07 Nov 2017

Deconstructing Biases, Building Bridges, Not Barriers

Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to do a TEDx talk – to be able to share an “idea worth spreading.” My talk was on Deconstructing Biases, Building Bridges, Not Barriers, and while talking about biases is not new and the acceptance of looking at them is becoming more mainstream, the approach I take asks everyone to take individual responsibility to look deeply and sort through the beliefs that hold others and themselves back.

To begin with, I have immense gratitude for the opportunity, and for Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Christy Belz and Michael Jenet for the tireless work, passion and commitment they put into TEDx Crestmoor Park Women, now in its 8th year. Appreciation and thankfulness are inadequate words for the friends and family and all audience members and volunteers who participated and who helped make the event a success.

Next, I absolutely love the work that I do. I get to work with individuals and organizations everyday to assist them with being the best they can be at what they do, and what they strive to accomplish. It is a partnership that includes looking at desired goals, current successes and current challenges, as well as beliefs and behaviors that get in the way of reaching the intended outcomes. Please join me as I share what I learned and experienced as a part of the process of realizing a goal and dream I had held.

I had put doing a TED Talk on my vision board two years ago, not knowing at the time how that would happen or what I would do when it did. If you are not familiar with vision boards, they are basically bucket lists, which consist of your dreams, goals, activities, whatever you want to do or experience.

When the time came, and I was encouraged to apply to be a speaker, I was very excited and motivated and put my creative juices to work to narrow down the message I wanted to pitch. It boiled down to the responsibility of every person committing to look at their biases (which are predetermined beliefs, positive or negative; conscious or unconscious) and to examine the impact that the beliefs have on others, themselves, organizations and communities.

One Monday evening in August, I received notice that I had been accepted and I literally jumped for joy. That night, I woke up about 2:00 AM and heard myself say, “OMG, now what – can I do this?” It really was not a question as I have been speaking to groups and audiences for years, but I experienced the feelings of fear and daunting responsibility to make it happen and do a good job. I used my F.E.A.R.© acronym at that early hour of the morning to keep me on track for my purpose. The process for the acronym is outlined in my talk, which will be available within 30 days – stay tuned. How it helped me in the middle of the night, was that I sorted out the feelings that whispered, “take flight” (meaning “fearful” flight, as in “run away”). Knowing full well, if I did not get beyond my fear, I would have “excluded” myself from the process, which would have “avoided” the opportunity to participate and to help spread a message. And, all of this was happening in a split second because of an automatic “reaction” that was being fed by a sense of vulnerability and a temporary lack of confidence.

Thus, I chose to move forward and be all in. So many incredible experiences continued from making that decision. I had the opportunity to:

  1. Connect more deeply with my purpose, values and passion;
  2. Learn from the producers and improve on my message and my presentation abilities;
  3. Ask for help;
  4. Accept the support of family and friends;
  5. Build my courage and confidence;
  6. Increase my focus;
  7. Get out of my comfort zone;
  8. Be a change agent on a broader scale;
  9. Meet and get to know 14 other amazing speakers and their commitment to their work and their messages that challenge and inspire;
  10. Have an incredible and joyous time.

These benefits were not part of what I expected, nor imagined as part of the process. The 10 items listed are gifts I received for taking the leap, facing my own fears and concerns, and having absolute belief in the work of deconstructing biases and the potential outcome of creating change and building bridges.

My call to action to myself is to continue being committed, being bold and active. My call to everyone is to look beyond any fears you have, no matter how they show up, connect to your heart and sort through and analyze the beliefs/biases you hold and the impact they cause. At the very least, commit to mitigate their impact and hopefully create real change. When it all boils down to it, Awareness is the first step, but Awareness alone does not create change – Actions do!


Be the change you wish to see in the world.Mahatma Ghandi

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10 Oct 2017

Three Tips to Build Self-Confidence and Reach Pure Potential

What does confidence mean to you?  According to Merriam-Webster, Confidence is a feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or, of reliance on one’s circumstances; faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way. Many have heard the Henry Ford quote, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” When you ponder this, it boils down to what we believe about ourselves. Too often, internal messages and biases, as well as outside judgments put a damper on the level of confidence we feel. If, however, we understand that feelings and beliefs are in our power to control, pausing and examining what we are thinking is the first step to choosing an effective approach and response. Let’s look at three automatic defaults that often drive our reactions – Limiting Beliefs, Assumptions, Interpretations.


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12 Sep 2017

Three Ways to Check the Message We Broadcast

Every day, whether we realize it or not, we are showing up in life and “sending a message” that is picked up by those around us. That message can fluctuate depending on a various number of factors, such as mood, stress, happiness, environment, media, almost anything that is either an internal circumstance or an external circumstance. The reality is that we believe we do not often have influence over the external circumstances and often believe they are the reason for our internal condition. However, we have much more influence than we realize, and it is our awareness, attitude and intention that can help us avoid being hijacked and being subject to the effect of situations and problems vs. contributing to a solution.

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15 Aug 2017

Inclusion is an Individual Responsibility

The recent news around diversity and inclusion at Google has sparked action and debate. There are dissenting voices, cheering voices, included voices, excluded voices, and even confused voices that say, I don’t know. Ultimately dialogue is needed.

