Contrary to popular belief, building a positive company culture isn’t as easy as adding a snack bar and a foosball table to the office.Read More
As the CEO of a company that supports healthy organizations, one of the first things we can do (as employees) and as leaders is to be aware of those around us. When the news is swirling and there is a national debate about sexual assault there are going to be some people who are impacted more than others.
This blog outlines tips for those who have been impacted and struggle to stay centered and advice for People Managers and Executives.
Managers & Executives, it’s in moments like this that you are able to show your leadership abilities. You may not understand what some people on your team are feeling but it’s still your responsibility to help them manage through it, which promotes a healthy and productive culture with high retention rates. So, what can you do ?
Check in with directs
Acknowledge current events
Provide a communication path for your team
Support work from home
Turn off the TV
Check in with directs: If you lead a large team with directs and indirects it’s critical you set the tone for the organization. Communicate the need to be empathetic to everyone. That we all must be aware of those around us. Set up time with your HRBP to discuss resources your organization may have for employees and recommended talking points.
Acknowledge current events: For leaders of big and small teams, this time is triggering for many. In your next team meeting and over email, offer support and if at all feasible allow team members to work from home if they need to. In your one-to-one, ask how each person is doing and if they need your support.
Provide a communication path for your team: Structure is important. You don’t want to call team members out, so ensure every single person on your team knows who to go to for additional support and that your door is open.
Turn off the TV: Many companies don’t need the news running all day. If your company doesn’t need it - turn it off.
For those who feel triggered or overwhelmed by emotion, there are also ways you can take care of yourself. Key techniques to remain centered are:
connecting with others / therapy
reduced social media and the news
Sleep: Do what you can to promote healthy sleep. It is much harder to regulate emotions when we lack sleep.
Meditation: When your mind feels scattered and you struggle to focus, meditation brings clarity. Use the calm app and set it for 5 - 10 minutes. Set a goal to use this for one full week and see how you feel.
I also utilize a particular meditation technique with clients which can help those dealing with past trauma
Set an alarm for 5-10min
Sit with hands in your lap, cupped together as if holding water, breathing slowly to a 5 count in and out
As you begin to calm, think about a past memory… in this instance it can be that past girl or boy who was hurt. Conjure them in your mind until you see him/her clearly
Send loving, healing energy to the younger you
Many times, we may feel distracted and have trouble visualizing the hurt you. These are parts of you trying to protect you from pain. In your head, ask those parts what they want to protect you from and ask if they will gently step aside, letting you connect and send love to the younger you. It is this connection with past hurt that heals our brain. I will post a video meditation of this in the future.
Turn it off: Limit the news and social media; it’s that simple.
Connect with Others / Therapy: Too many of us take a traumatic experience and tuck it away for years, hoping we can move forward without ever looking back. But our brains don’t work that way. Indelible in our hippocampus are memories and it’s important we really work with those memories to eventually overcome them.
If you are looking for a therapist, you can try TalkSpace and find a therapist who utilizes IFG. Definition of IFS is here, which is also shown in Pixar’s Inside Out. Therapy, using IFS can help us identify and then control the emotions that unexpectedly erupt.
Exercise: Not only does exercise help sleep, it releases those feel good endorphins that improves positivity. It’s a critical piece of the self-care puzzle.
The beauty of work is that we are together. Let’s use this time to connect and support, not diminish and pretend.
Alli, CEO @ TheForem.Co
I'm gearing up for a trip to sunny LA where I'm speaking at several events, all focused on Personal Branding. I thought you may want to hear the two most asked questions I field as it relates to Personal Branding...
How do I begin thinking about my own personal brand?
Can I be my authentic self while still developing a brand?
The answer is simply this, your brand is an extension of YOU. It should be based on traits, skills, and passions that align directly with your great strength(s) and it’s really up to you to help people understand and articulate what that is.
When I run branding workshops, I keep it simple by asking attendees what their ‘secret strength’ is. We discuss the work that excites each attendee and how that work ladders into strategic corporate initiatives.
We usually start fairly tactically such as..."I am a great connector" or "I love building powerpoints" or "I quickly build trust with clients" or "I translate data into insights" and then we ladder it into CEO goals such as driving revenue or operational rigor.
