Feeling stressed? Do something different!

When Claire put down the phone, she was hyper-ventilating. Her heart was racing. It was 3pm on the last work day before the Christmas holidays and she just learned that one of the managers had not finished the report that was due by tonight and was leaving early to attend to her sick child. Claire was feeling the immense temptation to go out and have a cigarette. Instead, in line with the new stress management tools she’d been adopting, she took a few deep breaths. She looked out of the window at bare trees and Parisian rooftops, trying to de-dramatize […] Read more »

Assertiveness: do you speak up?

“I spoke up about the issue!” my client Julie looked radiant. She shared that she had raised her long-standing concerns about how a large-scaled project was being managed to the top management of her company.  The issue had bothered her for a long time and she’d been speaking about it to everyone but… her bosses. What made her change her mind and gave her the courage to finally speak up?  It was the forthcoming change in her life  – she was preparing to leave the company. Suddenly, she was no longer vested in keeping her reputation as the ‘nice Julie” […] Read more »

Eight lessons from Deauville

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1300 business women gathered earlier this month in Deauville for the ninth Women’s Forum. The sun was shining on the sea, the champagne was glittering in flute glasses, and the participants who came from around the globe exchanged, debated and networked in powerful ways. What did we learn? What beliefs were confirmed? What myths were thrown out? According to the latest study by McKinsey women’s group, women are as ambitious about reaching the top as men. What is different is that women are not as confident as men about their ability to reach the top. For instance, only 58 percent […] Read more »

Smart Leadership: how good are your people skills?

A twenty-year old study of leadership effectiveness conducted by Stanford University’s School of Business concluded that about 15 percent of one’s success in leading organizations comes from technical skills and knowledge, while 85 percent comes from the ability to connect with people and engender trust and mutual understanding. Through my coaching and leadership training work, as well as in interviews with successful women entrepreneurs and CEOs for my forthcoming book, I noticed that indeed people skills top the list of the attributes of successful leaders. Today’s leaders do not need to know everything there is to know. They want to […] Read more »

What is blocking the path to your big goal?

Now that you know your number 1 goal (see the post from last week), the next step is to create a strong and clear strategy, a roadmap towards your goal. However an action plan on its own won’t do wonders. It needs to be founded on strong solid self-belief and confidence. If you don’t believe in achieving your goal, you will not follow up with the action steps and even if you do, they will be half-hearted ones and won’t bring the desired result.  Even the best strategies fall victim to inner blocks such as fears and and limiting beliefs. […] Read more »

Lean into Life, your unique style

Despite the mountain of controversy and publicity around Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In”, I’ll admit that I enjoyed reading it.  I liked the author’s accessible style and the generosity with which she shared personal stories and experiences. Many of those stories revealed a different, more human and less perfect, face of Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer.  I liked the humility of her writing style as she shared her insights. Ever since the book’s launch, the biggest take-away seems to revolve around the question/title: Are you leaning in? That’s the question that a lot of young ambitious women seem to be pondering, […] Read more »

Are you prepared to bend geography?

A CEO who runs her company from Paris during weekdays but spends weekends at her home in the Alps. A journalist based in Paris who commutes to London every two weeks. A media trainer and consultant shuttling between Amsterdam and South Asia who’s chosen Chamonix, France, as his home base. A French project manager targeting the Brazilian job market for her next career.  An American entrepreneur developing solar energy in Senegal from his base in southern France. A Paris-based software specialist actively targeting Dubai-based companies in his quest to move to his dream location. The list can go on. What […] Read more »

Time to have a moment of epiphany!

I was having my morning coffee earlier this week when I had an epiphany. An epiphany (comes from the ancient Greek meaning “manifestation”, “striking appearance”) is an experience of sudden and striking realization. Often used to describe a scientific breakthrough or a religious discovery, it can be applied to any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective. Epiphanies generally follow a process of significant thought about a problem. I had been pondering for some time about the challenge of writing an inspirational book vs the memoir I […] Read more »

Do you have an elevator pitch?

Whether you’re looking for a job, run your own business, or want to find new – better paid and with more challenge – opportunities, you need to have a well-crafted elevator pitch. What is an elevator pitch?  It is a short 30-second to 2 minute long preplanned statement that you use in response to the question “What do you do?”   It needs to answer the questions “Who I am? What I do? What I am looking for?”  Ideally, it also makes it clear why you are the best candidate.  You want to be able to deliver your pitch anywhere […] Read more »

Personal Value Proposition and why it matters

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Your Personal Value Proposition – or PVP – is at the heart of your career strategy.  It is the foundation for everything in a job search and career progression – getting promoted, targeting potential employers, attracting the assistance of others, and explaining why you are the one to choose. It shows right employers why they should hire you, not someone else. Showcased in your CV, LinkedIn profile, elevator pitch, it is a powerful tool that attracts headhunters, HR directors and alike, and helps you attract new opportunities. So, how do you develop a powerful PVP? Amanda, a PR and communications […] Read more »