A Seat at the Table

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SeatAtTablePanelFountainBlue’s January 18 When She Speaks event was on the topic of ‘A Seat at the Table’.  Although this month’s panelists had a wide range of styles, perspectives and backgrounds, they have each certainly earned their seats at the table. Below is a compilation of their advice on how we could each also earn the respect, influence and resources needed to make a strategic and tactical impact at work and in life.

  • Be Brave.
    • If you want to make a difference and experience something different than what you’ve experienced to date, be courageous in making well-thought-out, uncomfortable choices.
  • Be Calm.
    • Manage your own emotions so that you can have more influence. When emotions run high, try to assume positive intent and understand the motivations and actions of people who are making you upset. 
  • Be Prepared.
    • Think strategically and tactically about what you’d like to accomplish and why, who can help make it happen, how it could happen, what success looks like, etc. 
  • Be Authentic.
    • Be fully and genuinely and openly authentic, truthful, compassionate and human. This is especially true through tough circumstances.
  • Be Connected.
    • Grow your personal and professional network to include a wider and broader swath of people.  
  • Be Empathetic.
    • Be open and empathetic, more curious than judgmental about people who are not-like-you. 
  • Be Collaborative.
    • Partner and work with like-minded people to achieve results which benefit all.
  • Be Charming.
    • Honey attracts flies better than vinegar. Never underestimate the power of charm. 
  • Be Strategic.
    • When making decisions, consider the why, the what, the who, the how and achieve those long-term and short term goals. 
  • Be Effective.
    • Know what success looks like and measure and report on your progress along the way, engaging all stakeholders.
  • Be Creative.
    • Embrace your ability to think outside the box. Welcome others to also voice diverse perspectives.
  • Be Compassionate.
    • Be gentle with yourself and others. We are all one, on an imperfect journey to finding our greater selves.
  • Be Positive.
    • Manage your self-talk and your energy to think and act positively.

The bottom line is that we can each earn a seat at the table, no matter what our background, role, education, etc., If you choose to have a seat at the table, first ask yourself WHY you’d like to do it, WHAT you’d like to influence first, WHO can help you to do so, and WHAT success would look like.

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FountainBlue’s January 18 When She Speaks event on the topic of ‘A Seat at the Table’. Please join me in thanking our panelists and our hosts at TechLAB.

  • Facilitator Linda Holroyd, CEO, FountainBlue
  • Panelist Coco Brown, Founder and CEO, The Athena Alliance
  • Panelist Barbara Massa, Executive Vice President, People & Places, FireEye
  • Panelist Nivedita Ojha, Senior Director – Product Management, Edge Devices & Cloud, Mobile, SaaS, Citrix
  • Panelist Sonya Pelia, CMO, Cira Apps Ltd; Board Member, How Women Lead
  • Panelist Ronit Polak, VP Quality Assurance, Palo Alto Networks

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