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Comfortable in your own skin

I believe that engaging communication makes your expertise more valuable.

Back when I was 29 working as a Financial Adviser, I was midway through explaining some financial advice to an older couple when the woman stopped me, raised her hand to my face and said, “what gives you the right to give me advice, you’re young and female”?

She was correct about being young and female, (am still female, but not as young), but she was way off questioning my credentials to be in the advice seat.

This experience set me off on a journey to explore how we, as professionals, can showcase our value and avoid the predicament I faced way back then. To dig deep and learn how we get our goodness into more people’s lives and communicate in a way they understand.

Last week I got to share my thoughts on this to an incredible group of talented professionals, the Female Accountants Network (FAN). The session was all about how to be a more engaging communicator.

One of the clever cookies in the audience, Jessica Egan summarised the key points as:

You can be your authentic self and professional when communicating.
How to be clear and concise and get your point across to achieve the results we need.
Have deeper and meaningful conversations with people where possible. Get below the surface and add value.

Finally, don’t be afraid to wear a bright pink blazer and look fabulous!

She was spot on, and I was tickled that this was the message she walked away with.

I wish I had known this back when I was 29.

I wish I had been more comfortable in my own skin and embraced being a woman in a professional world.

I wish I had more courage to own my expertise and credentials on their own merit.

I wish I had the wisdom to come up with a witty response to the client that honoured her concerns and alleviated any doubt.

And I wish someone had told me that communication and people skills were the perfect complement to make expertise more valuable.

Although no longer 29, I am on mission to help more brilliant professionals own their value, communicate in more engaging ways, and embrace the glory of being a clever human.

Ps. And I’m owning being a woman wearing hot pink. A lot of it!
pps. Photo by the amazing Ksenia Belova 📸

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