Today we wanted to introduce you to the amazingly talented Sarah, an inspiring woman who decided to take action and make changes in her career and life that she would have never thought possible.
Public speaking is something Sarah could never in a million years have imagined she’d be able to enjoy, let alone do. As she progressed her career within the engineering industry, Sarah knew that she needed to start owning her expert and sharing her knowledge, talent and passion with others in her sector, particularly with other rising female leaders.
Sarah’s main challenges before attending Speakeasy were extreme self-doubt, nervousness and a belief that she was totally ill-equipped and unfit to be in the leadership position she had found herself in. Sarah’s activator strength had always loved a challenge, so following in her Dad’s footsteps and choosing to be an engineer seemed like just the challenge for her. Working in a heavily male dominated industry, Sarah has had to face her fair share of setbacks and often found herself playing small at work.
Sarah’s lizard voice, that little voice inside our head that tells us we’re not good enough, was draining her energy and keeping her from fulfilling her full potential. ‘He’ used to tell her that “you’re too young!” or “you’re just not good enough” or “you’re too female and will never be able to become a senior leader”. Sarah couldn’t pick up the phone without ‘him’ telling her that the person on the end of the phone line didn’t reallllly want to speak with her.
Sarah wanted to increase her self-belief, shoo her lizard, conquer her nerves and learn techniques to become more confident in herself and a more engaging public speaker. We caught up with Sarah recently about 1 year after attending Speakeasy with Senior Facilitator & Coach Gemma (Gigi) Cunningham to hear her story and to see how she’s doing. This is her inspirational #inklingstory.
What would you say is the biggest thing you overcame doing Speakeasy and what has/ will this allow you to do now?
Before Speakeasy, I would be completely anxious if I had to speak up in a room of any more than two people. On the program, my facilitator Gigi took the group through a stream of consciousness exercise.
In it I wrote that I wanted to speak at a conference in the next 12 months. Well, less than one year after attending Speakeasy and learning so many fantastic techniques from Gigi and I have spoken at not just one, but three conferences – something that I would never have previously had the confidence to do. And you know what the best thing is, I actually enjoy doing it now!
What were some of your biggest insights from attending Speakeasy?
We kind of get brought up to think you have to keep work and life separate, but what Speakeasy helped me realise is that that is rubbish. I am me and I am going to be me wherever I am. There are things about my personality that have developed through either nature or nurture, that have been holding me back completely unconsciously. I was able to identify some of those things through working with Inkling. If I would have never gone deep and explored those things, I would never have been able to accomplish what I have now.
If you were to recommend Speakeasy to your best friend or colleague, what would you tell them?
Speakeasy was life changing. There are so many new opportunities that are opening up for me that are exciting and juicy and are the things that I want to do because I have found my authentic voice. Working with Inkling has helped me develop greater clarity around what opportunities I want to pursue – and what an amazing gift that is.
Over a year on since Sarah attended Speakeasy and she continues growing from strength to strength. Today, Sarah is leading a team of 8 in the technical engineering space and just recently achieved another huge career milestone when she received her CPEng not long after we spoke with her.
Sarah recognises the importance of having strong female mentors in an industry which is heavily dominated by men, and is now working with her HR team to support her employers graduate intake program which has set a target of 50% female graduates for 2020. She hopes to serve as a role model for more women in engineering, and wants to encourage others to pursue a future in the profession. Sarah’s self-belief has sky-rocketed and she is now finally starting to see in herself for who she truly is: an incredibly talented, smart, compassionate and capable leader.
We developed Speakeasy so that women like Sarah can dramatically increase their confidence and skills, and as a result, speak up with impact, authenticity and ease. In just two days, participants go from rating themselves an average 2 out of 10 in terms of confidence and skills to an average 9 out of 10. We continue to receive unprompted emails from amazing women like Sarah who have done Speakeasy and credit the program for dramatically increasing their career success, self-belief, presence and overall happiness level.
So, how about it? How would your career be different if you weren’t afraid to speak up and speak out? To learn more about Speakeasy, request a brochure or find out when we’ll be in a city near you, click the button below.