Re-booting Your Personal Brand

Written by Sally Freeman – Co-Founder of DevelopHer

The idea for reboot your personal brand came from the thought that I had, that it is often much easier to rebrand for companies and organisations than for ourselves. I work in social media and branding and have often spent weeks and months on one project. So the challenge was, new year, new you, on a cold January evening, what could we achieve with 50 people in two hours? Could we help attendees reboot their personal image and help them achieve their goals for 2019? Could we potentially help them get their dream job and help create new opportunities in this new year?

The tickets went on sale and sold out in a day. The DevelopHerUK community clearly love this type of event and we realised it is much needed.

With a speed dating type feel, our attendees had half an hour with four amazing professionals to give each attendee skills to help them reboot their own brand. Including sessions on:

  1. Having a professional photograph taken to be used on CV’s, LinkedIn & Social.
  2. CV Workshop
  3. How to make your LinkedIn account stand out from the crowd
  4. How to pitch and communicate yourself in 45 seconds

“A picture is worth a thousand words”
Sue Lacey from http://www.Suelaceyphotography.com

Meeting the Experts

Sue Lacey specialises in business portraiture and knows it is essential to have an excellent business image. Sue captured the attendees in a way to show their character and personality.  An absolutel essential element for Linkedin to social channels, a good business image communicates a strong message to clients. Our attendees have been over the moon with their new images and have instantly been used across their channels.

Maarit Lilley, luxury brand copywriter and PR helped attendees focus on the summary paragraph that is often used in the profile section of your CV or Linkedin.

Dani Barrett from Digitas is a self confessed Linkedin addict. She knows good Linkedin! Dani guided attendees through the do’s and don’ts of linked in, how to create unique URL’s and how to get noticed amongst hundreds of Linkedin profiles. Sharing her experience about what recruiters look for when they view a Linkedin profile was hugely useful to attendees. You need to make your linkedin profile stand out from the crowd.

So you have your picture, your CV and Linked in profile. What next? How do you convert this to real time conversations, be able to pitch yourself  and grow your network?

How do you pitch yourself in real time? You are in the lift with the new CEO, how do you say “ Hello, I am … this is what I do and I would love to come and speak to you about a new idea I have”.

GSB Comms, experts in presentation skills,  returned to give top skills in meeting new people, how to introduce yourself, pitch yourself and communicate that all essential elevator pitch in 15 seconds.  Richard and Freddie facilitated attendees giving top tips on body language, communication skills and how to make an impact when meeting new people in a networking environment. Everyone loved the role play in the safe environment of the Syzygy offices. Richard challenged us to communicate key aspects of who we are and what we do within 45 seconds.

Top Tips & Learnings:

How to write an outstanding CV from Maarit Lilley:

The Do’s

  • Be precise about the job you do and for how long you’ve been doing it.
  • Be clear about which sectors you’ve worked in and your experience.
  • Be concise.
  • Keep your introduction profile up to 5 sentences only.
  • List your key skills – up to 5 or 6, pinpoint your achievements and be bold.
    – Say what you worked on, how you got that skill, how you applied and what the great outcome is.
  • Claim your achievements and name drop well-known brands where you can.
    E.g. led a team across international markets, dealt with financial budgets.
  • You are not obliged to include age, marital status, kids or your nationality.
  • Claim your positive outcomes and how you met your targets.
  • Add in  just a few interests to show more of your personality.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t waffle, use long sentences, repeat yourself or use clichés.
  • Look out for typos and beware of using industry jargon and acronyms.
  • Avoid using the word ‘passion’ – passion belongs in the bedroom. Try using words such as deeply committed, enthusiastic.
  • Don’t let your CV be longer than 2 pages.

