Posts Tagged ‘power’

C4W Business Member Profile: Lisa VanBergen, Florence Crittenton Programs of SC

March 27, 2013

LisaVanBergenWhat is your profession?   Executive Director, Florence Crittenton Programs of SC.  I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Certified Addictions Counselor.

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career?   Spending time with my family, enjoying concerts and community events.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women?  For the past two years as an individual, and this year Florence Crittenton joined as a business member.

What inspired you to become a member?   Jennet Alterman, who is such an amazing advocate for and inspiration to other women, and the opportunity to network with and learn from others.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you?   C4W has encouraged me to step into my power as a leader, learning from others and support from mentors.  Also, they have provided wonderful support for my 13 year old daughter who is interested in math careers, which came from me speaking up at a Women in Business conference.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you?   As a young woman, I definitely felt my opinions weren’t respected as much as those of young men.   So I spoke up more often and more vehemently.   As a young mother, I felt my parenting skills weren’t respected.   So I became a diligent mother who changed the ends of fairy tales so my daughter wouldn’t grow up to think a prince would solve her problems.  As a more mature woman, I have been blessed with amazing role models who have encouraged me to define success for myself, not allow others to define it for me.  So I have taken side steps and back steps professionally that have met my personal and family needs, but those choices have led to greater fulfillment.  I’m very lucky to have amazing parents, Peg and Harry Van Bergen, who always supported me.  And my daughters, Constance and Chloe Belton, who teach me about being a woman every day.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in today’s economy? Follow your gut, not your fear.  And connect with each other.  We are a great resource!

How can people connect with you?

The Job Coaches: Embrace power, build alliances to get results

April 20, 2012

Join Jane this Saturday to learn more about
Power, persuasion and influence!

Power. The very word sends shudders down the spine of many women. It shouldn’t. Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher, in his book, “Leviathan,” defined power as one’s “present means to obtain some future apparent good.” There’s only upside to that definition.

Power derives a negative connotation when one thinks about having power over someone or something — using control, force and/or threats to drive behaviors and outcomes. Thinking about power as a coercive force is an unpleasant thought and experience regardless of one’s gender.

However, if you think of having power with something or someone to produce constructive win-win outcomes, then that’s an entirely different mind-set and approach that comes naturally to most women.

As Helen E. Fisher observes in “The Natural Leadership Talents of Women,” “Men tend to cast themselves within hierarchies and view power as rank and status; women, on the other hand, form cliques and regard power as an egalitarian network of supportive connections.”

Power with is multifaceted and flows from many sources: what you know, what abilities you have, what level of respect you command and your charisma.

Consider the findings of Diane Jacobs, principal of The Talent Advisors, a company that advises corporate executives, who writes, “Women pursue power by producing results, forming collaborative relationships and building alliance networks.” Relationships and results are power with outcomes that women can and should embrace.

Let’s take a look at several sources of power to understand what they are as well as how you can adopt behaviors within that power realm to broaden your sphere of influence.

Personal or charisma power is based on your individual distinguishing characteristics. Think about the things that you do and what you are: your work ethic, integrity, character and interpersonal communication style. Being sincere in your approach to your work and interacting with your colleagues is essential for building trust, a key element for personal power.

Regularly recognizing and rewarding others (giving without thoughts of getting) boost your personal power as well. Be known for your willingness to work hard and work smart.

Understand and connect with your personal views, then assert them sincerely, diplomatically and without apology.

As Marian Ruderman and Patricia Ohlott note in “Standing at the Crossroads: Next Steps for High-Achieving Women,” “A key component of acting authentically is understanding what you care about most, developing self-awareness of your values and priorities, your likes and dislikes.”

Referent power is relationship-based. It stems from your ability to build loyalty and respect by attracting others as well from possessing qualities that others admire and would like to have.

To grow your referent power, be supportive, keep your promises, encourage participation through collaboration and influence, create relationships and build alliances.

Linda Tarr-Whelan, author of “Women Lead the Way” and a keynote speaker at 2010’s Women in Business Conference, offers some excellent advice, “Remember: relationships are primary; all else is secondary. Coalitions that come together because of a single common interest … are actually best held together by personal relationships.”

