Tips from the GPWomeN-PCCW Speaker Series
Negotiating Skills in the Workplace
In the March 2017 GPWomeN-PCCW Speaker Series workshop Negotiating Skills in the Workplace, speaker and PCCW alumna Professor Jill Gross discussed how to negotiate in the workplace and gave participants the following tips:
- Tip 1: Don’t buy into negotiation myths! Women can and should negotiate to improve initial job offers, terms of employment, job assignments, promotions, deadlines, and other key factors that impact professional success.
- Tip 2: Negotiation is persuasive communication and can take several forms. We typically think of negotiation as a competitive and adversarial process, but integrative negotiation is interest-based and focuses on problem solving. In the work place, using problem-solving techniques to create value for both parties and determine a zone of possible agreement is key for continuing relationships.
- Tip 3: Prepare for negotiation by assessing your interests, your rights, and factors that increase/decrease your power. Compile information such as comparable salaries and benefits from people within your company/organization and at similar entities. Write up a list of questions that will help you obtain relevant information to strengthen your arguments.
- Tip 4: Practice, practice, practice! Before entering a negotiation conversation, be sure to practice what you will say and how you will respond in different scenarios.
How Could You Possibly Derail Your Career?
By Cynthia Cuffie, from the GPWomeN-PCCW Speaker Series on October 20, 2017.
- Different stress reactions: Each of us has a different personality and a unique set of traits that make us who we are. These personality traits give us our strengths but, under stress, they can become intensified and lead to derailing behavior. For example, when a hard-working person is under stress, this personality trait is amplified and can lead him/her/them to become a micromanager or a perfectionist.
- Identify your derailing behavior: To avoid this derailing behavior, you must first identify it. Take a personality assessment like the Hogan Development Survey or ask peers, colleagues, and managers to give you honest, candid feedback on your behavior. Be open to receiving this feedback, even if it seems critical.
- Become more self aware: Take steps to be more self-aware and set goals to counteract and minimize these derailing behaviors. For example, someone who is prone to micromanaging would need to focus more on the big picture and take steps to delegate work where necessary.
- Complete list of traits: To view a list of traits and their accompanying derailing behaviors and possible solutions, see “Could Your Personality Derail Your Career?” by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic.
Three Tips from Cornell Alumna Janet Gerhard
Cornell alumna and PCCW member Janet Gerhard lectured on “Curiosity: The Language of High Performance” at a workshop on November 28th sponsored by the student group, GPWomeN, and the group of alumna, PCCW.
Gerhard covered how to identify curious people, how to create a team of highly curious people, and what organizations can do to foster curiosity.
Three tips from the workshop:
- Highly curious people speak and think less about “actions” and instead consider their “options”
- Curiosity suffers when it comes to time and efficiency – we have to make time to incorporate curiosity into our work
- Check out this TED talk Janet shared during her presentation on the importance of curiosity in scientific discovery
Janet Gerhard has extensive experience transforming the way organizations understand and manage customer experience. By analyzing and strategically changing how organizations interact with their customers, she helps clients redefine their growth strategy and customer experience ecosystem thereby driving top-line growth and bottom-line results.
Unspoken Needs: Enabling (Aging) Woman Leaders
From the GPWomeN-PCCW Speaker Series held on February 23 with Jennifer Leeds.
- Women in positions of senior leadership continue to face disproportionate challenges due to their gender, such as menopause, health concerns, and the responsibilities of caring for aging and/or ill parents.
- Due to fears of being perceived as vulnerable, distracted, unable to keep up, obsolete, or replaceable, there is virtually no conversation around, or support systems for, these challenges, leaving female senior leaders isolated and silenced when trying to navigate such difficulties.
This raises three questions:
- How can we enable women throughout the entirety of their careers?
- What is holding women back from asking for help?
- How can the next generation “pay it forward” so that the environment will be better for all down the road?
Some suggestions for company/cultural changes would be:
- Normalize menopause-in-the-workforce (just as pregnancy-in-the-workforce has been normalized in the past 50 years.
- Change the perception that women as caregivers (for children, parents, etc.) devalues them as capable, focused leaders.
- Develop mentorship programs for women in their mid-or-later careers/create a culture where being vocal about these challenges is not a career-jeopardizing endeavor.
- Offer support, even when unsolicited. Be cognizant of the cultural stigmas around aging (particularly aging women), and how that plays into the extreme gender gap at top positions of leadership, power, and authority.
Further reading on this topic:
- Perspectives of Women in Leadership Roles: Working Through The Change
- Reproducing and Resisting the Master Narrative of Decline: Midlife Professional Women’s Experiences of Aging
Women Driving Their Financial Future
From the GPWomeN-PCCW Speaker Series November 1, 2018 with Cornell alumna and PCCW member Beth Prudence, CFP®.
- Women have more challenges to making and saving money. Women are more likely to take a break from work for caregiving (both children and elderly parents), meaning that women miss more years of earning/saving and receive less from social security because they have less years of service. Women also continue to earn less on average than their male counterparts. However, on average, women live longer than men and therefore will require more savings.
