Last week I had the honour of guest speaking in Scotland at the GE Oil and Gas #Leading Transformation Conference organised and sponsored by GE Women’s Network Aberdeen and Montrose. My session was on the subject of communication and, specifically, the importance of connecting at a deep level if you want to get your message heard.
Nothing unusual or remarkable about that I hear you say.
I beg to differ. How I got to be there is remarkable. Pink Petro member Claire Phillips noticed me as I commented on her article she had written on the Pink Petro platform about her career with GE. Digging deeper into my profile as a Global Executive Coach she spotted my experience as a conference speaker (notably with Shell Outpost in London in March) on communication and my passion for helping women show up authentically and powerfully to make a difference. We then spoke offline and Claire proposed me as a speaker to colleague and fellow Pink Petro member Sarah Walker, who was working with Claire on the conference. The rest is history.
Actually, not quite. Finding myself with Shell in London is another social connection story in itself. I found Katie Mehnert about a year ago through a LinkedIn group and we got acquainted offline through Skype conversations. Katie put me in touch with Jillian Sherburne who was heading over to the UK from Houston with her husband on an expat assignment with Shell. We met and Jillian connected me to Shell Outpost.
In the meantime I found out about Women’s Energy network (WEN) and became the first member residing outside of the US! Another friend in the US put me in touch with Kate Lumley who found out about the WEN Conference in New Orleans and signed up on the strength of my recommendation. So Pink Petro in Houston triggered direct and indirect sign ups to WEN15 (which was definitely worth the transatlantic trip), not to mention some intriguing conversations with Kimberly Wilson and Heather Gillbanks. There are more in the pipeline.
So here we have the first two words of Pink Petro’s strapline in action: We unite, connect, develop and grow women.
Back to Aberdeen for the second two: develop and grow. What I loved about this conference was the focus on demonstrating what happens when women take the lead rather than talking about it. The delegates were men and women, hand-picked for their commitment to continuous improvement and from a whole range of functions and levels. It was this diversity of thinking, coupled with a recognition that communication skills are as important as expertise in innovation and change management, which ensured success in the event. I was given carte blanche to be the authentic me and get people moving around and into a different frame of mind which you will notice from some of these photos!