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How Women Rise: 3 Tips to leverage your relationships in a virtual world

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“How Women Rise” is an incredible book that is co- written by acclaimed authors and executive coaches Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith. It sets about identifying and bringing awareness to ‘12 Habits’ that are most likely to get in the way of successful women.

This (excellent) book is central to the ‘Empowering Women’ workshops and webinars at Change Grow Succeed. Throughout these workshops, we seek to support these women in becoming ‘unstuck’ by finding their authentic voice to articulate their greatest strengths and attributes. This process also offers great insight into what holds these talented ladies back in the workplace. Awareness brings choice and due to its’ pragmatic nature, these women leave our sessions with an identifiable set of task or behaviors that they need to stop or start doing to support their own growth.

Supporting women in transforming their lives through behavioral change has long been a passion of mine so when I had the opportunity to pose a question to Sally Helgesen at last nights’ @NetworkCork webinar, I jumped at it.

Here is what I asked:

“Sally, I would love to hear your thoughts on how women can continue to build and leverage their relationships in our new world that has become almost 100% virtual.”

Her response focused on the following three key areas:

  • Build your Brand – Start thinking about our reputation and get comfortable talking about what we contribute or what we would like to contribute. Women often say they lack confidence in this area but is it confidence or merely lacking practise in labeling and communicating what we want?
  • Stay Connected – Use this time as an opportunity to build and deepen your network. Use the platforms that are available to intentionally generate connections that are authentic.
  • Be Real – Be You and connect on a human level. Share your vulnerabilities and you will engage on a more meaningful level.

What can we learn from this? Let’s be intentional about using this time as an opportunity to connect, firstly with ourselves, to anchor and label our contributions (or course correct if necessary!) Let’s get comfortable with being uncomfortable and start communicating more authentically with our peers and colleagues. Let’s take responsibility for this and unlock the door to our path forward!

If you want to kick – start this process for you, or find out more about Gillian McGrath, you can reach her here.


Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer. Check out for more information.


Every day Leaders

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If I were to ask you – what is leadership? What would you say?

If I were to ask you- do you consider yourself a leader? How comfortable are you with your response?

There are beyond doubt, key ingredients in becoming a great leader and optimum leadership styles etc. There are also plenty of books, research and articles published on this subject matter. But this is not what interests me…

I undertook some research, part of which was a chat with my 9 year old son(!) and posed the same questions (above) to him. His take on leadership was being able to work with and motivate groups –maybe not his precise words but that was the general gist. Furthermore, I asked him if he thought he was a leader…He replied with “yeah…I suppose so…”. I noticed that he was smiling when answering this so, I asked him what the smile was about. He replied that these questions made him think about it (being a leader) in a different way- a way he hadn’t thought about before- so maybe there’s a lesson in this for us too?

If, at its core, leadership is the act of improving peoples’ lives, then fundamental to good leadership is our ability to connect with and build relationships with people. However, as long as we make leadership about changing organisations or even changing the world, we make it bigger than us and it becomes inaccessible and irrelevant. Once irrelevant, it only serves to devalue all of the brilliant things we do … everyday!

Drew Dudley (Ted Talks Speaker) introduces us to the concept of “lollipop moments” and what are these? These involve the way we can positively effect change in the lives of the people we interact with on a daily basis. Who are these people? These are your children. Your partner. Your neighbours. Your colleagues. Your family and your friends. And how can we do this? We can do this through meaningful connection, for example:

  • Give some-one a genuine compliment
  • Listen without judgement
  • Be truly present (put down the phone!)
  • Acknowledge the person and the message (observe your body language e.g. eye contact, posture etc)
  • Label positive behaviour – this can work a treat with children e.g. “well done for bringing your plate to the sink”
  • Feedback “you’ve been a fantastic friend to me this past month…”
  • Encourage, support and reassure

Let’s be leaders in our field! Make a Change. Grow. Succeed.


Gillian McGrath is a Cork based Life and Business Coach and Master Trainer. She is the founder of ChangeGrow Succeed and can be contacted at