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166

If you notice someone that is being spoken over, make sure you, as the manager, go back and make sure that person is heard.

In this episode

Do you say sorry when you’re late for a meeting?

It’s easy to be apologetic to our coworkers, but this can disempower you as a person. There are a few alternatives to ensure you stay empowered while being courteous, such as “thank you for waiting for me to begin.” 

Amanda Blesing dives into how not to diminish your power in the workplace, and eliminate credibility killers. She also explains how people can fall into a mindset that forces them to pay the “loyalty penalty” and why this mindset is so dangerous. 

Amanda Blesing is a leading author, speaker, mentor and corporate trainer and creator of The Ambition Revolution program, who consults busy and ambitious professionals.  She has over 25 years of leadership experience and was previously CEO of SOCAP Australia. She’s spent time working with clients such as Atlassian, ANZ, and Suncorp. She’s coached over 2000 women to overcome societal limitations and take charge of their success. 

In episode #166, Amanda shares her experiences as an executive coach to help you be a more present leader who is a champion for career growth of those on your team.

Tune in to hear all about Amanda’s leadership journey and the lessons learned along the way!


Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the podcast with your colleagues.


04:00

Being a present leader

11:50

Self-promotion tactics

17:50

How to be heard

26:00

The “We’ve got enough women” mentality

31:00

Credibility killers

37:38

Well-meaning poor advice 


Resources mentioned in this episode:


Transcript

Amanda, welcome to the show.

Amanda Blesing  02:51

Aydin, hello, I’m really excited to be here.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  02:54

Yeah, very excited to do this. And thank you. You were telling me right before we hit record that you woke up super early, and are doing this even before your early morning workout in Australia. So very grateful for that.

Amanda Blesing  03:07

That is true. I have had one cup of coffee on my second cup of coffee. And that’s good for a workout. But yes, I’m hoping that my mouth and brain are woken up and together in gear.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  03:18

Yeah. So lots for us to talk about today. You’re a sought after speaker and coach to over 2000 women in their careers. And you’ve worked with and coached people at companies like NAB, Telstra, Atlassian, and so many more. So before we dive in one of the questions we always like to start with here on the podcast. It’s just talking about those early mistakes. So do you remember when you first started to manage or lead a team? What were some of those very early mistakes that you used to make?

Amanda Blesing  03:47

Oh, gosh, isn’t it funny, we don’t like talking about mistakes. And I think because I worked with a lot of women are predominantly with women and women are quite perfectionist. But there’s a couple of mistakes, I’d be happy to share, because I think they’re really good learning for all of us. And one of them was I got some feedback from a staff member. And she was really upset at the time. And she said, You say you have an open door policy. But when I come in to talk with you, you’re actually look, you’ve got your fingers on the keyboard because I was brand busy. And your fingers are on the keyboard and you’re typing away and you’re looking over your shoulder. And it’s like you’re wet. It’s like your can’t wait to get back to your work. You’re not actually really listening to me. And oh my gosh, that was such an eye opening moment. It was something I was doing. When I thought about it. I was doing it all the time. It was such an eye opening moment for me and a real gem in terms of feedback. Of course I felt hurt because I was doing I thought I was doing all the right things and and she didn’t say it in a particularly elegant or caring way at the time she was crossed with me and upset, but it was such a really Good moments in terms of my leadership and management development. And from that moment on, it was like, okay, when someone comes to me with an issue, the best gift I can give them, and give myself as a manager is to stop, take my hands off the keyboard, and pay them attention, give them my full attention and listen to the issue. And if I am busy, then organize another time for them to come back and talk about it more fully, if that’s what the issue needs, or to deal with it then in there, but that was such a huge learning for me. And while it wasn’t a particular one mistake, when I fell off the rails, it was a consistent pattern of behavior that I had been doing as a new manager. And I didn’t even know, I didn’t understand the impact that was causing. So I hope that helps your listeners.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  05:47

Yeah, I think it’s super relevant. And despite the fact that a lot of people may not be going into offices these days, you can still commit the same mistakes on Zoom, or whatever conference provider you have video provider you have. So it’s very common, it’s almost easier to make that mistake, in a sense, because you can have so many things open during the meetings that you do have,

