The Orthopaedic Specialists’ management team, including Dr. Stacie Grossfeld (orthopedic medical practice owner) Tisha Robison (orthopedic medical practice manager) and Dorothy Cochran (assistant practice manager)) enjoyed participating in a workshop for Louisville, KY-area businesswomen sponsored by PNC and held at the PNC tower downtown. A presentation by Susan Packard was streamed in live to the meeting. Susan discussed her book: New Rules of the Game: 10 Strategies for Women in the Workplace.
Susan Packard has been on the ground floor helping to build powerful media brands including: HBO, CNBC, and HDTV. She is a co-founder of Scripps Networks Interactive and is the former Chief Operating Officer of HDTV. Under Packard’s leadership, HDTV became one of the fastest-growing cable networks in TV history. Packard help build Scripps Networks Interactive into a market value worth over $10 billion. Now Susan works as a writer, speaker and consultant to business women in every stage of life. She serves as mentor and guide, helping women learn how to achieve success at home and at work.
During her presentation, Susan Packard emphasized the point that there is a fundamental difference between men and women and how we communicate, how we do business, and how we interact. And she parallels business with athletics on so many different fronts. Not only does she emphasize the benefits of being an athlete, but she also explains the importance of thinking and acting like a winner.
Gamesmanship, according to Packard, is a key to success. The way you stand, the way you sit, the way you look at people, even the words that you use — all of this is very important on the playing field and at the office. Here are some important takeaways from Susan Packard’s presentation that any women business leaders can use (including orthopedic medical practice managers).
- Be Clear and Concise: Women speak 21,000 words per day and men only speak an average of 7,000. Women are less inclined to “get to the point.” In contrast, men do not like a lot of words. The simpler women can communicate the better. Clarity is key. Make your words pack a punch. Do not speak a blast but speak efficiently.
- Play it Cool: Composure is necessary to win whether you are on the playing field or in the board room. It is a very important trait. It is about how you handle yourself so you can command the room. Women are being watched and evaluated all the time. Expect nonstop scrutiny from all angles.
- Take Care of Yourself: Know how many hours of sleep you need to feel good and think clearly. Make sure you eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and limit alcohol, especially at work events. Massage, yoga and meditation may help relieve stress.
- Play Offense: Score points for your team and be a team player. Ask for and accept opportunities and promotions if you want to advance in your company. Ask and talk in a way that explains how the company (rather than just you alone) will benefit. And negotiate your salary upfront. Only 12% of women do this.
- Practice Artful Assertiveness and Verbal Finesse. It’s important to have backbone without breaking someone’s back; this means communicating directly and honestly with a smile. Learn how to ask for what you need, for yourself, your team, and your company. When you don’t use the right balance of finesse, women are often targeted with certain “b” words – e.g. bossy, bitchy. You need to be strong and use a certain voice but the right level of volume to be heard. Be polite but not painfully polite.
- Know How to Walk Away – The bluff is a strategic process for outsmarting your opponent. Know when to consider this tactic.
- Support your Fan Club: Build a network outside of your office that is encouraging and beneficial.
- Suit Up: Don’t dress provocatively but do dress appropriately for your position.
- Engage in Positive Practices: Emotional maturity, resilience, courage, respect, and inclusiveness.
- Come Prepared: Be ready for whatever the day brings.
Good leaders realize that it isn’t about the job title. Certain traits are common among good leaders including: excellent listening skills, a high level of engagement, and the ability to be fully present.
Don’t forget about the importance of the work/life balance. This includes being able to balance your job with any other responsibilities including caregiving. Many women struggle with feelings of guilt. There are ways to deal with this though including giving priority to your loved ones and accepting caregiving help from others including men interested in being stay at home dads.
In conclusion, Susan Packard emphasizes the importance of coming prepared and being engaged in whatever work that you do. Let people know what you want since people can’t read your mind. And most of all, never give up!