Tuesday Truths 2015 edition v4

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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!

— Madalene


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