If you want to start this process now, you can! Think about the work that excites you, write it down and outline where you show up your best and where else you can do the work you love most.
Your brand should reflect the very best of you..And when you start fostering a brand based on your strengths your colleagues, managers and influencers start noticing and more work is given to you that align with those strengths. That of course increases your chance of executing at the highest of levels which then accelerates your career.
I love leading brand workshops and welcome the opportunity to bring it to your company OR work with you on an individual basis. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
For speaking engagements, press and media, email Ariana Macrina: email@example.com.
Working with you, sharing with you and learning from you is my great joy! Keep sharing your feedback and ideas!
CEO @ TheForem.co
I was recently interviewed on one of my favorite podcasts called, Women Killing It! where I shared The Five Skills that open new opportunities and improve career acceleration for women....Why don't you take a listen...HERE
As I reflect on the podcast, I realize The Forem is really about maximizing human potential, and perhaps one reason I pivoted to 'people' is because the industry I love and thrive in has been pivoting to machines through automation and AI. As much as machines make our lives easier, it's the brilliance of people that disrupt industries, it's people who create art, who find new ways to love and who connect in deep and meaningful ways with one another. Thus, The Forem is focused on getting the most out of people.
At The Forem we coach executives how to lead with heart, compassion and empathy to get the most out of a team. And we teach women how to work smarter, not harder while getting ahead faster. Yes, faster! It’s enormously rewarding to see our clients maximize the human potential of those around them.
So, how can you get involved in The Forem? We have three ways:
1. Bring us into your company for corporate training or client events. Introduce us to your Head of HR, Head of Sales or just send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
2. Looking to supercharge your career, pivot or get support as your grow? Email us at email@example.com and we'll be in touch to discuss career strategies.
3. Get involved day-to-day. Follow and share @theforem.co on social media for daily career advice. For speaking engagements, press and media, email Ariana Macrina: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Future emails will focus on The Five Skills that get you further, faster in your career. Our advice is curated from Google Leaders, PhD's, Executive Coaches, Executives from Sony, Nestle, IPG, McKinsey and Harvard Business Review. And we can't wait to share.
I look forward to working with you, sharing with you and learning from you.
CEO @ TheForem.co
Yesterday, I dropped by Google NYC to talk with Paul Frantz, a Sales Director who is passionate about leadership and distilling complex concepts into something simple and digestible. Want to know the standout topic we covered? It was… "The 3 Pillars of a Great Manager”
Our consensus...if your manager is doing these three things, stick with her(!)...
She encourages you to learn
She challenges you to be the best version of yourself
She is committed to your future and upward mobility
If you manager doesn't do the above, don't count her out. Have a discussion about your career and gauge her commitment to you and your future. Upward mobility requires accountability from you both. Sit down with her to discuss your career, the areas you want to grow and where you want to grow and learn. This should help you increase manager engagement.
We also agreed, if you have an unhealthy relationship with your manager, it's time to find a new one. If you work at a good company, STAY THERE. Just start networking internally until you find your next home. And when you find that great manager, stick to her like glue.
I look forward to sharing more with you!
CEO @ TheForem.co
As I always say, the skills that get a woman into middle management are not the skills that will get her out. Being a heads down worker who is highly skilled at your job, maybe even the best at your job is simply not enough to break through to an executive role. Making sure those around you are aware of your capabilities and advocate on your behalf is critical to your future success.
Pro-Tip: Spend 20% LESS time on your core job and reallocate that time to building your network or honing other core skills that will get you further, faster.
Our workshops all ladder into these five core skills, click here to sign up for new ones posted in May & June
The earlier you learn these skills the faster you'll be able to accelerate your own career and ensure you are paid at the top of the slope. The key to these five skills is that they all interconnected. You can't negotiate well unless you know how to advocate for yourself. You can't manage without a strong network (where else will you find your next superstar?). And you won't be given the opportunity to lead without understanding the economics of your business and your clients business, (financial Acumen).
