Get in the driver's seat!

Confidence starts with self-acceptance. Guest: Dr. Georgette Zinaty

August 10, 2023 Sandra Bekhor, Practice Management Coach Season 1 Episode 8
Get in the driver's seat!
Confidence starts with self-acceptance. Guest: Dr. Georgette Zinaty
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Effective leadership doesn't happen without confidence. The confidence to use your voice, to ask for what you need, to assert boundaries and to do it with warmth and kindness. So where does that conviction and strength come from? A good starting point is self-acceptance. In this podcast, Georgette and I exchange some entertaining stories about the blocks we have run into as women leaders when it comes to speaking up... and the bold moves we have taken to overcome those issues. 

Dr. Georgette Zinaty is the Executive Vice-President at Corporate Class and Practice Lead for their Diversity and Inclusion leadership training programs. Georgette is a 2x TEDx Speaker. She is the Founder of a non-profit called WHEW! -which stands for Women Helping Empower Women and she published a book on the scarcity of women and diversity in leadership called Why Not YOU? 100% of all the profits go to support her charity! 

To learn more about Dr. Georgette Zinaty, please go to: or

You're listening to Get in the Driver’s Seat! We’re telling stories about leadership moments in small to mid-sized professional practices. I’m your host, Sandra Bekhor, Practice Management Coach for lawyers, architects, consultants and other professionals at Bekhor Management.

0:00 Sandra
Hello and welcome to the podcast! This is 'Get in the driver's seat'. We're telling stories about leadership moments in small to mid-sized professional practices. I'm your host, Sandra Bekhor, Practice Management Coach at Bekhor Management. I'm excited to introduce our guest today, Dr Georgette Zinaty, Executive Vice President at Corporate Class and Practice Lead for their Diversity and Inclusion leadership training programs. Georgette is a two-time Ted X speaker. She is the founder of a not-for-profit called 'WHEW!'. That stands for women helping empower women. And she published a book on the scarcity of women and diversity in leadership called 'Why Not You?'. For the people watching on YouTube, here it is. 100% of all the profits go to support her charity. Welcome Georgette!

1:00 Georgette
Thank you for having me Sandra. It's so nice to see you.

1:04 Sandra
Yeah, you as well, every time. So Georgette and I met through our respective roles at York University's accelerator program for women-led businesses YSpace, called ELLA. And no surprise, every time we get together it's an engaging, exciting conversation about women in leadership. Last time we stumbled on this discussion about women and permission around using their voice. Georgette, I love that you suggested we use that for our podcast.

1:39 Georgette
Well thank you and thanks for being open to the idea.

1:46 Sandra
So instead of you know asking you a bunch of questions, I thought let's just compare notes. Both of us have so much experience in this little micro topic. I just wanted to ask you about your own experiences: where you've run into barriers to using your voice, where you've seen it come up with clients and how you've handled it. And I'll do it too.

2:13 Georgette
I've never been one to be shy to speak out, I will say. But what I've learned is to hone that skill a little bit better. So I could go back in time. But I think you know when I was doing my research around women and the scarcity of women in leadership for my doctorate one of my aha moments, if you will, was my professor, my supervisor, said you should speak to this gentleman. He's doing a lot of work around women in leadership. He was from industry, you know, of Bay Street. So I went to see him and said you know I sort of started drafting a chapter and he said I've read your stuff and uh so here's my advice. "If women want to succeed, keep your mouth shut." I was like "ah". So I politely took that advice and recycled it. I would never tell a woman to do that, to not speak up. What I have learned over time is when to speak and how to own the room doing that. But doing that is actually what we talked about in terms of finding your voice, right. And when someone minimizes it, how to take back the room. So a lot of the training that I do around our women in leadership programs is very much about knowing and owning your space. If someone takes that away from you, how do you take back the room politely? Because often women want to be liked. We all want to be liked, women particularly. We don't want to seem as aggressive. But sort of defining the line between aggressive and assertive. Then coaching people on that in terms of how you do that really well and don't come across as being this like person in a meeting. But you sort of think okay well you know that's good she owned that and she did it in a very smart strategic and polite way. How about you?

3:59 Sandra
Oh yeah I've got stories too. I just want to ask you if we could go a bit deeper there because it's such a great entry point to this topic. Could you tell any kind of a story about where you did feel like the room was taken from you and you took it back?

