How to find role models

 

 

In the quest for gender parity, it’s crucial that we as women consider the ways we can truly help, rather than compete with, one another. I believe that one of the key ways to do this is to seek out inspiring role models, women who have ‘been there and done that,’ because, at the end of the day, you can’t be what you can’t see. The question is: how exactly does one find a rolemodel?

Here are several ways you can search for one — or several — female role models.   

 

By Melinda Garvey

 


 

Read books written by female leaders.

The best way to understand a concept or a person is to get to the root. Read books and articles on topics that interest you. If you find an individual you admire, read what they have written. Create a deeper understanding of where their ideas stem. Seek to understand their voice and their personal story. Someone’s background can shine a light on how they managed their circumstances and ended up where they are today.

 

Do some research on the women who inspire you.

If you see someone that you admire, parse through their internet profiles. See the material they present to the public and research their life and career story. Fortunately, many people today publish their own content on blogs and social media platforms, inviting others to take a look at their personal worldview.You can learn a lot about a person through a simple Google search.

 

Attend networking events for powerful women.

Quality role models are hard to come by, but with some investigating, you can find leads. One of the best ways to find role models is to put yourself in situations where those around you are successful. Leadership conferences and conventions for your industry of choice are perfect hubs to hear various powerful voices in the field and gauge your interest. Don’t just pick a role model for the sake of picking one, but rather, find someone with whom you can relate and learn from their journey.

 

Emulate qualities you like, but make them your own.

When you find someone that you look up to, understand which qualities you admire about them. Is it their genuine and honest approach? Is it their ability to overcome the adversities of life? Whatever the case, emulate the positive qualities. Work to achieve these goals in your own life. By no means reject your true self, but incorporate your favorite qualities of your role model into the best version of you.

 

Watch YouTube videos and take notes.

The best way to learn a task or quality is to watch others do it well. Take your education into your own hands the modern way. Use the Internet, namely YouTube videos, to garner visual knowledge on a topic. If your role models have their own channel, even better. If not, just research and investigate topics of interest. For example, your role model may be into public speaking. Study up on videos of the best public speakers and their tips for improvement. The more you learn the better you will get, and seeking your own educational path is a great start.

 

Revamp your social media.

Social media is a large component of your self-image. If you want to find role models online, seek out and follow inspiring content. Completely refine who you follow on various platforms by only following content that fuels your mission to be a better person. These digital profiles of individuals are no fewer role models than those you know in ‘real life.’ Due to the amount of time spent on social media platforms, this content influences your beliefs and habits tremendously.

 

Contact them directly for assistance.

If you discovered a role model on the Internet or in real life, it is never a bad idea to reach out to them. Don’t expect a response — especially if they are pretty well-known. However, you never know what kind of relationship can manifest from your effort to connect. If you contact them digitally, you may foster a relationship that starts casual and ends up amounting to an in-person friendship. It is worth the risk, and if nothing comes of your outreach, it’s still meaningful to express your gratitude for their impact on your life.

 

 

Your responsibility in navigating a bad boss

The quality of your relationship to your superiors is critical to your professional success ― yet, it’s not always easy to overlook your boss’s shortcomings. Christine Laperriere, executive director of our Advancement Centre is here to help.

 

by Christine Laperriere


 

In my work as Executive Director of the Women of Influence Advancement Centre, I get invited into conversations with top performers who are navigating serious challenges in the workplace, and the topic of working for a “bad boss” comes up often.

I find it interesting how many of us, when working with people we start to experience conflict with, anchor feelings of frustration, resentment, or hopelessness to each interaction we have with that person. After a while, just the sight of that person in a meeting will draw out a feeling of frustration, and that person hasn’t even begun to speak yet!

As I was working with one women, she admitted that each time she walked into the same room as a particular senior leader, she immediately started to think about how frustrating it was to work with him and how she just knew he was going to shoot down her ideas. At one point, I invited her to think about what part of this dynamic she was responsible for. She didn’t see herself as responsible for any part of it.

