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On Tuesday, November 18, 2015, Dallas SWE met at Olive Garden in Addison, TX and had the opportunity to here from Audrey Selden, Board President of Leadership Women, on a topic very near to our hearts:  A3 – Leadership Communication Formulas for Aspiring, Advancing and Achieving.  Specifically, she spent time leading us through a listening assessment, explained micro-messaging and its effects on productivity, and ended with speed networking.

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Audrey Selden, our wonderful guest speaker!

After filling out the listening assessment Audrey made a point to highlight that having effective listening skills can lead us to achieving our leadership aspirations.  A few key points to becoming an effective listener were to listen with intention, for understanding and with heart.  A good way to practice this, Audrey says, is to paraphrase back the information communicated.

Audrey opened our eyes to the effects of labeling, even the good labels.   Five volunteers were given two minutes to write down ideas on what they would like SWE Dallas to do in 2015….the result, a sheet full of ideas!  They then were each given a label that they were unaware of but the each other and the rest of us could see.  They were asked to repeat the task.  Not a single idea was put on paper in the two minutes.  They even had a “labeled” Leader but the leader felt so much pressure and had no affirmations to her ideas, so she failed to write down her ideas as well.  This showed that focusing on labels removes the focus from the goal and is extremely detrimental to productivity.

(left to right) Britney Caldwell, Zaineb Ahmad, Morgen Schroder, Haley Vingsness, and Shelley Stracener participating in the labeling demonstration.

(left to right) Britney Caldwell, Zaineb Ahmad, Morgen Schroder, Haley Vingsness, and Shelley Stracener participating in the labeling demonstration.

She also talked about positive affirmations and how the small things matter to those who you are working with and for and to those who work for you.  A little note or public praise can go a long way to boosting moral and productivity.

Audrey promotes reading out of your comfort zone to get fun ideas to incorporate into our daily jobs.  She says, “Read everything from Sports Illustrated to National Geographic”.  She uses what’s going on in our daily lives (i.e. The Grammy’s) and incorporates into her job duties (i.e employee recognition and team building activities) to make work fun.

Audrey also brought information about Leadership Women programs, and Nandika D’Souza (Dallas SWE’s VP of Outreach) gave a short summary of her experience with Leadership Texas. Their programs are highly recommended for facilitating interactive learning opportunities in our state and meeting other women in leadership from areas you might not otherwise encounter them.  Check it out!

Also scroll down to our earlier post highlighting upcoming events through the end of the year and in early 2015.  We hope to see you at another event soon!

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