Featured Female: Heather Segal

Featured Female

Heather Segal
Age: The big 5-0
Larchmont, NY
Occupation or Job: Exec|Comm
My Kids: Sydney (20), Jamie (18), Matt (15)

I am a wife, mother of 3, business professional, avid traveler, and triathlete.  We’ve lived in Larchmont for 22 years and love it! Find out more about Heather at  exec-comm.com.  A company that teaches professionals how to communicate with impact.

Our mission at the Girls Leadership League is to contribute to more confident and sparkly girls ….
What advice would your big girl self give your teen/tween self about confidence?

I love the quote from author and poet Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”  When you are true to who you are, you feel good about yourself.  That’s what confidence is all about.

In my classes, we teach young girls to create a Friendship Recipe of traits they are looking for in a true friend. What characteristics would be in your friendship recipe?

Friends love you for who you are.
Friends make you laugh!
Friends offer one another unwavering support.
After spending time with a true friend, you should feel rejuvenated.

We believe strong family values and consistency are important in creating confident kids …
What was one of your favorite family traditions from your childhood? What new traditions have you started with your own family?

When I was a kid, my family took camping road trips together in the summertime.  I have such fond memories of putting on plays in the back of the station wagon and sleeping in our tent trailer as we traveled across the country.
My husband and I travel overseas a lot with our own kids.  We’ve started a tradition of spending a day at an orphanage while on vacation. This day is often our favorite day of the trip! 

At the Girls Leadership League, we teach our girls the importance of accepting oneself even when you don’t feel so sparkly. How do you respond when you receive a compliment?

Honestly, I get a little embarrassed when I receive a compliment and often try to down play it. It would be better to simply say, “thank you!” yet I find that hard to do.

We believe pursuing a passion is a great way to build confidence for girls. If you had free time to pursue a “passion project” what would it be? (i.e. something outside your regular work and leisure activities like learning to knit, building a piece of furniture, etc.)

I would love to speak more languages.  I speak French and Hebrew, and am currently taking Spanish lessons.  I’d love to learn more. 

An important skill we teach our girls is how to identify how you feel about a situation and ask for what you need to make it better. How good are you at communicating with others what you feel and asking for what you need with others?

Professionally, I teach people how to communicate better…so it’s a topic about which I’m very passionate.
I’ve worked for Exec|Comm, a communications training firm, for over 20 years.  Here’s our secret: you’re a better communicator when you focus more on others and less on yourself.  I encourage people to embody this philosophy every day.

Social Media is now a fact of life. Social Media … Love it or Love Hating It?

I’m not a big fan of social media.  I think it takes away from face-to-face communication which is so much more fun! 

What do you do to help balance your digital life and you’re your “real life”?   Any tips to share?

I don’t post on social media, and don’t worry about keeping up with it.  I never bring my iPhone into my bedroom.  That said, I spend much more time on my computer than I should (mostly on emails); I’m trying hard to cut back! It’s not easy. 

When you look out into the world, who do you see as great role models for girls?

I think anyone who encourages girls to be true to themselves is a great role model.
My husband Mark has been a wonderful role model for our own girls.  Although he has accounting and law degrees, he decided he didn’t want to work in those fields (much to his mother’s dismay). Instead, he followed his passion and for the past 25 years, he’s worked for Westcoast Connection in the teen travel industry. I hope he has inspired my girls to follow their passions.

We teach girls to embrace making mistakes. Can you think of a mistake that you made that led to great things – from learning something important to changing to a new direction in life?

When I was interviewing for jobs after getting my MBA, I made the mistake of thinking that it’s important to get a job at a big, known company.  I’m glad that after 4 years of working for big companies, I switched to a smaller company. It’s been a much better fit, and I feel I’ve had a far greater impact.  

We see fear as normal and a sign that you are pushing yourself to grow. Do you have any tips for pushing through fear?

Have confidence that you can do whatever you’ve set out to do.
I remember arriving in Arizona a few days before competing in my first ironman triathlon.  When I saw the other triathletes, I felt nervous. Unlike me, they boasted top-of-the-line bikes, wore fancy helmets, and had perfect bodies to accompany their gear. I remember feeling a strong sense of imposter syndrome – what am I doing here among these real triathletes?
I decided to take a deep breath and do my best to tune out this “noise”.  My goal was simply to finish the triathlon. Happily, I did. 🙂

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