Follow us @theforem.co where we post daily 'micro-learning' focused on development for women and men in leadership
Silicon Valley is often under fire for the inequalities very visibly present - from female founders only receiving 2% of all VC money in 2017 to often reported discrimination and sexism. Silicon Valley needs to tap into their innovative spirit and quickly ensure equal funding, opportunities, and employment for all. In this article, we interview a Silicon Valley Founder who uses diversity to push innovation and improve the bottom line of his organizationRead More
If you don’t know what a career coach is you are not alone. Career Coaches serve as a sounding board to CEO’s, entrepreneurs and even esteemed presidents. Their goal is to identify new skills, improve leadership abilities, hone communication and find balance. Executives leverage coaches because they make them better at their job - it’s just that simple. And guess what, career coaches are no longer just for executives anymore. At The Forem, we encourage women to benefit from what coaches offer through all stages of a career.Read More
We’ve all been there. Maybe you’re just in a rut, or maybe you’re trying to decide if this is the right job for you. Whatever the reason is, when you need a career pick-me-up, it’s hard to figure out where to turn. We’re a big fan of turning to a good book for inspiration so log into your Amazon account, get these books, snuggle up in your favorite chair and get reading!Read More
The men I know and worked with in Tech, Advertising and Media were good men with good intentions. They wanted to see me and other women succeed - they weren't creepy or touchy. They were and are friends and mentors. That being said, they, like all of us (including women) have their own blind spots and aren't able to clearly see the ways they unintentionally support men in more meaningful ways than women. So, for all you men out there and my former colleagues who are searching for ways to better support women on your team here is a tip for you - Ensure Women Are Heard. I know you probably think you are doing this, and some of you are but some can likely improve on this skill. Your homework assignment:
1. Read this article written by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on Why Women Stay Quiet at Work. It is just one example of how Unconscious Bias silences women or penalizes the ones who speak up.
2. Create meeting rules to ensure everyone is heard equally. Ensure women aren't being talked over by men and ideas are credited to the rightful owner. This takes active listening and engagement by the manager / meeting leader. It brings a new purpose and meaning to a daily occurrence.
3. Observe where ideas are coming from and for the women you deem meek or the women you deem aggressive - check those thoughts and dig deeper to understand why they behave that way or why you perceive them to behave that way.
4. Rinse and repeat. Keep this article save it. (I did, it's from last year). Add it to your calendar 3 months from now so you can read it again and remind yourself of the very important role you play as a leader and the opportunity you can provide to women on your team to feel heard, to feel appreciated and to feel mentored. That's an ally!
I learned today that the U.S. has the highest maternal death rate in the developed world.
....REPEAT: THE HIGHEST MATERNAL DEATH.
Add 'Maternal Death' to the long list of reasons I founded The Forem. When I read stories like this, at first I feel sad, then angry and then, most importantly determined. I work even harder, wake up earlier, stay up later and try to scale faster because frankly, this is bullsh*t. We need better policy's to protect women (more women in government) and better healthcare to protect women (more women leading insurance companies, hospitals, medical schools, research & boards).
Highlights from NPR:
More American women are dying of pregnancy-related complications than any other developed country. Only in the U.S. has the rate of women who die been rising.
There's a hodgepodge of hospital protocols for dealing with potentially fatal complications, allowing for treatable complications to become lethal.
Hospitals — including those with intensive care units for newborns — can be woefully unprepared for a maternal emergency.
Federal and state funding show only 6 percent of block grants for "maternal and child health" actually go to the health of mothers.
In the U.S, some doctors entering the growing specialty of maternal-fetal medicine were able to complete that training without ever spending time in a labor-delivery unit.
Let's change the world one woman at a time.
As we align our business to meet the demands of women, we are often called in to strategize with leaders of Corporate Women's Groups. We hear real frustration from on the ground employees that there is not enough L&D, training and work to help level the playing field for women. And Diversity and Exec teams are already partnering with consultants - but is there true headway being made? What we find is that women on the ground - the women who represent women's groups - they are the ones who bring us in and are trying to get truly impactful programs off the ground that benefit all levels of women within an org.
What a year. Remember when we couldn't wait for the last days of 2016 with worst year ever memes populating facebook newsfeeds? How does 2016 feel after living through 2017?
2017 certainly had its ups and downs. It was tough, it was jarring and on many days it felt relentless. But it was also an enormous year for women. We started the year in late January with The Women's March which unified women all over the world into a powerful movement. We started finding our voices, speaking out and moving out of our silos to band together to fight for a better world.
