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It is no coincidence that the two most popular shows on television both feature strong women who have what it takes to hang with the best of them. Scandal’s Olivia Pope and How to Get Away with Murder’s Annalise Keating demonstrate how beauty and brains can go a long way.

The addictive nature of both shows comes from watching these characters take charge by effectively communicating their demands with a firm sense of urgency. Both women skillfully navigate their high-powered jobs and produce results for their clients because of their keen ability to convince the players on their team that whatever they need done has to be effortlessly carried out or else there will be consequences.

It is a lesson in natural charisma mixed in with the mastery of natural leadership and self-confidence. So many of us, particularly women are held back from success or achieving our full potential because of fear that what we have to say will be rejected or mocked. But we love to watch actresses embody the very qualities that we lack because it is refreshing and motivating.

It is also a concept that is not far from reach if we apply ourselves. You can get the bonus or salary raise that you deserve. Or perhaps, you are long overdue for a promotion but for some reason it’s not being initiated. Maybe it’s time to borrow the dominant attitudes of your favorite TV heroines.

It’s fun to be entertained but that doesn’t have to stop you from inspired. Think about how Olivia Pope would handle fighting for clients who are being pushed around or passed over, and apply that technique to your real life situation. When I needed to be blunt about a recent issue that needed tackling, I couldn’t help but recall Annalise Keating as I plotted how I would convincingly defend my case.

There are plenty of methods at our disposal to implement when we are faced with conflicts, but I find that it helps when I utilize unorthodox ways to get my point across. We are not all natural-born leaders, nor are we all capable of laying down the law in support of our causes. Being verbally persuasive is a skill that requires practice and loads of role-playing in order to find a level of comfort that is effectively transferable. When the intimidation factor is at an all time high, we become shrinking violets, and this forces us to appear meek and subject to unfair treatment.
What I come away with when I watch my two favorite shows, is the possibility that as a woman with career goals and responsibilities, it’s pertinent to master the ability to diligently express myself in a manner that commands respect. I love watching it dramatized on-screen, and that in turn fires up my inner core and persuades me to apply similar methods. It might seem a bit far-fetched but you will be surprised how fiction can be deemed relatable art when you allow your imagination to stretch far enough.

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