First-hand accounts from motivated professional women on what inspired them to attend a Women of Influence Advancement Centre course. Discover how the program has helped them advance in their career goals, and turn their insights into action with Christine Laperriere’s expert advice on how to practice the skills within your current role.

WOI_Advance_January2015_931x350

Registrant: Marketing Director

Course attended: Strategic Leadership & Influence

Why did you enrol and what big objectives do you have for 2015?
I registered for Strategic Leadership & Influence because I had always assumed these skills were inherent in people, rather than something that could be learned. Intrigued by a course dedicated to developing these skills, I enrolled to elevate my strategic influence within my current company and to also have tools I can bring with me throughout my career.

What was your biggest “a-ha!” moment from the course?
Discerning how to communicate a message so the recipient understands it was the biggest “a-ha!” moment. Sounds obvious, but most instruction is about how to effectively communicate so that you are UNDERSTOOD – clear language, eye contact, no hedging, etc. – and not often are we instructed on how to ensure the message/ask/presentation is positioned so the other side is receiving it in a way that makes sense for THEM.

What did you learn or how will you improve yourself going forward?
Learning the different ways people understand information and make decisions, and managing my communication accordingly, is a skill that I will apply not only in my career, but also through all walks of life. After this course, I could immediately identify the decision making style of my colleagues. This helped me put together a proposal for strategic deliverables in a way that each person in the room could support, thus eliminating many rounds of changes and iterations. Overall, the kick-off meeting for the project began much smoother as a result. It can be difficult to put aside time for professional development – the deadlines are looming, your to-do list is growing – but it was a refreshing break to be given the space to ruminate on something that can enable my professional growth. The facilitator, Tammy Heermann, created an inclusive environment to let us try tactics in real-time and provided immediate feedback on how to improve.

Who would you recommend to take this course?
I highly recommend this course for women who are presenting to, and wishing to influence, decision makers in their current roles. As we move up in our careers, we are increasingly faced with stakeholders who have a hand in steering the outcome – this course directs you on a path toward influencing the outcome as well.


“Try this on your own and Advance Your Skills Today”

Expert Advice from Christine Laperierre Executive Director of the Women of Influence Advancement Centre

1. Before you go into your next meeting, take notes regarding the impact you would like to make on each person in the room. In addition, note some of the key questions and speaking points you plan to incorporate to do so.

2. Once you leave the meeting, be sure to capture the impact you believe you made in the meeting. Now, go back and compare your planning notes. What went according to plan? What didn’t? Why?

3. If you really want to advance, casually poll someone who sat through the meeting. Find out what they remember most about the meeting and how you influenced them and the other team members. Identify any gaps that exist between your notes and their feedback.