Amanda Blesing  06:12

yeah, you can. And I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed when you’re on a zoom, or teams, or WebEx, or whatever it is, you’re on a meeting with someone and you can hit the keyboard going, and you know that they’re going Aha, and pretending they’re listening. And they’re actually typing. It’s that’s a real turn off. We can’t do that. But that’s the same. That’s exactly the same really isn’t it, except that that person is thinking they’re getting away with it, when really they’re not. Paying attention is a gift, paying someone attention with my one on one clients, if I can pay them one on one attention, they feel seen, heard and valued. That is an absolute gift in a world where my clients don’t feel necessarily that they’re seen, heard and valued. And probably some of the staff in organizations are feeling a little unseen, heard and unvalued as well. So it’s a gift.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  07:07

Yeah, I can’t help it. Notice in the background for anyone who can see the video in the background you have. Is that a new book that you’re coming out with?

Amanda Blesing  07:17

Yep, this is the cover for my second book, but I’m actually releasing a second edition. And it was a really important update, because I released the first edition in 2019. And since then the world changed. And given that I’m talking about branding, and self promotion, I needed to factor in online environments, I needed to factor in that my clients were growing and expanding. So I added a whole new level with a bunch of new case studies as well. So yes, I’m in the midst of launching my invisible to Invincible, a self promotion handbook for executive women. edition two. And right now I’m in Brisbane recording the audio book. So that’ll be available on audiobook on Audible soon.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  07:59

Oh, awesome. Just a quick question about audible, because I love Audible. So do you narrate this yourself? Or are you going to hire someone to do it? Like the actual narration?

Amanda Blesing  08:09

Yeah, good question. And I’ve had this debate, I decided to do it myself. And that was from my readers, the people who read my blog every day, I sort of put it out there and they said, We want to hear your voice. I don’t want to hear my voice. I don’t know, even yourself. But sometimes when you listen to the playback, do you go, Oh, my gosh, I don’t like the sound of my own voice. Do you feel like that sometimes?

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  08:32

I actually really enjoy. No, I’m just kidding. Yeah, I think most of us feel that way.

Amanda Blesing  08:38

Yeah, so I wasn’t sure. But my readers really wanted to hear my voice. So I went, Okay, I’m gonna do it, I’m going to record it myself. It’s been really fun. We make lots of mistakes and stumbles when we read, I do. And it’s been an absolute challenge, but really, really fun. And it’s dipped me right back into the IP of the book. It’s just, it’s been a really great experience to narrate it. So one of the reasons I did it too, was because I got feedback from a couple of women who said, we can’t wait for the audible to come out. Because as mums and we’ve got kidney drop off in the morning, and maybe some of your dad listeners have got kidney drop off in the morning, hopefully. And what it means is, when you’re doing that, and you’re combining that with a really busy job, it can mean you don’t have time to read and work on your own personal development. And as a leader or a manager, it’s really important. So what my listeners oil, my readers who were telling me that they would prefer the audible version, they were telling me that this would make it easier for them to learn to actually read my book and learn that way. So I think it’s a gift. I think it’s a really important thing for authors to consider to have an audible book to make sure that we’re being really inclusive with our readership base and given I write For women, that was really, it was an eye opener for me again, and a really important part of my decision to write this. Well to narrate the book myself.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  10:08

Yeah. And just super quick question on that. Which is to say that it’s a 10 hour read maybe takes 10 hours to read it. I’m just making this up. But how long would it take to record the narration? Is it like 30 hours? Or,

Amanda Blesing  10:21

well, what are the details? So my book is around a five hour read. And I’ve had 10 hours in the studio so far, and I have to go back for another one hour.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  10:33

Okay, that’s not too bad.

