Rebel Podcast: Life and Work on Your Terms

RHR 142: I Wish I'd Known This: 6 Career-Accelerating Secrets for Women Leaders with Brenda Wensil and Kathryn Heath

March 08, 2023 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy Season 3 Episode 142
RHR 142: I Wish I'd Known This: 6 Career-Accelerating Secrets for Women Leaders with Brenda Wensil and Kathryn Heath
Rebel Podcast: Life and Work on Your Terms
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Rebel Podcast: Life and Work on Your Terms
RHR 142: I Wish I'd Known This: 6 Career-Accelerating Secrets for Women Leaders with Brenda Wensil and Kathryn Heath
Mar 08, 2023 Season 3 Episode 142
Kyle Roed, The HR Guy

I Wish I’d Known This: 6 Career-Accelerating Secrets for Women Leaders (Berrett-Koehler) is a roadmap for success to guide any and every woman on her career journey. Whether a seasoned veteran who is feeling “stuck,” or a graduate just stepping into the workforce, this comprehensive resource is packed with compelling stories and tried-and-true strategies that provide women with the skill set to accelerate through obstacles along their leadership paths. In this indispensable guide, authors and executive coaches Brenda Wensil and Kathryn Heath of executive coaching firm Bravanti (formerly with Flynn Heath Holt) leverage their decades of
experience to provide a comprehensive accounting of the six blind spots that derail women’s careers and the strategies that set them on the path for an impactful, sustainable career.

These seasoned leadership experts have spent decades coaching more than 800 women and working with women executives, middle managers, and professionals across industries and age groups. Through their coaching, assessments, leadership and organizational development work at Bravanti, Brenda and Kathryn have amassed a treasure trove of data and case studies that have informed their keen insights into what works for women’s career advancement and the forces that delay or destroy it. Coupled with the data gleaned from coaching hundreds of women and responses from 4,000, 360-degree interviews, these renowned leadership experts have become
the go-to experts for executive coaching, especially for women, both in the US and abroad.

The authors emphasize the professional blind spots that women are prone to missing. These obstacles, they point out, can minimize career potential, impact, and advancement. The result is that some women end up drifting instead of driving through their careers, going it alone instead of building a posse, and leaving their “reputationality” (that special something we are known for) to chance.

In I Wish I’d Known This, Brenda and Kathryn outline six challenges women commonly face on their professional journeys and map a way to accelerate through them for higher-impact careers.

Readers will learn how to:
• Set a vision, strategy, and plan for their careers
• Learn who they are, what they offer, and how to tell their stories
• Seek and act on feedback to guide their paths
• Prepare and practice for the best outcomes
• Enlist help and support from others

Effective women leaders inspire innovation, sustain profitability, manage risk, and create environments for inclusion and diversity to increase. Chock full of strategies, stories, and practical skills, this book will hasten a woman's progress and impact as a professional woman and liberate her to excel in her career on her own terms.

https://www.amazon.com/Wish-Id-Known-This-Career-Accelerating-ebook/dp/B09MSNXV1N


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Show Notes Transcript

I Wish I’d Known This: 6 Career-Accelerating Secrets for Women Leaders (Berrett-Koehler) is a roadmap for success to guide any and every woman on her career journey. Whether a seasoned veteran who is feeling “stuck,” or a graduate just stepping into the workforce, this comprehensive resource is packed with compelling stories and tried-and-true strategies that provide women with the skill set to accelerate through obstacles along their leadership paths. In this indispensable guide, authors and executive coaches Brenda Wensil and Kathryn Heath of executive coaching firm Bravanti (formerly with Flynn Heath Holt) leverage their decades of
experience to provide a comprehensive accounting of the six blind spots that derail women’s careers and the strategies that set them on the path for an impactful, sustainable career.

