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Making Facebook Matter

reposted from Entrepreneur magazine:

I’m off reviewing my Facebook presence, which needs a facelift!

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ASK, or Tips for Technophobes

fearItself

With the many ways we have to express our business brilliance these days, it’s all too easy to get boxed in with a secret fear, something we don’t know, then don’t learn because we’re concerned it will reflect poorly on us if we ask.

My dear friend Terry Nicholetti, who runs runs SpeakoutGirlfriend.com, recently helped me with my elevator speech. Terry helps women can learn to overcome fear of speaking in public. She says:

“I’ve always loved public speaking — the top fear of most people. So how can I teach these things? Because I was terrified of almost everything else.”

Terry does brilliant work on overcoming fear. I hired her because while I love technology I get shy in person. Working with Terry has improved my networking and public speaking. Terry used to freeze in front of the computer.I helped her learn to self-manage her WordPress web site. Now both of us have moved on to new business challenges!

So when I saw Michelle Kerrigan ‘s blog and wanted to share it with you. Michelle knows of what she speaks. An accomplished executive coach, she has worked with corporations large and small, now helping people find their optimum performance. She identifies fear and silence as two of the great confidence killers.

Put your mind at ease with a few helpful tips:

  1. First—take a deep breath and remember: no one knows it all. 
  2. Ask and get off the worry treadmill. When you’re afraid to ask, you lack clarity and understanding. Your world becomes a guessing game. Learn what you need to know. Ask!
  3. Find someone who doesn’t speak in tongues. When you have the confidence to ask questions, find someone who can explain in the simple terms. Communication is all about being understood.
  4. Know that, as your skills rise, so does your confidence. Once you’re more grounded in the practical, the hands-on, how-to will cause your fear of the technical to subside.

(Edited list reblogged from Workplace ConfidenceMichelle Kerrigan’s blog: Practical advice and inspiration for more confidence at work. See the complete list and full article HERE)

And by the way, when it comes to spiders. I’d rather go give a big speech!

Addressing Stereotypes in Stock Photos

enhanced-buzz-wide-20979-1392163420-30Getty Images teamed with LeanIn.org to create a collection of stock photos intended to represent women in a more empowering light.

LeanIn.org is the foundation launched by Sheryl Sandberg, author of Women, Work and the Will to Lead. The book, published last year, challenged women and the business world to step up to increase female leadership. An accomplished executive with business and government experience, Sandberg points to solid research on the stubborn stereotypes that discourage female leadership, and calls on women not to give in to those traps, but rise above them.

enhanced-buzz-wide-24504-1392163397-11The project with Getty is certainly welcome and I might say long overdue. Anyone who has worked with stock photography for the past decade or so has no doubt seen much improvement from the 90s, when smiling white men were the office norm, and the only people of color were gardeners or laborers. Today it’s possible to find images of people of various ages, ethnicities and even disabilities.

But like any media stream, the available stock photography reflects our culture and its resistance to change. Stock photos of women have developed their own tropes, many of them unfortunate. So the LeanIn collection, while populated with remarkably pretty people, is quite a few steps forward. The images feature women  at home, at work, in the world, working, leading, using technology and in hands-on careers. There are girls being bold, reading, using tools and taking charge.

An article in the NY Times points out that we’re becoming more image-based in our daily communication, using our smart phone cameras, Instagram, Pinterest and similar tools. Getty CEO Jonathan Klein notes that “imagery has become the communication medium of this generation, and that really means how people are portrayed visually is going to have more influence on how people are seen and perceived than anything else.”

original-11250-1392253880-5It’s as true as ever: seeing images of ourselves reflected in the culture supports our confidence as accomplished women. Until I browsed this collection I didn’t realize just how much I needed to see an artistic woman instructing a group, or a confident girl looking me straight in the eyes!