Tatiana Kolovou has one of the most popular LinkedIn Learning courses of the year. She also produces the newsletter and podcast ‘Stronger’, is a Senior Lecturer at Indiana University, the CEO of a fitness boutique, and this week, is our guest on Coffee With Kim.
In our conversation she taught us how to be our own advocates, master communication, and a topic near and dear to me, how to say no. As our resilience continues to be tested this year, I knew she was the perfect guest to share tips that will carry us through our “new normal” with confidence. Get ready to improve your life with her wisdom!
In all Tatiana does there’s a through line of becoming stronger. I was curious to know if she’d always kept a positive outlook in life or if there was a turning point that prompted this mindset.
“I come from a culture in Greece that is very divided socially and I knew I had to create the opportunities I wanted. There was no backup plan for me and I have a learned optimism because of that.”
As a communications professor, Tatiana teaches her students in and out of the classroom the importance of representing your personal brand well. She explains part of doing that is advocating for yourself.
“We can’t expect our work to be discovered and celebrated, you must inform others, without being pushy, of the great things you’re doing.”
We’re human so rejection may never get “easier” but according to Tatiana says practicing your reaction may soften the blow. Here are exercises she suggests to do so:
“You have to be your own number one fan and coach.”
We’re always looking for ways to improve so I asked Tatiana to share the biggest communication pitfalls she’s witnessed with individuals she’s worked with or studied.
“The inability to see what went well,” she answered.
She explained people have a tendency to focus on the negative and that we have to coach ourselves to say positive and affirming things.
“Instead of saying ‘XYZ was a disaster and I’m not giving energy to anything else’, look for what you do well first and then point out what needs improvement.”
I used to think communication styles could be organized by generation but through working with clients young, old, and in between I’ve learned otherwise. What is universal, however, is the importance of managing your brand because every action sets your reputation.
Something as simple as email etiquette can make or break a potential relationship.
Here’s what Tatiana suggests to nail email etiquette:
1. Read and respond to emails within 24 hrs
2. Address people by their name
3. No misspellings and remove the “sent from iPhone” greeting
Tatiana credits her husband, her ability to compartmentalize, and most importantly saying no to things that don’t fit her goals or align with her purpose to being able to accomplish so much.
I admitted saying no is something I’m working on getting better at and she explained simply giving an alternative could be the solution.
“You can say, ‘Thanks so much for thinking of me, but I don’t have the bandwidth to do that currently, maybe xyz could help though.’ Or if you’re truly the only one that can help find a way to do so that isn’t going to deter you from your main focus.”
What is something you’ve started using or doing lately that you love?
Binge watching ‘The Morning Show’ and my Sunday yoga class, Rebounding
What is the next thing you’re hoping to learn?
What are your favorite social media accounts to follow?
Shankar Vedantam, Arianna Huffington, Daniel Pink, Harvard Business Review, making playlists on Spotify
Homework: Ask for things you know you may not get because asking will make you stronger.
Kevin “KD” Dorsey is joining us to talk sales and scaling. He’s built teams from 0-150+ reps, revenues from 0-$75M (and counting). He believes in processes, systems and constant self education. (sounds like our kind of guy!) I can’t wait to learn more about his way of using storytelling in sales and also coaching calls to improve teams. Hope to see you there!