These seasoned leadership experts have spent decades coaching more than 800 women and working with women executives, middle managers, and professionals across industries and age groups. Through their coaching, assessments, leadership and organizational development work at Bravanti, Brenda and Kathryn have amassed a treasure trove of data and case studies that have informed their keen insights into what works for women’s career advancement and the forces that delay or destroy it. Coupled with the data gleaned from coaching hundreds of women and responses from 4,000, 360-degree interviews, these renowned leadership experts have become
the go-to experts for executive coaching, especially for women, both in the US and abroad.

The authors emphasize the professional blind spots that women are prone to missing. These obstacles, they point out, can minimize career potential, impact, and advancement. The result is that some women end up drifting instead of driving through their careers, going it alone instead of building a posse, and leaving their “reputationality” (that special something we are known for) to chance.

In I Wish I’d Known This, Brenda and Kathryn outline six challenges women commonly face on their professional journeys and map a way to accelerate through them for higher-impact careers.

Readers will learn how to:
• Set a vision, strategy, and plan for their careers
• Learn who they are, what they offer, and how to tell their stories
• Seek and act on feedback to guide their paths
• Prepare and practice for the best outcomes
• Enlist help and support from others

Effective women leaders inspire innovation, sustain profitability, manage risk, and create environments for inclusion and diversity to increase. Chock full of strategies, stories, and practical skills, this book will hasten a woman's progress and impact as a professional woman and liberate her to excel in her career on her own terms.

https://www.amazon.com/Wish-Id-Known-This-Career-Accelerating-ebook/dp/B09MSNXV1N


Buzzsprout - Let's get your podcast launched!
Start for FREE

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Support the Show.

Rebel HR is a podcast for HR professionals and leaders of people who are ready to make some disruption in the world of work. Please connect to continue the conversation!

https://twitter.com/rebelhrguy
https://www.facebook.com/rebelhrpodcast
http://www.kyleroed.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-roed/

Brenda Wensil:

If HR professionals could be thinking of women in terms of what's the next opportunity, it may not be vertical. But it could be horizontal in an interesting way to help women get a new experience and expertise on them, which feeds their own belief system that I can learn I can do any of these things is possible that HR professionals could have some magic bear, they can have some real insight that would encourage that kind of movement and learning agility, which we know by the research is one thing that leads to longer term success.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR Podcast, the podcast where we talk to HR innovators about all things people leadership. If you're looking for places to find about new ways to think about the world of work, this is the podcast for you. Please subscribe my favorite podcast listening platform today. And leave us a review revelon Hrm rebels rebel HR listeners, welcome back. Really excited for the show this week. I wish I was recording about five minutes ago because we've already started to talk about some amazing topics. So I'm really excited for the content today. With us today we have Brenda Wenzel and Catherine Heath. They are the authors of the book that just came out recently, I wish I'd known this six career accelerating secrets for women leaders, highlighting the don'ts, as well as the do's for aspiring women leaders in any profession. Welcome to the show. Thank you. Thank you go. Well, first of all, I can already tell this is going to be a wonderful conversation. I'm extremely excited to connect with both of you. I want to start off with a question that I asked almost every author, which is what prompted you to write a book and invest all of the time that it takes to write a book about career accelerating secrets for women leaders.

Brenda Wensil:

Well, it counts. Good question, because this is Katherine's third book. So when we started talking about putting this in book format, she said, Why am why are we doing this, and we both had that conversation. And here's here's our answer to it. And we keep coming back to this over and over again. And it's that we think the world would be a better place if there were more women leaders in it and stronger women leaders with owning their impact. And we're all about helping women get to that point, elevating them so that they move, you know, forward and faster in their careers. So this book came about because in our rear potence, we are executive coaches, we have corporate histories. But this is what we focus on now. And in many of our coaching sessions, we would get to the end of it. And the women we were coaching would say I wish I had I wish I'd known this 10 years ago or five years ago or six months ago. And so it became kind of a natural slogan that we leaned on. And sure enough, it it was the most popular title that we surveyed. But it's it's really about capturing and codifying for all women out there. To have a coach kind of on their shoulder, we like to say, because many women don't have access to a coach or they don't have access to great HR people in their organizations, or they or they're working for organizations that don't have HR expertise and other coaches available or advocates available. And in this book, it captures all of that great questions, stories, examples, strategies that you can work on all in one place. And that was really why we did it. We said let's capture all of this in in one place so that all women who choose to read it will have kind of a personal coach in their intimate pocket.