4:11 Georgette
I could write a book... like another one! So well, I can give you a couple of examples and not that long ago. I would say one was maybe about maybe seven or eight years ago. I was the executive director at the University of Toronto, Scarborough campus, leading the largest campaign in Canadian history. We were at you know a big sort of forum and I was presenting as a member of the senior leadership team. So the person before me was our CEO, a gentleman. Hhe presented on the budget and a kind of vision for the campus. I then presented on our campaign. We were going through all of these things and then we opened it up to questions. So this I'm gonna say, as you can imagine, this is a large forum of alumni donors and it was also live streamed. So the first question from the audience was an older, white gentleman. He said, well what are your qualifications for your position? There was this you know... I could hear people gasping and murmuring. Then, because this was live stream, the chair obviously of the meeting, he said did you just ask her for her CV? So of course my brain kind of went to one direction... and then you know part of what we talk about is leadership presence, when we do training on this. Being able to keep your composure, right? To be able to kind of be authentic, keep your composure. I could have been like, I'm sorry you didn't ask him, right? But I solved it. I said well thank you so much for your question. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I opted to take three to five minutes to talk about how brilliant I was. How I walk on water. How I've changed you know... in every job I've been in kind of overachieved at all these wonderful kind of... you know took departments into different places... I smiled nicely and I said does that answer your question? He said "yeah thanks". I said "oh no thank you for asking!" Then we went onto business. What was interesting about that is you know when my part was done, I kind of handed the clicker over to the vice president of the University and he went "great job". Then I went outside and turned on my phone and it was just blowing up with people saying "you handled that so well!" "Congratulations!" Like you know all these things. I thought you know it's an aha moment for me because it really made me realize how we can manage our reputation and our market value as women in terms of how we react. I could have reacted like "you didn't ask him that". I would have been completely right to have asked that. But I thought, you know, if you're going to give me the floor, I'm going to use it to amplify who I am and thank you for that gift. It's not the first time. I mean there's another time even three years ago. Again you know academic institution. I was in a meeting with five men. We had a significant challenge that we were trying to deal with and as I said earlier, I sort of learned to kind of listen a little bit and think and then kind of not be the first to speak. So after sort of listening to all the different perspectives, I said "well you know here's what I'm hearing you say". "You sort of said this and this", I said to one of them: "Do you think you could move that timeline slightly this way?" and he said "Yes. Yes, absolutely." I said: "Okay. So what I think we could do is take this three-pronged approach. You know, prong one looks like this. Prong two looks like this. Prong three looks like this... Either way, we have a backup plan and they'll get to the final goal in time." So then the senior project manager, a man, said "you know what I think we should do" and literally repeated what I just said. So what I did was, I went "did you just repeat what I said?" I said, "thanks for reaffirming my idea. I really appreciate that." Then I went and said, "so back to business". Then I just continued the conversation. So when I share that with women, when I do my women in leadership, they're like "you did that?" I went, "yeah". I could have been like dude or something. But instead I thought I'm just going to own this space. I'm gonna smile and take it right back from you. Thank you for reaffirming my brilliant ideas and we're gonna go back to what I was saying. Face changed again. I said "okay so back to business". Then we went on and made the plan work. I'll tell you he never did that again. I think it's important for women to realize you are in the driver's seat of these things. It's just giving them the tools and teaching them how to manage those conversations when these things happen because we are often thrown off, right? I mean I don't know what your experience is, but when that's happened to you how have you dealt with it?

8:37 Sandra
Well it has happened to me. Like you said, you could write a book... It's happened to me many times. I love your stories because they highlight the opportunity for stretch. You actually took it as an opportunity to embolden yourself. So in the first example where you took it as an opportunity to promote yourself and not only through your CV points, but through your composure, through your very presence. That is a learning moment. It takes a bit of courage. But you also taught others when you did it.

9:19 Georgette
It was honestly my natural reaction because I thought I'm not going to lower the bar for myself. I'm raising the bar for myself. As a leader, I mean I was one of the most senior people on campus. I was not going to kind of bring myself down to that level. I thought okay I'm going to take the higher road on this. This is how I'm going to manage it.

