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Setting Yourself Up for Success

Setting Yourself Up for Success

Haley Tines

Haley Tines

July 31, 2019

Havas Media’s Haley Tines’ takeaways from this year’s InfluenceHER conference, and how centering yourself what matters helps you lead a more impactful life.

"In today’s social climate we are almost too aware of our differences, which makes it difficult to focus on anything else."

The Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) is an organization of thought leaders striving to shape the future of tech and innovation for consumer experiences, typically with networking mixers and panel discussions for industry professionals. But most recently MITX hosted an event called InfluenceHER , a conference designed to help women define and achieve their personal version of success. 

The event provided a combination of lifestyle workshops, career coaching, and keynote speeches delivered by prominent women who are highly accomplished in their field. Among some of the guests were Tzurit Or, founder of Tatte Bakery & Café; author Jackie Glenn; and Viktoria Harrison, founder of The Branded Startup.

I’ve been to similar events before. They are always inspiring, thought-provoking experiences that empower women to strive for more in their careers and life. InfluenceHER was nothing short of that but it focused more on tools for developing critical skill sets than I expected.

And to be honest, that was a refreshing change of pace. In fact, the most interesting and engaging sessions had nothing to do with being a woman at all. In today’s social climate we are almost too aware of our differences, which makes it difficult to focus on anything else. At the core, InfluenceHER was really about how to center yourself in what matters so you can lead a more impactful life.

Life Hacks for Success

Time management is one of the most essential elements for success in your personal life and career. Juggling multiple projects at work, extending ourselves beyond our job description, maintaining a balance between home and office life—as women, we are expected to get it all done. How is it possible without adding more hours to the day? And why do we fixate on this obligation in the first place?

Enter Maureen Nuccitelli, The Organizing Diva. She’s a mom, a wife, a former bartender, and now, a successful entrepreneur, as well as the owner of a life coaching and organization-services business. Her clients are both men and women, but today she focused on how women can eliminate clutter to focus on what is most important.

Maureen articulates this phenomenon of decision fatigue; how an overload of tedious choices can be draining and distracting from more important career-related priorities. One example that tends to be more specific to women: what to wear each day. Maureen suggests limiting your closet to a few colors or basics that you’re comfortable in and only buying pieces that go with everything else you own. This reduces the brainpower you dedicate to getting dressed each morning and lets you focus on the next task ahead.

"My theory is this: By better understanding the natural behaviors and motivational factors of their employees, managers can make informed decisions on staffing or projects."

Understanding and Leveraging Natural Talents

My favorite session of the conference was hosted by Gabrielle Jenkins, a partner in the consulting firm Resource Management of Boston] . She spoke about a personality test called DISC , which, in my opinion, is one of the most underutilized tools in organizations. What it does is unveil an individual’s work style and underlying motivations based on four main traits: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness.

According to Jenkins, behavioral research suggests that the most effective people are those who understand themselves, both their strengths and their weaknesses, which lets them develop strategies to meet the demands of their environment.

I took the DISC test, and it turns out that I over-index for dominance and influence, meaning I work well organizing and motivating others. I’m self-reliant, people-oriented, confident, and enthusiastic. My primary driving factors are recognition and pursuit of new ideas, while I’m drained by rules and red tape, especially when they make things inefficient. Those who know me would not be surprised with these results, however, I wondered whether these driving factors come across as obviously as my more apparent everyday traits do. What value could this kind of candid information add to working relationships, especially with your manager or the employees you manage?

My theory is this: By better understanding the natural behaviors and motivational factors of their employees, managers can make informed decisions on staffing or projects. This can increase productivity by correctly matching employees with work that will most engage them, and reduce turnover across teams by improving job satisfaction that meets the most basic of human needs. 

Combating Imposter Syndrome

The phenomenon of imposter syndrome is commonly, though not exclusively, experienced by women. This is defined as an inability to internalize accomplishments and suffering from a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud” in work, school, or any endeavor.

You can recognize this in yourself by the following: the persistent feeling that others overestimate you; a pattern of dismissing successes as luck, good timing, or deception; and the tendency to remain unconvinced that you deserve the success achieved despite evidence otherwise.

The next time you second-guess yourself, take note of all your previous successes. Note the projects you’ve completed or spearheaded. Note the times you have watched others take credit for your work or ideas. Keeping a mental list of these instances is essential to building confidence and getting the recognition you deserve at work.

Since my experience at InfluenceHER, I am making the effort to remain mindful of all the elements that may be impacting my day to day in a way that is not setting me up for success. It’s always grounding to hear the experiences of other women who have been in my shoes. I encourage anyone who is able to check out this event and other InfluenceHER conferences in the future.