Kathryn Heath:

Another thing I would add to that is that we saw, as Brenda said, these trends, we kept seeing them over and over. I'm a researcher by training. And it was data was just jumping out. And these things were happening over and over again. And when we coded the data, and we thought we got to put it out there, there's just these trends are so huge that we might want women to know them. And they probably are helpful to man too, but we coach women so we know it will help women,

Brenda Wensil:

women of all levels to Katherine and I did the course of all this where we're coaching women of all in all industries and geographies and levels in the organization is, you know, high up as the C suite and so in his in as far south as the mid level manager, so it's really applicable to any stage of a career and any level of a career.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, I think, you know, a really important topic and it's one of those, you know, in my seat as a as an HR professional, you know, a lot of times we talk about this, you know, and we you know, yeah, we want more women leaders and but I think a lot of times the the actual, you know, tactical All actions that need to be taken, get lost in the shuffle, right? You know, there's a maybe, you know, we we do a training program, or or we put together an employee resource group, but, you know, really empowering individuals within your organization to ascend, I think is it's different than, you know, some of the lip service that I think many, many HR professionals want to dig into a little bit. So this is not like, this isn't like Katherine, and Brenda's, like opinion. But this is, as you mentioned, there's, there's, there's 1000s of data points here that you went through, to put together this book. So I'm curious to understand, you know, maybe some of those some of those high level trends that you observed, as you really started to dig through what's going on. That is that is preventing women from ascending into leadership and some tactics to help.

Brenda Wensil:

Your team me, Catherine, Erica, here, here's what I would start with this, it's on. Much of it has to do with stories we tell ourselves and in most of the chapters in the book, come back to this idea of how do we view ourselves in the world, and what is our belief system about our capabilities and our trajectory, what we can do versus what we could do or should do. And we limit ourselves and in all six of these secrets, we will find some form of a story or a belief that limits us from moving forward. And, and so that that was a striking piece of our learning. And it's in it's captured in every chapter really we work through, what is the story that we're telling ourselves about our reputation? Or about our ability to take on a new role or take on a new opportunity? And how is that limiting belief impacting us? And what do we do about it? How can we change that that belief system to serve us better said that, that was one thing, and I think that's sort of a thread through all all six chapters?

Kyle Roed:

Interesting, the, the the stories that we tell ourselves that are may or may not be true, right?

Kathryn Heath:

Like, the reason that I didn't get this promotion, or the reason I didn't get on this project, is this. And you got to check it out and find out is that the real reason? Or is there another reason because you're driving blind, if you don't know?

Brenda Wensil:

Or I don't know how many times we've heard women we coached, you know, not even consider going for a promotion or another opportunity. And when we ask why, you know, you'll come up with all kinds of things, you know, I don't have any experience in that area, or I don't think I would be very good at that capacity in that capacity. Or I really like what I'm doing now. I think I'm going to sit tight. I mean, it's it's it's an there's a belief that is, is that is keeping us right where we are. And if you change that belief, there's a lot of possibility, you know, that can happen.

Kyle Roed:

I think that's really fascinating. And there's been some, you know, some articles and some research done on you know, the fact that, you know, in general there's, there's more of a hesitancy in for a woman to apply for a job if she feels like she's unqualified, versus someone like me who's like, I'm totally unqualified, but then I'm gonna apply anyways, it just so happens.

Kathryn Heath:

You nailed that.

Kyle Roed:

Guilty. How do you think I got an HR but Well, that was a, that's a funny story. That's a job that I didn't know, even really know if I was qualified or not. And I got into it, and I realized, well, I'm not I'm not qualified, I'm gonna have to figure out how to do this, and

Brenda Wensil:

you're still doing it, you're still your teacher.

