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Frank webinar: Know (and write) your own story

Thursday, January 28, 2016  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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"It's critical that you write your own story. If you don't, others will write it for you," Tara Jaye Frank, vice president, multicultural strategy of Hallmark, told NEW members during "What's Your Story?" the first webinar in the NEW Summit Speakers series, Jan. 26, 2016.

The story you tell yourself and others about your career, life and abilities influences your ability to realize your full potential, Frank said. To clarify the pieces of your story, write down their thoughts and beliefs on relevant topics, such as advancement, leadership, work and life, she urged NEW members.

Be honest — and thorough. "There's a difference between 'the facts' and 'the truth,'" Frank said. "Make sure you interrogate your reality. Are you making assumptions or do you know for sure? Write down evidence that the thought or belief you have is true. Be really critical of it."

Frank faced her own false perceptions early in her career. "We've all been there; having a thought, holding onto it, only to find it wasn't the case," she said.

Self-awareness plays a part in the story your write, whether we know it or not. "Many of us, when not conscious of our feelings, often act on those feelings," Frank shared.

When writing a new story for yourself, go beyond plot and add "texture," she advised. For example, don’t just ask yourself what kind of environment you want to work in, but ask how will you contribute and how can you influence it that environment?

Receiving feedback is critical to career success, particularly if you feel misunderstood, Frank said. "Do you think others are getting your story wrong? Then get the facts, talk with people whose perception you feel is important."

Viewing constructive feedback merely as an indicator of a shortcoming writes a negative story. Conversely, "if you believe you are valuable and have an opportunity to grow, you'll feel more courageous," Frank said.

NEW members may register online for the next NEW Summit Speakers Series webinar.

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