I had just given a 3-minute intro on myself and my field of work—no small feat. I mean, few actually know what human change & communication is, so to explain it in a couple of minutes was something to be proud of.
Prior to my speech, I felt empowered. I was sitting at a table surrounded by supportive professionals at a Women in Leadership Luncheon. My table-mates seemed genuinely excited to hear what I was about to say.
At the podium, I felt confident. The speech was well-prepared. I used relatable examples. Scanning the room I saw engagement. Even heard chuckles at my jokes. Things were going well.
Returning to my seat I received ‘attagirl and nice job. (It’s an empowerment group, after all.) But then the mean girl started in with her feedback. Should have. Could have. Blah, blah, blah.
She means well. She’s trying to help me improve. Oh, who am I kidding? She’s a bitch. Her name is Inner Critic. And she can be really mean.
I.C. started hanging around after a series of not-so-small events. Divorce. Move. Culture shock. Career change. She easily made herself at home in the midst of all that turmoil. But she wasn’t contributing, so I kicked her out. Again and again. Again yesterday. Again today.
Forget fear of public speaking. Talking about how software changes might impact a workforce is easy. Changing your own negative patterns is hard. Do it anyways.
Shannon Vasko is a natural-born planner with a passion for strategy and integrated communications. © MI Compass Services