A while ago I was asked to become the mentor of young executive women. I must admit though I jumped at the opportunity because I love young women. I mean come on… I can relate to them. I am… correction, was young, and I would have loved a mentor like me. You get it right!
She lives in a different country, has a middle management job, highly qualified, beautiful and single. Lucinda she said I miss my social skills and confidence. Well, then we are a great match because if there is something I lack nothing in, its social skills and confidence.
But there is a catch… how do I get my confidence over to her? How do I see to it that she shines with confidence? Interestingly enough, we started our conversation this morning by what went amazing this week and what were the challenges. That always breaks the ice. I noticed that to illustrate, I tell stories. I do that when I speak but so too when I coach. I told her 2 stories that touched her but that was not what was on her shoulders.
Then I saw it and we started talking about it. She was saying to her manager that she did not know enough because she came from a different branch. She was slow because she was not confident enough about her answers and she needed more time to do what she does. 40 hours a week was not enough for her.
Then I said: How we speak about ourselves to others is how others treat us. How we speak about ourselves to others is how others treat us and how we speak about ourselves I how others judge us and we are then responsible for the entire story and the conclusion.
We say things about ourselves as women that we could rather keep to ourselves. We talk about us in such a demeaning way and yet we expect others to see something else. The root of this is all is that we often have really bad inherent self-esteem. You do not need to communicate everything about yourself. Listen I understand, really understand that it can be tough sometimes but just shut up. And yes… men also feel and know that they are incompetent but never will they actually admit it! I am nog fast enough… sure, but not being fast enough does not mean… let’s share this with everyone. Not knowing where to find information is fine. The others don’t know it either. The only thing is, they just don’t say it and you think that they know it all. All they do is not say it.
So what story do you tell if you still hold these feelings? Start talking to yourself in the mirror! Start saying amazing things about yourself to yourself. Compliment yourself, spoil yourself and take care of yourself. You know, work is not your life, but part of it. When work is done after 8 hours leave your work where it is and go onto working on yourself.
Change the way you look at work!
When people leave because they are no longer happy, other colleagues often take more work on their shoulders. They need you! They need you and you don’t need to slog and slave all day. You are hired for your unique talents and those talents need to be preserved and well kept or else you lose your edge. Saying NO or until here and no further is just fine. Even when working with Americans: ) They tend to be very result-driven en forget that people need to be cherished. And believe me, if it’s not an American the next one will come along because you are insecure. And indeed insecurity can be smelt and felt a mile away. Cheer up… you are being paid for your talent, not your life.
Back to you!
Communication works in an amazing way! It’s not what you say but often how you say it and its about not saying too much in the first place. Body language is key as well. So let’s go-to body language first. Never walk as though you are in a hurry. That comes across as being very uncertain. Walking vast means that you can trip. Take long strides. Walk slow and especially if you are late greet people and talk to them.
Your body language can actually tell other people that you are afraid. You actually give off an odor of fear.
Practice in front of your mirror again. Everybody is afraid it’s just that some other people never allow it to be seen.
We change our narrative by what we exhibit. What do you exhibit? Fear of that you are in control. You don’t have to be in control to exhibit it. Just be more of you.
Which story do you want people to remember about you? Know what you want your story to be and start living it. Not pretending it… just live it. And before you know it.. it is your reality!
Live in the moment and by being that, you are an inspiration.
Lucinda is the author of several books. Her last book: Smart & Savvy Leadership really hit the mark. Women should play their own game she says. She has spoken at the African top in Nigeria, runs an all-woman board of advisers and these women mean business! In March of 2020, she starts studying Theology. This woman means business