As our conversation unfolded, I asked her what it would be like to lead a team if they walked into a room already thinking about their resentment for her and anticipating what she would do next to frustrate them. She explained that it would be hard, because they would assume whatever action she took was creating what they already believed about her. She pointed out how important it is that her team show up prepared to be open-minded, leaving past judgments and baggage behind.  

 

“She pointed out how important it is that her team show up prepared to be open-minded, leaving past judgments and baggage behind.”

 

Within a few seconds, she went quiet and I could tell she realized the irony in what she’d just shared.

We’ve all worked with challenging people, and sadly there is no “magic bullet” that transforms these tough working dynamics overnight ― but I know that your individual mindset predetermines the potential outcome in any dynamic. If you start the discussion in your lowest state of mind, don’t be surprised that the outcomes of the discussions look unsuccessful and similar, time and time again.

Your job when navigating a bad boss is to reach for your internal resources to stay creative, curious, and collaborating ― bringing your best tools and thinking forward in every working environment.

 

Christine Laperriere is a seasoned expert on helping leaders and teams reduce internal conflict, improve employee engagement, and more effectively engage with customers and prospects. Working with the Women of Influence Advancement Centre and through her own consultancy, Leader in Motion, she has spent the past ten years teaching hundreds of leaders how to be more effective through her “Leadership through Conflict & Change” course, and helped many with specific challenges through private executive coaching. Her background includes an undergraduate and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, certifications in psychotherapy and executive coaching, along with years in management consulting focused on implementation, change management and culture change initiatives.

Changing Quickly Takes Time

 

 

Any way you slice it, change can be hard, either as the leader trying to move a team through to the new beginning or as an individual who is managing their own transition. Leah Reilly, human resources consultant, explains a different way to look at change that can help make the process smoother.

 

by Leah Reilly

 


 

One of my favorite models of change is by William Bridges, written about extensively in his book, Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change. Bridges has a theory of change that basically asserts that “change” is the actual event. It’s the thing that happens that shocks the system and is a specific point in time and is situational. Transition, however, is psychological, and is a three-phase process of gradually accepting the details of the new situation and the changes that come with it.

In his model, change is fast and it’s the transition that’s slow. Change begins with an ending, something that once was and is no longer the case. The transition process moves through the neutral zone and ends with a new beginning. It’s a challenging concept, so I’ve included a diagram of the model:

 

If you are a leader who is staring down a major change this year, you might find that this model can be very powerful in coaching others to move through the stages of transition. Often labels like “good with change” or “change resistant” will get tossed around to discuss either the cheerleaders or the heel-draggers in a change initiative. But when you peel back the layers, you’ll begin to understand that it’s not immediate buy-in or sheer resistance that causes the person to behave the way that they do, it’s where they are in their own transition process. As a leader, you can start conversations to understand where people are in their own transition and perhaps help them come out the other side of the “neutral zone” that much faster.

On an individual level, I find this model very helpful and I can apply it somewhat clinically when I’m trying to understand why I’m reacting to events that occur in life. I’ve found that if I can mindfully understand where I’m at in reacting to a change event, I can perhaps work my way more quickly through to a new beginning. It helps me not to dwell in the past and seize opportunities more readily.

Any way you slice it, change can be hard, either as the leader trying to move a team through to the new beginning or as an individual who is managing their own transition. The point Bridges makes is that you can’t hit the fast-forward button on a change event and move straight from the end to the new beginning. During a transition people need time to process and sometimes dwell in the neutral zone before making it up the line toward enthusiasm. The model suggests while the process of transition can be difficult, allowing oneself or others to fully move through the stages can result in a creative and potentially positive outcome.

 

Leah Parkhill Reilly is a Women of Influence Advancement Centre expert and the owner of Parkhill Reilly Consulting. As a results-oriented human resources consultant, she has a proven track record of driving change across large, complex organizations specifically with regard to learning, development and organizational effectiveness. Leah has worked in a variety of industries including telecommunications, insurance and financial services. Her career experiences run the gamut from project management for systems implementation to human capital strategic planning.

 

Questions to build the relationships you need for an amazing year

Are you looking to add some goals to your plate? Christine Laperriere, executive director of our Advancement Centre, suggests you start with a baggage removal plan: clean house of your toxic relationships, and you’ll have more energy to focus on success.

