Ep. 101 – Use Your Sway

We all admire women with sway.  They have presence but aren’t overbearing.

The problem isn’t that you don’t have it.  Like most smart, ambitious women, you just don’t know how to use it.

If you have ever experienced mansplaining, (and seriously, who hasn’t?) this is the episode for you.

Get out your papers and pens (hopefully, you’re using more than one color on  this notes collection. Lots of good stuff to take in.)  This is one episode you should be taking notes!

Today’s guest is the host of the Leader to Leader Podcast and he knows his stuff!

Mark Slemons is a speaker, podcaster, and coach. He helps leaders leverage practices and perspectives to make their people and their organization thrive. It’s challenging to lead well, especially young leaders who are just starting their journey. They don’t have to do it alone though. With more than 30 years as a husband, father, leader, volunteer, and employee working for a multi-billion dollar international company, his unique perspective combined with practical and actionable tips will help individuals and organizations thrive. Whether humorous, serious, or sad, he uses the past to create a better future.

Connect with Mark Slemons.Mark Slemons, Leader to Leader Podcast

Show highlights that apply right now are:

  • Mark decided to be consistent, (publish an episode every Monday) before he started his podcast.
  • Perfection addiction in his life: He struggles with not having something be perfect before he lets it go.
  • Now he has arrived at the point where he says, “This is a really good effort, and I’m okay with that.”  Couldn’t we all use more of that in our life?  
  • What your best is at one time is not what you do now.
  • Amy joins Mark on his show, Episode 8.
  • The ideas mature- just like you.
  • Why You Must Talk About Yourself, Episode 40-41.
  • Mark describes the feeling you get when you’re on to something…”You know that if you can get ahold of this it will make a difference in your own life and hope that it can do the same for someone else.”
  • You have to talk about yourself.
  • That’s not pride.  You can tell people about the good things in your life.
  • We undermine and underestimate the contribution we add, even in our own home.

Why Sway is Important in Your Life

“This notion that your great work speaks for itself while you are humble and unassuming…it’s not a reality.”

  • When you don’t talk about yourself enough, it comes down to a self-worth issue.
  • Talk about yourself too much?  You’re bragging.
  • Bragging is what has happened in the past.
  • The difference between swagger and cockiness defined.
  • It’s ultimately about sway. Sway is your influence.
  • There’s an art to talking about yourself.
  • It’s okay to talk about yourself that gives you credit for your capabilities, talents and results.

Six Steps to Help Smart, Ambitious Women Use Their Sway

  • Step 1. Track your performance.
    • Everyone has a body of work.
    • You need to demonstrate your contribution in the larger wheel. Build the body of evidence.
    • Use examples that show results in your space.
  • Keep “The Glory File*,” the file that keeps track of those compliments, kudos, reports of success just for you.  You can refer to them when you need to report in.
  • Step 2. Talk about your results.
    • You must communicate your efforts regularly.
    • Position yourself to show others, the business
    • Don’t be silent about your accomplishments.
    • Arrogance and silence both don’t help. Find the middle ground for you.
    • “If you’re too modest, you’re not helping yourself.”
    • If you don’t say it, there’s nobody else that’s going to do it for you. 
  • Step 3.  Share credit when credit needs to be shared.
    • Thank for the credit and mention how your team will appreciate it.
    • Mention the team amidst the effort.
    • Name them specifically, if possible.
  • Step 4.  Take credit for your ideas.
    • It’s up to you to get the respect & authority that you deserve.
    • You can’t allow others to take your credit and not put up resistance.
    • Don’t be childish.  Be strategic.
    • “I’m glad you like my idea. I’d love to hear how you would add to that.”
    • Your choice of words is really important.
    • Be willing to confront, not combat someone on the issue.
  • “I encourage your listeners to step up.  You have the ability to lead well.”
  • Step 5. Learn how to receive a compliment. 
    • Always say thank you.
    • You can acknowledge mistakes, but don’t mention your mistakes so they overpower the compliment given.
    • Give yourself the space to say thank you.
  • Step 6. Deal with criticism.
    • There are people everywhere who speak before thinking. Words can hurt.
    • Some of the feedback you get will be harsh.  If you are more sensitive to that, find a way to deal with those comments that work for you.
    • Take the valuable pieces of the feedback and discard the rest.
    • Others don’t feel the pain.  Even the person who said that remark will never feel the pain of a cutting comment. You decide if that thought persists in your mind or if you get rid of it.  You have the power.

 

  • “Don’t go to bed with that guy tonight. He’s living in your head, rent-free, and you need to evict him…”  These are the words you need to remind yourself when you find yourself fixated on a negative, or hurtful comment.

Find Mark Slemons on Twitter, or email him at mark@markslemons.com.

*  As recommended by Pamela Jett.