UPDATE 4.05pm: THE final speaker of today’s conference asked women to imagine the possibilities if we invested in our listening skills.
"Most people don't listen with the intent to understand they listen with the intent to reply," keynote speaker Jessamy Gee said.
"I hope some of what you take away from today will help you ... listen as a human in a world of technology. Imagine the possibilities if we were all better listeners and imagine the possibilities if we weren't."
Jessamy said when people get better at listening, people get better at understanding.
"It expands your circle of influence and the life of great ideas,” she said.
“Paying attention is hard. Shit moves fast these days, really, really fast.
“We’re moving to a more knowledge based economy … human skills will be our most valuable resource.”
So there’s some things you can do to help improve your listening skills: filter and focus, feel it out, fine tune and find connections.
“Take a breath and wait for those important messages to rise to the top,” Jessamy said.
Jessamy, who is graphic recorder, said drawing on a page when taking notes was a great way to retain information.
“Visuals help us connect, it provides a deeper level beyond meaning,” she said.
“You don’t have to learn to draw portraits, it’s better to keep it simple."
Louise Thomson’s Everyone is a Leader session was an “hour of power”.
She was one of the two final breakout sessions as part of the Imagine The Possibilities conference.
“Everyone is responsible for leadership,” she said.
“I help people go from being manages to being leaders. People who are led do so on their own accord… it’s really hard working with people.
“Everything that comes out of your mouth is a choice.”
Louise said leaders needed to care about other people – “it’s not about you”.
She said it was also important to have role models.
“We are generally not that aware of how we behave but you need to be more aware," Louise said.
Which is where the balcony button comes in when Louise encourages us to watch ourselves from a make-believe balcony.
Louise said it was important to remember we can control what we say, our movement and what we think.
“The line of choice is all about your choice. If people are accountable for their part of the change … that is a demonstration of leadership. Ownership is even more challenging.”
And the biggest thing Louise wanted the women to take away with them?
“The big one is to be happy and happy with you,” she said.
REYNE Mendes encourages women to lead with their heart because people’s heads will follow.
Her Emotional Intelligence session was one of two this morning as part of the annual Imagine the Possibilities conference.
“What is EQ?” she said.
“Self-awareness is one of the absolute keys. Knowing what is it that’s upsetting you and getting a hold of it.
“Emotions need to be controlled or they will control you … if you focus on something negative, it will grow.”
When you first meet someone, Reyna encourages women to start with the “why” they do what they do, instead of the “what”.
“I send people across the world … I make dreams come true,” said a travel agent in the crowd.
“I am a travel agent.”
See, how it changes things?
Reyna also wants women to focus of what they are.
“Be genuine. If you don’t truly believe people won’t either,” she said.
“Do what you love and love what you do.”
And, when it allows, break the rules because they are there to be broken.
“We need to know how to bend the rules … I can’t stress that enough,” she said.
REYNA’S LIST TO SUCCESS:
Be self-aware, understand your purpose
Stack the deck and go the extra mile
Be the last to speak
Be genuine and trustworthy
Find your passion
Break the rules
WOMEN have split in to two groups for the first breakout session.
Reyna Mendes will speak about emotional intelligence and Kimberley Furness about LinkedIn.
Best-selling author Kate Christie – a confessed Harry Potter fan – has given women a recipe to get time back in their lives.
“Ask is this the best use of my time? And if it’s not make a different decision,” she said.
Kate encouraged women to think of time as an investment.
“When you choose to do a task, ask how much is this costing me?” she said.
“My number one goal today is to make sure you leave here feeling empowered and you have a recipe on how you are going to get your time back.”
Kate was a superhero woman. She had three babies in three and a half years.
“I was either pregnant or breast feeding for five years straight,” she said.
Something, obviously, had to give. And there was a day when that happened.
It started with forgetting cupcake day and her hysterical five-year-old clinging to her leg.
“I fled for the car wiping the snot off the suit. I was so stressed and upset,” she said.
Then there was a board meeting when she realised she was the only person of the executive team who didn’t have a full-time wife.
“So I took my cape off that day … I realised that I shouldn’t be going after it all,” she said.
“That’s what I want you guys to take away today. Think about what’s important to you.
“Think about all those emails, the car trips you have to do, the running around, the workload. And in your head think about the one word that describes your day.
“And I’m going to guess – busy.
“So a part from me wanting to think about how you live, work and play. Reject busyness. You’re not busy, you’re fantastic. Change the conversation and it changes the whole mental attitude.”
Kate encouraged people to map their time.
“You’re going to see the things you don’t need to be doing or the thing you could be doing differently. Just commit to it for a day or two,” she said.
“I am here to tell you that multi-tasking is not your friend … it does not work. Two per cent of the world can multi-task … do one thing at a time.”
Kate said women should reject distractions and be proactive and not reactive.
"Your day is not a marathon, it's a series of short sprints. Take breaks," she said.
"As soon as you look at your phone you are setting yourself up for a reactive day."
Kate said women needed to take control, lock deadlines into calendars and use text messages to communicate instead of voice messages.
"You do not have to go to every meeting. Meetings should really just have the decision-makers there," she said.
When looking at tasks you have to do daily sort them into four categories: musts, wants, delegate and reject.
"Let's have a look at some of the rejects - fridge gazing," she said.
"Meal plan: have a plan at the start of the week ... the more kids you have the more they can do around the house.
"Ironing: reject it. Buy clothes that don't require ironing."
And - the big one Christie said - learn how to say "no".
"If you're not comfortable with the straight out no, do the yes-no ... yes, that would be awesome, unfortunately I don't have the time this year, maybe next year.
"The harder but better way to do it is a straight out 'no' ... I want you to have a think today about what you might do differently. Pick one or two strategies and implement them tomorrow."
UPDATE 10.10am: MC Leonie Canham has welcomed women to today's conference and encouraged everyone to get to know one another.
EARLIER: WOMEN in Echuca-Moama and surrounds can stop Imagining the Possibilities.
Because the event we have all been waiting for is here.
About 150 women have packed the Moama Bowling Club today to be empowered by guest speakers and learn how to become the best versions of themselves.
The full day conference is exclusively tailored for women and will feature two guest speakers and will be packed with personal and professional advice from expert speakers.
Now in its third year, all proceeds go to Echuca Moama Girls Night to help them lighten the load for people in the community living with cancer.
The conference will explore the challenges faced by entrepreneurial, professional and creative business women and provides practical tips and insights into leadership, growth and innovation.
It will feature two key note speakers, Kate Christie and Jessamy Gee.
The founder and director of Time Stylers, Kate is a time management expert, international speaker and best-selling author.
One of Australia’s leading graphic recorders, Jessamy has developed a skill set in listening, synthesising, capturing and communicating information visually.
Four breakout sessions will also be hosted by Reyna Mendes, Kimberley Furness, Louise Thomson and Erin Griffin.
More to come.