Kyle Roed:

Stay open minded. So I think, you know, this is really interesting, because, you know, as human resources professionals, we're, we're asked to do a lot, right. So we're, you know, make sure payroll systems go on, right, make sure your compliance is good. You know, make sure that your culture is where it needs to be. And oh, by the way, figure out how to go coach people and you know, like, kind of be like this, like this pseudo executive coach for for people and structure these programs. But what happens inevitably, especially for for generalists is, we get asked to do these things, and we don't really know what we're doing. You know, that's just kind of the reality where, you know, I don't have an adult education degree. So, you know, for me to structure learning development program that's effective and, and, and beneficial is difficult. Right. And so for HR professionals that are, you know, understand kind of the importance of this but are wearing a lot of different different hats or not really sure where to start. What guidance or advice would you give them to really kind of move this work forward within their organizations?

Kathryn Heath:

I think it's really that's a strong question multifaceted. But one of the things I think that you could do as an HR person is somebody comes to you for advice, send them out, help them make a list of who else they can go talk to. One of the chapters in the book is, don't try to do a career alone. When I worked in banking, I thought, if I asked for help, as a woman, I would be seen as weak. So I tried to muscle through my career by myself. And what we know is that you need agents, you need amplifiers, you need sponsors, you need mentors, you need feedback givers, you need what we kind of call a board of directors, they don't meet, you don't pay them money, they don't even really know they're on your board of directors. But as you craft your career strategy, you're checking in with them. You're buying them a cup of coffee, I'm thinking about this job, what do you think? Or I'm thinking about this assignment? What do you think they know you they know your strengths, it can be former bosses, former teachers, colleagues, it can be anybody. But you've got to coach people to go get a support system around themselves and try not to do, you don't want to be overly dependent on you, the HR person, so they need to go get a lot of other people to give them information and help them guide themselves. We we think, a career as a business. And you got to be the CEO of your business. And any good business person has got people around them that's giving them advice. So go get advice from people and steer a career.

Brenda Wensil:

The The other thing I would add to that for HR professionals is to get the get the individual coming to them to be thinking about what is their own reputation and brand in the organization. We have a whole chapter devoted to this. It's called reputation ality. And it is about how do you blend what your credentials what your reputation is what you're known for, with who you are as an individual, what your, what your special, unique traits are as a person, because that's a very differentiating characteristic. I'm a marketer by trade and by background. And so I think there's power in in people marketing themselves, I in a genuine way, and this is what we've learned from women, they don't want to go and do this in a clinical corporate kind of way, which is why we we use the word brand less and less, and we use the word reputation. ality more and more because what we find in working with women is they want to be known for something strong and credible, known but not at the expense of their, their, you know who they are and their core beliefs and their attributes as an individual and so boring when you put those together. But what HR people can do is to to ask the questions, you know, what is it that you want to be known for in this organization? And now go ask to kick to catalyst for it, go ask those three or four people on your list of support? What they hear about you? What is their perception? What's the buzz, you know, about you? And then and then come back and do some work and say, what's the what's the is there a gap between what you're hearing and what you want to hear? And if there is, you know, exactly now what to go to work on, call back to your point earlier, we were talking before we started about perception management. And that's a lot of what this is about, an HR people can facilitate that process without having to be the, you know, the knowledge, recipient of all knowledge around all these things it can facilitate women or others in the organization to go learn that on their own in, apply it for themselves.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely, I think that's a really powerful point in in, you both made really, really relevant points that, you know, HR doesn't have to do it all. Right, you know, I think a lot of a lot of times, like I think about my role is more of a connector, you know, and just because of this, the vantage point that I have on an organization, if somebody comes to me looking for support, guidance, feedback, whatever, I probably know somebody else in the organization that skilled at that, yeah, right. Or, or somebody else that maybe has the same challenge and we can, you know, put put two people together that are working on on solving the same problem and come up with, you know, a solution together, you know, things like that. And, you know, at the end of the day, the other thing I'm you know, very aware of is the fact that if if a woman is looking for support in her career, I might not be the best person to help with that purely because I do not possess that trait. I am not an subject matter expert. So, you know, I think sometimes knowing you know, like you said that you don't have to go this alone. It the same thing goes for HR, like you don't have to try to navigate employees who are trying to work through this by yourself. You should, you should be thinking about that. You know who else can help? I want to circle back to this rapid reputation ality which I love. I love that term. I do. I kind of hate the whole, like, personal branding thing. Like, I think it's so overdone and it is like it yeah, it's very, like, it's really like, corporate buzzword II. Right. And that, and it, I think it kind of misses the whole point. And I'm happy to see that, you know, I think we're shifting now towards more of, you know, kind of authenticity and humanity and, you know, being being true to yourself, as opposed to a an on brand version of yourself. But I think this is really interesting. And, you know, this is something that I think inherently in society, men have more leeway. You know, we can be the bull in the china shop, and not be labeled, you know, as, you know, the word that we're all thinking in our heads. But it's not the same for for women. And I think that that is starting to change slowly. But it's still very much exist, at least in Western society. So, you know, I'm curious about is, as you think about reputation, ality, and as you think about, you know, guiding women through this, you know, what, what kind of guidance do you give to somebody who just feels like they are just, they are being asked to be somebody that they're not, or that they are being authentic? And it's just not working? within their organization? How do you how do you work through that? What, you know, what are some tactics to approach that?

