From invisible to invincible: How women are transforming their workplace presence.

Welcome to the “Beyond Words” newsletter, where I, a recovering TV anchor, help 1 time pressed woman tell 1 better story about herself on stage.

In today’s newsletter:

  • More women will start taking control of their visibility and authority in the workplace.
  • They’ll start to view self-promotion and strategic relationship building as essential skills.
  • Tips here.

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Today’s newsletter is brought to you by Marie Incontrera

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Sailing to Cannes with my Mastermind members in Nice

 

A member of my Mastermind is a fantastic ‘doer.’ In fact, she puts her head down and works famously alone.

She makes sure the personal data her company’s software collects stays safe.

But guess what happens afterwards?

Others claim credit for her work.

That tendency to ‘put one’s head down and ‘werk werk werk’ hoping someone would notice came from somewhere. One of the exercises I asked at my “Deep Writing and Reflection Retreat” in France this month?”

Exercise below.

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Why does it work? Most of us are unconscious, and functioning from scripts that were planted when were— maybe 7 years old?

Author Sally Helgesen encourages women to get conscious again.

In her book, “How Women Rise” she shares the 12 ways women undermine their authority in the workplace (and how to fix them). Her and my podcast got 169 downloads this week alone.

Here are a few featured in the podcast:

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Mastermind members at the Villa Di Rivoli, doing our deep writing and reflection exercises in Nice, France

📍Visibility Over Hard Work Alone: Helgesen says many women leaders are inclined to put their head down, and “werk werk werk,” hoping someone higher-up will notice. This is a mistake.

Men typically don’t notice the efforts of others unless explicitly communicated.

Fix: Share your accomplishments out loud. Can you set up a cadence of meetings with a decision maker or boss at work sharing

-recent wins

-visibility into your priorities

-specific questions that you need his/her input on

-new ideas

Why does this work? It creates “recency bias” and keeps you top of mind.

📍Graceful Self-Promotion: Helgesen says women often ask her how to avoid sounding self-serving or arrogant when talking about their accomplishments. This is fundamentally flawed.

When you share how you solve problems, you are educating, not boasting.

Fix: How can you commit to sharing how you create transformations and outcomes? Bring someone from point A (pain) to point B (pain free)

Why does this work? It allows people to “value match” with how you solve problems.

📍Building Win-Win Relationships: Men go into friendships, relationships, with no hesitation to ask for what they want. In their minds, it’s a win-win. Helgesen says women create friendships, but feel bad about asking for help or a connection once the relationship is forged. They don’t want to impose.

Fix: Ask, how can I support you? Fashion icon Diane on Furstenberg connects two people in her network daily, who could benefit from meeting one another. It keeps her as a center of influence, beyond her wrap dresses.

Why does this work? It’s essential to balance emotional connections with professional goals.

📍Navigating Apologies: Helgesen says women often apologize excessively, which can undermine their authority.

Fix: Download the “Just not Sorry” Google Chrome extension. It flags how often you apologize in an email. Clearer writing leads to clearer thinking leads to clearer speaking. Get conscious and self aware. Instead, of saying, “Sorry I’m late,” say “Thank you for your patience.”

Why does it work? It offers gratitude and assertiveness, fostering a more positive and professional image.

Balancing Likability and Leadership: For years before women entered the work force full bore, their only social currency was their ‘likability’ factor. Helgesen says while ‘likability’ can help women early in their careers, it becomes less critical at senior levels.

Fix: Tara Mohr, in her book, Playing Big, recommends women leaders show ‘warmth’ upon first meeting people. “How is your child? I hear Tony was sick.” or “How was your vacation? Did you get down time?

Competence is demonstrated over time.

Why does it work? At a senior level, demonstrating strategic thinking and decision-making is key.

Managing Perceptions: It’s crucial for women to create visibility for their contributions without getting bogged down by managing others’ perceptions.

Fix: This comes from real estate investor Carol Sankar, another interview of mine. “If you want to be seen as strategic, start to seed that rumor in every conversation. Insert how strategic you are in every conversation.”

Why does this work? Here I invoked the work of another very popular podcast episode of mine.


 

To improve your writing, read more.

To improve your thinking, write more.

To improve your understanding, build more.

To improve your relationships, give more.

To improve public speaking, present more.

To improve conversations, listen more.

To be happier, appreciate more.

@ValaAfshar

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With Samita Lab Mastermind member Katie Goar at the Rothschild mansion Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, France.

Being intentional, and doing this reflective personal development work builds the foundation for monumental success.

It’s why my Mastermind clients

  • 💪🏼 have gotten two promotions in two years

  • 💪🏼 have built a $50MM fund and are on their way to building a $200MM fund.

  • 💪🏼 have discovered their self-worth and started realizing their dreams

  • 💪🏼 have learned to get clients from their posts

I’m currently filling for the 2025 Class of my Samita Lab Mastermind. Join the waitlist here.

 

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. If you’re struggling to say ‘no’ gracefully at work, I created a free download here with scripts 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

https://lnkd.in/gcuh4My8 (15,000 downloaded)

I’ll add to it each week.

3. Help! I need confidence!  Join 2500 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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