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Imposter Syndrome and the Art of Being Wrong

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Women tend to take fewer risks than men - both in their careers and otherwise. However, that gap in risk-taking can lead to more 'missed chances' for advancement and leadership. Our goal with this presentation is to help women learn to identify opportunities where not taking risks or feeling like an imposter has held them back. To identify 'safe' risk-taking opportunities (like asking questions in a big meeting). To challenge the negative thinking associated with failure, and to learn to reframe as positive growth opportunity. And finally, to learn when to trust your gut and when to let your brain override your instincts. Everyone - especially women - should practice taking safe risks every day to help combat the insidious challenge of imposter syndrome!

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Imposter Syndrome and the Art of Being Wrong

  1. 1. IMPOSTER SYNDROME AND THE ART OF BEING WRONG Women Who Test @ STAREAST 2019
  2. 2. WHY US? Jeanne Riley Melissa Benua @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019
  3. 3. WHY THIS TOPIC? Where are all the women?? @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019
  4. 4. WHY THIS TOPIC? @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019
  5. 5. @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019 "If we don't have the skills to get back up, we may not risk falling." - Brene Browne
  6. 6. WHAT’S THE PROBLEM? @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019 Women take fewer risks than men due to a fear of the repercussions of failure Taking fewer risks holds women back in their careers Being comfortable taking risks and failing is key to moving up
  7. 7. @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019
  8. 8. @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019
  9. 9. WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT?! @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019 ‘real’ vs. ‘perceived’ impacts of risksUnderstand of negative self-talkBe Conscious risk vs. reward tradeoffConsider taking more risks! Get Comfortable
  10. 10. EXERCISE 1 @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019 Take 2 minutes to think about a time when you could have taken a risk, but didn’t (for example, wanted to ask a question but didn’t) Write a reason as to why you think you didn’t take the risk – what did you think was going to happen? Looking back, what do you think would have been the most likely outcome? Best case? Worst case? Share with your neighbor!
  11. 11. RISK THERMOMETER @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019 0: Nothing bad could ever happen 10: I get fired 8: The company loses a lot of money 2: A peer thinks badly of me in the moment 6: My manager thinks badly of me 4: My current task goes badly Which are ‘real’ vs. ‘perceived’ impacts? “Do one thing every day that scares you.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
  12. 12. EXERCISE 2 @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019 Rate your previous situation on the scale from 0-10 What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken in your career and SUCCEEDED at – what number was it? What was the impact? What’s the biggest risk you’ve experienced in your career and FAILED at – what number was it? What was the impact?
  13. 13. REWARD SPECTRUM @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019 0: Nothing 10: I get promoted 8: I get a raise 2: Recognition from a peer 4: Recognition from my manager 6: I get assigned a choice project “If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.” — Rear Admiral Grace Hopper
  14. 14. EXERCISE 3 Examples of negative self-talk: Dwelling on problems instead of solutions Second-guessing a decision Personalizing setbacks or failures Excessive ruminating @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019 Why did I make that decision?What if I look stupid? I’m not good enough What if I fail? Think about a risk you did NOT take– why did you talk yourself out of it? How can you confront your fears?
  15. 15. DECISION MATRIX @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019 Low Risk, High Reward High Risk, High Reward High Risk, Low Reward Low Risk, Low Reward “Security is mostly a superstition. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” — Helen Keller Launching a startup with your own money Shipping untested code to meet a deadline Driving for ‘perfection’ when 80% is good enough Accepting a promotion you are qualified for
  16. 16. EXERCISE 4 @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019 Make a list of your top 5 TRIUMPHS! Which quadrant in the risk/reward matrix did they fall into? Share your topmost triumph with the group.
  17. 17. WHAT ELSE CAN WE DO? @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019 Buddies Sponsors Mentors “Anything that is successful is a series of mistakes.” — Billie Armstrong
  18. 18. KEY TAKEAWAYS @queenofcode + @jeanneriley STAREAST 2019 Find your tribe of trusted people to help you judge risks 01 Identify 'safe' risky opportunities - like asking questions in a big meeting 02 Challenge the negative thinking associated with failure and reframe as positive growth opportunities 03 Learn when to trust your gut and when to override your instincts 04
  19. 19. hub.techwell.com Join me on the TechWell Hub Questions? #stareast_chat @queenofcode + @jeanneriley

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