Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Professional Presence in 2021

What does having a professional presence look like in a world full of zoom calls, masks and working at home? 



Let’s start with presence. Presence is letting the most powerful version of yourself shine through. I like to cite the renowned leadership expert Sylvia Ann Hewlett, who defines “presence” as a combination of gravitas, communication, and appearance. Together, these elements form an impression of trustworthiness, competence, and authenticity.

Now let’s look at professionalism. Many people tie this to how one dresses. But it is more than that. It is confidence, communication and how you dress. 


Confidence. If you want to learn how to be more confident, you must be willing to change your state. Your state is essentially your mood at any given time of day. Your mood is influenced by how you feel about yourself at that point in time. The great news is you are in full control of your choice. Confidence is a matter of choice. You can let go of the stories you hold at any moment and create a new experience within yourself that will directly affect your state of mind and thus, your confidence.


Communicate. To communicate effectively, it’s important to regulate your reactions, recognize emotions in others, and manage your responses. Let other people speak first. Ask questions and make them feel understood. Remember to smile, make eye contact, and lean forward. By staying in the moment and maintaining focus on the conversation, you can ask the right questions and lay the foundation for trust and openness to your influence. 


Dress your part. There should be a strong connection between who you are, who you want to be, and how you look. If you want to be successful in the financial sector, for instance, you need to look like someone who understands and can be trusted with money. Identify the people who are successful where you work, and study how they put themselves together. Focusing on your appearance can also go a long way toward boosting your internal confidence. 


Best,


Manal


Saturday, February 25, 2017

My Message in a Bottle:

When asked to write a message in a bottle, this is what came to mind:

My message in a bottle includes many useful reminders.

Live a life of gratitude and continue to learn.  Doing so will help you appreciate more, forgive more and enjoy life more. 

Share what you learn. Be a river, and pour your new knowledge and experience into others.

Increase your personal initiative.  Understanding that it's up to you to take action, you don't need permission to be helpful.  Do more than you're doing.  Challenge yourself to be more and do more.  Be action driven!

Pay attention to others around you.  Increase your awareness. 

Be an encourager- Take the time to smile and uplift others. Don't wait for the other person to greet you or smile, take the lead.  Inspire others to go higher.

Ask for help and don't forget to offer to help.  I have a friend that is excellent at offering to help, she has taught me to do the same.  Thank you Simone.  Keep this top of mind "How may I help?"

Use power phrases, not dangerous phrases.  There is a big difference when we reply with "my pleasure" vs "no problem".  My pleasure is so much richer and welcoming.

Don't be overly sensitive - check yourself when you begin to takes things personal or assume things because of the voice in your head or misinterpretation.

Discipline yourself, even when you are not in the mood.

Stay physically active - your health is key.  Exercise also keeps you smarter.

Recognize others and share the spotlight.  Realize you can't win all the time, look for the blessing.

Generosity of heart, mind and resources.  Be abundant minded not scarcity minded.

It starts with intent, have a mindset of sincerity in work.  

Connect with God and practice grace.  Protect and cherish your family.  Value others, connect with friends. Enjoy humor and maintain your energy.  Let your word be golden.

What would your message be?



Friday, February 17, 2017









What Makes You Happy? I know what makes me happy.  If you were asked to come up with a list of your top 25, what would make your list?  Take time to create your list and then review it to see if you are doing the things that make you happy.  If not, figure out why and design a plan to do the things that bring you joy.  #happy

1.  Seeing my children happy.
2.  Seeing my family supporting each other.
3.  Exercising.
4.  Making progress on projects and goals.
5.  Helping a friend.
6.  Traveling to new places.
7.  Learning new material.
8.  Delivering an awesome speech or/and workshop.
9.  Lifting up another person.
10. Eating something satisfying.
11.  Having the house clean and organized.
12. Surprising others with random acts of kindness.
13.  Being pleasantly surprised.
14.  Praying on time.
15.  Cuddling with my hubby or/and kids.
16.  Seeing my children achieve.
17.  My own achievements.
18.  Witnessing compassion.
19.  Receiving a radiant smile.
20.  Feeling appreciated.
21.  Resting when I'm exhausted.
22.  Paying off any debt.
23.  Reading.
24.  Teaching about Palestine.
25.  Engaging in a great conversation.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017



Do you have your mojo working?