- Making more money doesn’t always mean you are richer. Making more money can result in more spending.
- We have an emotional relationship with money and we need to invest time in working on this relationship too. This includes educating yourself, understanding the difference between wants and needs, making decisions based on facts and data, setting and tracking goals, and having honest conversations about money.
- Save now, not later. Understand the time value of money and compounding interest. If you save the same amount of money starting at 25 rather than 40, you will earn exponentially more money.
- Everyone will likely make mistakes at some time. Forgive yourself by accepting that you made a mistake, owning it, and learning from it so you don’t make that mistake again. The best thing we can do is to make the best decision that we can at the time.
'Unbecoming!' Leadership Thinking for a New Era
With Young Mi Park, from the GPWomeN-PCCW Speaker Series:
- The world today is facing three tectonic changes: the burgeoning development of technology, increasing globalization, and the growing emphasis on creation and self-actualization. In a rapidly changing world, leadership is more important now than ever before.
- Leaders are not necessarily managers or top executives, but they have to have a vision and the ability to bring people into that vision. Leadership is about creating the future and creating yourself and those around you.
- The barriers to becoming an effective leader are often our pre-existing ideas about what is right or wrong and our ideas about ourselves. Challenge assumptions, live authentically, and share your reality with the people around you.
- In order to be an effective leader, you have to “un-become” some of what brought you to this point and move forward with new leadership thinking. Accept yourself, forgive yourself, love yourself, and remember that you always have a choice.
- To help promote well-being and adopt an effective leadership mindset, try power posing, adopting a growth mindset, anxiety reappraisal, writing down three good things, or meditation.
Leadership Journeys: Networks, Not Ladders
From the March 20, 2018 GPWomeN-PCCW Speaker Series with Eva Sage-Gavin:
- Think of your network as an ecosystem. How can you best nourish, interact, add value to, and sustain it?
- Remember the individual impact that each of us can have on others: bring other women with you at every opportunity.
- Recommended reading: Accenture’s summary of research on gender parity in the workplace “When She Rises, We All Rise“
GPWomeN-PCCW Leadership Retreat with Julie Kumbel
Leadership, Success, and Happiness:
- “Normalize don’t pathologize” – it’s normal to feel imposter syndrome! We need to communicate with others to eliminate the feelings of shame that often accompany feeling like an imposter.
- Banish “just” – it diminishes your authority and presence. You didn’t just win an award, you won it.
- Use mindfulness and reflect on times you felt confident to combat imposter syndrome.
- Gender gaps are the cause of not only psychological (where imposter syndrome is), but also systemic, cultural, and economic barriers.
- Defining characteristics of leadership, success, and happiness is a very individual process. Thinking about a mission statement as it relates to these areas can allow us to better understand what this means to us.
- For more information on these topics, other resources that may be helpful:
While the GPWomeN-PCCW Speaker Series has concluded for 2017-18, know that we have secured additional funding for 2018-19 to continue this. Stay tuned for topics next year about women’s professional development on the GPWomeN Facebook page.
Four Tips from Mentoring 20/20
From the GPWomeN-PCCW Speaker Series March 4, 2019 with Cornell alumna and PCCW member Susan Klugman, Ph.D.
- Having an advisor is not the same as having a mentor. An advisor directly determines your career or curriculum; a mentor aides in your growth and development (personally, professionally, etc.).
- Find a mentor through your network. Ask around! Ask your advisor, ask fellow students, or get involved in extracurricular activities.
- The most important quality in a mentor is availability. Your mentoring relationship won’t be beneficial if you can never interact with you mentor. You also want to find some who is knowledgeable about your field and who can serve as a positive role model, but other desirable traits (e.g. having enthusiasm, active listening, taking a personal interest in you, setting goals) are up to you.
- To organize your goals and tasks, try using the Eisenhower Box method. This can help you streamline your goals and prioritize what’s important and urgent.
How to Successfully Launch Your Adult Life
From the GPWomeN-PCCW Speaker Series September 26, 2018 with Cornell alumna and PCCW member Susan Anderer, Psy.D.
- Becoming an adult is a key transition for adolescents. Adulthood has many benefits, including independence and autonomy, but it also comes with challenges such as financial responsibilities and crafting a satisfying career.
- To successfully navigate the adult world, emotional regulation, self control, and tolerance for failure are critical.
- View life as an experiment! Adopt a growth mindset and change what you can control. For example, use job crafting (see work by Amy Wrzensniewski) to overcome job dissatisfaction by enhancing the parts of your work that you enjoy.
- Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket! Build resilience by nurturing multiple aspects of your life (friendship, hobbies, mental and physical health, etc.).
- Setting short term goals and tracking their progress can make larger projects more tenable. Be realistic and self-forgiving. Persist and be resilient in the fact of setbacks.
