Key business theory discussed at The Capital Club

March 16, 2014 4:49 pm

The Capital Club, Dubai’s premier private business Club and member of the Enshaa group of companies, has hosted an important presentation by British media and communications expert Lea Sellers on the subject of Impostor Syndrome: the self-doubt that can hold back even the most dynamic leaders – or drive them to greater heights.

Emma Cullen, Capital Club General Manager, said, “The Capital Club’s Members are Dubai’s business elite and therefore subject to immense pressures. At the Club we aim to provide so much more than just business services; our goal is to serve the needs of our Members holistically. This talk by Lea Sellers did just that, by promoting personal growth within a business context. I am very pleased with the response from our members. We will be presenting more talks as 2014 continues.”

Journalist Lea Sellers produced programmes such as Newsnight and Question Time for the BBC and was Deputy Foreign Editor of Channel 4 News. She founded Media Skills For Women and now uses her television experience to train people to communicate with confidence. In this talk she focused on Impostor Syndrome: a psychological problem first identified in the 1970s as women entered the higher echelons of business and politics. It is now recognised as applying to both men and women in organisations everywhere.

Ms Sellers said, “People as successful as Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington believe themselves to be frauds or impostors. Working even harder to combat these feelings can be a good thing, but it is important not to go too far: bluster and aggression, often used to cover up feelings of inadequacy, can bring misery to the workplace. We don’t have to act like ‘alpha males’ to get what we want, Ms Sellers said. She offered some alternative advice for those who have a fear of being ‘found out’.”

Properly prepare for meetings, she advised –so that you know what you want to ask and say. Take your place at the centre of things. Being unsure is not a weakness: “When we are not sure, we are alive.” Ask questions. Frame debate. Self-promotion is another important life skill, Ms Sellers said. Talk to colleagues. Always apply for promotions: studies show that women apply for fewer such opportunities than men. Use social media, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, to paint a picture of yourself as you would like to be seen. Know who the power players are in your industry.

When giving a speech, remember ABC. A is for audience: concentrate on what you want them to understand. B is for breathing: the key to feeling relaxed. C is for confidence: if you think confident, you will look confident. Everybody feels nerves. Use the energy to drive you on. For your speeches, use the technique Ms Sellers used in television news. Make an introduction. Make three points. Then draw a conclusion. It can be visualised as a house with a roof, three pillars and a floor.

In closing, Ms Sellers quoted the mythologist Joseph Campbell: “If the work you are doing is what you choose to do, because you love it, then it may well be your bliss. If not, it is your dragon.”

The Impostor Syndrome was one of the regular series of talks on personal, social, technological and commercial improvement presented by The Capital Club as part of its commitment to the wellbeing and success of its members.

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