High-Heeled Success® News You Can Use - April, 2015

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April, 2015  

April Newsletter


The Importance of Networking

Kay Fittes, April, 2015

Maybe you think “you either have it, or you don’t” when it comes to networking.  Or, maybe you think that connecting, making conversation, and socializing comes more naturally to others, than to you.  Well, guess what?  You do have what it takes.  I know this because I was the consummate wall flower in a former life, so and I am here to tell that you can do it!  Further, networking is an important part of career development.  It’s an investment worth making for yourself and in others, and it’s not as hard as you may think.  Let’s explore.

In my case, and in the case of almost every woman I’ve ever coached, the driving factor in avoiding networking (and many other things in life) is fear.  In fact, fear holds people back from many opportunities in life that can enrich, propel, and grow us in significant ways.  Real fear does serve a purpose.  It is intended to help us avoid danger.  When we encounter potential real danger like fire, an impending tornado, or entering a crime-ridden area, we use our knowledge and judgement of the situation to make the best possible choice about how to proceed.  However, the objects of phobias like heights, spiders, or flying, are not dangerous in and of themselves, but they may make us uncomfortable.  If we dwell on that discomfort, and the ‘what if’s’ that accompany it, fears can grow into full blown phobias.  The driving reason women are fearful of networking is often due to a lack of self-esteem, which is ironic, because networking is a fantastic way to boost your self-esteem!  Overcoming this hurdle requires improving how we value or see ourselves, which can be done when we really look at the truth of the matter.  Read More.

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Kay’s Consulting Corner

Kay Fittes

Each month in this section, Kay offers actionable career consulting tips.

Networking Techniques That Can Enhance
Your Self-Esteem

Organize your network.  Create a network binder or folder to track interactions with each person you meet as you build your network.  Begin by recording simple contact information, and their roles and responsibilities from your first meeting (which can be as simple as meeting for coffee).  Record small, but important details with subsequent meetings such as names of significant others or children, likes and dislikes, recent travel destinations, their recent business successes or challenges, and their stated hopes for future endeavors.  Review your notes not only before the next scheduled meet up with each contact, but also occasionally to see if anything in your notes is strategically aligned with either what you’re currently working on, or with what another friend or contact is doing.  When you connect two people and help them form a strategic alliance to further their objectives, the positive feedback will ring loudly.  You’ll be amazed at what this does for your self-esteem.  You will feel empowered from your ability to create a meaningful business association, and its potential for great outcomes.

Create visibility.  Just like hiding in your cubicle with your head down working won’t grow your network, it doesn’t provide visibility either.  You must put yourself out on a limb if you want your work to be noticed.  Make sure your successful projects are getting the attention they deserve.  After submitting your work, ask your manager to use it as a case study or example when the opportunity presents itself.  Review your own work project history, and brainstorm ways you can bring it back to life.  Say you analyzed three digital ad campaigns for audience engagement.  Can you go back to that project and compare it to product sales during the time period it ran?  Volunteering to be on a new committee or to take the lead at the next team meeting also provides visibility, and shows you are willing to put yourself in a situation to make an impact or difference.  Taking these type of risks, like asking your work to be showcased, broadcasting or promoting your findings as helpful, or leading a group, entails the willingness to be vulnerable.  It means you take a chance at being rejected, however, it also shows you are thinking out of the box, and willing to do what it takes to move forward in your career.  On the other hand, if your efforts are accepted and affirmed, it can provide a self-esteem boost like you can’t imagine.

Locate mentors.  Mentors serve many roles in our careers.  They can show us the ropes on a new job, or teach us about the culture and political agendas inherent in the workplace.  As you develop a relationship with your mentor, and they begin to know, like and trust you, they can introduce you to managers or directors you may not yet have access to.  A mentor can teach us new skills essential for growth, and help us understand the intricacies of an organization.

Take a moment right now to think about who you would choose as a mentor.  The person should be someone at least one or two levels above you career-wise, and preferably someone with more years of experience.  It should be someone you trust, and who can ultimately act as a mirror for you, alerting you to your strengths and weaknesses.  If you can’t possibly see yourself requesting help from someone like this, ask yourself, ‘why not?’  What are you afraid of?

If you are unable to move forward in any of these areas – networking, creating visibility for yourself, or finding a mentor – you might need some assistance in tweaking your self-esteem.  If so, I invite you to consider coming to my Kick Up Your Self-Esteem workshop on Saturday, June 6, in Cincinnati.

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Refer a Friend Promo

Spread the news and reap rewards.  Receive cash in hand, or credit toward Kick Up Your Self-Esteem on June 6, or a future workshop registration.

  • 1 – 2 people $25
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  • 5 or more     $65

*Your referral should put your name in the comments box when they register online, or provide your name if they call the office at 513-561-4288 to register.  Cash incentives awarded during workshop.

Client Case Study – Amy McPike

Amy McPike

I met Kay Fittes at just the right time.  It was at the January BizWomen Cabinet where she was speaking about how to make a scintillating presentation.  Then she did a day long Saturday workshop and I went to that.  Kay has so many good simple tips for improving even a short presentation.  If everyone followed them, we’d all be much better informed.  I’ve met loads of consultants and coaches throughout my career, but there was something about Kay – I just knew we would click.

I have been a financial professional for . . . ever, but several years ago I veered off into other financial areas.  I returned to my roots a few years ago to work with people on protecting their assets, and how to spend money in retirement.  Translation – I was starting over in developing a client base.  Technology and people’s preferred method of communication are changing rapidly.  Although I knew what to do, there was a little disconnect in getting it done smoothly.  I knew I needed some coaching, but not from my male dominated company.  I needed the help of an experienced woman who has seen it all.  And Kay has.  She is well trained formally, but she coaches also from her own mistakes and successes.  She shares freely and openly to help her clients be the best they can be.

I wasn’t sure that spending an hour on the phone would be as effective as meeting in person, but it’s actually better.  It’s efficient time wise, but it also helps me to focus on the point being discussed rather than the person I’m talking with.

Kay has re-awakened and sharpened my skills in seeing through delays in the sales process and why people do what they do.  (These skills are important not just for sales and consulting, but also for management and leadership).  She has helped to get to the heart of the matter to be more effective with my clients.  And more importantly, she has helped me understand more about what’s behind my own actions (or inactions) so I can start new good habits and get rid of the bad ones.

A lot of us think that we don’t have time for coaching, or don’t want to spend the money or that we can just read a book to get what we need or figure out it for ourselves – and I’ve done all of that – but I must say that my decision to work with Kay was the best one I’ve made this year.

Amy McPike, CLU
Financial Representative
The Bridge Financial Group

Dress for Success

High-Heeled Success® supports Dress for Success through donations of clothing, time and money.  We offer complimentary seats at every workshop for women participating in the Dress for Success program.


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