"In today’s social climate we are almost too aware of our differences, which makes it difficult to focus on anything else."

The Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX) is an organization of thought leaders striving to shape the future of tech and innovation for consumer experiences, typically with networking mixers and panel discussions for industry professionals. But most recently MITX hosted an event called InfluenceHER , a conference designed to help women define and achieve their personal version of success. 

The event provided a combination of lifestyle workshops, career coaching, and keynote speeches delivered by prominent women who are highly accomplished in their field. Among some of the guests were Tzurit Or, founder of Tatte Bakery & Café; author Jackie Glenn; and Viktoria Harrison, founder of The Branded Startup.

I’ve been to similar events before. They are always inspiring, thought-provoking experiences that empower women to strive for more in their careers and life. InfluenceHER was nothing short of that but it focused more on tools for developing critical skill sets than I expected.

And to be honest, that was a refreshing change of pace. In fact, the most interesting and engaging sessions had nothing to do with being a woman at all. In today’s social climate we are almost too aware of our differences, which makes it difficult to focus on anything else. At the core, InfluenceHER was really about how to center yourself in what matters so you can lead a more impactful life.

Life Hacks for Success

Time management is one of the most essential elements for success in your personal life and career. Juggling multiple projects at work, extending ourselves beyond our job description, maintaining a balance between home and office life—as women, we are expected to get it all done. How is it possible without adding more hours to the day? And why do we fixate on this obligation in the first place?

Enter Maureen Nuccitelli, The Organizing Diva. She’s a mom, a wife, a former bartender, and now, a successful entrepreneur, as well as the owner of a life coaching and organization-services business. Her clients are both men and women, but today she focused on how women can eliminate clutter to focus on what is most important.

Maureen articulates this phenomenon of decision fatigue; how an overload of tedious choices can be draining and distracting from more important career-related priorities. One example that tends to be more specific to women: what to wear each day. Maureen suggests limiting your closet to a few colors or basics that you’re comfortable in and only buying pieces that go with everything else you own. This reduces the brainpower you dedicate to getting dressed each morning and lets you focus on the next task ahead.

"My theory is this: By better understanding the natural behaviors and motivational factors of their employees, managers can make informed decisions on staffing or projects."

Understanding and Leveraging Natural Talents

My favorite session of the conference was hosted by Gabrielle Jenkins, a partner in the consulting firm Resource Management of Boston] . She spoke about a personality test called DISC , which, in my opinion, is one of the most underutilized tools in organizations. What it does is unveil an individual’s work style and underlying motivations based on four main traits: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness.

According to Jenkins, behavioral research suggests that the most effective people are those who understand themselves, both their strengths and their weaknesses, which lets them develop strategies to meet the demands of their environment.

I took the DISC test, and it turns out that I over-index for dominance and influence, meaning I work well organizing and motivating others. I’m self-reliant, people-oriented, confident, and enthusiastic. My primary driving factors are recognition and pursuit of new ideas, while I’m drained by rules and red tape, especially when they make things inefficient. Those who know me would not be surprised with these results, however, I wondered whether these driving factors come across as obviously as my more apparent everyday traits do. What value could this kind of candid information add to working relationships, especially with your manager or the employees you manage?

My theory is this: By better understanding the natural behaviors and motivational factors of their employees, managers can make informed decisions on staffing or projects. This can increase productivity by correctly matching employees with work that will most engage them, and reduce turnover across teams by improving job satisfaction that meets the most basic of human needs. 

Combating Imposter Syndrome

The phenomenon of imposter syndrome is commonly, though not exclusively, experienced by women. This is defined as an inability to internalize accomplishments and suffering from a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud” in work, school, or any endeavor.

You can recognize this in yourself by the following: the persistent feeling that others overestimate you; a pattern of dismissing successes as luck, good timing, or deception; and the tendency to remain unconvinced that you deserve the success achieved despite evidence otherwise.

The next time you second-guess yourself, take note of all your previous successes. Note the projects you’ve completed or spearheaded. Note the times you have watched others take credit for your work or ideas. Keeping a mental list of these instances is essential to building confidence and getting the recognition you deserve at work.

Since my experience at InfluenceHER, I am making the effort to remain mindful of all the elements that may be impacting my day to day in a way that is not setting me up for success. It’s always grounding to hear the experiences of other women who have been in my shoes. I encourage anyone who is able to check out this event and other InfluenceHER conferences in the future.

Haley Tines develops programmatic media strategies for accounts out of Havas Boston. She insists that carrots with peanut butter is a delicious snack.

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