The Sydney edition of the Women in Print breakfasts gave the 150 women in the room some useful food for thought on the importance of asking for what you want, the best way forward on employment contract negotiations and how to confidently communicate your message.
The breakfast, hosted by Women in Print NSW patron Natalie Taylor from IVE Group, kicked off with a Q&A discussion with Salmat CEO Rebecca Lowde and The Real Media Collective CEO Kellie Northwood, who talked about their career and life journeys and the challenges they have been confronted with.
Anneli Blundell, a communications expert and ‘people whisperer’, talked about ‘credible communication’ and the vital importance of how you speak given it takes just 0.07 seconds for an opinion to be formed about you.
Lowde, who was appointed CEO at Salmat after serving as the company’s CFO, said women must ask for what they want and rid themselves of the need to be liked by everybody they deal with.
“If there was something I would ever give advice on is that you absolutely have to demand what you want. No one is going to hand it to you on a platter. You may be lucky once in a lifetime to have something handed to you but if you want a job and you think you can do it, you need to get the guts to say ‘I can do it and I want it and if you don’t agree just give me a chance to do it’,” Lowde said.
“It’s statistically proven that if you go for an interview, a female will say all the reasons why she can’t do the job, while a guy will tell you every reason why they can do the job so you are on the back foot before you’ve even started.
“There is not one job that I ever actually got offered. All of them was me walking into a room and saying I need that job, it’s mine. And I am the least forward person you can think of but if you want something bad enough you just have to get the guts up to do it.”
Northwood expanded on her rise from starting out as a young journalist before moving into advertising until becoming the eventual executive director of the former Australasian Catalogue Association before her current role with the TRMC.
Northwood reflected on when she was asked to apply for the CEO role at the then Australasian Catalogue Association and the interview panel wanted her job title to be general manager, even though she was going for a role as the CEO.
She also talked about how she handles employment negotiations now.
“The most important contract we can negotiate is our package and our contracts. I presented something I thought was fair and reasonable but there was push back. What I was building was my arguments well before I walked into the negotiation which was empowering but I thought if I can’t sit here and argue for myself and sign up for another three or five years then what good are you in any other aspect of your job. It was very very difficult thing for me to do but I did all my homework and armed myself. In reflection it was one of the proudest moments in my career because I did it and I wasn’t going to allow people to dictate the terms of something so important.”
Northwood and Lowde said it was also important to remember that you don’t have to have all the answers and that surrounding yourself with an awesome team of people is the best way forward.
“You don’t have to have all the answers. I used to employ people because I liked them but now I really target people who don’t have the same skills as me,” Northwood said.
“I’m constantly asking what skills do you have that I don’t have?”.
Blundell said it takes just 0.07 seconds for a person to form on opinion about your making it essential that when you speak, you do so confidently, clearly and set a commanding tone.
She said capability will get you in the door but it is not enough.
She shared her top three tips on credible communication and all the women in the room gave it a go.
Anneli Blundell’s top tips for credible communication:
- Use a commanding tonality (with a downward inflection) to steer the response you want, rather than seek it out.
- Hold your line and don’t hedge. Keep your communication short and sweet.
- Expand your body language, don’t shrink yourself down.
For more tips from Anneli Blundell visit: www.anneliblundell.com
For more information about Women in Print or to get involved contact: http://www.womeninprint.com.au/
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