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CiscoChat Recap: How Do We Continue to ReDefine Ourselves?

- July 2, 2015 - 4 Comments

Cisco Chat Banner logoNow we know why one participant tweeted that they couldn’t wait for a “kick-a**” #CiscoChat with Cisco Live keynote speaker and award-winning CNN analyst Mel Robbins. The chat was one of the most inspirational and honest discussions of our #CiscoChat series with nearly 70 participants engaging on the theme: How Do We Continue to ReDefine Ourselves?

During the chat, Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (Cisco EWN) founders Anuja Singh, Rima Alameddine & Priscila David, along with Mel Robbins, explored the “ReDEFINE Tomorrow, Today” theme that began at Cisco Live. Analyzing the definitions of leadership, networking, innovation and success, Cisco EWN’s forum empowered every attendee and provided ample insight into how they can redefine what these words personally mean to them.

The passionate commentary and authentic advice shared was so impactful that we wanted to keep the conversation going. If you missed the live forum or just want to recapture key discussion points (like the meaning of the “5 Second Rule” or how to be a contender vs. a competitor) take a look at some of our #CiscoChat highlights.

Reflecting on her “ReDEFINE Tomorrow, Today” closing keynote, CEWN founders Anuja Singh, Rima AlameddinePriscila David and a host of our #CiscoChat followers were more than excited for Mel Robbins to re-join the conversation.

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True to her leading style, Robbins kicked off the #CiscoChat asking participants “How has the Five-Second Rule Changed Your Life?”

What is the Five-Second Rule exactly? Mel defines it best.

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Whether sending an email, reaching out to a potential client or simply introducing oneself and making a memorable connection, Mel’s advice to take action on instinctual impulses and ideas was a challenge #CiscoChat participants eagerly embraced.

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Even one of our most accomplished CEWN leaders is now using those critical five seconds to redefine her productivity and to reduce regrets.

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Rather than seeing themselves as competitors pitted against one another, Mel challenged women to adopt a “contender” mindset and gain new perspective as people capable of promoting and demonstrating change within the technology industry.

Delving deeper into this idea, CEWN asked #CiscoChat followers to share their best examples of women they identified as game-changing contenders.

Mel not only shared her example, but also gave a great nod to the CEWN founders’ contender status after defining exactly what a contender embodies.

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Catalina Kowal, a Cisco public sector systems engineer and social media lead for CEWN, recognized the contender-spirit in a fellow STEM advocate, whose unique program combines dance and math to empower young girls.

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Becoming a game-changing contender entails taking a look at one’s career with a fresh set of eyes and a renewed perspective on the “next steps” toward achievement.

CEWN #CiscoChat hostesses wanted to know what steps our participants were taking to reinvigorate their careers. And from knowing your worth to studying from the best, the feedback and advice were invaluable.


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We were honored to be joined by New York Times best-selling author Gloria Feldt during this #CiscoChat. As a woman’s rights advocate, her insight and contributions were an added bonus to our discussion. Even more amazing was the effort she puts in daily to reinvigorate her career:

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One of the best pieces of advice – and one many of us fail to do – came from one of our VPs:

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(We’re scheduling vacation time right now, Mark!)

Recognizing the dynamics of family and carving out a healthy personal life is critical for women seeking to redefine themselves for the technology landscape of tomorrow. After all, without one being at their best, how can they give their best, whole selves to their careers and employers?

When a fellow participant sought advice on planning a healthy-work life balance, Mel and others shared what works for them and their unique households.

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Navigating single life? Busy with family demands? Doesn’t matter! Mel provided some simple steps to achieving an optimum work-life balance.

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And as one participant wisely noted, taking care of oneself is where the balance starts.

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This is just a snapshot of some of the key takeaways and the reverberating impact they had on our #CiscoChat attendees. Be sure to review the conversation for more responses and to see the exceptional steps others are following to reinvigorate their careers.

And in regards speaking of “snapshots”, we were thrilled to see so many #BeBold selfies from #CiscoChat participants, showing us where they were while chatting with us. Take a look at all of the great smiles below!

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Have questions or comments? Follow, Tweet us @CiscoEWN, LIKE our Cisco Empowered Women’s Network Facebook Page and join our Cisco Empowered Women’s Network Linked in group to stay connected.

Also, make sure you take a look at our upcoming #CiscoChat events so you don’t miss out on the next impactful conversation!



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    Rehana - great job driving so much success for CiscoEWN and #CiscoChat. I admire your energy and dedication to diverse conversations!

  1. LOVE this post and all the wonderful words of wisdom. Thank you, Rehana, for your passion!

    Thank you for all this descriptions and pictures ! It looks very relax. Hope to be there for the next one.

  2. Rehana - thanks for the amazing opportunity to get on the #ciscochat. It was great reliving the advice from Mel and for getting new nuggets from all the 70 + participants who joined. And it sure was an exercise in keeping the mind and the typing fingers coordinated in tweet frenzy. Awesome!!!