The 24th of November I went to my second N2WE event of which I have heard from a coworker. N2WE is a network that strives for a noble cause: Non-Native Women Empowered.
Short note about myself: I am a German woman, since 2007 living and first studying, now working in the Netherlands. And as I heard about this network I thought: “Well, not everyone who sees me expects me to be foreign, as I am tall and blond – like many other Dutch woman, but I didn’t grew up in the Netherlands and therefore, sometimes miss a beat in conversations (especially talking about books and TV shows for children).” Thus I thought: “As an ambitious non-Dutch woman I certainly could benefit from some empowerment in the business world. So, why not try it?!”
Sangreeta Moitra: ‘Your Corporate Narrative: Personal & Powerful’
Together with 20 other ambitious, international females I attended the workshop ‘Your Corporate Narrative: Personal & Powerful’ in Amsterdam. The speaker was announced with the following words: “Sangreeta Moitra who will make you discover elements, moments and experiences from your personal life, to find and define the professional you are today. A fusion of business storytelling, pitching and personal anecdotes, join this talk to make your professional narrative personal and powerful.”
The moment of truth
The moment Sangreeta spoke her first word to the curious, female audience she directly captured my attention. Her voice was warm as well as powerful and she had a glistering in her eyes that told me she definitely liked to tell her story. The story was about a little girl reaching for the stars, Sangreeta’s heroine. This little girl showed tremendous persistence and believed in herself. I could see those two features in Sangreeta.
4 exercises: do you dare to share?
- After Sangreeta captured our attention she set us to work. With four easily accessible exercises, she let us reflect and gather insights about ourselves. First we had to think of an event from our childhood that told us a lesson and where we learned something important. Sangreeta discussed the events of a few participants and reflected on what she heard and the meaning of it in a professional context. One woman shared a story from her childhood where her farther complained about the food during dinner and she stood up for her mother. This woman learned to stand up for herself and set boundaries in a professional context.
- The second exercise provided us with insights about our drives. Sangreeta facilitated us deriving our drives from a hobby. Capturing your hobby and unravelling why you enjoy it and how is makes you feel helped to pinpoint to your professional drives. As running makes one participant feel calm and composed it seemed that her clients value that in her as an attorney.
- After that we were asked to compose our slogan. A short sentence that tells what you do. You can compose your slogan with the aid of an metaphor or by describing how you do what you do. One woman, a consultant of one of the big four, shared that she was “a doctor for companies” as she diagnosed problems and root causes and searched for a solution.
- The last exercise was about persuasion, of in Sangreeta’s words: hostage negotiation. Hostage negotiators are experts in persuading people, especially kidnappers and hostage takers. Always searching the value of collaboration. Therefore you have to know what the need of the audience is and also what your own benefit of collaborating will be. Bringing both together, you can create a vision about the result of the collaboration. Because time was running fast and after all those insights, everyone was in the need of a “borrel”, we got this exercise as a homework. J
Hungry for more
What I really liked about the workshop was that it was engaging and practical. I can only speak for myself of course, but I got some new insights about myself and confirmed what I already knew about myself. What I really appreciated about Sangreeta was her personal approach to the participants while making it relevant for the whole group. Discussing examples of individual participants also generated insights for myself about interpreting my past behavior and its meaning in a professional context.
After the workshop, I was hungry for more of this, inspiring each other by sharing stories and insights. I was curious about everyone’s story, it really was shame that we did not have enough time to share those with the group. I can only recommend Sangreeta and her workshop to people who like to get to know themselves better and reflect about their personal as well as professional behavior.