7 networking tips for quiet professionals that actually work (even if you dread it)

If you are a woman leader and need help telling one better story about yourself to build that brand, schedule a 30 for 30 with me. Share any challenges you have for 30 minutes. Ask any questions you have for 30 minutes. I record it.

Calendar here. (It’s free)


 

🎧 Option to listen instead here

Yesterday, I posted 7 Mistakes Highly Deferential People Make in the Workplace (& How to Fix them). It was prompted by a woman leader who wants her team to become better advocates for themselves. What’s the challenge?

  • They are largely technical people in pharma. It’s not always their strong suit.
  • Many of them are of Asian or Indian background. Culturally, it’s not their strong suit.

Both cultures were raised to be deferential to authority. While that works at home, it doesn’t always serve people best at work.
SO I CREATED 7 TIPS TO HELP:

1. SAYING “NO” (AND DO IT NICELY)

In 2019, I hosted a workshop for a smaller pharma company, about to be acquired by a much larger one. The fear was: What happens as we become smaller fish in a much bigger pond? How will we be heard and seen?

I hosted a role-playing workshop. Six employees from the Asian American Pacific Islander group came up with the scripts to demonstrate common scenarios they came up against

  • How to ask for a raise
  • How to ask for meatier projects from your boss
  • How to say ‘no’ to a colleague

Here is the script we came up with for #3

Your colleague comes to you with an invitation to project/dinner/event

Script: “I would love to be a part of this event, but every event I say yes to means I’m saying no to the_____current project I am working on. So, I have to sadly decline, knowing that you’ll all have a wonderful time.”

How does that question feel?

2. BE A PART OF MONDAY MORNING CONVERSATIONS

Indra Nooyi, former CEO of Pepsi, in her book “Life in Full” remembers many a Monday morning meeting, where her (mostly male) colleagues chatted away about baseball. Being an immigrant from India, she wasn’t familiar, but she also didn’t want to be left out of the camaraderie the others clearly shared.

Monday after Monday swooped by, without her contribution to the conversation at large. But here’s what was happening on the side: She was quietly (obsessively) learning about the sport.

And then the day came….

A colleague was going on about Jackie Robinson leading the Brooklyn Dodgers to the World Series in his rookie season.

She finally piped up.

She corrected him: Jackie Robinson won the Rookie of the Year award in 1947 but the Dodgers did not win the World Series until 1955.

You better believe her colleagues stood up and took notice that day.

What is the conversation of the day (non-work related) that you could bone up on and contribute to?

3. WHEN YOUR IDEA GETS REJECTED

Nooyi answered questions from women in my Mastermind a few years ago

Her advice when your idea gets put down or rejected:

👉🏽 Don’t show your emotion. That shows you are losing control.

👉🏽 Take a break. Walk out of the room. (A little science here: Anger activates the emotion centers of the brain, which makes it challenging to think logically. Take the time to recover and put the pre-frontal cortex back in the driver’s seat again before responding.)

SCRIPT: Come back and say it again in a different way: “Maybe what I said didn’t land in the best way. So let me say it another way.” And be willing to walk away.

4. CONTRIBUTE AT MEETINGS

My friend and colleague May Busch, former COO for Morgan Stanley Europe, writes a great blog post on how to contribute at meetings, especially if you are an introvert like her.

  • Share WHY you are speaking up. Are you lobbying on behalf of your team? Are you the subject matter expert on the topic of discussion? This reframe is always helpful for the mind.
  • Recap the salient points made at the meeting at the end. This is such an easy way to speak up.

Script: “So what I’m hearing is……”

5. ASK GOOD QUESTIONS

I’m currently coaching women leaders on landing their first major board seat.

A good board director offers an outsider’s perspective that the leadership may be blind to while running the business. 

A good board director offers the 10,000 foot “birds eye view.”

Peeking around the corner and future-casting risks.

All of that requires asking good questions.

In meetings, you can listen and ask good questions too.

Three effective scripts to break into conversations in meetings:

  • “That’s a great point, and it makes me think of…”
  • This acknowledges the current speaker’s contribution and smoothly transitions into your input.
  • “I see where you’re coming from, and to add to that…”
  • This shows that you are engaged and builds on the ongoing discussion with your perspective.
  • “Interesting perspective. I’ve had a similar experience where…”
  • This connects your personal experience to the topic, providing a segueway to share your thoughts.

 

BONUS TIP: ROLE MODEL “BEING PRESENT”

I moderate several conversations through out the week.

I’m always watching the room.

There is something very powerful about being in a Zoom room with very powerful women.

They are incredibly present.

Face forward. Eyes trained on the speaker. Sitting up straight. Slight smile on their face.

Their face isn’t buried in the phone. They aren’t doing work on the side.

Role model this and see how you received–changes.

Leverage ChatGPT’s newest upgrade with multilingual capabilities to get cultural nuances ahead of time too.

 

BONUS TIP: BUILD A PERSONAL BRAND

A former Wall Street colleague Lisa Shalett started at Goldman Sachs selling Japanese equities.  But she worked on a trading floor that considered the Japanese markets a ‘dead time zone’ because they were closed when the US markets were open.

What to do?

Well, she knew things about companies and market trends in Japan that nobody else knew, and she knew she could help her colleagues with unique investment insights for their clients.

So she started an email about Japan.

Each time she met someone for the first time on the trading floor, she would first work to understand, ‘How can I be helpful? and then add them to her email list. Eventually, she became the go to on “all things Japan” on the desk. Her colleagues started asking her to get on the phone with them when were on the line with clients.

She had built her brand.

If you are a woman leader and need help telling one better story about yourself to build that brand, schedule a 30 for 30 with me. Share any challenges you have for 30 minutes. Ask any questions you have for 30 minutes.

Calendar here. (It’s free)

A Public Speaking Tip

Never offer the qualifier, “Because I….” when making excuses.

An Adventure Tip

A mini mind: Paris Deep Writing and Reflection Retreat Dec 4th, 5th, 6th


 

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

1.Join the Samita Lab Mastermind. Join 7 other women leaders in the core program that sits at the center of my business model. The Mastermind teaches you exactly how to build a powerful person brand and the mindset to support it. It culminates in a TEDx talk on stage in front of 200 people at the end.

I only enroll for this program once a year.

The waitlist is open for the Class of 2025.

2. Download my E-book   Join 50 women in reading this comprehensive book where I teach you how I landed my own TEDx Talk in 2013 and break down, step by step, how to land yours.

3. Take my “Art of Influence” masterclass  Join 3500 people in taking my mini-public speaking Masterclass. Learn to organize a compelling talk and my framework for making it super easy.

 

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