Take a seat at the table -- and bring others along
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Posted by: Rufino Cabang
gender as an asset — the world does not need
more women 'acting like men,'" Nancy Lebold, vice president of procurement
for WinCo Foods, told NEW members during the final webinar of the 2015 NEW
Leadership Academy series, Nov. 6, 2015.
Lebold joined Michelle
Collins Battello, associate director at Procter & Gamble, and session
leader Jo Miller, CEO of Women's Leadership Coaching, for "Taking a Seat
at the Table," sharing advice on "showing up, speaking up and taking
the lead" in a corporate world often perceived as male territory.
Sometimes, being "polite"'
can send the wrong signals to colleagues, Lebold said. She offered these six
specific behaviors during meetings that can strengthen your move to the table:
- Sit up straight and project confidence and interest
- Practice "power poses" before meetings
- Make eye contact with everyone
- Be early and grab the front row
- Spread out and make room for yourself
- Watch your tone; avoid "upspeak" and use framing
recognizing her insecurities was a step toward empowerment. "Being younger
than others, and a woman, was more important in my head than to the others. Women,
more than men, tend to have a bit of self-doubt that creeps in and we tend to
question ourselves much more than we deserve to be questioned."
Lebold said unrealistic goals can create obstacles to success. "The only
person expecting 100-percent perfection is probably you," she said. "And
it holds you back."
Opportunities for women
to take their seat may be more plentiful than you think. Battello said women
should be present in:
discussion about or impacting your business
discussion on a topic you have experience in and a unique perspective of
meeting you're invited to (otherwise, why were you invited?)
decisions, to voice support or to push against potential bias
discussion on your own career path
Empowering teammates is
a critical step in taking — and honoring — your place in the organization. "Know the
topics and areas of expertise for each team member, and look to them as
experts," Battello advised.
NEW members may register online for the first NEW
Leadership Academy webinar of
2016, "Creating an Opportunity-Driven Career," February 11 at 1 p.m.
ET, for free. Members may view previous NEW Leadership Academy webinars in the NEW Study Hall.