Success News You Can Use, High-Heeled Success® Newsletter - September/October, 2019

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September/October, 2019  

September/October Newsletter

Unlock Your Potential

Commanding Leadership More Important Than Likability

Kay Fittes, October, 2019

Most of us want to be liked as we go through our day – it’s more pleasant, even more comfortable.  Being liked in the workplace, however, isn’t the most advantageous quality for your career advancement and can even be a trap for women as they navigate a balance between traditionally masculine and feminine traits or characteristics.

I got the idea to write about this topic after reading the opinion piece, “How Women Escape the Likability Trap,” by Joan C. Williams, a professor of law and director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, published in The New York Times on August 18, 2019.

“There has been a lot of talk recently in the political arena about the likability trap for women:  Women who behave in authoritative ways risk being disliked as insufferable prima donnas, pedantic schoolmarms or witchy women,” writes Williams.

Williams goes on to write about how successful women overcome this form of gender bias.  It was enlightening for me to read her take on this important topic.

[Read More]

Kay wants YOU to join her at the
2nd Annual Women’s Success Summit!

Women’s Success Summit

Presented by Carol Dockum, CEO & Founder, Beautiful Faces Going Places LLC

Kay will present “Creating Credibility, Confidence and Clout.  Are You Memorable?”.
For details and registration, see the following:

Event Flyer      Event Details and Registration

Kay’s Consulting Corner

Kay Fittes

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

Overcoming Likability Traps

  1. Observe your own behavior.  Just like being present in all that you do, observing your own behavior can be very centering.  Start by observing your own behavior for a week and try to tally what percentage of the time you use a collaborative style vs a commanding style, and attempt to get more of a balance.  Those who succeed, usually have a balance between collaboration and command.  While I’m coaching and mostly working with women, this advice is actually for everyone.

  2. Before every meeting, identify your objective.  Ask yourself are you trying to create collaboration or are you ready to take command to announce some kind of final direction or decision?  If you have a plan before going into the meeting, there’s an increased chance you will meet your objective, which should align with your overall career objectives.

  3. Make sure you’re thinking ahead and crafting your script.  As you prepare for every meeting and identify your objective, go even further.  You can craft a script, think about the words and kind of language you want to use before you go into essential meetings.  By scripting in advance, you have a higher likelihood of either coming across as either collaborative or commanding – just as you planned!

If you’re experiencing push back on your workplace style and need help developing a strategy to overcome it, please give me a call at 513-561-4288 or connect with me via email at

Client Testimonial – Wing Monge

Wing Monge

I initially met Kay Fittes when she was speaking at a conference I attended.  What attracted me was that she focuses specifically on issues for women and empowering women.  Some women are born leaders, some need help, but everyone has potential to better themselves!  Kay really appealed to me.

This coaching experience has benefited me so much.  I now know where I want to go in my career and that I can do more than originally thought.  It’s so easy for me to go back into my shell, because that is where I feel secure, but Kay continues to nudge me out of my comfort zone.  I have evolved from wanting to get out of my comfort zone, to choosing to, to doing it.  At a certain age in her career, a woman knows that she has something to offer and an expertise to share.  It’s for herself, her family and her employer.  This is really about having a purpose and living it.  Kay has shown me how to position that expertise and is my sounding board as to how to craft the delivery of my unique expertise.  I know my presentations are now smooth and professional.  Additionally, it has been challenging for me to find women who support each other, and it is wonderful to be supported and receive resources to lead.

Kay has the knack and personality to connect with people.  When I was seated in the session at the conference where we met, her enthusiasm for elevating women really impacted me – not every coach has that perspective.  I would encourage any woman who is feeling stuck in her career and wondering how to get to the next level to work with Kay Fittes.  Don’t hesitate due to time or money, there are options!  Every woman can be the CEO of her own life and career.

Wing Monge
Certified Food Scientist

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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