9:44 Sandra
My examples are a little bit different. But the ones that are the most memorable for me, you know where you really feel that raw emotion and it stays with you for decades... So one early job I had you know I was getting ready to do this presentation, which was my job to do, this presentation at a conference. I was excited about it. He tells me, "well I'm not sure you can do it" and you know he says ,"you're petite, you're female and you're soft-spoken". Those were the reasons I couldn't do it.

10:26 Georgette
So what happened? Did you do it?

10:31 Sandra
Not only did I do it, I knocked it out of the park. I mean beyond any expectations, for real and I'm not naturally braggy. But I also want to say in his defense, you know we're all a product of our culture and he believed what he said. But he stepped up and he mentored me. I feel like I learned so much from him that you could go to Toastmasters for a year, and I'm a big believer in Toastmasters, but I learned more from him in the coaching coming up to that conference. So he did good. Yeah first he you know belittled through his comment. But then he did good.

11:14 Georgette
You know what's interesting about your story? So this is another thing that I think is really important for women and even small business owners. They are going to be moments in your career that are going to define you. That story you just shared, it could have totally pulled out your confidence and you could have tanked. Instead what he did was he just like lit a fire right? And you're like I'm not going down. Like I'm going to show you what I can do. Those are my favourite kind of moments to be honest.  So it's interesting because you know I remember doing a women's program and I was at U of T and it was for young women like just recent graduates, just about to graduate. There was a young woman around the table that talked about an interview she did with a very big communications company in Canada. The director that was interviewing her for this job she desperately wanted, partway through the interview says to her, "um so you know tell me what you think your biggest strength and skill is". She said ,"oh I think it's communications. I think I'm a very good communicator." He goes, "yeah, I don't see that." Then the interview just went downhill. So what was interesting about that is she was a student leader. So you would imagine, if you're a student leader, she's done speeches, she's spoken in public. So she felt very strongly that her communications skills were good. So as we were sort of debriefing about that after she shared that story, her peers were saying, "Oh you know you're good." So I remember just her listening to them all and saying, "You know he did you the biggest favour." She said, "What do you mean?" I said, "So first of all, I'm glad you didn't get the job." But she goes, "No, but I really, really, wanted it." I go, "No you didn't. You think you did. But someone like that would have diminished your confidence and your sense of self so early in your life and career that he would have probably flatlined it for you without even realizing it. So you do not want to work with someone like that. You want to work with someone who's going to see the potential in you. She's well, "I don't know how I would have responded." I said, "Well my response would have been: 'Such an interesting insight, in such a short amount of time. I really would love to learn more in terms of why you feel this way. Please share more. I'd like some feedback and insight because I believe feedback is a gift'." I was like you're not going to get the interview anyway but I'm going to call you out on it. I'm sorry but I would very much like to know why you think somebody in 10 minutes is a terrible communicator. When I'd seen this young woman in action. I mean that I would never have described her that way. But I also feel like I'm not going to get the job. I've done that before. I remember being interviewed for a job once and the person said, "Yeah, I'm just not sure you could do it anyway". "That's a really interesting answer. Can you tell me more?" Then and the I threw them off and then of course they were like, "Well I don't know if you could do this." "So are you aware that in my current job, this is what I do?" So I connected the dots and they were like, "Huh, I had no idea." "Yeah most people don't." So guess what? I got the job. But you know not everyone's gonna have the chutzpah to do that.

14:26 Sandra
Well and and that's actually what I'm taking from this. So it's interesting how you mirrored back on me about the fire, which I didn't see in my own story. But you were right, Georgette. And what I'm seeing in your story is the confidence that comes from, again, from your presence.