How to make your LinkedIn stand out for recruiters from Dani Barrett:

  • Keeping your profile up to date is essential, even if it’s as small as moving location.
  • When you’ve moved jobs, put the end date on your profile and add in your bio that you’re looking for opportunities.
  • When you’ve been promoted in the same role – always give a snapshot of what you’re doing now, and how it was different then before.
  • Create a customize URL – this looks better and cleaner when added to your CV.
  • Always put information under your job title – approx. 3-5 bullet points that are the most relevant, especially when you’ve had a promotion.
  • Once a week, start showing activity on LinkedIn. Share, like or comment on something you find interesting, this is the start of creating new networking processes – as your reach on LinkedIn can be greater then any other platform.
  • Don’t be scared to post and share your accomplishments and self-promote in an authentic manner – e.g. either a project you worked on, or thanking others for their contributions. Try and get into the habit of doing it once a month, or more if possible.
  • Use the promotions feature on LinkedIn, to let recruiters know you’re interested in a new role. Don’t worry, this won’t show up as visible to connections in your existing company.

How to sell yourself or build your own narrative from GSB comms:

  • Remember we think and remember things in a world of pictures.
    So when you’re explaining what your job role, make sure you’re describing rather then explaining. The stuff that sticks is often the description, so work on replacing some of the explanation of your role into a descriptive format.
    One book to read is ‘Made to stick’ by Chip and Dan Heath.
  • When describing what you do, simplify your terminology so that it’s easy to understand from anyone, whether they’re in your industry or not.
    e.g. Example 1 “I’m a merchant marketing manager for online financial payments”
    Instead try using example 2 “I help communicate to businesses how they can start getting paid online, so we can help these businesses grow their sales”.
  • Don’t kill your 15-40 second intro by saying at the end ‘yeah but it’s boring’ or ‘yeah it’s alright’. Don’t play yourself down, make sure you end your introduction on a positive. Otherwise people will disregard you straight away.
  • Body language has a huge impact on your passion. You don’t have to show your passion in what you do by over explaining or rambling on. In fact, expressing your smile and confidence in what you do in your body language can be more impactful then over-explaining.
  • Portraying energy may not always be how fast and loud you can something. Practice expressing your passion in a calm way – so that what you’re actually saying comes across easily to the receiver.

richard

Thank you to our expert team of communication professionals who gave of their time to DevelopHer so freely. Personally I have learnt how to speak through DevelopHer and this has facilitated me speaking at conferences all over the world.

The event was a huge success and we hope to run it again. We had lots of feedback about how enjoyable the event was and how our community enjoyed being with one another. Thank you to the amazing syzygy team who hosted us with delicious vegetarian and vegan food with lots of dry January soft drinks and wine. Thank you for logistics and general support of DevelopHer, we love to work with Syzygy London.

We would also like to thank Moo.com who gave us 20% off business cards. DevelopHer hope to repeat this successful event for those that didn’t get tickets first time around.

We hope we rebooted and kick started your 2019 and look forward to hearing your stories, please tweet us @developheruk or send us your success stories to hello@developher.org. See you at our next event.

Sally J Freeman

Co-Founder

DevelopHerUK

How to survive and live in high pressure work situations…can we have it all?

-Written by Laura, Anna & Sally, DevelopHer Board Members-

In January, DevelopHer board members Sally, Laura and Anna spoke at a fireside chat as part of GetaHead Wellness Week. The topic was on how to survive and live in high pressure work situations…and can we really have it all?
Although we’re not medical experts, we shared tips and advice on how we personally manage stress.

1fbe8fa8-2d62-4bea-828c-6c47b10cf5b1.JPG

Below are the highlights of what we spoke about it:

What is pressure and stress?

It’s all about how you respond under the constraint of certain circumstances. It might be how you respond and manage yourself in either a work context or personal context. Sometime the urgency of this situation can create strong attention or distress on yourself.

Stress can be an emotional, mental, physical strain or tension based on how you react to a demanding situation.

What does it mean to have it all?

