Women in Big Data Global



Speaking Confidently: Ways to Influence Relationships and Career Growth

Women in Big Data

By Stella Mashkevitch,

February 15, 2018


The Women In Big Data West Coast/ Bay Area chapter kicked off 2018 on February 8 with our very first workshop: “Speaking Confidently: Ways to Influence Relationships and Career Growth.”

The event was sponsored by Intel and organized by Women in Big Data Forum leadership team members Yulia Tell and Stella Mashkevitch.

Our ‘WiBD instructor of the year” in 2017 – Bob LoftisNowForward Coaching – taught this very useful soft skills workshop, which was attended by about 50 enthusiastic people who were eager to learn and participate in exercises.

Bob explained how a comfortable physical stance can prepare for alert and assertive communication and put us more at ease. Often we are lost in thought and subject to distractions that undermine our persuasiveness. “Now” is the only time we have. When fully present in communication, we “show up” authentically. Here are some key aspects of an agile approach to job search challenges:

  • There is no failure, only feedback.
  • Each experience brings me closer to what I want.
  • What must I do to show my brand, values, and successes?
  • How can I improve their (our) business impact?

Bob also explained how to make sure that you have a good dialogue. In good dialogue, we see interested expressions, focused attention, no over-talking, moderate and energized tones of voice, many people contributing, good, powerful, questions, direct responses, no blaming, lots of facts, a desire to reach agreement, clarifications, and summarizing. To practice having a good dialogue, we participated in an exercise of a role play of a new employee’s one-to-one discussion with a manager. We formed pairs and practiced the discussion about performance progress and steps to take for a promotion in a six month period.

Another important topic of discussion was stress. We shared how each of us experiences stress, how to recognize the impact of stress, and how to cope with it.

Then we moved on to the importance of being mindful in all our communications. I want to finish with Mindful Communication Guidelines from Bob:

  • Our truth (reality) is our perception.
  • We can find a common purpose.
  • We can learn from any situation.

It was a fantastic workshop. A huge thank you to Bob Loftis and all the participants who made it possible.

Click here to download Bob’s deck.

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