How HOT is your development? The Working Woman's Guide to HEAT experiences!

We know a very senior leader, let’s call him Joel, who looks at his diary each week to check he’s got some heat experiences in there ... and if he hasn’t, he creates some!

We find this really inspiring - the desire to keep growing, keep learning, keep choosing boldness despite fear. 

So what are heat experiences

Heat experiences are development actions and experiments that have the following characteristics and accelerate our growth: 

·      It’s a first-time experience 

·      The results matter

·      There is a chance of failure 

·      Important people are watching 

·      It’s uncomfortable 

Heat experiences are opportunities to grow outside your comfort zone and get visible … Presenting to your board or senior team, meeting a new high-profile client, running the staff induction briefing for your department, speaking at an event, having a courageous conversation to share feedback with your boss, reaching out to a friend to ask for forgiveness ... if you feel prickly fear when you think about it, it’s probably a heat experience! 

It is essential that we as women leaders choose to stretch and grow this way – We know that your promotion ability (ie getting to the dream job or role you want) is dependent on the strength of your network and your willingness and ability to self-promote. You need to get visible to those in your network who need to see you and your great work!! 

Heat experiences have some sort of beautiful alchemy that help us make shifts in our leadership identity and in how we are showing up.

We take the opportunity to step up, we move from holding back to stepping up, we feel the fear and do it anyway, we get more visible The more we choose to embrace our heat moments, and extract the learning from them, the more they normalise for us, our confidence builds and the easier it gets. Each time we extend our sense of ourselves and what’s possible for our lives and leadership. 

Top tips for choosing and surviving heat experiences: 

·      Face the fear and do it anyway!

·      Make it soon! 

·      Schedule time in your diary to prepare (but not too much!) 

·      Visualise yourself doing it well and how this feels.

·      Make time to reflect and extract the learning from the experience – what went well? What would you do differently next time? 

·      Think about who can give you feedback on how it went

·      Celebrate and share gratitude with yourself for stepping up in this new way 


Over to you:

1.     What heat moments do you have coming up? 

2.    How can you use your heat experiences to extend your sense of yourself as a leader

Further resources 

If you want to know more about the art and science of heat experiences you can find Nick Petrie’s article on the The How-To of Vertical Leadership Development HERE

Confidence Cocktail is our online transformational development program for women leaders who want to shift from holding back to stepping up and we open doors soon! Join our VIP waitlist HERE to be the first to find out more.


Are you working to create a more inclusive culture inside your organisation? Want to know what REALLY shifts the dial?  Sign up to join the conversation HERE to get your copy of our Guide to the Gender Pay Gap - What Next?, join our change catalysts community, and be the first to receive monthly tips, summarised research and insights from our consulting practice, straight to your inbox.We take an intersectional approach and dip into organisational development, complexity, cultural change and surviving as an internal change agent. We’ve each been in change agent roles ourselves and we’re share our learning and collated wisdom as fellow practitioners. We’d love you and your clients to join the conversation!


Each month we pick the juiciest topics, which come up again and again in our coaching with 100s of senior women, and we’re sharing powerful, tried-and-tested insights that will change your leadership and your life. So stay tuned!

Dealing with our inner critic, doubt and fear; imposter syndrome; getting more visible even when you hate networking; navigating systemic bias; authentic self-promotion; comparing, competing and collaborating with other women; ally-ship and role modelling.

These are all key pieces we teach on our women’s leadership programs that deliver awesome results. So if you follow along through the year it’s a free mini-training series with us. Be sure to join our community HERE to be the first to receive these free resources. You’ll be the first to hear about our future programs, receive monthly tips, exclusive contentand resources straight to your inbox.

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