Kathryn Heath:

I want to jump in here? Because Brenda came up with this term, but I want to make sure we know what it means its reputation. What are you known for? You know, what did they say about Carl, you know, he's a rebel in whatever it is, that they say about you, as what people say about you when you're not in the room, or when they're talking about you and your career. And then there's that personality of who are you. Like Brendan, I have a colleague who is very warm. She can talk to people on elevators, she connects with them, she is, you know, just the warmest, kindest person. So her brand is that she is a wonderful executive coach, and a skilled facilitator and learning designer, and she's incredibly warm. So those two things make her reputation out it's her personality and her reputation. And she's got to go find out and I think she knows this. That is that what she wants to be known for. And we talk a lot in the book A common mistake we see over and over again, is that people don't get enough feedback. So they just drive off a cliff because nobody told them you know, you're coming across in a way that and you're landing on people that's not helpful and your reputation ality is not good. So you've got to get reputation ality is bound up and getting feedback and it's so important not to drop blonde. And I think I said to you earlier, we're in the, when we do executive coaching, one of the things we do is call people up and say, you know, what, do you think of him? Well, you know, where did you What's he like, and we write it down and give it back to you? Well, we wouldn't need to do that. We'd be out of business. If people were getting feedback along the way. If they were saying just real quick feedback, you know, like oh, that close didn't go so well or once you got the sale yada and got now you know, whatever it's just quick coaching just like you would with somebody's golf swing or backhand you know, just like hold your head still just coaching that helps people be more effective and feedback. You can tell I'm passionate about that.

Brenda Wensil:

But you know, calla think tall so, you know, what you're saying is it's what we say to women is it's the optics are different. It's not fair, but it's it's a real thing right now and 2022 who knew but it is I mean, and so we we have to manage that you know, we wish it was different, but right now, it may be a dynamic where we are I mean, cultures of organizations are all very different but there can be the optic that women just get judged differently or more harshly or more unfairly and and that's that is for a dynamic that we just have to be aware of and manage like Athelstan and say, you know, okay, well, how am I land? Is that what I want? Is that what I want it to be? And then you got to figure out how to fix it. If it's not.

