Women in Insurance and Financial Services

I was honored to speak at the National Conference for Women in Insurance and Financial Services in Austin, Texas last week. I met lots of fabulous people. Learned a lot! And got great feedback regarding my presentation.

My session, Communication: Bridging the Gender Divide, provided tips and strategies related to effective communication; the what, why and how men and women communicate differently. The participants gained an understanding of the impact of unconscious bias as it relates to communication.

Following my presentations, many participants shared with me how helpful they found the session. Some feedback I received included:

As I answered emails last night, I felt like you were sitting on my shoulder, reminding me not to say ‘sorry’ when responding to clients. I now understand the importance of making a statement rather than apologizing and excusing what I can’t do. I needed to say what I can do. “I can call you on Monday.”

I will be better prepared for meetings by organizing my thoughts ahead of time. Then I will sound clearer and more confident. I now realize I was often giving a verbal dump; telling everything I know about the topic, rather than answering the question. The men in the room stopped listening and I didn’t understand why until now.

Thank you for clarifying a core difference between how men and women communicate. Understanding that women communicate to build relationships and men communicate for information is going to help me more effectively communicate with my colleagues and clients.

For me a high point of the conference happened during the Keynote speech by Amy Wolf. When I heard her say “Peggy reminded us of the importance of what you say and how you say it,” I was taken back. People at my table had to say, ‘she is talking about you.’ Amy is an excellent presenter and a TED X coach. I was very engaged in her talk and felt honored when she repeated one of my messages. Thank you Amy.

And… Thank you WIFS for inviting me to speak at your conference.