Amanda Blesing  10:34

Yeah, my first day, I was okay, randomly. My second day, I made lots of mistakes. I just couldn’t get my brain and mouth in gear. And I did fewer words. In my third day, I did 20,000 words like Bang really, really well. And then I need to go back to finish today. But I’m really excited about it. It’s been really fun. We’re going to record another podcast together with the woman producing my book. So I’m on a podcast today.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  11:01

Awesome. And to the broad premise of the book for people to check it out. What is the broad premise of the book? And of course, you know, original version, like you said, in 2019, what can people expect to learn? Well,

Amanda Blesing  11:12

it’s a book about self promotion tactics. It’s divided into three sections. The first bit is why it’s hard for women to self promote. The second bit is more of a framework about and things philosophical and things we can do. And then the third section is tactical practical, what we can do in meetings, what we can do in corporates, what we can do on LinkedIn, it’s really tactical and practical to shift us from being reactive and or passive, into that proactive, intentional, future focused self promotion, and branding tactics that will really give us pay rises, promotions, and better opportunities. So sometimes women reached out to me, and it’s like, they’ve had an aha moment. Like, oh, my gosh, I’ve spent so much time focusing my career on developing others, making other people look good, that I haven’t done the same for myself. And that’s what I do. I teach a strategic and powerful approach to branding. And my goal is to have your effort, but double your impact. pay rises, promotions, and the recognition you truly deserve. It’s really hard when you’re a manager, prioritizing everyone else’s needs above your own. And you also need to self promote. And if you don’t self promote, even though sometimes it is in actual fact department promoting, if you don’t have those tactics, in actual fact, that can reflect poorly on your division. And your division might mean that you missed out on budgets and might miss out on opportunities, if you are not good at selling brand new and brand, your department. So it’s really, really an important read for anyone, whether a man or a woman. But obviously at the beginning part, it’s all about why women struggled to self promote. Yeah, thank

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  12:55

you for explaining that. And definitely for something for people to check out. And like you said, a lot of people have problems with some of the things that you mentioned. So, you know, I think it can be really helpful read for a lot of people. One thing I did want to start to chat about is this idea and this phrase that you use throughout your work, which is the ambition revolution, it sounds like a very intriguing phrase. So maybe you can explain what it is. And tell us a little bit about it.

Amanda Blesing  13:24

So when I was going about setting up my business, I was reading a lot of work around why women weren’t as ambitious as men. And there’s a lot of socialization around that. And in Australia, though, and New Zealand, there was a really public shaming of a senior level executive who said that women didn’t display vertical ambition. And he worked in the advertising industry. And it was very, very public. And there was a lot of outcry when he said that, and rightfully so, because what he was doing was marginalizing marginalizing the senior women in his organization, because he said they didn’t display a vertical ambition. Because for women in particular, ambition is seen as a dirty word. We’re not supposed to display ambition, whether that’s for money or or career progression. And so I wanted to turn that round, I wanted to turn it into something we we could talk about, and it was okay. And we’re allowed to display our ambition, hence, the ambition revolution. There is a myth out there that women aren’t as ambitious as men, and I say, That’s rubbish. It’s just we value and correlate success and ambition differently. So men tend to correlate success and ambition with financial gain. I get a promotion that comes with a pay rise, therefore I am successful, but for women, if the money is important, don’t get me wrong, the money is really important. But if we don’t feel like we’re being heard, and we don’t feel like we’re being making a difference, so that was two extra things. If we don’t feel like we’re being heard, and voices heard or opinion valued, and if we don’t feel that we’re actually working on meaningful projects that move the dial, we’re making a difference, then, despite the money, we are far more likely to pick up our bat ball and briefcase and go elsewhere. So the ambition revolution, I want people to understand that, why we don’t know that I call it the feminine ambition trifecta. I want people to understand that it’s not that women aren’t as ambitious, we just have a more a bigger basket of goods that we consider to be in our ambition, success and ambition. Correlation.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  15:36

Yeah, that’s very interesting. And one of the questions that I had is, it was interesting when you said that the way that women feel appreciated is different. And I wonder what that means for people who work with women, whether you are a man or woman working with women? What should you take from that? Or how should that change the way that you work with women knowing that

