Women can be pretty ruthless to each other in the workplace. Backstabbing, rumor spreading, malicious talking, gossiping, purposely excluding someone from an event or meeting, taking credit for someone’s work or helping to push someone out of a job.

I bet many of you have experienced behavior such as the ones mentioned above at the hands of another woman.

I call this the dark side of working with women.

Those close to me know that I have wanted to write an article on how to recognize a mean girl at work and develop strategies to effectively manage her and succeed in spite of her undermining behavior for a long time. (As an aside, I’ve also dealt with a few “mean guys” too, but that’s for a different article.)

Today, I am lucky enough to work in an environment free of mean girls (thank goodness!), that I don’t come into contact with them from time to time, or carry with me the memory of some terrible experiences of working with some very toxic females. Learning how to navigate them is an important skill to have throughout your career.

Before I delve deeper into this topic, I want to make it very clear that are plenty of amazing, supportive women in the workforce, and I’ve been very lucky to work with a number of them. They aren’t threatened by other women, and instead they go above and beyond to help others succeed. They are true role models. This article isn’t about them. I could have written an entire series of articles about the supportive women who have mentored me throughout my career. This article is about those women in the workplace who do not have your best interests at heart, and how to protect yourself against them. It’s important to remember that while you cannot can’t change someone else, you can change your own behavior, and this article will teach you how to do just that. 
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I recently achieved two major professional successes by putting myself out there and asking for them. I know it sounds a bit, well, basic, but I felt really good about going out on a limb and seizing the right moment to make a big ask in each of these situations.

So often, we are afraid

Many professionals want to step outside of their comfort zones and try different types of professional branding activities such as public speaking, article writing, taking a leadership role on a committee or joining a nonprofit board or starting a blog, but there’s something inside of them that holds them back from doing so.

Here’s what I say to those feelings of self-doubt and negativity (and what you should say too), “Yes you can, and you will!”

It’s not easy to tame our inner critic, but nothing in life that’s worth it ever is, right? We all have tons of self-doubts in our head that wreak havoc on our self-confidence. It’s so important to believe in yourself, in fact, your career depends on it. A positive mindset goes a long way in determining whether your endeavors fail or succeed. Harsh self-reflections can be very damaging to your psyche and your career. To succeed you must consciously silence these negative thoughts, replace them with proactive thoughts and actions and generally just be kinder to yourself.

I used to be in this category of people who just didn’t believe in themselves and who were overly critical of themselves – let’s just say that I was not the most charismatic public speaker (in fact, I was terrible!) and I beat myself up over it watching videos of myself, critiquing my performance and asking others for feedback where I obsessed over the negative comments. But I kept at it, I strove to improve what I could, I didn’t give up and I didn’t say no to future speaking engagements just because I had a few so-so experiences. And neither should you.

So what if your speaking engagement is only good not great or if your article just receives a lukewarm reception? You’ll learn from each of these and do better next time. After all, practice really does make perfect. If you work hard for the things you want, they will happen.

The next time you hear that negative voice in your head, I want you to promise to do the following: 
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Mark your calendars for March 7 for a Legal Marketing Association webinar titled, “How to Build Your Personal Brand Using Social Media Tools Before, During and After #LMA19” with me, and good industry friends Roy Sexton and Andrew Laver on how to use the upcoming #LMA19 conference in Atlanta on April 8-10 to build and enhance YOUR personal brand using social media! We’ll provide actionable takeaways and ideas for marketers of all levels, including how to build your network before, during and after the conference, how to master the art of the “humblebrag,” how to become a thought leader and published author (even if you’re not a great writer) and how to use free online tools to add eye-catching visuals to your social posts (like the one I created in this blog post, which I used to promote the program on social media as well). Join us! 
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Recently, social media strategist Spencer X. Smith (if you’re not following him you should!) said something on LinkedIn that really resonated with me.

It was about the idea of using your social media platforms and reach to promote the successes of others vs. only posting about yourself (or “me-centric” posts), and he talked about the fact that each of us has the ability to do this  within our own networks to significantly strengthen our professional relationships.

Harnessing the power of your own social media platforms to promote others and build stronger relationships and your brand is actually very easy and incredibly worthwhile.
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I am thrilled to be in this new Legal Marketing Association video series featuring members from all over the regions on why you should advocate, attend, celebrate, connect, join and learn with the LMA. Getting involved with the LMA is a great way to build your personal brand, meet others in our industry from all

Who doesn’t wish there was more time in the day? Do you ever feel like you aren’t giving 100% to anything because you just run out of time? Personally I just want some more quiet time to think and less time being chained responding to my email, which I could spend days doing.

It seems like we are being pulled in so many different directions that it’s difficult to keep track of, let alone stay on track of the multiple projects and to do’s we are constantly juggling in our professional and personal lives. (I admit that I sometimes lose the post-it notes that are supposed to help me manage my projects.) So when I saw an invite for an LMA event that would help me become a better project and time manager featuring leading recruiter and trainer Eva Wisnik, I immediately signed up for it (and made the time to attend it).

I also had the opportunity to interview Eva after the event to ask her for her top project and time management tips (thank you to my trusty producing partner Rob Kates for filming it). During the interview, we also talked about how to enhance our ability to manage the ever-increasing demands on our time and what trends Eva is seeing in the recruiting market today.


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I recently interviewed my fellow LMA Northeast Board member colleague and industry friend Jennifer Scalzi, CEO of Calibrate Legal, about the 2018 edition of the Law Firm Revenue Enabler™ Compensation Study, which surveyed more than 880 marketing and business development professionals from across North America. The survey was conducted by ALM Legal Intelligence and Calibrate Legal, Inc. during June and July 2018.

Our industry has needed a survey like this for a very long time -and not just the data but the analysis and the insights that accompany it, which we’ll get into soon with Jenn.

Some key findings of the study include: most “1st Chair” marketing and business development leaders report directly to their firm’s managing partner, career progression is not clearly defined within most firms and total compensation varies widely between firms. The study also found that marketing and business development departments are hiring most quickly in middle management and business development roles.

In the interview, Jenn talks about how the survey came to be, the most surprising thing she learned from the survey’s results, compensation trends, and to what she attributes the big gap in salary between men and women in the legal industry. 
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Many of you in the Legal Marketing Association community know that I’m very passionate about all things related to social media and you’ll often find me writing or speaking about LinkedIn, content marketing or something related to a new trend or feature on social.

I also personally use social media quite a bit (often posting photos of my dog) and in fact, some have even called me the Kevin Bacon of legal marketing (which always makes me chuckle), so it’s only fitting that I was asked to be the co-chair of the LMA’s Social and Digital Media SIG for 2019/2020 working alongside Jennifer Simpson Carr of Knapp Marketing.


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I recently listened in to a Legal Marketing Association CMO and Small Firm/Solo Marketer webinar featuring the perspectives of three chief marketing officers on a variety of topics (many of them submitted by LMA members themselves), including staffing, hiring, delegating, maximizing time with firm leadership, and their best tips for setting yourself up to be a successful leader in your firm.

This is the kind of webinar that is helpful for legal marketers at all levels and at any size firm, but especially for someone like me who is also a CMO at a smaller firm. 
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