This week on IAW’s podcast Unlimited HERizons our host and president, Megan Bozzuto, chatted with a member, Eliz Nestorov, about professional authenticity. She is the founder and CEO of AKAEVA Consulting which provides personal and professional growth to individuals and businesses in central Pennsylvania as well as grant management services, foreign language, and corporate image consulting. Eliz is also the founder of the US Bulgarian Chamber in Washington D.C and the recent winner of IAW’s Inspirational Influencer Award in Global Impact.
Developing professional authenticity
“When we are talking about being authentic and still being professional, we should do it as professional authenticity with definitely a positive corporate image” explained Eliz. Some of the characteristics of professional authenticity Eliz lists include dedication, storytelling, persuasiveness, caring, and committed. “All of these characteristics for our professional authenticity come when we talk about developing our credibility and building our trust account. The trust account is so important because it’s gonna get us to the next level, whatever that is” she said.
Confidence can come from how we present ourselves to others, not just how we feel in that moment. You can be super anxious pitching your idea to a room full of executives, but if you are outwardly confident they will never know. “As women, a lot of times we think that if we smile it’s not a good thing. Actually, you need to smile always. I’ve noticed that even if you are talking over the phone they can still notice if you are smiling or if you are in a bad mood. Eye contact, in this country, eye contact is very important. If you maintain eye contact that means you are actively listening and engaged” says Eliz. “Also, it’s important to develop the energy around you. I feel like if you develop that circle of positive energy and that happens with a lot of different experiences, people, and organizations, they can pick up on that energy.”
Want to listen to Eliz’s full story and get more advice? Listen to Unlimited HERizons updated weekly with different amazing professional women telling their stories. All IAW members can connect with Eliz Nestorov in the IAW Community!