Amanda Blesing  16:03

really good, okay, let’s get the instance to some practical things. I’m just thinking of, you know, if what my clients tell me that really bugs them, when they’re not feeling heard. So they often talk about being spoken over in meetings, or that they’ve had an idea, launched it in a meeting. And then the idea is then dismissed, and then someone else, perhaps man presents the meaning of the idea later, and it’s picked up. And they feel incredibly frustrated with that sort of thing. It makes them feel like why do I even bother. So it’s really important if you’re a manager to have what we call, like fair air to share policies, to make sure that different voices, it’s not just women, that who feel marginalized in this way that different voices are heard. If you notice that someone is being spoken over, then make sure that you as the manager, or perhaps Chair of the meeting, go back and make sure that that person is heard. If you notice that someone doesn’t speak up in meetings, make sure that you implement policies or go back and sort of ask them do you have something to say, because maybe they’re just more introverted in nature, and not used to putting forward their opinion. But diverse perspectives are what make departments and organizations more successful, making sure that we hear from everyone around the table is, in actual fact, a really good thing to do, and will mean your people, your staff feel heard. And that’s really, really important.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  17:32

So thank you for sharing that. I’d love to know about the flip side, too. So we’ve talked about now what you can do as someone who’s running a meeting or working with women, knowing that this can be an issue, what you can do to make sure that it’s not what do you tell the women who actually come in and have this issue at the workplace? Like, is there anything that they could do?

Amanda Blesing  17:53

Yes, there are lots of tactics or a couple of tactics. Let me tell you about one that’s incredibly powerful. Aiden, have you heard of the term peer promotion? Have you heard of that?

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  18:05

I haven’t heard a peer promotion. But that’s probably similar to ally ship.

Amanda Blesing  18:09

Yes, absolutely. It’s harder to brag about yourself or say good things about yourself. It’s much easier when someone else does that about you. So what I suggest is that you harness the energy behind that with creating allies and coalition’s inside your organization. And that’s great for meetings, when you’re not feeling heard, when you are regularly spoken over or, or when you have ideas, and then no one attributes them to you and someone else might get credit. So make sure before a meeting, that you’ve got a couple of people on side with you. And that you you know, you brief them on perhaps what you’re going to say and brief them on your frustration in that particular meeting. That sounds so speaks over you or you feel like you’re not heard. So when you do launch the idea, when you do get a chance to speak about the idea and maybe you don’t do it as eloquently as you could and maybe you stumble that’s okay. But you know, if the idea is good, and you really want to put it forward, then keep persisting. But your coalition your allies, the people who you’ve briefed before the meeting, if they noticed that you’re being spoken over might say, hey, Aiden, that sounded like a really interesting idea. I noticed that you didn’t get to finish it fully. Could you explain a little more fully take the time now. Thanks, Aidan. I’d love to hear more. Or they might say something like, oh, gosh, Aiden, you were speaking I noticed so and so spoke over you and you didn’t get finished. Let’s go back to Aiden. I really want to hear Aiden’s ideas. So it just gives you a little bit of a buffer and the opportunity to restate your ideas to make sure your ideas are attributed to you and you feel heard. It’s a really, really powerful tactic. And if you are being spoken over, or not getting time or not getting the opportunity to interject so could be hate. And I can see you’ve got something to say there. And you haven’t yet got a word in edgewise. I’d love to hear from you. We haven’t heard from you yet. And that might be if you were introvert staff member who doesn’t speak up so much in meetings. So having your coalition briefed to do those sorts of tactics? That’s really, really powerful for you.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  20:21

Yeah, I think it’s an excellent way to do this. And I think people as meeting participants, this is just like an active role of any participant that should pay attention to these things. And sometimes they can be intentional, but many times they’re not. And so I think it’s it’s always important for people to watch out in this way. Hey, everyone, just a quick pause on today’s episode to tell you about something that we’ve been working on that we’re super excited about. It’s no secret that, you know, meetings have been on the rise since the pandemic, there’s studies that showed that in some organizations, people are spending as much as 250% more time in meetings, and there hasn’t been a solution out there to really tackle this problem. At its heart, some companies are doing interesting things. Shopify, for example, is now incorporating a meeting cost calculator into all of the meetings that are booked. And so whenever someone’s trying to book a meeting, they get to see the cost of that meeting. And what we’ve decided to do at fellow is take this idea of a meeting cost calculator, and make it available for everyone for free. And we’re calling it our meeting cost calculator, it integrates with your Google Calendar. So if you’re on a Google Calendar, what you can do is go to Fellow.app/calculator, and what it’s going to do is it’s this extension, you install it super easy. And when you do, you’ll be able to see the cost of every meeting that you’re attending. And so what this does at an organizational level, and it’s very easy to install organization wide, your IT administrator can very easily do this. And when you do this, every person in your company, when they’re about to book a meeting, they’ll be able to see the cost of that particular meeting. And really, the intention here is to make it easy for people to really think carefully about the people that the invite to the meeting how large the meeting is going to be. And really the purpose and make sure that time that is organized through this meeting is actually going to be time well spent. And so we’re very excited to announce this, it’s easy to get, you can go to fellow.app/calculator, get the extension and get it for your team, it’s free to use. And if you like what you see there, we have a series of other things that we built along these lines with that extension, we’re calling the meeting guidelines. And it’s a series of other things that help change organizational behavior around meetings in your company. But start with a calculator. It’s really cool. And when you try it, let us know what you think. And with that said, let’s go back to the episode. What do you think about the idea of just when that happens to maybe not in the moment, but just approaching whoever does the cutting off and actually tell them that they that they do so like that kind of direct feedback? You get it? I don’t know. Like it obviously is very circumstantial amongst a bunch of things. But does that ever work or helped change the behavior? Look,

