November 03, 2021 5 min read
Described as a super-connector, what Helen knows for sure is that it’s as much about WHO you know, and HOW you relate to them, as WHAT you know. Her program “Get a seat on a board” program aligns perfectly with She Lion’s values of empowering women in the workplace and into positions of leadership, where we belong!
After spending five minutes with Helen, it’s VERY clear that Helen knows more than a few things about leadership and confidence. Her high energy is contagious, even through the confines of a zoom meeting and she is one of the most generous humans we have ever met with her wealth of expertise. Buckle up for this awesome chat with Helen and her nuggets of pure gold wisdom:
I love connecting and joining people together. I talk to anybody, I just love to strike up conversations with people!
My background in personal styling started in finance and banking, then moved into personal image consulting. I was constantly perplexed that when people weren’t getting ahead in business, that they didn’t intrinsically tie together looking great with having the confidence in getting ahead.
I don’t follow fashion per se. I think being authentically who you are and finding what works for you is essential. What quirk is in your natural style? Finding what your visual strengths are and the impact of how that could make someone feel is a superpower. People do judge books by covers, we wish it wasn’t that way but it is.
I’ve been working remotely for as long as I can remember, I don’t think an awful lot changed for me in how I work. However, face to face sessions in the city has moved entirely online.
My clients have adapted to zoom wonderfully, but there are challenges with connecting with new clients. I have purposefully changed how I work with LinkedIn. I am having 2-3 new conversations a week and having a more in-depth conversation about who they are and, how I can help before diving into a program.
My approach has never been a hard sell, I am a diehard extrovert. I get my energy from being around other people, so these new connections, even remote are essential to my success.
I also have a coach! I wouldn’t use the hairdresser who has shocking looking hair. Coaches need coaches too. I’m human and don’t have everything handled.
Depending on what it is that I need to work on, I look for coaches that fit. For example, I recently created an online program to get women into a board seat, so I found a coach with expertise in that digital space.
This year I’m looking at my narrative in regards to the broader appeal for my services so have sought a coach for that. They have challenged me on working only with women, as bringing more empathy and confidence to men is super important to creating more inclusive leadership spaces for women. Just when I think I know everything, I get challenged by my coach and that’s a mark of a good coach! To challenge my ego.
Personal health, physical, spiritual and emotional health. I need to keep that strong. Meditation has been so helpful, I’ve spent most of my life running to and from everything so mental space has been a huge deal for me to focus on.
I can’t give what I don’t have. I have a duty of care to look after myself. If I’m ok then I know that those around me are ok too.
Gratefulness practice. Recognising there’s a lot in my favour helps me avoid going straight to panic and look at what the light side is in my mindset. I’ve learned I have some real muscle in strengthening myself.
Vulnerability and authenticity. A lot of my clients don’t have a great relationship with vulnerability and things have to be acertain way. Bringing your authentic self to a workplace works in your favour. The person you can trust is the person who can be vulnerable and honest.
You don’t get one Helen for personal and one Helen for work. I am who I am. I share my stuff as it permits people to share their experiences and learnings. We don’t learn through perfection, we learn through mistakes.
Humour. It's essential and it’s a perfectly reasonable way to cope, we’re all doing the best we can right now.
I have The Sharpshooter and the Magnate (in burgundy) and I cannot live without them!
You’ll always find my 13” MacBook, my wallet, glasses, Lippy (It’s always in my daily arsenal), a face mask and some Schmackos for my doggo, Darcie.
Because we have so much screen-time these days, I listen to a lot of books through audible. I always have a few on the go!
However, I do have a couple of paper-based books I’m excited to dive into: Worthy, by Maree Mcpherson, on teaching women to be worthy and stop mauling their mojo. I also have Being - The Source of Power by Askan Tashvir.
I like to give my soul several things to listen to and read. It feeds my creativity. I love to potter around the garden and cook listening to podcasts, feeding my mind, eyes and body all at the same time.
When all else fails and I feel shit I put on red lippy.
Thank you so much for your time and generosity Helen! What stood out in our chat is the key piece about authenticity. It takes courage to authentically be who you are and step out and be yourself, especially for women, we have so many expectations and pressures on women for how they’re meant to talk, look and be educated and so much of it is bulldust.
An amazing reminder of confidence to keep in your bag for when you need it!
You can connect with Helen on Linkedin.
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Sue Parker, the owner of DARE Group Australia, is a personal branding, career communications and LinkedIn specialist. Sue works with professional service businesses and career executives and brings more than 35 years of marketing, sales and media experience with her. Previous to DARE Group she owned a media recruitment agency for more than a decade. Sue is a well-regarded media contributor and columnist with bold opinions and witty musings. She is also Australia’s leading media commentator on LinkedIn updates, opinions and news.
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