  • Understand and identify what ‘having it all’ means to you. Having it all can depend on your where you are in your life and what is important to you at the time:
    • Based on the Bravest Path Brene Brown coaching programme that Laura and Anna joined, we learnt that’ having it all’ refers to achieving what our values in life are. A value is a way of being or believing what’s most most important to you. Knowing what your 5 values are, can help you live your life focusing on achieving your values. By achieving your values, you can live a more meaningful live. So if ‘having it all’ connects back to achieving your 5 values in life – then yes you can have it all.

What does stress feel like to you?

When noticing stress, the three of us get the following symptoms:

  • Weight and strain on my shoulders (Laura)
  • Stress-eating on sugary snacks or caffeine related (Laura & Sally)
  • Lack of clarity – can’t think straight (Laura)
  • Over-working and lack of attention to other people or activities (Laura)
  • Short fused – things get to me quickly (Laura)
  • Inability to sleep (Anna & Sally)
  • Inability to settle down – feeling weird when you have a few hours of quiet (Anna)
  • Loss of appetite (Anna)
  • Need for lots of sensory stimulation such as music (Anna)
  • Back pain (Sally and Laura)
  • Feeling like I have FOMO (Sally)
  • Rumination when I cannot resolve something – think of it over and over again

Laura mentioned that it’s important to notice these elements before you get burnout as she often notices different symptoms when facing burnout such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Unable to sleep
  • Change in mood, typically lack sense of energy/happiness
  • Losing confidence in my capabilities

DevelopHer Wellness event

How do you manage stress?

    • Identify which situations create the most stress to you, and how you respond to them. Think about tracking what causes you to be stressed or what makes you feel the tension when you’re under pressure. Knowing your own symptoms and when it happens, can help you think about the small changes you can look to implement to help manage it.
    • Establish boundaries on what you take on, how you respond to
      people/friends and saying ‘no’.

      • Anna – when working with other time zones: edit your calendar so people can’t book in meetings past 5:30pm. Only join late meetings if it’s an absolute priority.
      • Anna/Laura – I never do work on the weekend or at home. I try to keep it to the office so that when I get home, I can focus on other things. This also helps condition me to not think about work at home too.
      • Laura – Set time for yourself, even if it means saying no to a couple of social events! Ensure you take time to re-charge your batteries without other people being around you.
    • Take time to recharge – and incorporate into a routine. Practice and find out what allows you re-charge yourself.
      • Exercising, releasing natural endorphins
        • Anna –  I’m goal-oriented so setting  goals so that I have to exercise – half marathons and triathlons to work towards – means you need to exercise every week to get there
        • Laura – I try to set 20 mins three-four times a week to at a home HIIT session. I also go to dance once a week even if its a busy period. Make sure you exercise in a way that makes you happy and that will motivate you to do it again! I’m not a gym person, so I don’t kid myself!
        • Sally – I love dancing, swimming & pilates. I also make morning walks on the weekend with my dad  into a consistent routine.
      • Meditate and learn to be calm – e.g. using headspace app is a great way to start practicing mindfulness.
      • Every morning I listen to a podcast whilst I get ready for work (Laura)
        • I also love Oprahs supersoul conversations  and masterclasses podcasts, and getting curious with JVN (Sally).
      • Try and create an ‘artist date’ for yourself once a month or week. An artist date is solo adventure that I fully dedicate myself into for 2–3 hours e.g. going for a walk, reading a book, attending a class (Laura)
        • Sally loves the quote “time spent without purpose” by Brene Brown, give yourself space.
      • Do something that makes you feel good and energises you – Sally loves singing in groups
  • Maintain a healthy diet
      • Laura  – When I’m stressed I normally reach for high sugared snacks and caffeine based products. However it makes me feel quite low in energy and I lose control of when to stop. I try and food prep on Sundays to avoid going down the slippery slope during the week.
      • Anna – I try to eat what I want but in smaller portions, try not to be too restrictive so that I don’t think about eating – e.g. big lunch, very small dinner
      • Sally – I’m a fish eating vegetarian. I have always eaten healthy. I don’t drink much and don’t do drugs.
  • Keeping organised
      • Sally – I use a table diary and make lists. I also plan my day, the day before so I don’t wake up in a panic! Give yourself time to process.
      • Anna – Give yourself realistic deadlines, then add a few working days to when you think you can actually deliver something – its gives you less pressure.
      • Laura – Alongside to-do lists, I block out time in my calendar on individual tasks that I want to focus on – whether it’s for high priority tasks or self development, try and block it as a meeting in your diary.
      • Laura – I also colour coordinate my calendar, anything work or meeting related I colour it red. Anything personal that is time for myself, colour it green (even if its spending time to go for lunch or seeing friends). I try and make sure if my calendar is red, that I’ve put some green in there too to balance it out.
  • Letting go of your perfectionism
      • Laura – Avoid putting on self pressure by being too much of a perfectionism. Take 1-2 small steps each week on making changes e.g. challenge yourself to give more liberty to people working on projects. Or try doing a project in a different way then your normal tactics, to challenge how you work on something.
      • Anna – be kind to your self
      • Anna – give realistic deadlines – add a few working days to when you think you can actually deliver something – gives you less pressure to be stressed out on tight deadlines.
      • Sally – be prepared to be uncool – cut loose
  • Practicing gratitude