Kyle Roed:

I think it's powerful. And, you know, the reason I call it out is I think HR professionals have some ownership here. You know, as we build our, our, our performance management systems, our talent assessment systems, as we identify internal candidates for promotions, you know, we have to be aware that there is kind of that, that bias that exists. And we, it's, I think it's nice to think like it well, it's not in my organization, but the reality is, it probably is somewhere, you just haven't seen it, or, or you have seen it, and you haven't paid attention to it. But you know, I think that's, I think the ownership, from my standpoint is that's on us, you know, that leader that says, Oh, she's too, too much of a driver, or she's too quiet, you know, those sorts of things. It's, you know, taking a step back and saying, Well, wait a minute, what does that mean? What, what behaviors? Have you observed that make you think that that's a good thing or a bad thing? And, and, and how does that actually impact? You know, that person's continued career promotion, you know, profitability? Have we even asked them what they want to do in their career? Right. The questions like that can can shake some things loose that are pretty important. Absolutely. So I think, you know, I think we've hit on a couple really, really interesting topics, I do want to talk a little bit about maybe some some of the things that that HR directly, you know, kind of gets involved with, which is that which is like women being under representative in the C suite, under hiring, you know, that the demographics that that maybe are leading indicators are lagging indicators that you don't have the right systems in place, as you were doing some of your research and you were writing some of these books, what what were some of the common themes that you found within organizations that cause those organizations to struggle?

Kathryn Heath:

Well, look, there's a lot of research that shows that if you have a pipeline of women, and the reason they're not many at the C suite, is that they call it the broken wrong, it starts happening really early organizations are hiring women at the entry level. But they get passed up for the first promotion pretty quickly. It starts dropping, and it's just like a pipe this leaking hole from highest law. And so you have to figure out how can HR has to figure out how can I make sure these people that are higher in feel motivated and challenged and like there is women will stay, if they feel like that they can get promoted and grow, they will stay. And that's what organizations have got to do HR people, it's got to have policies and systems and cultures that support that.

Brenda Wensil:

We also did some research this past year, Carl, that your listeners might be interested in and it's around this very idea of why why is it that some women get momentum along this what we call the power Allah, you know, you get to a certain point in the career and some women are able to move through that toward the C suite and others don't. And is there something happening there? And one of the things we found is that, you know, there's some real common dynamics with among the women who do succeed and do who do get there. And we found it's things like, you know, tenacity, and, and being, and being lifelong learners and things like that. But the other thing we saw is that more than three quarters of the women that we talked with, who had been very successful in their chosen careers, is that at some point time, they've made a big leap, they've made a big, they've made a big move, whether that was to a different significant role jump, or they left a corporate role and went to the original function or a field function for a time, or they left a company, you know, and came back. But I say that because if HR professionals could be thinking of women, in terms of what's the next opportunity, it may not be vertical, but it could be horizontal in an interesting way to help women get you know, a new experience and expertise on them, which feeds their own belief system that I can learn I can do any of these things and I sometimes HR people have a line of sight of opportunities that you know, women who had their hands down executing in their current role might not have out. And if they lifted their head up and long enough and failed that opportunity, they also might be doing that limiting belief thing we talked about, which is, I don't know anything about real estate, why would I go move over and take on that opportunity, even though everybody's telling me I should think about it. So it's possible that HR professionals could have some magic bear, they can have some, some real insight that would encourage that kind of movement and learning agility, which we know by the research is one thing that leads to longer term success. So

Kyle Roed:

that's really interesting. It's, you know, it's similar to what we just talked about, which is kind of, you know, not just connection to others, but connections to opportunities,

Brenda Wensil:

right? Yeah. Yes, exactly. Yeah.

Kyle Roed:

Fascinating. The other thing I want to I wanted to ask about this, we won't have time to get through through all this, I'm sure this is going to take too long. But you also have gone through and identified six common career blind spots, and in some ways to overcome them. So I'll leave that teaser there for anybody that's thinking about the book. But I'll just ask the question of those six, what's one of those that you think would be important to highlight to the audience today?