Amanda Blesing  23:26

giving someone direct feedback, as always, if you can, if you feel powerful enough, that’s always a good idea. If you’ve got a great working relationship with people and used to speak there, inadvertently cutting you off or taking credit for your ideas, then direct feedback would be a great idea. If you’re the manager, then to be honest, that’s your role, you should be looking out for that sort of thing you need to be you want your team to be working together well. So you should be making sure that there are fair share policies. So giving someone feedback and implementing a fair air to share policy is always a great tactic if you’re a manager.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  24:04

Yeah. So I think these are all good things that collectively make the work environment a lot more inclusive and help everybody shine at what they do. So another thing that I think we have a quote from you where you say, we know from research that some men feel threatened by highly qualified women changing the status quo, particularly in leadership positions, and as a result of these feelings of we have enough women there is constant resistance to change. Do people actually say that? We have enough women? Is that a real quote?

Amanda Blesing  24:38

I liked that you’re laughing?

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  24:40

I am laughing because I feel like most places do not have the diversity stats that maybe they should have an organization to say that is just it is a little funny.

Amanda Blesing  24:50

I like that you’re laughing because it shows that we’re making progress. You know that you think this is outrageous and funny and you can’t believe people say it means that the definitely make significant progress. But yes, it’s, I wouldn’t say all men say it. But yes, it’s something that we hear, you know, we have enough women, I once had a client not that long ago, probably 2018, she worked in a major Australian bank, one of the, we’ve got four major Australian banks, we call them the big four. And she works in a technology division. She said in a meeting, she was one of three women, three, in a team of around 100. And the manager at a meeting stood up and said, we’ve got enough women. We take that into diversity targets, we’ve got enough women, three in a team of 100. I guess there’s a bit of psychology around it, when we take something away from people that they felt was there, right. And it’s deemed as taking jobs away from the blokes can there can be some resistance, it’s not really being looked at rationally. Guess there is some resistance. And particularly in older generations at the board level, there is definitely a lot of research to support that. Male board members feel and board chairs feel like we’ve got enough women we’re doing our bit we’ve got one woman on the board with, you know, yay for us. There’s definitely a lot of research to say it’s actually a common attitude, unfortunately, and still

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  26:23

into what do people do. So if you are someone who works in an environment where you do feel like others might be threatened by your career ambitions, or rising up into leadership positions, I mean, part of me just thinks that maybe get up and go somewhere else is probably the faster path. And I’m not sure that’s the best path for leading a movement. But yeah, what do you normally recommend to people who might be in such a situation,