    • Anna – Celebrate the small things in life too
    • Anna – Be glad about friends, and speak to them when needed
    • Laura – Make sure you spend time to celebrate your hard work without moving on to the next task too quickly. Find a way to do this, whether it be updating your CV, sending thank you notes or taking the time in your day to say ‘that was pretty good, well done’.
    • Laura – remember to be thankful to those who helped you and say it out loud. If you’re ever feeling burnout, I like to use positive cognitive therapy which was suggested to me by a friend. This involves writing the 10 things that I’m grateful on a piece of morning, and read through it every morning and every night.d3ea2a98-5c71-4f57-9a66-ff3dc76e8d89.JPG

Our Reading List

Here is also our suggested reading list which might also help you manage your own stress:

  1. Seven Habits of Highly effective people – Stephen R Covey
  2. The road less travelled by M Scott Peck
  3. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  4. Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown
  5. Poems for Grown Women
  6. How to own the room by Viv Groskop
  7. Thrive by Arianna Huffington

 

Networking event: The Good, the Bad & the Breakthrough

-Written by Laura, DevelopHer Co-Founder –

The DevelopHer team held our annual yuletide social event hosted at Syzygy and sponsored by PayPal UK with PayPal Unity in November.

The event was a great way to get our community together, and make new connections for the new year – as we celebrated our key achievements from 2018.

To kick off the event, we also had three leaders in the tech and digital industry, including Angelie Panteli, CFO at LendInvest, Rachelle Denton, Co-Found of Storm Collective and Ita Murphy, CEO of Syzygy.  These ladies shared their experiences on the challenges they faced, and their top tips on how they found their break through moments in their careers. For those who weren’t able to make the event, we’re sharing the top tips we learnt from the event below!

25

speakers

Angelie Panteli, CFO of LendInvest talked about her experience in tech startups: and how you can be faced with opportunities that can be a sink or swim situation, and how you need to be able to take decisions and execute on them.
Her top tips for working in tech include:

  • being open;
  • remembering who you are & why you’re there
  • having self confidence;
  • knowing if it’s scary – it’s definitely worth your time;
  • find ways on how you can make your boss’s job easier

Angeleie

Ita Murphy, CEO of Syzygy highlighted the importance of communicating your ambition and defining your own brand. As women, we are conditioned not to be “pushy.” Practice it and pretend you know what you’re doing – your future self is watching.

“When you’ve done something – own it.” Ita reminded us all that no one is a mind reader. You have to tell people about your achievements and not to be shy about it.