Kathryn Heath:

I think one of the things you've got to do is take the time to go figure out where you are. And that's what what I talked about earlier, you know, what, what are you known for? What, what's feedback on you? A lot of times, we don't ask for feedback, because we don't want to know. So go make a list of seven or eight people. This was a theme that people were dropping blonde, they did not know where they were on their trip, and ask, you know, how am I doing, and then just sit there and be quiet. And let them tell you. And a lot of times you have to email ahead of time and say, Look, I want to talk to you about my career, we'll be thinking about it. Because if you go in and say I want some feedback, though, that's scary to people. So you know, just give me some advice and guidance. And you know, me, because the feedback is such a heavy word. But go have the conversation where the net of it is you figure out where you are your how your thought of, and then you can match that with your goals.

Brenda Wensil:

I already carry ready for mine, you'll hit Brenda. I love Katherine's in. We talked about reputation ality, and I can't say enough about how important that is some of that somewhat, Catherine was just saying, but I'll tell you, there, we did a whole chapter on preparation and practice. And I have to tell you, this one is, in my opinion, if I could say go read, any other chapter might be this one. Because, you know, we watch athletes, and we watch stage performers. And you know, they are relentless at what how they practice their craft, and how they are constantly working on improving that performance. So that when that moment comes, they are on it. And it looks easy when they do it. We love this quote, at the beginning of the chapter, it says amateurs, amateurs work until they can get it right. And professionals work until they cannot get it wrong. And what we know about this with working with women is that when you when you put this kind of focus on preparation and practice, it builds confidence. It builds this absolute knowing of whatever it is your presence, your state, your your content, your point of view. And we dive into this idea of developing a point of view in this because often when we're coaching women, we're like, you know, we find that they lose their voice in large meetings, where we're key key decisions are being talked about and discussed, trade offs are being made. And what we say is, you know, you really have to prepare a point of view, what is your belief about an issue of the business or an aspect of the business and it may or may not be the one that you own? It could be expertise outside of your line of sight, you know, many people many, many feedback reports we get, say, Well Brenda's great ever area, but she doesn't really speak to or know a lot about the rest of the organization. And what we say is, know your craft, but also know how it fits into the ecosystem of the rest of the business. And when you have a voice on that you really come across differently and you feel differently when you're doing it and it has everything to do with how prepared you are. Katherine was coaching someone she was sharing with me that she had a big presentation and they got together and Katherine asked her how it went. She said not not so great. And when asked how did she prepare? She said, Well, you know, we worked hard on getting the PowerPoint together the night before all the details were in place. We've talked about it with other people, but really hid and spent that extra time on what is, what is the story here? How does this best need to be cast for the audience? I'm going into? Who is in the room have, you know, who are how are they going to vote? Where is the? Where is the alternate opinion going to? Or the dissenting view going to come at me? And how am I going to handle that? And so it's just a fascinating thing that we all work on i I'm constantly, every week trying to get better at this and focus on preparation practice, we're never done with it. But I think in my opinion, this is one that can be a game changer for women in their current roles, or in a role that they're that they're looking toward pursuing.

Kyle Roed:

I'm going to use that term alternate opinion. It's very HR appropriate, how we feel about those folks? Well, I just just, I think wonderful content, really appreciate all the work and time that you put into this. You know, I know personally, I'm going to be sharing this with my women's employee resource group. And, and, you know, thinking about ways that I can incorporate this into my my own organization. So I really appreciate you, you putting the work into this. So we are going to shift gears, we're going to go into the rebel HR flash round. So we will go ahead and get started if you're ready. Yes. All right. Here we go. Question number one, where does HR need to rebel?

Kathryn Heath:

Oh, I answered that having been a former HR person is that I feel like HR can be seen on and I go into organizations is the ones that continuum and 10 is very aligned with management, very work and management's agenda. And then the one is very employee centered, working for the employees always had their needs in mind. And I think many HR departments get caught up because that number 10, the management is who pays them and promotes. And however, if you're not employee centered, your you got to, you're not going to be successful. So you've got to be a number one or a number two, I'm not saying be deaf to what management wants. But I do think HR has a unique role to hold a mirror up to management and say, This is what people are saying, speak truth to power. So I think they need to rebel and be more employee centered and listen to management, but factor it in. I love that one.