Amanda Blesing  26:51

I loved your response, because I was actually thinking the same get up and move. If that’s the culture of the organization, you’re in, get up, it’s a sign. Hopefully, that attitude is not held by the manager, and leadership, team management and leadership, hopefully, if the attitude is held by management and leadership, probably to get up and move is definitely a really good tactic. And we know that women in particular, don’t change roles quite as frequently as men. This loyalty penalty, we call it hits us in the back pocket as well. Because every time you change roles, or move organizations, it can be an opportunity to renegotiate, it’s much easier to negotiate a bigger starting salary, then negotiate inside your organization for an increase. So that loyalty penalty can come at a cost. So getting up and leaving is not a bad thing. We women have been socialized to think that they hang in the organization, longer consideration, compliance, and loyalty, all those things. Were a fast track to success. But we know that other things are more important. Being able to speak about the problems you solve the difference you make. And the value you add, we’ll probably do far greater than staying in the same company trying to fix the company. However, if you’re not in a position to leave, you’re probably going to have to have that conversation, you might have to draw attention to the manager that what they just said is not actually accurate. It might be a part a you know, Can I can I give you some feedback when you said that it made the three women in the team feel like we while we might have felt valued, we did feel that perhaps you didn’t see the equity in issue here? Is this something we can talk about more fully? You know, is this something we can do about that? What is your idea about when in actual fact do you think we will have enough women? Or were you joking? If you’ve got a good enough relationship with your manager, it’s probably worth a discussion. If not, then maybe it’s worth going to HR and talking about tactics you can employ?

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  28:51

Yeah, that is good advice. And so I’m curious about this. You mentioned loyalty penalty. Is it true that women do stay at workplaces longer is that what the numbers show?

Amanda Blesing  29:01

We tend to be more considerate, compliant and conscientious. It means we stay longer in roles where we’re trying to fix them solve why we’re trying to fix ourselves and try and fix the situation. I call it the fixer brand in my book, invisible to Invincible I’ve got a whole category devoted to being the fixer. We’re really good at operations strategy, and we bring emotional intelligence to the table. It makes us great fixers means we clean up. We’re really good at cleaning up other people’s messes. Often organizations love employing women in that fixer and official FIX IT capacity we’ve got at solving those complex, messy problems. It does mean know that we tend to try and solve it in our role as well and try and puzzle out why we can’t make it why we can’t get to the next level. And we keep working on that rather than just saying picking up the bat ball and briefcase and going elsewhere. So yes, it is true. And it comes at a cost.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  29:58

Yeah, it sounds like you’re saying that there are also positives in that you don’t give up until maybe the situation is fixed. So maybe that is always a good idea to find the most difficult of challenges and make sure that the women in the room have a chance to go at it. Another topic I did want to mention is on the notion of credibility killers. So in your book, step up, speak out, take charge, you talked about eight common credibility killers, maybe we can talk about a few of them so that people can get an idea of what they are, and just get a sense for oh, I tend to do those things.