Her advice also included that it’s also your responsibility to define your own brand. What is the one word sentence definition that you want to be known for? Then say it and act it out – and it will shape other people’s opinions of you.

ita

Rachelle Denton, Co-Founder of Storm Collective, discussed the importance of mentoring and how your mentor can be an honesty mirror for you, helping you figure out what you want and keeping you accountable. Look for mentors in people who do things that inspire you. The best feedback is not always “you did great!” – it’s the scary feedback that helps you grow the most.

Rachelle also talked about the importance of ‘saying yes’. “Remember: every time you say yes, you’re saying no to other things. If you’re a person that always says yes, remember the things you are saying no to – and vice versa.”

Another top tip Rachelle gave was to think about writing your LinkedIn profile or CV as if you were a different person other then yourself, and how you’ll read it if you were a recruiter.

tips add salt

Ita also provided a great framework on how to deal with difficult conversation,
“Do a CISA”

  • C for common ground – agree with them;
  • I for identify issue – ‘when you spoke to me like…’,
  • S for state ‘it made me feel…’,
  • A for alternative – ask for alternative ‘next time, please…’ 

We just want to say a huge thank you to Syzygy, PayPal and everyone who came to our xmas event. For those interested in future events with DevelopHer, make sure you sign up to our mailing list to hear the latest monthly events.

 

 

 

Your Bravest Year Coaching 2018

-Written by Laura Chung, Founding Member of DevelopHer –

As we come towards the end of 2018, the DevelopHer team have been reflecting on some of the amazing work we’ve done this year. One highlight (out of many!) for us included launching our Coaching Programme.

In March, DevelopHer & The Bravest Path came together to provide our community a 6-month coaching programme to live their ‘bravest self’ in 2018. In total, 18 participants out of a hundred applicants were selected to take part, to receive a combination of group and one-to-one coaching sessions on the ground-breaking research of Dr Brené Brown.

The program was designed to enable women to take steps to realise their aspirations and feel brave. Over the 6 months each participant was coached on the following topics:

  1. Personal Values
  2. How to be authentic and create connected relationships
  3. Building a more resilient and joyful you
  4. Overcoming perfectionism & practising self comparison
  5. Daring Greatly and Living BIG.

“This is a fantastic coaching program. They’ve helped me find myself, my values in turn truly live to my capabilities. I’ve also met a fantastic group of amazing and inspiring women in the industry, who I’m lucky enough to call my friends now.”
Omi Ducat, Coachee

developher4

The Results:

As the 6-month coaching program came to and end in July, DevelopHer hosted a ‘Be Brave’ speakeasy sponsored by TransferWise, where each participant gave a 2 minute overview on what they learnt and what this journey meant to them infront of family, friends and the DevelopHer community. We also had Flora Coleman, Head of Government Relations at Transfer wise share her experience on finding a mentor, and how it was valuable to her.

After the event, we heard back from our participants and found that the coaching programme was able to provide a valuable support mechanism and give the ladies the opportunity to progress their career goals, feel more confident and make braver decisions.

  • 100% of participants were either extremely satisfied (71%) or satisifed (29%) with the program
  • 100% of participants believed they have now made braver decisions on a regular basis since starting the program
  • 94% of participants feel significantly more confident since starting the program
  • 94% of women believed this program helped progress their career goals
  • 24% of participants had received a promotion since starting program
  • 35% of participants had received a job offer or changed jobs since starting the program

“This coaching programme has had a huge impact on my life, and everyone deserves to know and benefit from Brené Brown’s powerful research. If you are debating whether to sign up and the thought of living bravely makes you nervous – this programme is what you need! Take a leap of faith, believe in yourself and the rest will follow. 
Phoebe Ashworth, Coachee

We are hugely thank you to all the ladies who were brave enough to apply for the programme and made themselves accountable of taking risks throughout the journey. A big thank you to Bravest Path for partnering with us to give our ladies a great coaching experience. And finally thank you to Transferwise for sponsoring the celebration speakeasy, Syzygy and Sprinklr for sponsoring the coaching meet up events and Qubit for sponsoring our kick off event.

developher1

Considering if coaching is for you?

