On Wednesday, almost 50 women came to the first of a series of LeadingWELL workshops hosted by TS Bank.
The event was hosted by TS Bank, with sponsors TS Prosperity Group, Revela, the Pottawattamie County Community Foundation and American Family Insurance-Castle and Associates.
At the bank’s downtown Council Bluffs branch, attendees discussed the workshop’s focus for the evening: Influence. Influence at work, influence at home, influence in our day-to-day lives.
“TS Bank along with our sponsors, believe that there is a need for leadership training and networking events specifically geared toward women in the Council Bluffs area. We recognize that there is a lot of leadership knowledge in our community and women who want to empower the next generation. Our goal is to provide a safe place for sharing ideas and to create strong connections between the women in our community.”
“We want to encourage you to step in to influence and to create positive change in our communities.”
During the workshop attendees broke into three groups to discuss the topic, answering a number of questions that spurred discussion of influence. Here are some takeaways:
Watch a video shown at the workshop to help spur conversation here.
Asked to define influence, the women noted a number of variations on a handful of themes: “Creating impact in a powerful way.” “Making an impact on those around you and the world.”
“Provide data or input to help with discussion.” “The ability to add value or negativity to persons or situations to sway an opinion.” “Persuasion through others.” “Convincing others to a path or idea.”
“Bringing people together and igniting change.” “The ability to lead or make changes by persuasion.”
Asked if they view influence as a negative or a positive, attendees noted that by using influence people could make an impact and help mentor others.
“Influence is very important regarding how you use it, influence should be used in the service of others,” an attendee noted.
“Influence is greater than power.” “With all of the things going on in the world, we want to have an impact, we have to be able to directly influence.”
On the negative side, influence, when used incorrectly, can lead to bullying and manipulation, attendees said.
“There is a difference between genuine influence and selfishness,” an attendee said.
Attendees said they’d like to be more influential in areas of their life, including through community projects and involvement, with their families, as part of boards and committees and with politicians and other leaders.
“Where else can I plug in to in the community? My work will always be there but I’m looking for how to be more involved outside of work,” a woman said.
Attendees mentioned the influence of telling a mentor about their impact, along with the idea of giving (instead of receiving).
Asked what is stopping them from having more influence, attendees talked about some of the pressures of being a woman.
A woman mentioned “imposter syndrome,” a psychological term referring to a pattern of behavior where people doubt their accomplishments and have a persistent, often internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud – when they’re not.
Any advice to overcome those obstacles?
“Be authentic.” “Journal your negative self-talk. Focus on how it hinders you AND how it helps you.” “Spend the influence you already have. Try the 30-day influence challenge and give influence to a new person or organization for the next month.
“Self talk, self-awareness, empowering other women and seeing them succeeding, just show up and take that step forward.”
Is influence something you can give? Something you can pass on?
“Yes, empower your team. Team leaders provide guidance. With positive influence you build stronger, more trusting teams. Build a judgment free zone.”
The next LeadingWELL workshop will be held on Oct. 30, with the evening’s theme confidence. Keep an eye out for additional information as the date nears.
About TS Bank: TS Bank’s mission is to Ignite Prosperity® in the communities it serves. Leading the resurgence of community banking, TS Bank reinvests 10% of their net income locally; hosting educational events and partners with local organizations and non-profits. Treynor State Bank was chartered in 1923 and branded to TS Bank in 2005. TS Bank has $384 million in assets, along with the largest Iowa state-chartered C-Corp trust department west of Des Moines at nearly $245 million in assets named TS Prosperity Group. Branch locations include Treynor, Macedonia, Atlantic, Corning and Council Bluffs, Iowa. For more information visit tsbank.com.