28 November 2012

Coaching at the Massachusetts Conference for Women

Next week, on December 6, 2012, I’ll be coaching at the 8th annual Massachusetts Conference for Women, in Boston.  In partnership with the Conference, The New England Chapter of the International Coach Federation (ICF) selected 40 credentialed coaches to provide individual coaching sessions with Conference participants who want to schedule one.  I’m thrilled to be one of the chosen coaches, and I’m very much looking forward to the event.

Do you live in the Boston area?  Or can you get to the Boston area on 12/6?  If so, consider going to the Conference.  It promises to be an exciting day.  The expected 7000 participants will have the opportunity to hear from a wide-ranging and huge list of speakers.

If you get to the Conference, sign up for one of my coaching sessions, or come over to the location of the “Mentor Match” (what the coaching program is called) and say hello.

If you’ve been to other conferences, conventions, or seminars of this size, you probably know what to expect.  If you’re an extrovert, chances are you’ll have a great day, and you’ll come away energized, inspired, and happy.  If you’re an introvert, you too may come away energized, inspired, and happy, but you might also come away drained and exhausted in a way that your extrovert colleagues are not.

For many introverts, participating in a conference of this size and scope can be personally taxing.  Here are some suggestions for how to get the most from the day with the least amount of damage to your sanity or well-being — try one of two of them:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.  Seriously.  It will keep you grounded.  (And yes, it will also keep you running to the ladies’ room, but hey, each time, it’s a couple of moments to yourself, right?)
  • Take a break from the Conference sometime during the day — just go off for 15 minutes and collect yourself.  Breathe, acknowledge yourself for getting to the Conference and for stretching out of your comfort zone.   You might call a friend or colleague and just check in.  Or you might call your work phone and check in with yourself (leave a message).
  • If (when?) you start to feel overwhelmed by all the high-energy input, know that in the days that follow, you will decompress.  Even more important, know that all that you are learning will unpack itself in the days ahead, and consciously or not, you will integrate what you need to integrate from this, and your next steps will emerge.
  • If you think of any next action steps you might want to take, write them down!  These ideas have a way of disappearing over the course of a high-stimulus day, so harvest them as soon as you’re conscious of them.  You can always discard later.
  • When you meet someone you think you might want to follow up with, ask their permission to contact them later.  In the cold light of the next couple of mornings, go through the names (or cards) of people you met and decide whether and how to follow up.  You don’t have to do everything on the fly.
  • Remember that you’re not the only introvert there.  We’re everywhere!

If you identify as an introvert and read this far, you might enjoy reading this post from earlier this year.

I hope to see you at the Conference!