• 07 January 2021
  • 4 min read

5 Practical Tips For Making A Good First Impression For Black Nursing Leaders

  • Maxine Obeng
    Assistant Director NHS Trust
    • Mat Martin
    • Richard Gill
    • Matt Farrah
    • Brenda Walcott
    • Onyinyechi Ezidinma
    • Anamaria Negoita
  • 1
  • 960
"Imposter syndrome is very real and can sometimes creep in when you least expect it."

If you’re just starting in a senior role, making a positive first impression is key. Band 8 Nurse, Maxine, offers her first impression top tips, as well as advice for dealing with ‘Imposter Syndrome’.

Topics covered in this article

Introduction

Prepare Ahead Of Meetings

Get Used To Confidently Stating Your Name And Title

Ask For More Time

Say No To Meetings That Appear In Your Diary Out Of No Where

Use The Resources Available To You

Introduction

As Black leaders in senior positions we often don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.

It can be difficult to make the right first impression when as Black leaders you are grappling with your own personal feelings of imposter syndrome, other people’s preconceptions about you, your role and abilities based on the colour of your skin, as well as the intolerable casual racism that we experience.

Here are some helpful tips to help you push back on these prejudices and make a positive first impression at senior meetings.

1) Prepare Ahead Of Meetings

This can prevent you from appearing as though you do not know what you are talking about when you should.

Preparing to me means:

Be clear on what’s on the agenda, including checking to see if there are any items allocated to you for feedback.

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Familiarise yourself with the recommended reading assigned to the meeting beforehand and make some notes on the areas you need to comment on, elaborate on or ask for further details – this is especially helpful if you are in introvert leader (like myself) as you know exactly what you want to say and when ahead of the meeting.

2) Get Used To Confidently Stating Your Name And Title

This may seem like an odd one, but many people (including myself in the past) can struggle with this.

Imposter syndrome is very real and can sometimes creep in when you least expect it.

So practice saying your name and title, and if helpful, the areas you’ll be leading on and the contributions you can bring to the discussion/meeting.

This straight away lets others in the meeting know your role and influencing position in achieving the shared goal/objective of the meeting.

3) Ask For More Time

Now this is an interesting one and every situation will be different.

We are all pushed to meet deadlines, be present and be responsive.

However, occasionally it may be difficult to meet the deadlines on somewhat competing priorities.

But it is ok to ask for more time.

Some great advice which was shared with me was that it is better to ask for more time in order to deliver/produce a piece of work that is outstanding than to rush and produce something that is of poor quality.

Remember whatever you put out there is reflective of you, your reputation and that of your organisation.

4) Say No To Meetings That Appear In Your Diary Out Of No Where

Now of course this is to be taken with a pinch of salt, but on the whole last minute meetings can really through you off, and can be difficult to do the previous 3 tips well.

It’s ok to take control of your diary and of your time.

Request for a later date that allows you time to prepare.

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What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

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However if this meeting request happens to be from your chief exec or service director or there is an emergency here are some helpful ways to navigate this: Reprioritise – use a prioritising matrix to decide which task should take precedent

Reschedule - consider if another meeting be moved or reduced in length to a huddle style discussion

Effective delegation – how can I support my deputy to carry out this or another task that allows me to respond to the most urgent matter?

5) Use The Resources Available To You

It’s a sad time when you have to actually allocate time in your day to carry out your tasks, but this is where we are.

Using resources means:

Work closely with your PA/EA on managing your diary.

Make sure you are clear about what meetings/activities are important to you and should be prioritised.

Block out time in your diary to focus on carrying out specific tasks/activities.

Turn off email notifications when carrying out tasks.

I hope you have found these tips helpful.

Please share what other tips you have found helpful in making a good first impression and tips that have helped avoid burnout.

Let me know in the comments your thoughts on the advice I've given above and what I've said about making a good first impression - let's chat there!

Oh, and please Like this article to let me know you enjoyed it - thank you!

About the author

  • Maxine Obeng
    Assistant Director NHS Trust

I’m a registered Mental Health nurse, MSc, and a Senior NHS manager. With over 10 years experience in mental health care, I’ve managed a variety of services including Forensic specialist mental health, and a Psychiatric Intensive care unit. My passion is improving the representation of diversity in healthcare leadership. I have founded Niche Careers Consultancy to help BAME Nurses with targeted consulting on navigating career pathways and practical skills to achieve career progression success.

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  • Maxine Obeng
    Assistant Director NHS Trust

About the author

  • Maxine Obeng
    Assistant Director NHS Trust

I’m a registered Mental Health nurse, MSc, and a Senior NHS manager. With over 10 years experience in mental health care, I’ve managed a variety of services including Forensic specialist mental health, and a Psychiatric Intensive care unit. My passion is improving the representation of diversity in healthcare leadership. I have founded Niche Careers Consultancy to help BAME Nurses with targeted consulting on navigating career pathways and practical skills to achieve career progression success.

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    • Brenda Walcott 12 days ago
      Brenda Walcott
    • Brenda Walcott
      12 days ago

      This is a really insightful article. I only recently learned about imposter syndrome and can just imagine how such an ... read more