Amanda Blesing  30:35

Step up, speak out, take charge is in actual fact, my first book, I wrote that back in 2016, it was, gosh, I don’t know if any of your listeners Aidan, have you written a book yourself? No, I have not. It was a passion project. But you know, in terms of getting your ideas out there, let me tell you impostor syndrome really reared its head I, I, you know, published it. And I had a really long gap between the date I published it, the date, I sent it to the printer. And then when I received the copies back, and oh, my gosh, I had it. I had impostor syndrome so badly. So that is something that I have heard from men and women, you know, once they finish their book, the gap between hitting print and going out to the world where your big idea is when imposter syndrome rears its head. But we’re not talking about impostor syndrome. Now, what we’re doing is talking about some credibility meetings, some credibility killers, perhaps that happened in meetings and things like that. So sometimes we undermine ourselves in a meeting, and we undermine ourselves. And one of the things we might be doing is, if you’ve got an opinion, you want to be taken seriously in a meeting, don’t sit in a really weak position around the table at the meeting, find somewhere to sit, that gives you a bit of power, if you want to have an equal, say and be heard, sit on the side of the table, don’t squeeze in on the corner. So you want to physical taking your seat at the table, we might have heard that you don’t want to take your seat, taking your seat at the table. And truly owning your seat at the table is actually really important. It’s not just a metaphor, it’s real, if you want to be heard and taken seriously, something else that we do that women do is we apologize a lot. And maybe you will like to sit meeting. And so you might walk in and say, Oh, I’m sorry, I’m late, everyone. And that really draws attention to yourself. And I, you know, I suspect everyone does it. But the more powerful approach or an alternative approach is instead of saying sorry, replace sorry, with Thank you walk into the room, you might have been late and your natural reaction might have been to say, Sorry, everyone, instead, steak, thank you for your patience, or thank you for waiting. Thank you for your consideration. Replace sorry, with Thank you. Really, interestingly, the dynamic, it’s a really interesting power shift. When you say thank you, the people listening, all of a sudden, they are feeling there and basking in your graciousness. And instead of thinking you’re late, and dismissing you, they’re actually thinking, Oh, yes, I was great. I was patient. I was nice. I, you know, I was patient, I was considerate, yes. And it takes the attention off of you, and puts it onto the person, the other people on the table. And that’s a really good shift in power. So there’s two, another something we do is we don’t take credit for our own work, you know, when someone might pay you a compliment. I don’t know if even if you do this, but you know, if someone pays you a compliment, and women do this in particular, we go, Oh, what was nothing? I was just doing my job. In actual fact, did you see that? We nearly fell over the project nearly fell over in February. But we’ve gotten there in the end, and the whole team was involved, you might have a version of that script going on. And then extract that is my script. I used to say something like that, even as a CEO, I would say it was nothing. I was just doing my job. And the whole team was involved, you know, because I didn’t want to take credit for other people’s work. So it’s a common script. But instead of saying that, once again, when someone pays you a compliment, use the thank you say thank you, and then button up and say no more. When we diminish a compliment. It totally undermines your power again and then undermines your credibility. First of all, people might start thinking that you’re right. And secondly, it actually, every time you diminish your you do that you’re diminishing your own credibility in your own eyes. You’re downplaying it by downplaying your achievements. You’re sort of you might start believing that, oh, it’s not that good hype. And that’s really important. We want to have this confidence we want to build our confidence up. Honest, overconfidence is an amazing thing for us to have less and use in the workplace. So we want to build that up. So there’s a few ideas, some credibility killers that probably everyone does no matter what your gender, and I really hope that they help your listeners to shift to the next level in their careers.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  35:15

Yeah, the downplaying of complimentary things that have happened is yeah, a natural way to respond for a lot of people, I will say that I tend to do the same as well. But, you know, someone once told me that, when you do something like that, you also almost like, deprive the person who’s giving you that compliment from being appreciated for doing that, you know, because someone’s come in and giving you positive feedback, which it takes effort, not everybody gives positive feedback in that way. So if someone does do that, by acknowledging and thanking them, it also encourages for it to happen more often, and really shows that you appreciate that they were able to say something like that, and you’re not depriving them from, I guess, appreciation that that comes along with it, too. So this is definitely something that a lot of people do. And it’s best to really try and appreciate it when it happens.

Amanda Blesing  36:09

Yeah, it’s really important. And that’s a really good point you make. In my particular instance, the example that I was reflecting on, had come from my board chair, my board chair, the board table, people at the board, I was the CEO, people on on my board had paid me a compliment. And regularly they had been doing so throughout the year. And my board chair at the time, took me aside after the meeting and said, Amanda, when you don’t accept a compliment, in actual fact, we start believing with sort of start thinking that you don’t appreciate her opinion. So you’re absolutely right, they’re eight, and they had been thinking they were paying me a compliment, and that they were on the right track and their IDs were valid, and then I dismissed it straight out in my attempts to be demure. We do that often and unintentionally. So learning to say thank you, in the face of a compliment is a skill. And it’s really hard. And you have to practice it constantly.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  37:03

Yeah, I’ll have to tell a story, someone who I really respect and runs a very successful very large company. I remember commenting and saying something on the order of Wow, you guys had an amazing few years. Congratulations. This is awesome. And to which they responded, oh, yeah, well, it’s a big market. I mean, when you work in a market this big, it’s not that hard to grow this fast. That’s a very funny way to respond. But yeah, it’s a thing that happens very, very commonly. So you know, Amanda, this has been an awesome conversation. Thank you so much for taking the time, we’ve talked about so many different things. But I did want to before we end on our final question, ask you about something that I know has been a hot button issue for you. And that is that, you know, sometimes people who are potentially well meaning tend to give advice, career advice, sometimes to women, but in reality, it’s like very poor advice. So I’d love for you to maybe dig in on that and maybe call out some of this advice that’s well meaning, but isn’t actually really helpful.