We close out 2017 at the tail end of the #MeToo's but the beginning of a new revolution. Where women refuse to be silenced. Where women are finding ways to ensure their voices continue to be heard and advocate for themselves. Where thousands of women are getting involved in politics, policy and government. Where women like myself are dedicating our time and lives to supporting women in a myriad of different ways. The more we give and connect the more we grow and find our life’s work.
Despite the women’s movement I won't miss 2017 much. Many days felt like a deluge of bad news - wars, fires, dreamers, immigration, taxes, healthcare, sexual assault. But, we were also collectively woke to the challenges women face at work. From the serial predators like Weinstein to the male colleague who were demeaning to the good men who were shocked and saddened by the #MeToos and are learning what it means to be a bystander and ally.
To fight for a better future, we need to be woke. We need to clearly see the world around us and understand how to advocate for change. I believe women will help lead us to a better, fairer world - I believe in you.
Let's continue to make it happen in 2018
In the professional world, it's hard to be truly authentic. On tired days we chug coffee and get to it. On sad days and disappointing days we put on a happy mask and attend to our meetings. On days where we've had huge successes and wins, we suppress the outward joy not offend our colleagues. But the mask takes a toll and we all need an outlet.
Being authentic is hard yet important. Asking questions is critical to growth. Being informed of things that are hidden can create a savvier salary negotiator and help close the persistent wage gap.
My wish is that women connect with one another authentically within our community. That we can Talk & Collaborate. My wish is that you tap into this community of women. Use this community to share your wins and take solace in your sorrows. Ask those questions you are't able to ask within the confines of your current role. And become informed of culture and comp at companies you seek to work at. Most importantly, connect with your emotions, then work within your community to figure out your plan. Your plan to get a higher salary. To take on that next role. To change jobs. To start out on your own. To start a company. To re-write the rules.
Big news today by MSFT when they announced a policy change to "eliminate forced arbitration agreements with employees who make sexual harassment claims and was also supporting a proposed federal law that would widely ban such agreements." Article from the New York Times. What does this mean?
Forced arbitration is a common mechanism that corporations use to silence women when they are harassed at work. Many employment contracts include an arbitration clause that signs away the right to trial and nondisclosure agreements which reduces the ability of victims to sound the alarm re: perpetrators. It means women forgo their right to trial by jury, which also reduces their chances of winning. @Gretchencarlson has been a leading voice after she was harassed by Roger Ailes at Fox and Democrats like Kiristin Gillibrand (NY Senate) @SenGillibrand are working to shift policy. Read Kirsten's OpEd article in the New York Times
Our goal of The Forem is to provide experts and tools to help women advocate more effectively for themselves while we partner with corporations to shift organizational policy. In the coming months, The Forem will roll out resources to ensure women are informed before they take on new roles and sign away their rights - more to come on that!
In the meantime - thank you Microsoft and expect the other tech giants to follow suit.
All companies need a blog to express their thoughts on topics relevant to their organization, showcase new features and increase search listings on Google. Truly, the last one is 'a thing'.
And, for The Forem this is where we too will have a blog consisting of stories, articles, challenges and exciting moments as we launch and scale this business.
Despite our serious task of advancing women, we'll try not to take ourselves too seriously. It's just a place to chat and for us to get a better feel for one another. And it's a place for you to respond and let us know what's on your mind. Our goal is to customize learnings and workshops based on your needs - so please do let us know how we can better serve our community.
Big item of the day: As I write this, The NY Post published an article on Discrimination in the Workplace, titled, "Nearly half of working women say they’ve experienced discrimination in the office". This clearly begs the question: how in the world did this happen and how did this get so bad? Truth is, I've informally polled my female colleagues and only one felt she was never discriminated against or sexually harassed. ONE out of.... (well, I don't know exactly how many people but my best guess is 50) so, 1 out of 50 women have never been sexually harassed. We can and will do better.
I have thoughts on how the state of business got this way and more importantly how we'll change it. This is an important watershed moment for women and I'm proud to have launched this company to help support women achieve their dreams. This is certainly my dream.