We asked Bethan Davies, our Bravest Path Coach in the DevelopHer Coaching Programme to give a few tips on whether coaching is right for your personal or career development.

What is coaching and how does it differ to mentoring?

Firstly, be clear if it’s a coach or a mentor you need.

Coaching differs to mentoring in that coaches do not offer advice or opinion. They trust that you are the expert on you, and by having a supportive and challenging partner you can co-design the best solution that will be the most effective and sustainable.
Mentoring is a relationship where often someone shares the benefit of their learning, and ultimately may advise you on what you should or could do. Mentoring can be very useful depending on the timing of your career, but may not always affect behavioural change and can create dependency on others. Coaches help people to think for themselves, by giving them a safe space and time to explore an issue, where the quality of their questions help challenge, reframe and help them form and take tangible actions on the output of thought. It builds courage, as the coachee develops self-trust to listen to themselves

What is the top tip you would give to someone looking for a coach?

When looking for a coach its important to try a few out to make sure you get the best “fit” for you. Coaching is like dating – you need to make sure the chemistry is right!

Request testimonials, and examples of where your coach has helped someone achieve their targets – credible coaches should be able to provide these and contacts to speak with further.

To ensure your success, take some time to reflect on what you would like to be different at the end of the coaching process, where are you now and how will you know when you’ve reached your goal? What does success look, feel or sound like to you? Coaching is not a cosy tea and chat, its an action and outcome orientated process where progress can be measured against your goals, and a coach provides the accountability to maximise your chances of making it happen.

What qualities do you feel people should look for when identifying the right coach for them?

Trust is critical. You need to feel safe and supported by your coach. They should challenge and provoke you. A little discomfort can be useful, as a skilled coach should be pushing the limits of your comfort zone and encouraging you to step into a place where true growth happens.  Someone that listens beneath the surface, to not only what you are saying, but what you are not saying is important. Your coach doesn’t need to be an expert in your industry or area, in fact often the best coaches have little to no knowledge about the subject, as it enables them to be truly unbiased and curious.

In order to get the most out of coaching;

  • Bring your most important topics and be clear on the outcomes you want
  • Be prepared to be fully open and honest with yourself and your coach
  • Allow time immediately before and after the coaching session to mentally prepare and reflect
  • Challenge yourself and be brave!
Coaching has the power to facilitate deep behavioural change, and if the motivation is there, can be a powerful and transformational experience to achieve the results you want.
developher5

 

You can also read some of the personal journeys our coachees blogged during the 6 months for inspiration on whether coaching is for you:

 

What’s on – International Women’s Day Events 2018

Today is International Women’s Day, a day commemorating the movement for women’s rights and celebrating the achievements of women globally. 

‘Why only one day, or, is it only for women?’ you might ask.  Our view, as a community who believe in diversity and inclusion, is that it’s an opportunity for everyone to reflect on gender-based rights, past and present, and join in the conversation with a view to improving the future for all.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some event ideas below. The UN sum up the history of the day nicely here and you can follow on social with #IWD2018.

 

IWD London Event Guide – Thursday & Coming up:

(For more locations see the InternationalWomensDay.com Guide)
Tonight – Thursday (IWD)

#GirlBoss  – International Women’s Day with Melissa Hemsley, Mel Wells & Nicky Clinch
7.30pm @Planet Organic (£5)

City Of London’s International Women’s Day 2018 4.30pm-9pm (FREE)

Women of Wearables: Women in Hardware 6.30-9.30pm (FREE)

Comedy Night- International Women’s Day, 8:30pm (FREE)

#PressforProgress Event by Access VFX  at The Mill (FREE);
Featuring one of our DevelopHer mentors and speakers, Harriet Minter

 

Friday 9th March:

