Tag Archives: REAL Life

Supporting Women Leaders: Navigating through Gray Area

Business woman leading over speechSupporting women leaders isn’t as straightforward as it might seem.  It’s actually become rather complicated in today’s climate.  I had the pleasure of interviewing Deborah Rocco on my REAL Life Lessons Women Lead Radio show and she described how men and women can navigate this sticky issue and work together to support women at work.

Happy business people with their heads together representing concept of ftiendship and teamworkWe all make mistakes,” Debbie said.  As we move forward and try new ways to be inclusive and supportive, we will occasionally say the wrong things and organizations will try new policies and programs that will sometimes fail, but that’s okay.  The key is to move forward with good intentions and learn from our mistakes.  Together, we’ll get there.

Working meetingMen are an important part of the equation.  In fact, they are half the equation.  Debbie talks about how women and men can align with each other to support women leaders.  A key lesson here is not to scare men away from supporting women, as we’re seeing from the backlash to the #MeToo movement.  Yes, we need to hold people accountable, and we also need to help people learn from their mistakes and bring them into the conversations to move forward.

Holding back judgment is often difficult for us, but it’s another part of the equation—for both men and women.  Research shows that women are equally responsible as men for gender stereotyping.  We’re also all responsible for letting others make different choices from our own and being supportive of these differences the best we can.  For example, you may not agree with someone’s decision to take—or not take—maternity or paternity leave because you hold strong beliefs around the subject, but an individual still has to do what’s best for them.  It can be hard to hold back judgment in these cases.

Vain businesswomanWhen it comes to ourselves, it’s not black and white either.  It takes time and effort to get in touch with our inner selves, to know what we want and understand who we are.  And it’s more complicated than that because we are constantly changing.  The environment around us changes and our values shift as we move through different stages in life.  Debbie says that we need to regularly check in with ourselves, at least once a year.

Debbie offers many more insights and tips for women and men, and organizations as well, as we all navigate through the gray area of inviting women leaders to the table and not letting them slip off the glass cliff along the way.  To learn more, listen right now.

REAL Connected Women of Influence: Interview with Michelle Bergquist

Women Lead Radio logo  Listen to Women Lead Radio as Joanie Connell, your host of REAL Life Lessons, has a conversation with Michelle Bergquist, CEO & Co-Founder of Connected Women of Influence, on how you can be a REAL woman of influence.  Listen here.

Highlights:

Michelle acknowledges that business is competitive and gives suggestions for how we can still support each other, in spite of the fact that women haven’t been as supportive of each other as men.

Michelle talks about how she’s had to experience “epic failure” to get to success.

Michelle also talks about how to balance authenticity with confidence.

It’s a great show, listen in!

 

The Art of REAL Life: Interview with Rose Hagan

Symphony by Rose Hagan, sunset painting
Symphony by Rose Hagan

Have you ever thought about scrapping your traditional career and following your passion in art or something crazy like that? It sounds impossible, but it’s not. What it takes is courage, resilience, flexibility, and independence.

Rose Hagan began her career as a lawyer before pivoting to pursue her love of art.  Listen to her story as Joanie Connell interviews her on Women Lead Radio.

Expert Interview: Flying Without a Helicopter, with Joanie Connell, Ph.D.

Discover your talent podcast

Discover Your Talent Podcast Interview:

Flying Without a Helicopter

“Helicopter Parenting”—hovering over and doing too many things for your kids, protecting them, and not letting them learn those skills themselves—is leading to problems when they get older and enter the workplace. Corporate executives often complain about younger people coming into the workplace lacking some of the basic life skills that are necessary to succeed, like being independent, resilient, having good communication skills, and creativity.

Why Is This Important?

“Of course, there are pluses and minuses to every style of parenting. On the one hand, when we’re protecting our kids, we’re keeping them safe. But, on the other hand, when we’re overly protective we’re dis-empowering them, unintentionally depriving them of the opportunities they need to do for themselves…  Listen to the interview.

How I’ve Kept It REAL

Joanie speaking at book release party smaller

Someone asked me the other day how I maintain confidence and treat others so respectfully at the same time. She didn’t say it exactly like that, but the gist of the message was how come I’m not an arrogant snob? Without even thinking, I blurted out, “I work hard at staying true to my values.” Fortunately, one of my values is authenticity, so speaking without thinking didn’t trip me up.

But it’s true. To the best of my ability, I embody the values I teach others. Fortunately, being aware of my imperfections is one of those values. I in no way pretend to be perfect at any of the REAL Life values, but I strive to do the best I can. And that’s all any of us can do.

REAL Life

Someone else said to me just this week that I seem perfect. That shocked me on several levels. First is because it is so far from the truth that I didn’t even know how to respond. The second was that I was so curious how she could have that impression of me. What air was I giving off?

The only thing I could think of was that my resilience was showing through. At least to her, I was staying engaged and maintaining a positive attitude. Then again, she hasn’t seen me at 6:30 in the morning, or when I have really gotten frustrated or down. I haven’t known her that long and I don’t see her that often.

All this is to say that things aren’t always what they seem. Keeping it REAL is hard work, every day. I don’t pretend it’s easy. I have been through the test on all four components of REAL Life over the past several months (not to mention my whole life) as I published my first book. Trust me, I’ve had to overcome numerous obstacles, receive countless corrections, flex in more ways than I had ever conceived of, and work independently as a writer and promoter of my book. It is no easy task.

But that is the whole point: real life is not easy. We need to be resilient, empowered, authentic, and limber to succeed in life, no matter what we do.