Last month, the Philadelphia branch of Women in ETFs gathered in the heart of Center City (check out that view!) for a discussion on maximizing your professional presence through mindfulness. Women in ETFs’ critical mission helps those in the ETF industry establish connections and celebrate the achievements of women. 

The event was led by Executive Mindset and Growth Coach Erin Jewell Gerst, MBA, ACC, who helps organizations and leaders — particularly women — recalibrate their leadership stories to be more authentic, effective and purposeful. Gerst’s session struck a chord and led me to consider several ways we can apply mindfulness to our work. 

Having a growth mindset: A growth or learning mindset means viewing challenges and new tasks as an opportunity to learn and, in turn, foster improvements and create new abilities. It’s easy to live in the fixed mindset camp, which reinforces the idea that you’re either good at something or you’re not. For communicators and marketers, financial services may not feel like a natural fit. But by applying a growth mindset, we can view certain tasks such as writing a press release or coordinating a new product launch as chances to learn and expand our knowledge, rather than shying away from the unfamiliarity of it. 

“Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!”: A book of this title, written by Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff, was referenced during the session and emphasizes an important concept. At work, it can feel like there are multiple fires that need to be put out, with seemingly no clear path forward. Gerst argued that when such situations arise, sometimes the wisest choice is to take a step back and let your mind reset. Treating your brain like a muscle and allowing yourself short rest periods, as you would at the gym between workout sets, can help you return with a stronger, more efficient idea. Using this strategy can often help solidify your approach, lending greater order and structure to a situation. 

Head, heart, hands: Gerst discussed this communication concept through the lens of meetings. Taking note of how someone speaks can help determine their priorities and ultimately create a more impactful message. For example, if someone uses a phrase like, “I think our research is useful, so we should do a press release,” you can see how they move from their head (think) directly to their hands (do). As marketers, we help build strong and convincing messages. Keeping this technique in mind, we can dig in to find the heart of the message by asking questions such as, “What makes this research unique?” and “How do you envision investors leveraging it?” This way, we can fully understand all aspects of a message and uncover new ways to make it even more powerful. 

Such techniques can get away from us in our day-to-day, especially in financial services marketing. However, actively practicing mindfulness can help round out our leadership skills and overall professional presence.

  • Please contact us to learn more about how Gregory FCA can help your firm build strong and convincing messaging!