A Visit from Caroline Ceniza-Levine

caroline and lauren gould

I met Caroline Ceniza-Levine, a career and business expert, writer, speaker and co-founder of SixFigureStart®, at a NYWICI event this summer. Prior to her move into coaching and training, Caroline spent 15 years in strategy consulting, executive search and HR. Her pragmatic, no-nonsense way of dishing out career advice was refreshing.

I wanted to share Caroline’s broad experience, vast knowledge and engaging personality with a broader audience at Kaplow. When I asked her to visit our office as part of our Outside/In initiative, Caroline didn’t hesitate and recommended that we discuss resilience.

To begin, I was curious to know the pure definition of the word:

re·sil·ience noun \ri-ˈzil-yən(t)s\  The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness

Is resilience relevant in today’s business world? I’d say so. Who hasn’t had a tough client meeting or received disappointing feedback from a colleague or manager? Who of us hasn’t had a terrible commute into the office that set off an entire day of missteps?

Caroline reviewed 8 steps to ensuring resiliency. A couple, in particular, resonated with me.

  • Preparation. It seems obvious, but preparation goes a long way towards building confidence. It takes time and practice. Even if you’re having an informal conversation with your manager about a raise or promotion, preparation can go a long way. Practice your rationale, sell yourself and anticipate feedback/reactions/objections. If the outcome isn’t what you desired, you’ll know that it wasn’t because you were unprepared. You should at minimum come out of the discussion with specific goals or next steps.
  • Bouncing back. Caroline also discussed recovering from situations that do not go our way. Her advice – amnesia. Don’t dwell on what went wrong, forgetaboutit! Keep moving in a forward direction. We can make a conscious decision to focus on the positive (or negative), and at the end of the day, you should choose the one that will keep you motivated.

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