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RECAP | Spring Executive Development Series Experience

Through The WICT Network: Greater Philadelphia's scholarship program, I was able to attend the Executive Leadership Power & Presence workshop in San Diego, CA led by Terri Nimmons and Denise Wallace.  Women leaders from the media, entertainment, and technology industries were welcomed at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, a gracious hacienda-style hotel and resort. We had a packed few days, and the topics that resonated with me most were professional presence, impression management, and accelerating speed of connection.

Spring Executive Development Series participants gathered for a group photo in San Diego

During our professional presence session, we learned the value of first impressions. It was interesting to learn that our subconscious formulates our first impressions within the first few seconds of meeting someone. As one of our exercises, we listed our first impressions of other participants in our group. It was a great experience to learn how we’re first perceived.  We furthered this impression exercise by presenting a recent accomplishment in small groups and later, we even recorded ourselves so we could view ourselves, learn about our presentation style, and receive feedback from our peers.  

We continued our conference by learning about our impression and brand management through the 5 P’s: Persona, Product, Packaging, Promotion and Permission. The definitions are as follows:

1) Persona is the emotional connection

2) Product is our skills and experience

3) Packaging is how we present ourselves and our work

4) Promotion is offering our ideas, experience and point of view

5) Permission is allowing oneself to take risks and follow our interests

It was helpful to understand the components of our brand and the different ways we can influence them to present our best selves. 

Besides managing impressions and brand, we learned about accelerating connections with our teammates and leaders. We explored simple ways to connect quickly with one another by shaking hands, making eye contact, asking open ended questions, and listening attentively. By truly being interested, we can be sure to be build strong relationships and be amazed by finding the extraordinary in everyday conversations. 

Above and beyond the content of the conference, it was wonderful to meet so many women leaders at preeminent companies and learn from their experiences and candid feedback. It was truly a special few days. Thank you for the opportunity to be part of this meaningful conference! 

Authored by scholarship recipient Sofia Trueax

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