Would You Hire Me to Train Your Leaders If My Nose Is Pierced?

I have numerous clients among Top100 Czech companies for whom I provide media and communications training and coaching. They’ve never noticed that my nose is pierced. I also have clients for whom as small a detail as this one can be a large inconvenience in choosing their training and advisory supplier. What makes the difference between the two?

This summer I had two interesting conversations with two of my female clients. Here are their stories.

The bitter-sweet burden of being a Woman at work 

The first is a very competent management consultant. Recently during a performance review she heard from her management that her style of dress is somehow hindering her from creating more impact at work.

I was driven mad,” she said. “I dress in a manner that I consider professional and yet I stay a woman and I do dress like a woman. I cannot be expected to push myself into a colorless trouser suit in a hope this would impress my male clientele,” she said.

My second client is a splendid manager. She is also very feminine – many would call her very attractive. She also seems to go into a sort of panic every time I ask her to write something or to go for an interview.

Pictures will be taken and I want people to perceive me for my ideas, not for my looks,” she says.

Between personality and your role: choose to be yourself 

Where does the truth lie in-between these two extremes?

One of the most respectable trainers and thought leaders on the Czech market is František Hroník, the founder and managing partner of MotivP, a training and advisory agency. I had the honor to meet him during the past two years regularly thanks to a common project. He emphasizes the importance of balancing your personality and your role for women and men alike.

If your personality overcomes the predefined lines of your role, you might not be able to achieve the goals your role requires and you might need to start thinking about expanding / changing your role.

If your role overtakes your personality, you will start acting like a machine, unable to think on your feet, be creative and – most important – to enjoy your work and your life.

The key thus is in the conscious balance of the two, in a permanent observation of the main features of our personality and role, in a constant review of our needs and goals, and in a constant effort to channel the right amount of energy in that precise direction that is in line with your vision at a certain moment in time.

Image management for women

The issue of how we women look, how we dress and how we make ourselves heard at work is a topic for several books. This is why I will return constantly to this topic in the future.

However, here are a few thoughts on where to start when you feel you are inclining towards an extreme.

  • Clarify who you are. This is work for a lifetime. Yet, the more you know about your personality, the better you are able to manage the roles you decide to bring in and retain into your life.
  • Clarify the roles you play in your life. Take an honest look at all the hats you’re supposed to wear and do wonder: are they all necessary? Do all of them belong to you? Is there a role that you could give up and thus gain some fresh mental and emotional energy for yourself?
  • Clarify what you want. Sometimes it’s necessary to put your ego on hold while you feed the requirements of your role in order to reach your goals and generate results. Just make sure that this lack of balance is a conscious, voluntary – and, often, temporary – choice.

Back to my nose piercing, I might have to take it out sometimes when I go into a tender with new clients who don’t know me / trust me yet. However, I will put my piercing back as soon as possible. It’s a part of who I am. My promise to my clients is that I will consciously stick with myself in order to be able to create, innovate and remain passionate about my work while respectfully integrating their needs and delivering on their requirements. That’s the best I can do at this point in my life.

Personal development for women in business and entrepreneurship is one of the dearest topics to my heart. At the core of the matter one issue remains constant: in order to perform, you need to understand who you are, what you want and be ready to overcome your fears in order to just go for it.

Let's Talk

The best way to gain, retain, and restore your critical distance as a woman CEO is to have a faithful guide, thought partner, and inspiring challenger by your side. This is what I am for women CEOs. If you are facing major developments in your business or in your career this year, we should talk. Please book or have your assistant book a no-strings-attached free 30-minute CEO exploration call with me; we will get to know each other and I will be thrilled to spot how I could be of your service in 2024 and beyond.
Cristina Muntean
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Let's Talk

The best way to gain, retain, and restore your critical distance as a woman CEO is to have a faithful guide, thought partner, and inspiring challenger by your side. This is what I am for women CEOs. If you are facing major developments in your business or in your career this year, we should talk. Please book or have your assistant book a no-strings-attached free 30-minute CEO exploration call with me; we will get to know each other and I will be thrilled to spot how I could be of your service in 2024 and beyond.