I have my charm working.  Here is how it starts:  It starts at bedtime when you set the intention to wake up excited to take on your day.  Each morning take the time to stretch, pray, workout and fill your mind with some new knowledge early in the day.   Look forward to the events you have planned ahead.  Give yourself 5 minutes at each hour to evaluate your focus and progress.

Keep a list of people you want to show gratitude to and incorporate it in your day.

Continue to discipline yourself to establish a routine that works well for you.  Your own pattern of getting things done and enjoying the day.  Suddenly you will find your mojo is working.



Saturday, June 6, 2015

Staying Power

What you know today is what matters most. The past is a great predictor of your future success and the future is unknown, so all anyone really has is the moment they presently live in. Leadership today could be gone tomorrow. To remain a leader in your field - even if it is a field you created and have dominated for years- you must be careful not to rest (too long) on your laurels. Past accomplishments are worthy of appreciation, however, noteworthy accomplishments are made every day. It is increasingly common to get lost in the barrage of 140- character messages that constantly stream or pop into our social hemisphere, bringing people all across the globe together. Also take into account that the world is full of innovators and YouTube geniuses committed to making existing inventions, products and services better; yours and mine are included. 

For example, Atari was the great personal gaming invention of the 70s and 80s. Besides Donkey Kong and Pac Man, one of the most popular Atari games, Pong, was set against a black background that allowed the player to hit a tiny white ball back and forth as if playing ping pong but on a computer screen. It was amazing for its time! But what if computer games had stopped there. Thank God they didn't because now we have games that teach us to dance, play instruments, and crush candy all within the palm of our hands.


Again, leaders must resist the status quo because people’s minds are never static. Something new is always being created. To remain relevant and not become a relic far before time, today’s leaders must invest in R &D. Keep up with trends. Become the trendsetter and discover ways to stay on top.




Friday, May 22, 2015

Brand You 

In marketing circles, we talk a lot about “buy in.” It is that acceptance or support of an idea or decision we garner from others. If you are the team leader of a marketing campaign, at one point you will have to meet before your team and your potential client’s team to get their “buy in” and hopefully, the account.  We use it in other fashions as well: business development, sales, and even religion. But are we using it enough in our personal and leadership development? 

If you were to think of yourself as something being marketed, and you want to be marketable, then you have to take a good long look at what you, in fact, are marketing. People are always watching you and they are making judgments about you as soon as you leave the room. Their judgments may affect your promotion, a bonus, or something even bigger. So what are they thinking? What’s still in the room even after you have left?

What is your brand? What are you selling or marketing to those around you? If you don’t like what you discover when the spotlight shines on you, then ask, “what would I like my brand to be and how do I become that?” Here’s a hint. Your brand should be the promise of what is to be delivered.  Are you just like Apple, innovative, relatable, and popular with all types of people?  Are you like Starbucks, warm, inviting, and on the minds of the masses (especially in the morning)? You get my drift…you’re buying into the new concept of you as a brand. A walking billboard of whatever it is you want the world to perceive about you. Think about it, and then build it.  





Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pass the Ball!

There is something you can do to offset the negative energy of those who are not happy about your success. If you have been so overly focused on your career or financial goals it could be that your peers are jealous because they have not seen your brilliance benefiting anyone but you! People need to see you take an interest in them and others. I mean as magnificent as the leading scorer is to watch, he becomes boring and causes internal conflict when he doesn't pass the ball. As a result, his team-mate might become uninterested in him and the game. Kobe Bryant had to learn this. It happens off the court as well. Though, high producers bring many benefits to their organization, they do have the ability to focus so heavily on themselves that they destroy the relationships around them.  

By building up others you in turn are built up. It’s a strange concept, not natural to mankind, for the forces in this global economy encourage us to seek our own success and wealth, first, and then and only then, should we give “back” to others. There is a sense of superiority in that natural world-view that could be misconstrued; therefore, I challenge you to help others now, regardless of your current status. You always have something to give to someone less fortunate than you. Instead of reaching back, take someone with you. Become a mentor to those who are not as connected or assertive or talented as you are. Imagine not only getting the promotion but being able to take your entire team with you, and duplicating your production in a brand new environment and moreover, teaching your team to do what you did for them. Pass the ball. The results here can be life long.