Winter is barreling ahead full steam so we’re bracing for some crazy snowfall up and down the mid-Atlantic so I hope everyone on the east coast is staying safe and keeping warm. It might be a good time to get in some Tuesday Truths!
Regardless of what level of seniority you’ve obtained, you’ll always looking to improve. That might mean taking on more responsibility so that you can get to the next level, or wanting a promotion because you’re feeling professionally stagnant from mastering your current position. As a result, there will be skills that you will need to learn. Undoubtedly, you’ll encounter moments where you will have no clue how to do something. No one wants to feel like an “impostor” but you want to appear like a competent person as you maneuver through this experience. Here are some tips on how to best fake it til you make it so that you can continue to show confidence while learning along the way.
My colleagues and I are always on the lookout for talent and for individuals who exhibit qualities of future leaders. How can you show that you’re a leader if you’re a staff assistant or have no management skills? One quality that I look for is when someone helps others, not just to those who are their managers but also to those who have less experience. If you don’t manage the interns, but interact with them, how do you help them succeed? Your actions, as well as attitude determines whether people can see your leadership abilities and potential so take advantage of doing more than what is your scope of work.
Which leads me to when you have to manage someone who you may not particularly like. There are going to be times when a you have a member of your team who you may not have hired, but you have to manage. I tend to get along with everyone as I try to respect everyone’s roles. As long as you respect my role, I can respect yours. That includes understanding my position within the hierarchy of the management infrastructure as well as my history with the principal(s). I may look like I’m in my early 30’s but I have experience that exhibits itself by my actions. Whenever there’s a team member who rubs me the wrong way, I try to remember that as a manager, I’m above the drama and it’s my goal to have the team work as efficiently as possible by tapping into the strengths of the individuals and helping them with their weaknesses. If you’re the person rubbing people the wrong way, you don’t have to please everyone and personality doesn’t necessary fit into a neat box but you should recognize that some traits can be improved upon with a bit of polish and a boost of confidence. It’s really a relationship of all three articles.
I am a total believer about making your own luck. Does that make me a hippie dippy/glass half full/unicorn chasing rainbows kind of gal? Perhaps but I also try to pair that attitude with a high dose of pragmatic reality. I’ve had my share of disappointment but I don’t think I was ever really disillusioned. It’s about setting a mentality that allows for failure (yes, failure because we’re not perfect) while looking towards achieving attainable measures of success.
Since a lot of my clients happen to be men (OK all of them are men), I recognize that as a woman, I’m giving counsel to people who trust me for my political acumen. Fortunately, I’m not the only female to provide expertise on these teams so it helps to have a welcome environment to express opinions. I’m an only child so growing up I always had my family’s attention and with an AAPI mother, I was taught to have a more AAPI attitude towards deference to my elders (if there’s ever a hierarchy, it certainly dwells in an AAPI family) so talking back was certainly a no-no. I didn’t find my voice with my family until much later in life but I always had my voice for those people outside. I’ve enjoyed reading how we can nurture our younger females so that they don’t ever lose their voice. Which also leads me to how adult women can get their male colleagues to stop “mansplaining”. I have an Irish American husband who is the oldest of 5 and when I’m at his family’s house, I have to take a break because I’m not accustomed to having such a boisterous family lovingly talk over one another – a managed chaos that comes with family habits but not one suitable to business meetings when someone (gender neural at times) hijacks an idea or interrupts you when you’re speaking. This is assuming that you’re expressing yourself with authority and doing it in a manner that demands attention. I speak at meetings only when I feel like I’m adding to the conversation. This may or may not work for you. If I feel that my assessment or summary is worthy of discussion, I don’t hesitate to initiate it when appropriate. People have noted my style as to be calm and deliberative so that when I speak, people listen. When I’m talking and someone decides to talk over me, I speak louder because I don’t allow the person to be a distraction. I work with people who have been in politics for a long time and as such, we have worked on multiple campaigns together and provide mutual respect. So don’t hesitate to demand that respect by how you present yourselves and SHUT IT DOWN when someone thinks that they can.
