Listening Through the Noise

May 17, 2021

I listen through the noise. And I recommend you do the same.

We all have choices:

  • Where do we place our attention?
  • What and who do we listen to?
  • Who do we do tune out?

Too often we listen to our internal critic — note that ‘internal’ is a funny word here since that negative voice is shaped by our culture. It is really an internal-seeming *external* voice.

You know that’s true because of how similar our internal voices are. 

If we all have imposter syndrome, for example, or we all tend to drown out praise and focus on criticism, then really how private and individual is that internal saboteur?

Sadly, this internal-external negative voice never goes away. Even knowledge that it really is not your voice, doesn’t change anything. But you can decide to increase the volume of the positive and supportive voices around you. 

And there is no more important moment to do that then during the job search and, especially, during job offer negotiations.

That’s why I experienced such great joy on Friday of last week when three members reached out to me to say that they had not only closed the deal on a new job — awesome! — but, as we had discussed in our job offer coaching, they had asked for *more* money and *more* support and they received both.

I will note that these three also participated in a Job Search Council (JSC), which is a mutual support group for mid-career job seekers and is the topic of my next book (they used drafts of my book to help them throughout their search). 

Their successful negotiations meant that they collectively received hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they would have otherwise gotten simply because they asked for help.

But that’s not even the best part. 

They also asked their new employers for what they would need to succeed in the new role, and got everything they asked for, including key non-salary requirements – *all* of which they had *not* even thought about asking for before our conversations. 

Happily, they got over their fears and internal critics, and decided to ask for everything from board-level agreement on the budget necessary to get out of technical debt, to personal mentorship from the CEO, to support for landing their first external board seat.

And as I hinted at last week, we are now making job search support, including Job Search Councils (JSCs), and negotiations coaching an official part of your council membership. 

If you are a member, and you lose or leave your job, then we have a whole suite of services that come *gratis* with your membership. 

I asked a young member of my team what to say about this. 

She said this:

If you are a member and you find yourself looking for a new job, then ignore that internal-external critic, and give us a call.

And she added: 

If you are not a member, that’s dumb.




Recent Talks and Activity Recordings

  • No Ego
    Cy Wakeman, Best-selling Author and CEO
    Talk Type: Leadership Development, Culture
    Audience/Roles: All Roles
     This spring keynote was a GREAT session. Members loved it. I collected live case studies from members, which I anonymously shared with Cy to get her reaction on what was to be done. You gotta watch to see her great answers.

    Cy Wakeman is a drama researcher, global thought-leader, and New York Times best-selling author who is recognized for cultivating a counter-intuitive, reality-based approach to leadership. Backed by over 20 years of unparalleled experience, Wakeman’s philosophy offers a new lens through which employees and executives alike, can shift their attention inward, sharpen their focus on personal accountability, and uncover their natural state of innovation simply by ditching the drama.Deemed “the secret weapon to restoring sanity to the workplace,” Wakeman has helped companies such as Google, Facebook, Viacom, Uber, NBC Universal, NASA, Pfizer, Johns Hopkins, Stanford Health Care, Keurig Dr. Pepper, AMC Theatres, White Castle, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and countless others learn to navigate our rapidly changing world using good mental processes to harness energy wasted in workplace drama and reinvest that effort into achieving profound business results.
  • JTBD in Large Distributed Environments
    Jay Haynes, Founder & CEO,
    Talk Type: Product; Skill Builder/Practitioner
    Audience/Roles: All Roles

    Jobs To Be Done has proven to be an effective methodology for building much better holistic end-to-end products and customer experiences.

    *But* CG Council member companies with large distributed environments are finding it difficult to apply JTBD in effective ways.

    Jay Haynes, CEO of thrv, and a global expert on JTBD will come and speak to the Councils community on this specific challenge of using the methodology in large, complex technology environments.
  • Groundwork: Get Better at Making Better Products
    Vidya Dinamani and Heather Samarin, co-Authors of Groundwork
    Talk Type: Product
    Audience/Roles: All Roles

    Product leaders are all too familiar with the one to two-year period it typically takes to train and coach PMs. Product leaders hire smart people and then work with them individually, guiding them through how to think about product management, and watching them develop. Vidya Dinamani and Heather Samarin wanted a much faster way to help cultivate efficient and effective product managers that consistently create products that delight customers, regardless of the industry, the environment, and the development methodology that the team employed. They took years of experience as product executives and working with hundreds of teams as product coaches to create a framework to Get Better at Making Better Products.

    The design philosophy and methodology behind Groundwork was created to help product leaders be confident that their teams were committed to solving the right customer problems, minimizing costly rework by using individualized needs, and leveraging actionable personas in big and small product decisions. Vidya and Heather want Groundwork to help product teams have a much higher chance of success in the market—and help every product manager shine.

    Join Vidya and Heather as they share the background, principles, and methodology behind the Groundwork to help you, and your team, get better at making better products. 
  • Making the Case for Empowering Your People
    Marty Cagan, Partner, Silicon Valley Product Group
    Talk Type: Product, Leadership Development, Culture
    Audience/Roles: All Roles

    From Marty: “I have long been interested in the difference between how the best companies work, and the rest. Working with both types of organizations for so many years, there are many differences ranging from culture to process to staffing to roles to techniques. But at its core, strong product companies empower their people, and most of the rest do not. My focus over the past few years has been tackling this issue head-on, which means the product leadership. In this talk, we’ll discuss why this model consistently yields better results, and what’s necessary to transform to work like the best.”

    Marty’s Bio: Marty Cagan is the founding partner of the Silicon Valley Product Group, which he created to pursue his interests in helping others create successful products through his writing, speaking, advising and coaching. Before starting SVPG, Marty served as an executive responsible for defining and building products for some of the most successful companies in the world, including Hewlett-Packard, Netscape Communications, and eBay.As part of his work with SVPG, Marty advises tech companies of all sizes and stages, stretching far beyond Silicon Valley. Marty is the author of the industry-leading book for product teams, INSPIRED: How To Create Tech Products Customers Love, and the upcoming book EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products. Marty is an invited speaker at major conferences and top companies across the globe.
  • See talks from the last month and beyond here.

About the Author

Phyl Terry

Phyl Terry, Founder and CEO of Collaborative Gain, Inc., launched the company’s flagship leadership program – The Councils – in 2002 with a fellow group of Internet pioneers from Amazon, Google, and others. Thousands of leaders from the Internet world have come together in the last 15 years to learn the art of asking for help and to support each other to build better, more customer-centric products, services, and companies.

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