14:41 Georgette
Yeah, so you know I always said I've been very blessed. I don't know whether it was just growing up in a place where you didn't fit in. I decided long ago, because I just wasn't like everybody else, I you know I always say I'm like Kramer. You know I used to love Kramer on Seinfeld.  But I kind of marched to my own little drum in many ways. So it didn't matter to me. I thought you know. I know who I am. I know the parts that I like and I know the parts I need to work on. So if you know who you are at the end of the day in here, nothing can shake that. So I also know where my boundaries are and what my limitations are. So I remember, you know years ago, you know in 2010, I was applying for a job and like six interviews, 10 reference checks, I mean I said to people, "I'm running out of friends here." One of the final interviews with was a very senior person and I remember saying to him, "You know I will always tell you what I think. It's going to be in the best interest of the organization. If you are comfortable with that, I'm your girl. But if not, you should probably go on to the next candidate."  I remember my husband, he went, "Are you insane? You're going to lose the job." I went, "it's okay. Then I don't want to work with them. If his attitude is, 'I don't want someone who is going to actually care about the organization and me and what we do' then expect me to go, 'yes sir, yes sir, yes sir.' That's not who I am. It's not gonna work anyway. I will be miserable. So to his credit, he hired me. We had like the best run ever. But part of it was just figuring out how to provide the feedback in a way that was going to be acceptable to him. So it wasn't like ,'No I don't agree with you.' That's stupid. It was never that. It was, 'have we thought about this, have we thought about how this would lay out you know, what are some considerations.' Again sort of helping him feel like he was in the driver's seat. Well in many ways I was sort of probably helping drive the car if you will.

16:36 Sandra
Yeah and I can see through that story that your confidence is rooted in an acceptance of yourself. So you you said at the beginning of the story, 'I know myself. I know where I need to grow and where I like where I'm at. It's the acceptance of that that allows for this confidence to emerge. You're not worried that somebody's gonna see something that you're trying to hide.

17:01 Georgette
No. What's interesting is you know when you and I talk about women and the challenges they face, I find often it's that part, it's the confidence. I was talking to somebody, I said, "I hate the word imposter syndrome. I really think it needs to be called something else because that tends to apply a lot to women and marginalized communities. We don't think of white men having imposter syndrome. We tend to associate it with this other group of people. For me, I'm not an imposter. I am who I am. I show up. I would say most women do. They may not feel like they should be at the table so hence the imposter piece. But the reality is that's an inclusion issue. That's not, I don't qualify to be at the table issue, in my mind. Most women, most people, you know BIPOC, members of marginalized communities, they probably deserve to be where they are, at the table. The reason they don't feel they need to be there is because they don't see other representation that looks like them or in the upper echelons of organization. So it's really important for us to be thinking about you know what does that mean. For me, I've always been a little bit bold. So that's part of my personality, to begin with. I would say, probably not dissimilar to you in many ways, you know personalities are a little different, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, is when you're a business owner, if someone pushes you down, you kind of dust off and retool and pivot and start again. So if you've got that kind of mindset, those things are not going to tear you down, they're just going to get you to rethink and pivot or maybe question and build and develop and grow, that really comes from having a growth mindset in many ways.

18:37 Sandra
Absolutely, it does. and you know I've encountered similar things with clients that really kind of surprised me in the beginning and then I started to see a pattern where this would come up with other people. One example was women who run their own business, who are really smart and accomplished and then they you know in private conversations will say their mentor is leading them down a certain road. They're following. But they're not comfortable. and and it's almost like they're they're asking me to give them permission to stop following that mentor, right? The mentor sees things through a very sort of conventional way:, 'This is the way you need to build your practice.' It's not their way. It's not authentic to them. It's time for them to say goodbye.

19:26 Georgette
So how do you coach them out of that? I'm curious.

19:33 Sandra
We shift from the conversation about the mentor to talking about their own values: "So just park that whole conversation about the mentor. Tell me about you and about the things you're most proud about in your firm. What is your vision for the future? Talk about the culture, the values, the way you see yourself as a leader..." Then, it's like it's so blatantly obvious that that vision they just told me about is completely different from what the mentor was saying. I'm like, "What do you think you should be doing?"

20:05 Georgette
Yeah. But you know what you've done in that example? You just reminded them that they should be behind the wheel and not in the passenger seat. So what happens is sometimes we get these mentors or people we look up to and you think well they've been really successful. But their story is not your story, right? We are all going to have to write our own stories. So what happens is we think well because they know more I should listen to them. But exactly what you said, like what works for them it may not work for you. Most of these entrepreneurs and business leaders have a good sense of what they they want to do. It's just the fear, you know questioning their decisions, that's holding them and then it's the fear of failure right? So you think well I'll just copy this person because I know they've done it. So I love how you just talked about how you coached them through it because then it's like like hopefully a light bulb moment's happening. I'm driving this car.