Kyle Roed:

That's great. I think that you know, that that visual of that 10 point scale, I think is really that's it's so accurate. And, you know, and, and I think a lot of it comes down to that incentive structure, like you mentioned, right? It's, you know, what, what does HR actually incentivize to do to deal with the person that promotes them, wants them to do, right. I mean, that's, that's the real, it takes, it takes somebody to push back against that. But at the end of the day, my my theory is, if you don't do that, you'll they're actually going to do a worse job. Because you have to be the one that speaks truth to power. And sometimes that's uncomfortable for the person that might be promoting you eventually. But if you don't do it, you're gonna do your organization a disservice. So I'm with you, Catherine.

Kathryn Heath:

Okay. And then there's, I can tell you some many stories of organizations that got into trouble because they didn't listen to their employees. So we won't go there, or name names, but they're out there.

Kyle Roed:

They shall remain nameless. All right. Question number two, who should we be listening to?

Kathryn Heath:

I think to the employees, I mean, I was the same point. I mean, I think you know, that we're at full employment, it's hard to recruit people, people, everybody I talked to says, I can't get talent, I got open wrecks. You know, I post a job. And you're not focused on your employees. And, and there's so much out there, people can find out if you're a good organization. So if you're you just got to listen to employees, I think,

Brenda Wensil:

I think to listening to the system, HR has such an important vantage point, you know, they they have an ear to the leadership piece. They have an ear to the employee pieces, like there's a surround sound of what's going on in the organization. And one thing we know is important is this isn't all on women, for example to change. I mean, this book talks about things that are clearly in our control and we can obviously take advantage of that. But we all work in an ecosystem that is driven by various things. And sometimes those of us in that group of colored women or other maybe underrepresented groups can't affect the system that we are living in. But But HR people have an interesting vantage point on that. So if there was a you know, who to listen to maybe what to rebelling out, there's a push pull that can go on in an organization, what we're trying to do is push women to be ready and to be impactful. And, and the organization to pull that expertise up. And so I think HR in this interesting place to help with the poll, and the push that certainly the poll, and so listening to what's going on in that system, and how can you create poll, as I think another way to listen,

Kyle Roed:

that's really well said, and I think, you know, I kind of think about it like this, like, you know, we might not be the ones doing the actual work, but we own the ecosystem, that the work is done with it. Right. You know, that's that's where, you know, that's, that's where I think we have a high level of ownership and accountability, and holding others accountable to that.

Kathryn Heath:

And that ecosystem has norms and mores and unstated written rules. At last. The HR person puts them in the light of day, they're, they're so powerful.

Kyle Roed:

Absolutely. All right, last question. How can our listeners connect with you and get their hands on the book? Brenda, I'ma let you take,

Brenda Wensil:

oh, gosh, well, they can get their hands on the book. I think there's a link in your system call. It's on Amazon. It's called I wish I'd known this by Brenda Wensel and Katherine Heath six accelerating career salary and secrets for women leaders. You can connect with us on LinkedIn, both of us are out there and active and also our company called bro Vonti, which is vonti.com, B R A D A N ti.com. calibre to put that out there. We are a global coaching and leadership firm. We're we're headquartered in Chicago area, but we are all over the place. And we love talking with HR professionals about what what they need to move talent for faster, whether it's leadership, programmatic approaches, or coaching or executive coaching. Either way, so that so you can find us and we'd love to hear from anyone who just wants to connect or talk about challenges and how we can help you.

Kyle Roed:

Perfect and yes, we will have all that information in the show notes, open up your podcast player, check it out. And just really sincerely appreciate the time, Katherine and Brenda, just a wonderful work that you're doing and really appreciate you sharing some of that with our listeners.

Brenda Wensil:

Thank you. Thank you for having us.

Kyle Roed:

Thank you. All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. Big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast. Maybe