Girls Skate Night @ House of Vans   6pm (FREE)
A night of skating and yoga. Finishing with a documentary screening

WOW: Women of the World Festival @ Southbank. **ALL WEEKEND** – (Prices & day passes vary) (Child-friendly)
A brilliant day out (or weekend) at Southbank, with a jam-packed schedule throughout. Immerse yourself in talks, activities, the marketplace, and shows within the festival, and hear from a global array of speakers and activists. From in-depth discussions on socio-political topics to performing arts, installations, and comedy. Sunday night features Sandi Toksvig in an orchestra backed comedy show.  Full brochure here

 

Saturday 10th March:

Women in engineering and manufacturing. (FREE) (Child-friendly)
An opportunity to meet women in the industry and discuss STEM careers at all levels, career changes into STEM, and apprenticeships.

Women in Focus Festival from 11:00 (FREE) Saturday and Sunday
Performances, talks, workshops, discussions and film screeings

 

15th March:

Art of Consent @ Richmix (£10+)
As recommended by our friends at The Great Initiative
Ongoing:

HeForShe at VAULT festival. Until March 18th, prices vary.

If you have any events you’d like to see here, please message emily@developHer.org with the details.

The Bravest Path x DevelopHer Workshop Vulnerability and storytelling brene brown

Bravery through Vulnerability: A recap of our workshop

Guest blog written by Bethan Davies, The Bravest Path

Last Saturday over 60 members of the DevelopHer community joined us at Qubit in Covent Garden to explore Dr Brené Brown’s research into vulnerability and to consider this question – where do I want to show up, be seen and live brave?

The content was taken from our workshops The Daring WayTM and Rising StrongTM and focused on vulnerability, defined as risk, uncertainty and emotional exposure. The media bombards us daily with messages that suggest that vulnerability is something to avoid – even to be ashamed of – but I’m yet to meet anyone who lives a life without these three aspects.

The paradox is that when we see vulnerability in others, we are often inspired. Yet we feel ashamed when we recognise it in ourselves. It is also one of the first things we will look for when we meet someone, yet the last thing we want anyone to identify in ourselves.

Brené’s research includes over 13,000 individual examples of vulnerability, and each one is an act of courage, not weakness – such as starting your own business, expressing an unpopular opinion, falling in love, saying no, or having a difficult conversation.

Vulnerability is courage, not weakness. And on Saturday, members of the DevelopHer community courageously leant into the discomfort of uncertainty and explored what living brave means to them.
We looked at the 4 commonly held myths of vulnerability;

Myth #1: Vulnerability is a weakness.
Dr Brené Brown’s research includes over 13,000 examples of vulnerability and not one was an act of weakness. Every example of vulnerability was an act of courage.

Myth #2: I can opt out of vulnerability.
To be alive is to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure – and these are present in our lives whether we like it or not.

Myth #3: Vulnerability is oversharing.
Boundaries are key! Vulnerability is sharing with those who have earned the right to hear your story. It’s not blurting personal details across social media, or “floodlighting”, which means sharing intimate details with someone who you have just met to hotwire connection.

Myth #4: I can go it alone.
We romanticise the idea of individualism, and the fact remains that if we are going to be brave enough to step into the unknown without guarantees, then we will sometimes get knocked down. Vulnerability is about being able to ask for the help to get back up and go again, building resilience. We are neurobiologically hardwired for connection.

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they are never weakness.” – Dr Brené Brown

Photo credit: Lauren Walsh. Thank you Lauren for taking pictures of the workshop. Check out Lauren’s website here.

The second half of the workshop focused on how we often hold back from doing something because of a fear of judgment from others. We used the metaphor of an arena, and a seating plan to understand whose opinions really matter to us. What the critics (internal) and people in the cheap seats (external) have to say shouldn’t count. Instead, it’s those sat in our support seats, who know something of what it is to be in our arena and are willing to offer empathy rather than judgement, who really matter. The focus should be on listening to feedback from people who we trust and respect, rather than those who share criticism without being brave themselves.