20:54 Sandra
Yeah and they don't go back. Like once they make that decision, they fly forward.

20:56 Georgette
Yeah. I can see that. But you know what you've done is you've empowered them. You've empowered them to see who they actually are. It's funny as you're describing the questions you're asking, I was thinking what you're really doing is getting people to understand who they are at the core right? Through all the things that you talked about, really what you're doing is getting people to understand, well who am I at the core? That's what's going to be my authentic self. Therefore imposter stuff is here (in contrast) you know. You're talking about the alignment. That's really important because you cannot succeed without alignment.

21:37 Sandra
Well and the trust in that authentic self. In the examples that come to mind for me, where this you know this happened several times, the mentor was always, you know I hate to say it, but they were a man you know in a man's world. So these were women and they didn't feel that confident in themselves as a you know as a niche. So they felt like they had to follow what that mentor said because that's the only way. Another example that was sort of related to that where I was helping somebody who was so smart and Innovative and and doing things her own way. In a private conversation, I could see the barriers around her leadership, like she was just at the wall. I would ask her questions about why she couldn't see herself going past that point and really what came out of it was she didn't see leaders that resembled her.

22:36 Georgette
That's right, yeah. So you know what's interesting about what you just said for me? I've talked about people being trailblazers. So you know her mindset is not a trailblazer because if it was she'd realize there is nobody like me. But that's okay. I'm going to pave the way for the next group of people. So I can be the role model people follow. But some people are not comfortable doing that yet. So if I waited for people to look like me in different jobs and different roles, I would never get to where I got. I mean I was often the only person in a room. I've traveled around the world in various roles and you know again often the only woman and only curly haired lady with a big smile. What was interesting about that is I owned that space. I learned to walk into the room and make sure people didn't think I was here to take notes. I'm going to be part of the conversation. So it's also I think training people to think about when you communicate, how are you communicating? What does that presence actually look like? We talked about presence earlier. But it's not just the sense of self and confidence. It's also how are you communicating? Verbal, physical, all of those cues are giving people a sense of who you are and that actually shapes how people are actually responding back to you in that in that regard right? So you know when I look at people and think well there isn't someone like that, I'm thinking well you know... That's why my book is called 'Why not you', right? I can't do that. Why not? Then like and they give me all the reasons why they can't. I'm like let me give you all the reasons why I think you can. I love the fact that you were talking about you know there's a wall. But then how do you help them break down that wall to see that they absolutely can get over that hurdle? That's really brilliant.

24:24 Sandra
Yeah and sometimes one conversation is all it takes to see that possibility, especially with somebody who is doing things a little differently themselves. Trailblazer to trailblazer.

24:40 Georgette
Yeah, absolutely and I think that's a great story. That's wonderful. I love it.

24:47 Sandra
So, Georgette, this is maybe a good place for us to say thank you. Any final thoughts you would like to share?

24:54 Georgette
Well you know, so we talked about being in the driver's seat and the empowerment piece. But I also strongly believe, and I talk about this often, in what I call the power of one. The power of us. So you know when we think about I can't and I shouldn't and like you know trailblazing. If we think back about the lives that we've touched, whether we realize it or not, or the impact you're made on people, so I think about the work that you do and the aha moments people have. So I want you to think about if you've coached somebody and they've flourished, think about the impact on that person, not just on their business, but how that person is going to lead differently and impact all the people they interact with and the ripple effect of that work that you're doing. That's so meaningful. So when I talk about the power of one, I think about the power of us. Well imagine the impact that we all make daily if we tried and took on a growth mindset, a positive mindset. Think about every single day as you're leaving a legacy behind of making a significant difference in somebody else's life. To me that's like the best that there could be.

25:56 Sandra
That's beautiful. It's a way of giving yourself fuel for everything that you do because you feel purposeful.

26:09 Georgette
Yeah well you know it starts with purpose right? I mean if you don't have purpose, then how are you getting up and doing things every day? You know I've always joked around, people say, "oh you seem so happy." I'm like well, "let's see, I get up in the morning and I think you know thank you G-d for having a roof over my head, a family that's healthy, food on the table, the lights are on... everything else is gravy. Everything else is like a bonus." So for me those are things that are important. Starting with gratitude is important. Purpose is important. Having intention every single day in everything we do.

