Selena Rezvani, a renowned speaker on self-advocacy and leadership and the author of the Wall Street Journal best-selling book, “Quick Confidence: Be Authentic, Boost Connections, and Make Bold Bets on Yourself.” She has been quoted, interviewed, and profiled by CareerBuilder, The Wall Street Journal, Oprah.com, The LA Times, Marie Claire, NBC television, and ABC television. Selena talks about how important it is to speak up for oneself at work. Selena also discusses effective strategies for leaders to encourage open communication and self-expression within their teams, emphasizing the significance of creating an inclusive work environment and shared insights on addressing situations where team members are interrupted or talked over. Selena stresses that instead of viewing power as bravado, we should reinterpret it as confidence grounded in a learning mindset.
[3:42] Selena discussed the value of speaking up at work, but she also mentioned that some leaders feel free to express their opinions in front of their subordinates. Selena additionally speaks about her two points of view when someone tries to voice a concern: first, have you earned the right to ask, and second, some people ask for what they want, and some people take what is given to them.
[4:41] She shares the need to foster more cultures that are focused on self-advocacy, where managers and other leaders allow employees some leeway to make decisions and approach some of their work or work arrangements more like cafeteria style, where they can take what appeals to them and have more voice and choice over what they do. But if managers or leaders are not comfortable with those requests, Selena said it’s impossible to work it out.
[13:27] Selena also concurs with one of Dr. Pfeffer’s old sayings that “power is about 20% conferred and 80% taken,” which means that power is typically more openly claimed than bestowed upon a single, exceptional person. She stated that it is something that should be remembered. Selena also shares how she frequently participates in some of her own advocacy work and encourages people to avoid waiting to be invited, instead, notice and claim it.
[18:03] She also shares the tactics for leaders to support others in speaking up for themselves and giving others a chance to be heard, and how to step in when someone is being talked over or interrupted. Selena also brings up the common topic that people discuss, which is being too critical of oneself. She also talks about how giving yourself grace is the cherry on top, and how it’s crucial to acknowledge your feelings and give yourself a break in order to take care of yourself.
[21:30] Selena talks about how to be heard in meetings. She says you have to speak up more, but not so loudly that you have to scream for them to hear you. Another is rearranging your chair to draw people’s attention and make a good impression. Another tactic is to unintentionally read your resume aloud; it’s akin to telling them what you accomplished and what more you’re capable of.
[25:50] She mentions the American culture of silence, which states that it takes four seconds for the person on the other side of you to become uneasy, insecure, or rejected. She stresses how crucial it is to understand that occasionally, silence can be used against us. Selena also talks about making a plan for how to voice your opinions in meetings so that you don’t get silenced, for this will help you become more confident and share your knowledge.
[34:15] Selena also shares finding one’s life’s center of balance and control, as well as the value of trying new things and thinking outside the box. She says that positive things come from letting go. Furthermore, ruminating is a bad habit to get into before bed. Perhaps it’s even letting go in that sense where someone is going to let go of that problem or thought. Good things come from letting go a little and letting serendipity and other people’s decisions occasionally. Because control is a funny thing and our starting points can differ greatly.
[40:22] Closing Quote: Remember, the most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence. – Blake Lively
Quotable Quotes:“The more senior you are, the more likely you are to interrupt." Click To Tweet "I may not be the best at this, but I'm not the worst at it, either. It's not that I'm never going to get it. It's that I haven't cracked it yet.” Click To Tweet “So much power, the ability to use our voice, is up for grabs. Notice it, claim it, don't wait to be invited.” Click To Tweet “Leaders can stoke confidence in others by ensuring their voices are heard and respected.” Click To Tweet “Techniques include putting the spotlight back on someone who was interrupted, asking for their thoughts, and making small gestures of support.” Click To Tweet “Use humor, lightening up, and using positive self-talk as ways to improve confidence.” Click To Tweet “Respect one's resume by relating experiences to current projects or challenges.” Click To Tweet “I think the other thing is we need to create more self advocacy oriented cultures where managers and leaders are given some latitude for people to have choices and approach some of their work or their work arrangements a little bit… Click To Tweet "Before going into a room, create a plan.” Click To Tweet “Confidence is Power.” Click To Tweet
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