Here is something to consider:  When there is a freedom to have your opinion, the important question is about the lack of respect if you have little regard for the impact of perpetuating negative stereotypes. For well over a year we have seen a broad and sweeping flow of “boxing-in” entire groups of people with the publicized use of negative stereotypes, and it increases divisiveness. If you and your organization truly want to work toward inclusiveness, part of your personal strategy and your organizational strategy needs to have a willingness and openness to discuss, to educate and understand the impact of actions and behaviors.

Do the recent events promote an awareness of the broad spectrum of negative stereotypes that hold women, people of color and LGBTQ persons move inclusion forward? Could there be a silver lining behind the cloud? Possibly. But the real work is in the clearing of the “cloud” through building awareness and recognizing behaviors and practices that are set with good intentions in the mind and eye of the beholder, but do nothing to move toward equity. And, the bottom line is that there is an individual responsibility. An organization can put into place procedures intended to be inclusive. But the individuals in the organization are the ones who are either aligned with the goals and practices or not, and their behaviors are evidence of their beliefs and biases.

Here are three things you can do:

  1. Know your organization’s policies and goals around diversity and inclusion and equity. If there is not one, raise the question to start the conversations. It is short sighted to ignore that diversity and inclusion are important aspects of organizational effectiveness. The lack of focus on realizing the business case and the need for diversity in a global society is like being an ostrich with its head in the sand.
  2. Be aware of your beliefs and whether they align with the organizational goals.
  3. Think, before you speak and recognize the impact of your actions and beliefs. And if you “just don’t get it,” talk with others to gather different perspectives and educate yourself on how individuals and the organization are affected.

Everyone has a choice. You can be part of the problem of the lack of inclusion and thus, contribute to the divisions and negativity, or you can be part of the solution that supports creating an environment where everyone can have the opportunity to succeed.

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10 Jul 2017

Exploring Myths and Realities to Create a More Equitable & Inclusive Environment

There are numerous articles, blogs and discussions about the lack of diversity in leadership roles, with specific emphasis on women, people of color and LGBTQ persons. You would think, with such a strong focus on this lack and a perceived concern that something needs to change, there would be more change. So, why are these discussions continuing to be had at the corporate executive level, within the legal, the tech and non-profits industries, and within education, government and associations everywhere? Maybe there is too much focus on “them” doing something different. Could it be that there is only a cursory acceptance of understanding the impact of bias (conscious and unconscious)? Could more personal commitment and action to take responsibility to be part of the solution make a difference, instead of inaction and remaining part of the problem?

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05 Jun 2017

How to Integrate Self-Care into Your Work and Life so that You are at Your Best

Amazing that Summer is upon us and half of the year has gone by.  For some, it is has flown by and for others, it has crept. Either way, now is a good time to take a reality check on how you are doing with the whole idea of taking care of yourself.

Self-care is a hot topic. Almost all of my coaching clients, including high performing lawyers, executives, entrepreneurs and individuals who want to live more purposefully, address this issue and their ability, or lack thereof, to focus on self-care and its impact on their performance. Frequently, the level of focus is low and the stress is high; even though the understanding of the importance of self-care and the desire to be more effective at taking care of one’s self is well known. Let’s look at ways to incorporate this crucial action into your life.

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08 May 2017

Let’s Revisit the Issue of Privilege

In April 2016, I had a byline article published in the American Diversity Report about the issue of privilege and rank https://americandiversityreport.com/category/dismantling-resistance-examine-rank-privilege-rosalie-chamberlain/. Since that time, I have noticed an awareness and openness to talk about what privilege is, who has it and how is it used. Just last month I spoke on the issue at the 18th Annual White Privilege Conference in Kansas City, and at the beginning of this month, also at the Center for Legal Inclusiveness. Both workshops were full – there are individuals who are strongly interested.

The intent to support equal opportunity for everyone is not enough because there is a huge difference in equal opportunity and true equity.
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10 Apr 2017

How to Reach Your Highest Leadership Potential

Let’s start with the premise that we are all leaders in some form. You do not have to be the leader of a team, an entire organization, association, community, state, or even a country. Because, at the very start, you are the leader of your life, which includes your career and personal life. The effectiveness of how you lead is directly connected to your level of success. Higher levels of success and achievement begin when each and every person takes responsibility for their own growth. Growth starts with self-awareness.

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06 Mar 2017

Growth – A Key Element of Success

The month of March can signal many things to many people. For me, it is nearing the beginning of Spring, a time of new growth. We have had a lot of change over the past few months and our approach to how we respond to change can be empowering or stifling. We will take a look at how our mindset supports or impedes success. But first, I would like to share how growth resonates with me as one of my top values through a personal story that continues to reveal possibilities, courage opportunity and success.
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25 Jan 2017

Are You Living Congruently?

To be in congruence is to be “in agreement or in harmony,” and this state of being can be applied anywhere and in any situation. It starts with awareness of what your values are, and noticing if you are living in line with what you believe. Your values are those bottom line non-negotiable conditions for your life. So, that means that you can check it out in relationship to your career, your relationships, your personal habits, your spiritual life, your relationship with the political climate and the world.

How are you responding or reacting to these important areas of your life?

Here are three areas to consider how you are showing up – in congruence with your values, or not:

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© 2015 Rosalie Chamberlain. All rights reserved.

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