Career Coaches Share How Black Women Can Level Up Their Careers - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Executive coaching can cost a pretty penny. Nevertheless, it’s worth the investment. Especially when looking to take a career to new heights. At this year’s Women of Power Summit, a record number of black women career coaches will help attendees tap into their power.

These coaches include:

Sherhara Downing, founder of Master Trainer Level Comm L.L.C.

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Lisa Medley, CEO of Lisa Medley Center for Leadership

 

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A. Margot Brisky, Founder of ELDA4U L.L.C.

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Latesha Byrd, Founder of Byrd Career Consulting

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Karen Delk, President and Founder of Davis Delk Consulting L.L.C.

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Here is some sagacious advice from these women as you get ready to prepare to take your career to the next level.

BLACK ENTERPRISE: Being in a room full of powerful executive black women can be a new experience for a lot of women. How can one prepare to engage with other professional women and make lasting connections?

A. Margot Brisky: Can we take a moment to acknowledge that statement? We are going to be “in a room full of powerful executive black women.” We are going to be in the room with leading executives. We are going to be in the room with the decision-makers. If you have not done so you should be preparing your ask and set out to make at least one quality and lasting relationship with someone from the summit. For years, I’ve told my Coaching Partners (clients) to be willing, be accountable, and be distinctive. I remind them that they have in them what they need to become who they are called to be; however, it is essential to keep in mind that there are always others connected to their next level. Examine who is and who needs to be in your accountability circle. While being authentic, show up with intention and connect with people who align well with the vision of your system of support. For generations, women continue to desire to learn from, grow with, and establish quality and authentic relationships with other women.

Lisa Medley: Own your power. You are Women of Power. Each day, before you step into the conference space, spend time with yourself. Reconnect with the energy that prompted your participation and set your intention (e.g., objective) for the day.

What pre-work can women do before they meet with a coach?

Sherhara Downing: Identify exactly where you need help. Ask yourself what specific problem you need to solve in your own business or profession.

Latesha Byrd: It is important to set goals (short-term and long-term) and visualize what success looks like to you so that your coach can help you determine how to turn those goals from the ideation to strategic and execution.

What are some tips that you can offer to help women speak confidently about the work that they do with others?

Karen Delk: To speak confidently involves identifying the two to three areas you want to discuss and anticipate what might be some follow-up questions you will be asked about those areas of expertise. Be ready to share those responses briefly but with complete thoughts. You should be able to explain what you do in two sentences, which means you provide a title, two to three subject titles and end with a metaphor or story that will make you memorable.

Downing: Be specific with what you do and who you do it for. I teach women of color who work full-time jobs how to save money to put into the market so they can save more for retirement.” There’s a lot of networking going on, so to feel confident you should know exactly what you want to say about what you do. Or have three points: I help women save money, pick the right stocks and invest more for retirement. If you are not clear then who you’re talking with won’t be either and that’s what leaves you feeling less confident.

What would you say should be included in women’s achievement strategies as they seek to level up?

Medley: Use the strategy men use. Get clear-sighted about the importance of power and sustain your interest in going after it. –Lisa Medley

Brisky: As someone is mentoring you, you should also be pouring into someone else. Learn to leverage your résumé by using it as a tool to identify your distinctive skills set. Know when to toot your own horn and learn how to request others to toot it for you

Byrd: What should be included in women’s achievement strategies are identified metrics for those strategies that allow you to continuously track feedback/performance at any given time. You can’t track what you don’t measure. It is easy to set a large goal, however, to stay motivated, those goals must be broken down into smaller measures to allow you to keep control of progress and gain some enjoyment or fulfillment as you notice yourself moving closer to achievement.

If you want to level up with the help of our coaches, click here to get your tickets for the summit today.

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Lydia Blanco

Lydia T. Blanco is a proud Afro-Latinx digital-first multimedia journalist with a strong passion for truthful storytelling, photography and creative content strategy.


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