â Â Â Appeal
◦Â Â Â Empathy
Exercise:Â Test out a new introduction for yourself
◦Â Â Â The two most commonly asked questions at an event are “What do you do?” and “What brings you here?”
◦Â Â Â Craft a brief response to those questions that introduces yourself and establishes credibility, appeal, and empathy
◦Â Â Â Test out your new introduction for the rest of the day
◦Â Â Â Pay attention to how people respond: do they lean in or lean out?
ÂÂ Â Â As you track how many people lean out, is it fewer than how many you originally thought would?
◦Â Â Â Based on the results of your experiment, determine how you would tweak your introduction in the future