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A Conversation about Inclusion in the Workplace and a Master Class on Mastering Our Inner Critic – What We Learned| Day 2 of #LinkageWIL

November 10, 2020 Kristen Howe

Day 2 of the Virtual Women in Leadership Institute is in full swing, and we are experiencing a jam-packed schedule filled with engaging and transformative programming designed specifically for women.

Today, we heard from two incredible keynote speakers: #1 NYT best-selling author Glennon Doyle and award-winning broadcast journalist Soledad O’Brien. Check out key takeaways from Glennon and Soledad’s keynotes.

But the day didn’t end there! We also experienced two sessions on two critically important topics. During the “Women, Race and Advancement in the Workplace” panel, moderator Bev Wright guided us through a conversation with three Black women leaders who shared firsthand experiences from their own leadership journeys and their sage advice on how we can positively impact others and create environments where others are given opportunities to realize their full potential. We also experienced a deep dive during a special Master Class focused on mastering our Inner Critic.

Check out our takeaways from both the panel and the Master Class:

Panel: Women, Race and Advancement in the Workplace

Every woman is different in how they experience the world. For women in different racial and ethnic groups, factors like cultural expectations, life experiences, and a complex combination of different forms of discrimination, including racism and sexism, overlap in ways that profoundly affect their ability to professionally advance.

During this panel, which was moderated by Bev Wright, three Black women shared their experiences leading in male dominated industries and offered practical advice for how each of us can better model allyship in the workplace. This panel featured:


Key Takeaways:

  • Just putting your head down and working hard doesn’t work; the key is being strategic about what you are doing.
  • Think about how to build meaningful relationships and engage with others in a way that allows you to learn.
  • Take in all the great guidance and wisdom that others offer you along the way.
  • Tell the universe what you want and what you need. Ask for opportunities; they will walk by you if you don’t advocate for yourself. Even if you are not ready, you will learn during the process.
  • Be proactive and go get your own allies. Asking for help can be a powerful thing.
  • Always speak up. Bring your perspective to every conversation.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask the questions that matter, especially when it comes to advocating for others.
  • Find your voice. The best way to be heard is to pay someone a compliment. Chances are good that they will open up a little bit and will be more likely to listen to you.
  • Be open and thoughtful about where people are in their journey; share experiences with others so that they don’t make the same mistakes.
  • Advocate for those whom you are supporting—when they are in the room and when they are not.
More on Inclusion in the Workplace from Linkage:
  • BLOG: Reflecting on Race and Allyship: How to Drive Meaningful Change –Commitments Leaders Can Make Today | Jennifer McCollum, CEO of Linkage, shares 9 key practices leaders can adopt to model inclusive leadership in the workplace and in their communities. Read the blog.
  • ARTICLE: What Does Being an Ally Look Like?Linkage featured in Wall Street Journal | This must-read article highlights inclusion recommendations and firsthand experiences from experts in this space, including Linkage and Eddie Turner, who recently appeared on Linkage’s Critical Leadership Conversations series. Read the story.
  • BLOG: 10 Resources for Fighting Racism – Videos, Books, Guides & More | The most effective leaders fully understand the factors impacting their teams and communities, and they purposefully seek out the education and knowledge they need to act in anti-racist ways and support cultures of inclusion. Read the blog.


Master Class: Mastering Your Inner Critic

Yesterday, Maria Howard, Principal Consultant at Linkage, kicked off the conference with an engaging talk on the hurdles women face in the workplace, including the “Inner Critic” (link to Day 1 blog here). During this Master Class, women leaders experienced a deep dive into this critically important concept.

Here’s what we covered: Our Inner Critic is that voice inside our head that is critical of ourselves and others. We need to understand why intrinsic worthiness is essential to overcoming the Inner Critic, and that confidence and worthiness are not the same thing.

During this small-group session, women leaders experienced exercises designed to empower them to identify their Inner Critic in action and learned how to coach their Inner Critic by unpacking best practices (Become Aware, Push Pause, Be Compassionate and Get Curious) to return to their Compassionate Center.

Key Takeaways:

  • As a leader, the people who work with you and for you will react differently than you assume. Be aware that everybody has different triggers and different reactions. It starts with you.
  • The challenge with the Inner Critic is its solitude. The subtlety is where the practice comes in.
  • Pushing pause is difficult because it forces you to stop reacting.
  • Getting curious is the key to getting out of “One-Up” or “One-Down” and getting back to Compassionate Center.


What’s next at the Virtual Women in Leadership Institute? Tomorrow, women leaders in attendance will hear from Liz Wiseman and Carla Harris, and experience a special talk by Alan Mulally, the recipient of the 2020 Legends in Leadership award. Be sure to continue to follow along here on the Linkage Leadership Insights blog and follow us on social media for in-the-moment insights.

Linkage’s Virtual Women in Leadership Institute is taking place November 9–12, 2020. Didn’t get a chance to join us for the live experience? On-Demand passes are now available, giving you on-demand access to the recorded conference from November 16–January 29, 2021. Learn more about On-Demand passes.

Dark haired woman watches from audience of conference event

Women in Leadership Institute

NOV. 13–16, 2023 | Orlando, Florida, or Virtual
A 4-day immersive learning experience designed to equip women leaders with actionable strategies to overcome the hurdles women often face in the workplace.

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