Notes from A Women’s Conference

myth“Is Balance A Myth?” According to Dr. Teena Cahill, keynote speaker at Women in Business Alliance’s annual conference, the idea of work/life balance was created to make women who are successful at most everything, feel guilty about something!  Think about it!!!

Forget about balance, what you really want is resilience.  Live big and wide – not balanced.  It’s messy but it’s worth it.

A vibrant speaker, Dr. Cahill rumbles and rambles as if you were catching up on her entire life over a quick breakfast at the local diner.  The clock is ticking to get the day going.  It’s almost hard to keep up, but I scribbled down some words of wisdom.  Here’s some of what I captured.

  1. Life isn’t fair (where have I heard that before?).  This is sometimes difficult for us (women) to see.  We expect a level playing field, particularly in our workplace.  It isn’t.  Deal.
  2. What is your role as a leader?  You are to take actions that develop the potential in others and increase their power.  Whether in your office, in your family, in your community.  Think about what the role of a parent is…it’s the same.  To make others their best, to make them independent and to make them resilient.
  3. Know who has the power.  In a conversation, the listener always has the power.  They can walk away, shut down, not receive your message.  Make them want to listen, learn and grow.
  4. Credibility matters and even today 55% comes from how you look.  38% from how you speak and 7% from what you say.  Know this, use this.
  5. Also know that the first and last person to speak in a group has the biggest impact (AKA primacy and recency effects).  In meetings, speak first or speak last if you want to be remembered.
  6. Make I statements instead of you statements.
  7. Praise others often and early and be sure you are praising specifics.  Make it meaningful. (“good job” is not meaningful)
  8. In addition to the “fight or flight” survival mechanism, women also “tend and befriend”.  The #1 predictor of women’s productivity in the workforce is another woman to talk to!  (In another workshop on leadership attributes, absence of mentoring was one of the top 5 barriers to leadership that executive women identified.)
  9. Don’t be good, be strategic.  Especially when choosing what gets your full energy and what doesn’t.
  10. 10. Live messy, live wide, live intentionally.

Hope you find these at least interesting, but I really hope you find them helpful!

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2 Responses to Notes from A Women’s Conference

  1. Meg Helms says:

    Great recap, Debbie! I was re – inspired by Teena’s comments after I read your summary. Thank you for doing this, and so glad you thought the WIBA seminar was great – so did I!

  2. Lucia Stegaru says:

    Thanks, Debbie for summarizing. I loved Tina’s message and I took notes myself, however you organized them for me.
    It was great seeing you again at the WIBA Conference.

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