Amanda Blesing  38:10

Well, meaning poor advice that doesn’t work for women. Oh, my gosh, yes, I’ve been known to have a rant or two about this. If your listeners ever want to message me get in contact and give me examples, connect with me on LinkedIn, send me a DM, tell me examples of well meaning poor advice that you’ve been given, I would so love to hear from you. And you can connect with me on LinkedIn. Absolutely. However, one example of well meaning poor advice that came from it’s come from a couple of my clients. And these are women are smart, they’re leaders. They help their organizations make considerable amounts of money, but in their past, perhaps have struggled to get career traction. And one in particular, her manager, he even briefed me on it because I was a coach. And he took me aside and said, This is what I’ve told her to do. He told her to straighten her hair, so she would be taken seriously. And wow, you know, straighten your hair, because otherwise the executive leadership, I know you’ve been having troubles with the executive leadership team, and they don’t seem to take you seriously. Why don’t you try straightening your hair that might help? Like, you’re missing the point here. Other tactics might be more helpful, not straightening your hair well meaning poor advice. It’s just, it’s actually irrelevant. And you know, it was better to dig into the real issues that were going on not straightening your hair. Of course, she tried the tactic. It didn’t feel right. It didn’t look right. She didn’t feel authentic, finding her more authentic self and being able to own that, and then working on tactics that helped her be feel and be seen heard and valued were far more powerful than straightening your hair. So there’s one idea or one tactic really gets my goat when women are told to straighten their hair because otherwise they’re seen as wild witchy and out of control and overly emotional. Yeah.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  40:07

Again, I’m very surprised that such things get said. So thank you for calling it out. And yeah, I feel like that would make a viral LinkedIn posts, I’m sure that you’ve already started threads like that. So definitely message Amanda, if you have other really strange things that you’ve heard, and we’d love to call those out, and hopefully less of them will happen over time. So Amanda, so many things we’ve talked about today, we’ve talked about the fair air to share, which I thought was a really cool phrase, we’ve talked about loyalty penalty, we’ve talked about changing the word sorry to thank you, and how to not diminish your power, things to do not to kill your credibility at meetings. And we talked a lot about some of the topics in your book from invisible to invincible. The final question we always like to end on is for all the managers and leaders constantly looking to get better at their craft. Are there any final tips, tricks, or words of wisdom that you would leave them with?

Amanda Blesing  41:06

Okay, so this idea is probably going to be a little bit out of the box. It’s not selfish to self promote when you do it, right. If you’re a manager and a leader, you need to learn how to self promote, it will ensure your department gets funding, it will ensure your department is taken seriously. It’s not selfish. So often, I think we’ve seen examples of bad self promoters, and we sort of align them with use car salesman’s of yesteryear, you know, like bad tactics. And we’ve seen people do it badly and look like they’re really bragging. And for men and women trying to self promote without feeling or sounding like you’re bragging, it’s a really big issue. Men and women research it, and do Google searches to try and work out what to do. I don’t want to come across as like I’m bragging. But it is in actual fact should be part and parcel of your management and leadership career toolkit. You need to learn tactics, so you can self promote, it helps you influence others in the organization, it helps senior other senior decision makers take you and your division more seriously see was more credible when they know of the results you’re able to deliver. You need to be able to talk about yourself, the problems you solve the difference you make. And the value you add regularly, consistently in different ways and in ways that aren’t bragging that are based in fact, grounded in context and just real life examples. It’s not bragging when it’s true. So that would be my one bit of advice socially. In many cultures. self promotion does seem like it’s bragging. It’s not bragging when it’s true. Learn to find ways to showcase your experience or expertise and the things you care passionately about in a way that’s congruent with you learn to do that it should be part and parcel of your leadership and management

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  42:56

toolkit. Manda. That’s great advice and a great place to end it. Amanda, thanks so much for doing this.

Amanda Blesing  43:02

My pleasure. It’s been really really enjoyable, even if it was 6am.

Aydin Mirzaee (Fellow.app)  43:08

And that’s it for today. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of the Supermanagers podcast. You can find the show notes and transcript at www.Fellow.app/Supermanagers. If you liked the content, be sure to rate review and subscribe so you can get notified when we post the next episode. And please tell your friends and fellow managers about it. It’d be awesome if you can help us spread the word about the show. See you next time.

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