We finished by looking at the three ways we ‘armour up’ in an effort to protect ourselves from being brave and feeling vulnerable when we are in our arenas.

Perfectionism – Attempting to both be and do things perfectly in the hope of avoiding the judgement of others and feeling not enough in some way.
The difference between perfectionism and healthy striving comes down to one question – who are you doing this for? When driven by what will others think rather than striving for excellence, it can be paralysing and stop us from moving forward.

Foreboding Joy – Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience.
How often do we miss the opportunity to dance in the moment and celebrate success because we are already catastrophising about the future? We shared findings that people who had the most profound capacity for joy were those who practiced gratitude and leaning into the vulnerability of being in the moment.

Numbing – Trying to take the edge off the feeling of discomfort from risk, uncertainty and emotional exposure.
We frequently try to numb through eating, working, sex, drugs, alcohol, so we can avoid leaning into the feelings of discomfort to move forward.

The day also helped raise awareness of the coaching and development programme The Bravest Path are running in partnership with DevelopHer. The successful applicants will be going far deeper into these concepts and the wider research as part of their group work and individual coaching. The program culminates in a Courage Speakeasy in July where participants will share their journey, their brave actions and what they have learnt with the rest of the DevelopHer community.

There are only 15 spaces and applications end this Thursday 1st March 2018 – if you are interested please fill out the application form here and attach your application documents! Application deadline is Thursday, 1st March 2018.

apply-now

This programme will help you:

  • take steps to realise your aspirations and make changes in your life
  • feel braver and more confident
  • have greater clarity on your purpose and areas that make your life meaningful
  • act authentically in a way that’s consistent with your values
  • understand whose opinion really matters to you, and let go of pleasing others
  • have a greater self-awareness of what holds you back and what moves you forward
  • feel more connected to a network of other brave women within DevelopHer

Read more about the coaching programme in detail here.

A huge thank you to DevelopHer for welcoming us so warmly to your community, Qubit for their generous hosting, and all the participants, it was a pleasure and privilege to work with you.

Bethan Davies at the DevelopHer x The Bravest Path workshop

Bethan is the co-founder of The Bravest Path, a coaching and facilitation organisation helping individuals, teams and organisations develop greater courage, compassion and connection. www.thebravestpath.com

Photo credit: Lauren Walsh.

Make 2018 Your Bravest Year Yet!

-Written by Anna Abrell, Board Member of DevelopHer –

Interested in overcoming fears, challenges and making this year your bravest year yet?

Whether you’re looking at making that next career progression, or you’re keen to try something new – sometimes a bit of courage and support is what will help us over the finish line!

At DevelopHer, we excited to share with you our latest announcement in partnership with The Bravest Path. We’re are offering an exclusive 6-month coaching programme to challenge and support members of our community to be ‘your bravest self’ in 2018. The program will culminate in sharing your stories of courage to the DevelopHer community of where you have shown up, be seen and lived bravely in 2018.

We’ll select 12 applicants to experience the Daring Way TM development based on the ground-breaking research of Dr Brené Brown with 4 online development sessions and 4 one-to-one Skype coaching sessions. Through the programme, you can expect a journey that will help you come away with a greater understanding of yourself, so you can start living brave and taking action towards a more fulfilled, joyful and connected life.

To apply, please fill out the application form here and attach your CV and application documents! Application deadline is Thursday, 1st March 2018.

apply-now

This programme will help you:

  • take steps to realise your aspirations and make changes in your life
  • feel braver and more confident
  • have greater clarity on your purpose and areas that make your life meaningful
  • act authentically in a way that’s consistent with your values
  • understand whose opinion really matters to you, and let go of pleasing others
  • have a greater self-awareness of what holds you back and what moves you forward
  • feel more connected to a network of other brave women within DevelopHer

Read more about the coaching programme in detail here.