Women Leading from Anywhere on Stage
On September 4, Dean Lynn Perry Wooten of Cornell’s Dyson Business School spoke to students about how they could become more effective leaders. This series is sponsored by the Graduate and Professional Women’s Network, the President’s Council of Cornell Women, and the Graduate School.
- Leadership is the intentional practice of lifelong and life-wide learning so that you can show up to be your best self, lean in to answer your calling, and make a positive difference. Whether you lead through small or large actions, there is room for anyone to lead no matter their role.
- Leadership begins with self-awareness. Evaluate your strengths so that you can effectively harness them and work with others whose strengths complement your own. Evaluate your values so that you know what guides you and what you stand for.
- Develop a personal leadership brand that differentiates you from competitors in the eyes of your target audience. This brand is your total perceived value and includes your experience, personality, competencies, and more. Take on activities such as special projects and leadership tasks that will help you build this brand.
- Shift your perspective from being self-focused to others-focused. Commit to actively contributing your talents and resources to a community.
- Script and strategize your leadership agenda as it relates to your values and utilizes your strengths. Be sure to include an agenda for all of the areas you lead – self, home/family, work, and community. Ask those around to help you evaluate how you perform in these areas and how you can improve.
Procrastination: Understanding What Truly Gets in Your Way
From the GPWomeN-PCCW Speaker Series October 3, 2019 with Leslie Josel.
Defining and Describing Procrastination:
- Josel’s favorite definition of procrastination: “True procrastination is the act of putting something off when you know there would be a negative consequence.”
- Procrastination is mood-based
- When we’ve put something off, it’s because we’d prefer to give in to feeling good in the short term for immediate relief
- Culprits to Getting Started:
- Getting started is too difficult or demanding
- No structure or immediacy to initiate
- Too many decisions – leading to no activation
- No understanding of what you need to do
- It feels boring, like a waste of time, or you really just don’t care
- You don’t have “time sense”
Tips to Counteract Procrastination:
- Setup your environment so that it supports your motivation and can help “get you into gear”
- Choose at least five obscure places for where you can do your work — switch it up!
- “Time travel” by using the “pause and picture” technique: “How am I going to feel in two hours after watching (x) hours of TV and getting nothing done? Why don’t I instead get started now, so that when I do turn on Netflix, I’ll feel better and am rewarding myself.”
- Tie the work you need to do to your interests
- Ex: Watch a favorite TV show while working folding laundry or doing chores
- Remove barriers for entry to get yourself into a momentum, perhaps by starting with the most fun or easiest and link it to something you love to do
- Create urgency and completion by making time visible
- This is important to develop an understanding of “future awareness”
- Use analog clocks!
- Analog clocks let you see time move (present time, elapsed time, future time) whereas digital clocks only give you the present time
- Use timers and set them for “odd” amount of times – like 17 or 33 minutes
- Set clear priorities
- What is my plan? What are my priorities today? What could get in my way?
How to Go from Surviving to Thriving
During the November 6, 2019 GPWomeN-PCCW Speaker Series talk, “A Conversation to Explore How to Go from Surviving to Thriving”, Allison Hill asked attendees to think ahead: When you’re 80, do you want to reflect back on a “career resume” or a “life resume”? Throughout her talk, she told participants that balance between the two is not “one size fits all” and encouraged them to take charge of their own lives using 10 primary tips.
10 Tips for a Balanced Life:
- Know who you want to be. Know what energizes you and spend more time focusing on what you find important. Draw a pie chart and allocate pieces of the pie depending on their importance in your life. No matter how large a slice you allocate to relationships, make it bigger! These are essential.
- Build and nurture your relationships. Relationships are critical to build and nurture, and they should be real and authentic. Relationships are important for unraveling, unwinding, and helping you let go of expectations.
- Lean into your strengths. Consider using the Strengthsfinder assessment to determine your “superstrengths” and make choices according to these. For example, you’ll be happiest in a job which plays to your main strengths.
- Do not compare. Everyone has a different background, different challenges, and different decisions to make. Be the author of your own life! Sometimes we get off track by making decisions after comparing ourselves to others. When this happens, make sure to course correct.
- Be ambitious with no expiration date. Stay the course on things that feel difficult! Don’t place expectations on a specific day, week, or even year. Consider the chapters in a book. Not all books will have a “fairy tale ending” and that’s okay.
- Be very strict with your time. Consider how much time you spend on social media, unproductive meetings, and with the news. Planning will help you feel more focused, happy, and driven. Consider having one to do list rather than multiple, mixing professional and personal agendas in one list. Consider what is the “best and highest use” of your time.
- Be present. Be in the moment. When you’re sidetracked, you may miss goodness in front of you.
- Accept imperfection.
- Be vulnerable. Proactively ask for feedback, seek input, and don’t conflate feedback with criticism.
- Expect the unexpected. Unexpected events will occur in your life. This is why it is important to refer back to what matters most to you. Remember: There will be times in life where you need to spend more time on one piece of your pie than others.
Tips assembled by Elisabeth Lembo.