Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Blog #6

Blog #6-

Last Thursday Jan 8th, I attended a fantastic event sponsored by Women Speaking. 
Women Speaking is a volunteer organization that sponsors events and workshops designed to educate and empower women.  The theme of Thursday’s event was how to negotiate careers through asking.  
There were three speakers, Colleen Slaughter, Judge Fanny Memory Mitchell and Hannah Hasl-Kelchner, Esq.  They had resumes that read like poetry in that they are all strong women who broke through many gender boundaries.  Their talks all reflected the themes of negotiation and affect that asking can have on a woman’s success in education and in business.
            The first speaker and also the CEO of Authentic Leadership International, Colleen Slaughter poignantly laid out steps that have led to her success in life and her ability to take chances.  She highlighted the importance of leadership and the asking of “the self.”  Having goals and not being afraid of failure were among her top points to eliminate self-doubt and achieve.
Her first step for eliminating self-doubt was getting your spunk back.  It is important to have a certain energy level in place to tackle one’s goals and aspirations.  Her steps for accomplishing this are as follows:
1- Get rid of what drains us- chunking tasks,
2 Sloooow down- KISS, simplify, get in touch with the gentleness of oneself
3- Do your passion-do your passion regularly (yoga, skiing, beach...) "bucket filling activities"
Her second step for personal and professional success was “Saying no to nay Sayers.”  She gave an inspirational description of how one can say no, while saying yes to oneself and confidence:
1- Understand how deserving you are- recognize your self-worth
2- Listen to your voice inside- mentally acclimating oneself to new settings/challenges- st a precedent for yourself that no one can take away from you
3- Say it! - Actions speak louder than words.... say words to yourself that makes a promise to stay on the course.  Prove to yourself that you deserve what you are striving for.  Have and maintain faith and trust in yourself that you will accomplish your goals.
4- Step into action- This is where the "rubber meets the road" and separates the girls from ladies:
a) Clear on goal- help determine next steps
b) Identify tools/resources- training/websites/seminars/
c) be decisive in actions-do what it takes to make a lasting transformation

Her third step is her company’s creed: BOLDER
B-Believe in yourself
O- Organize your goals
L-Learn what’s stopping you
D- Develop practices to achieve your vision
E-Evolve into the new you
R- Reap the benefits of your hard work
Colleen’s messages were quite clear and motivational.   They emphasis a step by step approach to help guide and evaluate ones growth process.  She concluded that asking at every step is key to proper self-evaluation and career growth.
"The bigger the ask the bigger the success….don’t think that you are not good enough.”
The second speaker, Hannah Hasl-Kelchner, Esq who is also the author of Business Guide To Legal Literacy, a book on merging business and law for CEOs, spoke on overcoming ones fear to speak up and ask.  She opened with "Can you hear me now?"  Indicating that you should not lean in for others to hear you better.  If someone wants to hear, they will ask, or you need to stand straight and have the confidence to speak loud and proud.  Her speech focused on “overcoming elephant in room and the fears of asking” which many woman in our culture seem to have.  She furthered this thought by stating that as women we need to overcome out culture of not asking and needing to be liked.  To do this she highlighted a few steps:
 1- Become comfortable with negotiating
-Due to the fact that we are acclimated by the cultures of "why and why not"- we need to question the "norms" of society and culture
2- Overcome the fear of asking an authoritarian who has something you want-
-Do not let fear of "no" prevent you from asking-STICK your neck out
-Plan and do research for making proposal to ASK-
-Negotiation of options- have a plan B prepared
-Identify what’s in it for you and what’s important- What are your ultimate goals and evaluate risks
Her overarching message was “seek fulfilment- do not sit in a comfort zone.”
The third and final speaker was Judge Fanny Memory Mitchell.  This remarkable women was the first female judge on the inferior courts in NC in Cabarrus County.  She also attended and taught at Meredith College in her years before becoming a judge.  Her unique story tells of her ground breaking accomplishments and how she overcame gender discrimination.  Her best pieces of advice were:
1-Use time to the best of your ability
2- Have self-discipline
3- Do not let others bring you down-always work forward and break boundaries

The event included promotions for the event sponsors between each of the speakers and a before and after social hour dedicated to networking and meeting other women who strive for gender equality.  All of the speakers were entertaining and insightful.  There was laughing and lots of note taking.  It is held one Thursday per month near the Research Triangle area.  It was a wonderful opportunity to meet other women (and a couple of men) who share similar interests and goals as I do and who wish to empower women.  The evening concluded with a question and answer session with the three speakers.
Their upcoming meetings are in
Theme: asking, giving and serving
Theme: asking with pizazz and style


  1. Great post, Liv. Thanks for this great summary. We have you and Jane on the agenda with this information for Sunday, but maybe you can just do Q&A, since this is so complete. Maybe tell us about who the attendees were. Sounds like it would be worthwhile for others to attend when they can. Was there really a string quartet there? Nice!

  2. Liv, We definitely need to invite these women--via email announcement, if possible, to our Feb. 19 event at the Hunt Library. If not via email link to event brite, then at the next meeting of the group on Feb. 12. Or using both methods! Thanks for making the contacts.