Expertise power is rooted in your knowledge, skills and achievements. When people view you as an expert, you have credibility and your advice is viewed as sound and reliable.

Staying current in your field and building additional competencies are two ways to increase your influence and expertise power.

Involve others in your work so their skills and knowledge are enhanced as well. Share information freely and communicate what you know. Work to maintain a credible reputation as a consistent source of relevant and timely information.

Power with is a concept to be embraced, not avoided.

Welcome it, then work to develop your personal, referent and expertise power bases so women can create the kind of world described by Matthew Arnold, English poet and cultural critic, “If ever the world sees a time when women shall come together purely and simply for the benefit and good of mankind, it will be a power such as the world has never seen.”

I look forward to seeing you there!

Jane Perdue is CEO of Braithwaite Innovation Group. The Job Coaches are experienced volunteers from the Center for Women’s Job Counseling Program. Ask them a question by calling 843-763-7333 or e-mailing If you would like further assistance, make an appointment; a donation of $20 is requested for appointments.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post and Courier Friday, February 12, 2010.

The Job Coaches: Rules teach art of negotiation

December 9, 2011

Nothing aids success as much as the ability to negotiate. Inside the organization, getting the position, promotion, pay increase, corner office or the authority to launch your project requires negotiation with superiors and colleagues.

In the outside world, everything from entering a market to signing the right contract is a negotiation. The list is endless.

Rule No. 1: If the item to be negotiated is important to you, do the research. To be sure, understanding every aspect of the issues and parties involved in the negotiation does not guarantee success. But a command of the facts and a clear-eyed appraisal of the situation will greatly minimize the prospect of failure.

Rule No. 2: Understand the communications revolution that is just beginning so you can separate what is factual and reliable from the coming avalanche of background noise.

Organizations have already changed. Layers of managerial authority have been removed and the old rules, policies, procedures, buffers and reporting systems have largely been replaced with standards of procedures built on information exchanges.

Now, new technologies are altering the ways people get their information (and misinformation) and interact to interpret it and pass it on.

Consider just one new product, recently reviewed by Walter Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal: Motorola Cliq, he writes, provides, in a hand-held device with easy screen access, a method of consolidating communications and social networking that allows people to constantly display their own status and keep up with others on various services such as Facebook and Twitter.

What this means is that the line between what is inside the organization and outside has been erased. Anything impacting an issue to be negotiated may be immediately available to a multitude. Separating the knowledgeable judgments of the well-informed from the opinions of people who don’t know what they are talking about just got harder.

Rule No. 3: Set the discussion agenda by framing the issue in a way that can benefit you. Dealing with children has given lots of women this practical experience.

“Do you want to wear your red jacket or your blue jacket to school?” usually works better than “You need to wear a jacket today.”

Rule No. 4: Power is important. Realistically appraise where the power lies and plan from there. You are a skilled, hard-working, and valuable employee but underappreciated and fed up.

Ready to tell the boss you are leaving if you don’t get what you want? Run through your mind the scene where, after hearing you out, the boss stands up, offers a hand, says “good-bye” and wishes you good luck in whatever you do next.

Or would you be better off lining up a new job first and then having the conversation?

Rule No. 5: Walk a long way in the shoes of the other party. Anticipate the possible responses to everything you will say and offer and refine your presentation accordingly.

Rule No. 6: Prepare for a long negotiating process, consider the possibility of flare-ups and be prepared to always remain professional.

Rule No. 7: Pick your walk-away point. We all want an ideal outcome, but we seldom get everything we ask for. Decide what is minimally acceptable to you in advance.

Finally, a word about women, power and negotiations. As any number of studies have shown, women do not prove to be nicer, softer or less effective as managers or negotiators than men. But a number of prevailing sex-role stereotypes that hold men and women to different standards. You have to find your balance on a playing field that is still a bit tilted.

Dorothy Perrin Moore, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship Emeritus, The Citadel.The Job Coaches are experienced volunteers from the Center for Women’s Job Counseling Program. Ask them a question by calling 763-7333 or e-mailing If you would like further assistance, make an appointment; a donation of $20 is requested for appointments.

First appeared in the Moxie section of The Post and Courier Friday, October 30 2009.

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