I was thrilled to be interviewed by Cindy Stagg on her podcast Lead Together.
I was asked about my experience as an attendee of the Girls State program and my involvement through the years. There’s no question that this program was life changing for me and no question that it certainly serves as a foundational part of my leadership opportunities over the years.
You can listen on iTunes or on her site here: https://www.
Thanks for having me Cindy!
This video interview was done a while back but there are still a few good gems in here.
We’re all contagious. If we’re sick, someone else could it. What are you spreading? In this video I share the story of the pimples and zits (don’t worry it’s not a gross story!) and I also share the whys and hows of spreading joy wherever you go!
In working with professionals and organizations all over the country I have heard one thing that has surprised me (or maybe it shouldn’t). All types of people that I come in contact with will pull me aside and say, “What if I hate my job?” I’m starting to talk more about this when I consult with the leadership team. In this video I share the two choices you have if your truly hate your job.
Sheryl Sandberg, author of the book Lean In, writes that we should stop telling little girls they’re bossy, and start telling little girls that they have leadership skills. As these women enter the workplace, communicating, speaking up and feeling part of the conversation can be a challenge, without being labeled as “bossy”.
I did a Q&A to answer some of these questions about empowering women
Question: What’s your first recommendation for women to find their voice in an organization?
Michelle: Contribute in meetings. Speak up when you agree. Provide additional ideas when you disagree. Don’t just leave the comments for the vocal few. Even introverts need to find their voice and contribute on their teams, and in their organizations. Stand up for people, champion projects and share your voice.
Question: When there are problems on their organization or team, how can they speak up and contribute without sounding bossy?
Michelle: Find and share solutions more than complaints. One of the ways you can add the most value to your team and organization is to provide solutions without complaining. This is great tip for men and women. Sometimes in an effort to encourage change we share all the things that aren’t working, but it’s hard for management to respond because it can be perceived as having a bad attitude. Instead, provide and offer solutions and be creative when it comes different ways to address issues. Managers the trait they wish every employee had was the ability to problem solve without complaining.
Question: What if a “problem” escalates into a disagreement, or if you feel like you’re not quite sure how to respond?
Michelle: One of the best ways to find your voice is to know what to say AND when to say it. When things get heated, give yourself permission to table the conversation and revisit it when emotions cool down. Also, practice the phrase “It seems like you’ve had time to think about this, could you give me a day to think through my thoughts and I can come back to you with some ways we can resolve this issue” or “I may need a day or two to think through this situation, could we revisit this conversation on Friday after I’ve given it some careful thought?” Sometimes you need time to consider the right response so you don’t say things you don’t mean.
Question: What if someone takes your idea after you have already shared it?
Michelle: This is the MOST COMMON complaint we hear at our events. Women will share an idea in a meeting and then later in the meeting or another day someone will share the SAME idea and claim it as theirs. That can be discouraging, and if you’re gutsy, be willing to stand up for your idea. However, “Thank you for validating my suggestion” sounds better than “Hey, that was my idea!” In the moment, that can be tricky to pull off without attitude. If this seems to be happening to you frequently, practice a validation statement before you go into your next meeting. Also, remember that passion is okay. If your emotion feels competitive or combative you may be criticized for your emotions. Lead with passion and a commitment for the best interest in the team and organization, and you may find that this positive approach inspires people to lead with passionate positivity.
We love men and aren’t men bashers, but there is something powerful about a group of women getting together to learn and support each other. For more information about our annual Power Women event for female professionals, check out:
Check it out and leave a comment & a like! I would love to know what you think! I know Lynn Bodnar (creator of the Momoir Series) would also appreciate your feedback!!
Every day 500 million individuals across the globe log onto Instagram. And while the social media landscape seems to be changing by the minute, businesses and brands are getting more organic engagement on Instagram than any other social media platform. To stay relevant businesses large and small should take advantage of Instagram’s latest feature, IGTV.
Question: Before we dive into your tips, why is IG TV so hot right now?
Michelle: IG TV rolled out in summer of last year. The beauty of IGTV is that you have longer form videos AND the ability to keep them long after the 24 hour period previously offered by Lives or videos in your feed. In February this year they started to put IGTV videos in the news feed which is huge because now those videos show up as content while people are scrolling. IG TV is relatively new and currently NOT encumbered by ads (though that may come soon) so businesses should jump on getting those channels loaded and providing quality content so people will watch them later when ads do come.
Question: It sounds like this is something companies need to jump on quickly. What’s your top tip for quick implementation?
Michelle: YES, now is the time. Don’t call your videographer and don’t stress about creating new things last minute, load videos you already have and create videos over time. Yes, you have to be careful about things getting cut off, but many videos you already have will work in the format and some businesses are even getting away with loading horizontal videos vertically and people can watch by turning their phone.
Question: What types of things do you think people should be posting and how often?
Michelle: Great question and it totally depends on the brand, but I would recommend that you decide as a team (or if you’re an entrepreneur, make it a party of one). The biggest thing to remember is that you create a content plan that you follow consistently. Of course load your best videos but think of your channel like a television channel. What “shows” will you have consistently? You can post the random content videos, but if you think of it like a show or podcast you’ll likely be better able to keep it up. And also, think of your content in three main categories, Informational, Behind the Scenes and Commercials. 80% of your videos should be Informational or behind the scenes and 20% of your shows can be commercials or salesy. Provide good content first and make sales secondary, even if you’re tempted to make it all commercials.
Question: Do you have any tips for how to increase views to your videos on Instagram and IGTV?
Michelle: YES, make sure you have a killer headline that makes people want to click on it and watch it, but also utilize your description for additional details that may be helpful to someone choosing between all of your videos. ALSO, IGTV is Hashtag friendly, but it’s recommended only to use up to 3 hashtags in your description. As always, content is king so provide good content people will talk about and share. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then video has a lot of potential! Don’t miss this opportunity to tell the story of your business!