26:46 Sandra
Yeah. It's really funny that you brought this up because it's been coming up recently quite often in coaching meetings that people are talking about their inner critic and how it's tying them up in knots and they're feeling their energy is zapped. We've talked about different ways to balance that out with the inner wisdom.Part of fueling or strengthening the inner wisdom is through gratitude practices like you just brought up.

27:18 Georgette
Yeah and you know when I do training and you know again I a lot of other work, but when when we talk about the inner critic piece, there's a great video I use that talks about Albert Einstein and Maya Angelou who were always sort of thinking like they're imposters on some level. But what's interesting about the inner critic piece is we have this little acronym called: WAIT. So the idea is to sort of say you know is what I'm thinking and saying to myself, is that really a reality check? So often you know we think this way. But is that really the reality? So there are many ways to kind of break that down. I say to people it's important to have what I call a board of advisors. So I have one. They don't necessarily know they are my board of advisors. What that means is when I'm not really sure about something I will contact some of these folks. They are my friends. But they're not like my BFFs. So the idea is to bounce ideas off of them. Well they'll give me critical feedback back, in terms of if this is a good strategy or this isn't. The reason I use that example is because your friends are going to say, "Sandra, of course you're going to be great. You're going to be fantastic." That's what friends do. Your board of advisors would say that's a great idea. Now walk me through some of the things. What are the ramifications for your business in six months or a year from now? Is this going to cut your career? Is it going to advance your career? Then you make decisions. So when you are doing that inner critic piece, it's important to have either a coach who's going to be a bit more arms length or you know a board of advisors, or a combination, to help you succeed.

28:52 Sandra
I feel like before we you know close up this podcast, I just want to raise one more topic. You and I had a conversation about, and you just brought it up recently, how your body language or your voice is part of (your actual voice) is part of the message that people get. You threw an interesting statistic at me, you know message versus.. Can you elaborate on that?

29:26 Georgette
Yeah. It was Dr Mehrabian. Often when I do training, I'll say to people, "What do you think the body language does when we think about making first impressions?" People will often think that you know the way you look and you sound it's like 60 / 40. It's literally you know 7 percent of what you actually say. Then there's like 55 percent that is on how you physically show up and then the other is your voice 38 percent is your voice. That isn't to say that content doesn't trump everything els. What you know matters. But when you make a first impression, if you show up disheveled, if you show up like you didn't make the effort to go into a meeting, that is how people are going to see you. So when we talk about presence it matters. The other part is your voice. So am I murmuring? Am I talking like this or am I owning my space right? Am I pausing? Am I smiling? What is my body language saying? Am I talking to you twitching my hair or like the Jimmy legs because while I am talking to you? Or am I again owning my space and my body language? So as we do all of this, we train people on this to kind of minimize these things, you get presence. You get how people experience you. This is really what becomes more powerful and you yourself start to feel more powerful as a leader. So originally it's you know when we think about how we view people and we make the assessment as soon as someone walks in (I'm going to put bias aside). But you know that starts to move sideways when you start speaking and owning the space. It's interesting because you've used the word confident with me multiple times now in the last bit. That's nice. I like to think of myself that way. I'm not sure I'm like that every day. But I can dial it up. The reality is that's how if you want to hire someone, don't you want to feel that you have confidence and the ability to represent your company, go in a room, if you're going to close the deal that this is who you want in the room and they're articulate, they don't get phased very easily? Presence. That's really important and again feeling like that person is going to be in the driver's seat of your company or you're in the driver's seat of your company and taking it to where you want it to go.

31:37 Sandra
You know what this brings to life for me that has come up again with women who own their own professional practice? It's come up several times, where they have the message right, they have this big thing they need to say to their team or to a client or to go out on you know on a stage and do a speaking seminar. They know what to say. But when they start delivering it, they sound small. The only thing that we work on is like the voice. So we do role play and I tell them don't use the guilty voice. You know like I'm asking my team to do something, I feel bad, I don't want to ask them to do too much and you know I'm worried they're not gonna like it... Get rid of that guilty voice. Where's that coming from? When they do it again with the understanding that everything they're talking about actually is helpful to their team or helpful to their audience, their voice completely changes.