Have you ever thought about taking a life audit? I’ve done it informally throughout my career so I could assess if I was creating a life that I wanted to live and love. I have felt, at times that I wasn’t living up to my potential and made choices accordingly. One of the reasons why I started my consulting business was because I wanted to be my own boss. It’s times like these when I have had my best periods of self discovery. Although challenging, this personal journey can make a difference in how you view your life. I’ll share my results if you share yours!
Hope everyone is staying safe on the east coast! Thanks for reading/sharing and let me know your comments!
If you haven’t heard, ABC will be premiering Fresh off the Boat on Feb 10th and I was fortunate enough to be invited to a special screening at the Newseum. The AAPI community is nowhere near parity in seeing talent that look like ourselves but we’re making strides. It helps to have a strong grassroots community to show their support. Here are a few AAPI bloggers who certainly help the cause. To read more about Eddie Huang, the inspiration for Fresh off the Boat, read his interview about his experience of turning his life into a tv show – both poignant and hilarious.
From Silicon Valley to sports to recruiting local candidates, these African American leaders are taking the lead. I look forward to seeing more of their work!
I went through a quarter life crisis in my mid 20s and as I face my 40’s, I’m experiencing a change in my own career that isn’t quite as linear. So if you’re in your mid 30s, meet Sharon Chang, the former Chief Creative officer for 19 Entertainment (the company behind American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance) who decided that she wanted to leave that position and make a career change. If anything, experience that comes with age makes you more self aware. So if you’re feeling like you’re getting stagnant, it’s a good read to self reflect.
This article was written for millennials to teach them how to manage talking on the telephone but I was more intrigued about the info graphic on how to handle the calls itself (basically how to sound natural, the best time to make the calls etc). It’s a great tool for those of us who hate being on the phone (that would be me) and for those who need to be on the phone to do fundraising call time (political candidates!).
As a political consultant, I spend an enormous amount of time helping clients with strategy. Some of my clients have been clients for a long time so I know how to work with their personalities to reach a shared view. Here are a few tips to how you can“disagree” with your manager and get back to working towards the same goal.
A few months ago I was asked to do a branding presentation for one of the Capitol Hill staff associations. It is such a challenging presentation because so much of it is self reflection and requires the individual to really take the time to assess their own goals. Here’s a great step by step process that can help during that self reflection.
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We continue to see gloomy weather in DC and I think we’re still reeling from the announcement that Senator Boxer will not be running for re-election this cycle (coincidence?). I hope you’re having a good start to the work week wherever you’re situated!
The US Senate has always been considered an exclusive club. Can you believe that there have only been 44 women who have ever served? 44 – EVER in the history of the US Senate. With the recent announcement from Senator Boxer that she would not seek re-election to his Senate seat, is this a chance for another woman to take a place in HERstory? Reading this recent Politico article about the women who have served in this elected body was quite fascinating and I thank all of them for all of their work in making the Senate a more equal institution. We still have a long way to go but these women have certainly paved the way.
Most of you know that I advocate mentoring/championing those who are less experienced. As a woman of color, I especially believe that we need to support one another and teach those who would benefit from our experiences. Finding mentors within our communities shouldn’t be challenging yet this article shows that it can be quite a hurdle.
Aiiiggghhhttt – time to hit it! I hope you had a cracking time during the holiday season but it’s time to put down the eggnog and get to business. I’m in the process of getting a new project started that should be announced shortly so I got a deadline to keep myself. In the meantime, get to reading those Tuesday Truths!
So I tell everyone who wants to be a campaign consultant, get working on some campaigns (outside of DC, of course!) because the camaraderie you share on those campaigns can forge life long friendships and business opportunities. There was a time in my life where I thought I would never date a colleague because I would just leave my work at work (well, was I ever wrong!). Now, making friends on the job is certainly different than dating, and having colleagues who have your back is like having a few extra aces up your sleeve.
Today is the start of the 114th Congress with newly elected members being sworn into office. This Congress is the most diverse EVER (yay!) which comprises of nearly 20% women and a little over 17% non-white. So let’s do a little basic math = this means that the Congress is still comprised of 80% of men whereas the population is more than 50% female and white non-Hispanics comprise of 63% of the population. Nowhere near a true reflection of the population in representation. How can we take steps to have a more representative Congress in the future?