Prisc: Self-awareness key to making life changes

PARKERSBURG – Going from “here” to “there” in a career was the theme of the 2013 Women in Leadership luncheon, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Laura Prisc, founder of Leadership and Potential LLC, spoke Wednesday on the topic of “What got you here, won’t get you there.”

Prisc said her presentation was from the book by Marshall Goldsmith of the same title.

“One of the things I tell people I work with is to be self-aware,” she said. “The more you know about yourself the more potential you have for getting to where you want to go.”

Prisc said behaviors she learned early in life, such as being assertive and speaking frankly and directly, served her well growing up.

“But as I got beyond college and the working world, kind of not so much after a while,” she said. “People wanted to help me as I went through my earlier years but I said ‘no thanks, got it covered, taking care of it, I don’t need you.'”

Prisc said that behavior served her but she realized she needed to change and found the book would have served her well 20 years earlier.

“I learned it is safe to include other people, to need them and to allow them to get close enough to me,” she said. “Yes, I might get hurt but the value of the relationships is huge and, frankly, it’s not possible for one person to be everything to everybody; it really is not possible to do it all yourself.”

There are 20 behaviors that people need to break in the workplace that may have served them well, but they no longer work as well or not at all, Prisc said. They ranged from winning too much, passing judgment, failing to give proper recognition and not listening.

The list has an additional habit that needs to go – goal obsession, she said. It can be a driver of success but it can become a “blatant cause of failure.”

“Recognize the behavior in yourself and stop it,” she said.

Prisc said being self-aware can be good and bad.

“Self-awareness is what helped me change my behaviors,” she said. “It is a blessing and a curse. It’s a blessing because you know you can choose to do something different but it is difficult; it’s a curse because you cannot unring that bell; once you know, you know.”

Prisc said it is important to have the right mentors in the journey to change.

“Find someone you trust; you need a tour guide not a travel agent,” she said. “I mean someone who has been on this journey before you, who has gone through similar experiences before you so you can learn from what they learned.”

It is more efficient and insightful to work with mentors and coaches than just relying on books, Prisc said.

“Opportunity may show up, but you have to be prepared to take it. Be self-aware, be intentional and focus on where you are going,” Prisc said.

The program included a panel of area businesswomen who discussed the challenges and excitement encountered during their careers.