32:36 Georgette
So you just touched on what I call shared purpose. So rather than focusing on I'm going to burden you with this extra thing, I'm going to remind myself that we have shared purpose. So the reason we're all showing up every day is we have the shared purpose of the reason you're all here. We're moving this shared vision together. We're all going to win right? So it's a win-win. So the reason we need to all take on a little bit more is because we have shared purpose and when we get there you know we are going to celebrate. We, not I. So that actually changes the game in the narrative.

33:06 Sandra
Yeah and it changes the voice all by itself. You don't need a voice coach. You just need a purpose coach.

33:18 Georgette
But you know it goes back to what you were saying I think even earlier. It's a little bit on the confidence piece and it's a little bit about finding your voice and we want to be liked. So I don't want to ask somebody for one more thing. I don't want them not to like me. What's interesting about that to me is with all due respect, men don't think about that. I I remember a really good friend of mine who's a partner at a law firm and she said you know a colleague, he was also a male partner you know he had gone. She took over his work for the whatever, week, he was gone. So when he came back, you know she basically asked if he could do the same. He sort of sent this lovely email. But it was basically, thank you, I'm not going to do it for you, email. But it was worded so beautifully that it was you know, I'm still catching up on my work although I would very much like to support you. She said to me, "Can you believe it?" I went, "Oh honey you need to save that email." She said, "why?" I said, "because you're going to use it the next time on him." She started laughing. I said, you're going to take that email, because it was so beautifully written, it was almost not offensive, but it was that very no way in you know what I'm gonna do this for you. But it was not no. It was no beautifully written. So I said you save that and you're gonna use it. Because when he did it, you were like not offended, "I can't believe I did all his work for him but it was his turn and he's like no." "You're going to learn that." That is how you move up. It's like setting boundaries. I had to say no politely in the most articulate ways. I said, "Save it because you're gonna need it."

34:50 Sandra
That was so smart, Georgette. You turned him into her teacher.

34:55 Georgette
She's like, "I can't even like..." "Yeah, save it and use it, because it worked, because you were like I don't know how to respond to that other than okay. Then like very good that's a good one. In the file right?

35:10 Sandra
Exactly, why isn't he a people pleaser like me, right?

35:13 Georgette
He doesn't have to be. He's very good at what he does and you're very good at what you do. So you know setting boundaries is very important for people to be able to say no, very politely, you know. People would ask me for years you know, "Oh we have a social committee, we'd like it..". Those are not committees I wanted to be on, as I began to kind of rise in senior leadership teams. I'm like I don't want to be organizing an event. I would be happy to be on the Strategic fiscal whatever committee because I knew financial was going to be helpful to my career. I don't need to know how many cookies we're going to order. I'm good with that. Yeah I'm sure there's a wonderful young man who'd be happy to do that for you. No problem.

35:54 Sandra
Right. Bringing a pleasant demeanor to all of these things because you know you didn't do anything wrong. You're supporting people in a way that helps them. Then you don't have that guilty voice. It's just not there.

35:59 Georgette
No, I think it's important to know where your boundaries are and if people ask you to be on something, you could say thank you for thinking of me for this organization or this committee. I'm flattered. My plate is full right now. But can we revisit this in a year? And in a year, I'll figure out what committee I want to be on.

36:22 Sandra
Right, there you go. What a wonderful discussion, Georgette. We covered so many different aspects of women in leadership.

36:34 Georgette
Yeah, thank you. It's always so great to talk to you, Sandra. Thank you for your openness and I love all the things that you're doing in your podcast and the conversations that you're doing deep dives in. So thank you so much for thinking of me. I am so grateful to you.

36:46 Sandra
Thanks Georgette, for your time and your insights. To our listeners, if you are interested in learning more about Dr Georgette Zinaty, please go to Corporate Class Inc. and WHEW!. You've been listening to Get in the Driver's Seat, stories about leadership moments in small to mid-sized professional practices. I'm your host Sandra Bekhor, Practice Management Coach at Bekhor Management. Take care everybody.

Barriers to using your voice
I'm going to show you what I can do
Call you out on it
Self acceptance and confidence
Imposter syndrome
Finding your values
The power of one
The inner critic
Body language and first impressions
That guilty voice
Politely stating your boundaries