Don’t settle for just any seat at the table. Build your own table!
To quote the words of Shirley Chrisholm, the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress in 1968, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.”
In a world where the status quo still seems to have the upper hand, women categorically continue to be edged out of board rooms, executive meetings, and other life situations which would greatly benefit from their unique voices and positions of influence.
Be Bold and Fearless
In order to be heard, a certain boldness needs to happen, and the idea is to not only win a seat at the table, but to build our own tables. We as women continue to make strides toward equality, both in society and in the corporate world. Women at the forefront of this movement don’t just ask to be included, they forge their own way. Blaze their own trails.
That takes guts. But anyone can do it. These bold women also make a point of reminding other women that they too have the power to make a difference. Just remember to be your authentic self – nothing is more powerful than that.
Stop thinking about the “What If’s” and “What will this person think?” Such thought patterns only take you down the wrong path. Bold women don’t allow themselves to think that way. But it’s one thing to say you’re going to do it, it’s quite another to actually follow through in carving your own path.
Find A Need, and Fill It
If you think about it enough, we can all come up with several examples of some good or service that was lacking in our lives. Maybe it is that one type of clothing you desire that you cannot find anywhere, or some service or device that would make your life easier, and no one seems to offer it.
If you are passionate enough about needing this in your life, make or do it yourself.
Play to Your Strengths
Seems like a no-brainer, right? But again, easier said than done. The trick is to pair your strengths with the need you have identified. The hang up most people have is how to integrate their strengths with that need. Instead of considering just one of your skills and how to use it to your advantage, think about how multiple strengths or passions can play a part. Consider your gifts, your talents, your personality type, work ethic, creativity, etc.
Identify what makes you different. If this is a sore spot for you, look for ways to turn that attitude around to something more positive. Look at your differences as something to celebrate, rather than to hide or be concerned about how other people will view you. Seek out those who recognize your uniqueness as a strength, rather than a weakness – people that make you hopeful. When you bring confidence and passion to the table, people will listen.
We are often bolder and more confident when we play to our strengths. And once you begin to identify where you can direct your passion and talent, people will get on board. And boom, your seat at the table has been created.