Continuing to promote women's strength and independence, Cedar Crest College is hosting a series of seminars this year to advocate leadership both personally and professionally.
As part of the Power of Women Leadership Series at Cedar Crest College, Jo Miller, CEO of Women's Leadership Coaching, Inc., led a seminar for women who are looking to advance their leadership skills within the workplace.
Speaking to a group of over 80 women, Miller introduced ways for women to fulfill their potential as leaders and move themselves up within their company.
"Don't wait for permission or an invitation to lead," Miller encourages, telling them women to "take charge of your own career trajectory." Learning to take ownership of your own advancement within the company where you work, becoming recognized and feeling satisfied in your career are some key points the Women's Leadership Coaching CEO promotes.
"There are five key people to have in your network," she says, "The connector, a true 'people person;' an informational powerhouse, someone who is always keeping a finger on the pulse of what is going on; the influencer, [someone] who has the ability to make things happen; a sponsor, someone who will argue your case; and the mentor." Embracing relationships with these five key people can help women advance in the workplace and become even more successful.
The importance of having mentors and being a mentor are also needed for effective decisions within workplace advancement. Having a mentor share their stories, give helpful advice with situations, provide feedback on how others see you to gain self-awareness and assisting to build skills creates the mentor relationship to have a valuable experience for both.
In order to build networking capabilities, Miller encourages the women to make a list of at least six people and come up with an action item to reach out and begin to form the relationship. Miller refers to networking as your "sphere of influence" to build and leverage a strategic network. Recognizing the "rules of the game" is also a core component to build organizational awareness.
"If you want to lead or influence something that's important to you, if you don't know that person well, or you haven't established a relationship, notice how much more thought and energy goes into leading and influencing when a relationship isn't established," Miller said during the sold out session, growing your "inner circle" can be essential to getting what you what.
"Women tend to stay in a bad situation longer than we should," Miller said, responding to a question from the audience. "If you're in a place where someone is putting a lid on you… notice if it's time to leave."
The women participated in different activities creating goals, recognizing the rules of office politics, creating a organizational map and networked with the other women in attendance at the seminar. Some ideas those in attendance had on positive ways to network included having lunch with someone different in the company each day, promote an "open candy" policy in your office to encourage conversations, and grab every networking opportunity presented to you.
Feedback from women in the session suggested supporting other women within the workplace and increase face-to-face interactions within the company; both strategies to grow your list of contacts.
Arlene Peltola, Women's Leadership Institute Coordinator and Assistant Professor at Cedar Crest, Audra Kahr, C.F.O and C.P.A, as well as Diane Moyer, Pd.D., Cedar Crest College Psychology Professor and United States Olympian were introductory speakers at the seminar. The session encouraged building confidence, tackling barriers in your way and learning from past failures and mistakes.
"Being confident came from my experiences," Moyer said, who was the goalie on the 1984 Olympic Field Hockey Team. "Getting out of my comfort zone and learning how to fail, [confidence] came from a combination of the two."
The Power of Whole Brain Communication noon - 4 p.m. April 18 featuring Dr. Robi Ludqig, Psy.D., The Power of Positive Social Change, noon - 4 p.m. July 25 featuring Heather Arnet and Suzanne Weaver, The Power of a 2-year, 10-year Career Plan, 7 - 11 a.m. Sept. 19, featuring Connie Challingsworth, Christine Lombardo-Zuan, Esq., M.B.A., and The Power of Running High Performance Teams or Your Own Business 3 - 7 p.m. November 7 featuring Elaine Pivinski and Ibolya Balog, M.B.A.