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You know that amazing, tangible sense of passion, talent and determination when you’re interacting with someone who is seeking and living their truth? Imagine a room full of women whose energy felt like that… times a million.
That is exactly how the Daring Women event felt. Between the speakers (small business owners to Alaska Airlines board members) and crowd, it was definitely an energetic, inspiring and empowering room to be in!
While there are many points that hit home, here are few of my takeaways and an amazing cartoonist’s posters to depict and summarize panels, speakers and topics. She drew these in real time! This is legit my middle school, bubble-letter doodle #goals!
- Support and stand up for your fellow women entrepreneurs, co-workers, colleagues, friends, etc… We are each other’s best allies, not competitors. There is room for everyone. Keep an abundance outlook (stayed tuned for my next post!)
- If you have the opportunity to take a risk on someone without the credentials on paper but has potential…do it. Open a door of opportunity and possibility for them. *True story: A door exactly like this guided me down the path to attaining my MBA. Shout out: Effie Eisses, Jennifer Shelton, CJ Seitz.
- Ask for what you want and let people know you’re interested… in jobs, companies, boards and life. Be proactive about designing your life and future!
- Embrace feminine energy and skills. Change the industry or “norms.” Whether it’s leadership style, type of work or work wear, be you so the women that follow are more empowered to be their best, authentic selves and respected for it. I loved this statement from Jessie Woolley-Wilson, Chair, CEO and President of DreamBox Learning: "Women sometimes resist vulnerability because it's part of the mask. Men go through all this training to become more vulnerable. That's our lane, ladies; we need to make that work!"
- Be comfortable and confident in who you are and in your vision. Your uniqueness provides value to your work and the world.
If you’re interested in more inspiration, information or similar events, check out the Daring Women Facebook page. 100% would recommend!
“Did you ever stop to think that a dog is the only animal that doesn't have to work for a living? A hen has to lay eggs, a cow has to give milk, and a canary has to sing. But a dog makes his living by giving you nothing but love." -Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People
Historically, I haven’t been a big advocate of having dogs in the work place. I think they smell, they’re walking biohazards, I’m usually a little wary they’re going to bite me (it’s happened a couple of times), they’re noisy, and unlike cats, they need a lot of attention. Some of this may be influenced by the fact that I grew up in a very rural place and we had Country Dogs.
Country Dogs are pretty much a species entirely separate from today’s urban dog. Country Dogs were NEVER allowed in the house, were given a blanket to sleep on only in the coldest of winter nights and were certainly never dressed in human-like clothes. They were there for a purpose – to bark and alert us to when someone pulled in the driveway, to keep coyotes out of the immediate yard, and to keep medium sized pests (think possum) at an appropriate perimeter from the house.
Imagine my dog-cultural shock when I jumped in with the urban dog trend and got a puppy to share my house with. I didn’t put a toe in, I jumped in whole hog, and I got a Catdog. I say Catdog because she’s 12 lbs of dog with the heart of a wolf, but really, she’s the size of a house cat and a little less ferocious than your average garden gnome. When she was a puppy she was a human-melter and melted my boss at the time right into inviting her to come to the office daily on a trial basis.
I was kind of torn on this, I thought it would really help my guilt factor at leaving this tiny adorable new best friend alone all day if Catdog could be with me throughout the day, but that crusty old Country Dog vision of what a dog is was lodged in my psyche and I was having a tough time imagining that in a professional setting. I thought, why not give it a try? Imagine my surprise after a month or so when I realized Catdog had completely changed our office environment. We all got along well enough before, but with Catdog there, it made everything unexpectedly better. She tangibly impacted how we all felt throughout the day and how we then interacted with each other.
Her knack for curling up on people’s laps created the quiet satisfaction and calm of having a critter curl up on you. There was a really positive place for people to focus their attention during their breaks, and her presence created some unexpected bonding as people tossed toys around for her and shared laughs over her frolicking, asked if they could take her for walks, and brought her super yummy treats.
Catdog was our office celebrity and one of Dale Carnegie’s concepts in action – every single morning she raced to greet to everyone, paddling their knees with her paws, tail fiercely wagging, jumping and dancing. When it had been a few days since she saw someone, she’d race in circles yipping with joy to express her deep joy at seeing them again. This affects people.
Catdog is hardwired with Mr. Carnegie’s classic techniques in how to be welcoming anywhere: she was genuinely excited and interested to meet people, and perhaps most significantly, she made people feel important. She gave them her sole attention, was happy to see them, and didn’t have an agenda (unless she could smell bacon - then she wore her agenda on her sleeve!). Through her welcoming and enthusiastic presence alone, the whole office was impacted and greater joy was present in our days.
“WHEN DEALING WITH PEOPLE, LET US REMEMBER WE ARE NOT DEALING WITH CREATURES OF LOGIC. WE ARE DEALING WITH CREATURES OF EMOTION, CREATURES BRISTLING WITH PREJUDICES AND MOTIVATED BY PRIDE AND VANITY.”
― DALE CARNEGIE, HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE
We all need to be technically competent and kick butt at our jobs, but we’re humans surrounded by and interacting with other humans. Meaning, there are multitudes of other things going on that affect our daily work experience and introducing Catdog to our office made the daily mood significantly more cheerful and happy. I’m not saying every office should have a dog, they just don’t work everywhere or aren’t appropriate in all places. And despite all the positives, they can be distracting.
We’ve all worked in places that were fine enough, or had people with less than cheery dispositions in our proximity. A little care and making people feel important can go a long way. In all of our places and spaces, let’s take a note from Dale and the inherent wisdom of dogs and look for ways that we personally can positively impact the space around us. I’ll end with sharing some dog-wise ways to consider doing just that.