 

by Christine Laperriere


 

As many of us look to add goals to our plate, we often forget one critical element: what are we going to remove from our lives to create space for something new?

 

It’s time to design a baggage removal plan. Let’s clean house in a common area that so many of us feel challenged by: relationships. Knowing where our support network lies and what relationships are toxic can help us build an action plan to free up emotional energy to use elsewhere.

 

In order to do this relationship assessment, you need to ask yourself some tough questions:

 

1. Which relationships drain me?

 

2. And of those relationships, which can I choose to change and which can I choose to eliminate?

 

3. If I choose to change the relationship, what steps do I need to take?  What difficult conversations do I need to have the courage to start?

 

4. Which relationships energize me?

 

5. Who are my “board of advisers” or ultimate support network? Who can I rely on in my life for a bit of support even if it’s just a laugh and a smile on a rough day?

 

6. Who do I provide support to? Do I feel good when supporting them or do I feel taken advantage of? How can I shift this dynamic?

 

Often, we are so busy with the day-to-day challenges of our work and personal life, we don’t notice how many relationships drain us, or take full advantage of the wonderful people who support us. But by spending some time to reflect on each critical area of our life, we can find simple ways to improve ourselves and our relationships — with just a little bit of courage and effort.

 

Christine Laperriere is a seasoned expert on helping leaders and teams reduce internal conflict, improve employee engagement, and more effectively engage with customers and prospects. Working with the Women of Influence Advancement Centre and through her own consultancy, Leader in Motion, she has spent the past ten years teaching hundreds of leaders how to be more effective through her “Leadership through Conflict & Change” course, and helped many with specific challenges through private executive coaching. Her background includes an undergraduate and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, certifications in psychotherapy and executive coaching, along with years in management consulting focused on implementation, change management and culture change initiatives.

Women of Influence Evening Series – Vicki Saunders

On Tuesday, September 7th, 2016, we welcomed Vicki Saunders to the podium at the Women of Influence Evening series to discuss her career as an entrepreneur and how she’s changing the game for female entrepreneurs everywhere.

In 2013, Vicki launched SheEO, a global collaboration of female entrepreneurs and radically generous women who engage in a new economic and social model that combines the best of crowdfunding, coaching, buying power and networks that leverages not just the wisdom of the crowd, but its heart.

Check out some of the key takeaways from the keynote address:

  • How #radicalgenerosity began: Vicki spoke about creating a venture capital model that attracted women, with the hopes that “if we do this for five years we will have a perpetual fund for our daughters and granddaughters.”
  • On living in a world created for men: “I’m not interested in leveling the playing field; I want to create a new field.”
  • On the importance of supporting female entrepreneurs: “How would you act differently, dream differently, if every time you asked for help, someone was there to lend a hand?”

 

How to Network: Making Meaningful Connections

If you are a professional woman who struggles with networking, you are not alone. If your view of networking is one of discomfort – standing at a corporate function waiting for some nice stranger to pass you a crudité – then a simple shift of perspective could change your results. Start thinking of networking as “connecting.” That’s step one.

Continue reading

Creating Lasting Connections – Natasha Koifman, President, NKPR Inc.

Networking is about more than collecting business cards. It’s about creating lasting and meaningful partners to help propel your career forward. This takes time and careful cultivation, just like building a brand. PR queen and connecting expert Natasha Koifman shares her proven tactics for achieving success by surrounding yourself with career champions.

Creating Lasting Connections, Natasha Koifman, President, NKPR at Young Women of Influence Evening Lecture, Toronto, April 25 from Peter Mykusz

Career Management: The Power of Networking and Mentorship

Does it really matter ‘who you know’? What is the impact of networking and mentorship on your career?

Cynthia Roney, is a former public company biotech CEO, Certified Executive Coach (Royal Roads University) and Professional Certified Coach (International Coach Federation) with more than 25 years of business and executive experience including CEO, President and Board Director (public and private companies), VP Business Development, VP Marketing and Sales, experienced working in large global corporations as well as early-stage start-ups.