Ignite Your Confidence with Karen Laos

Ignite Your Confidence with Karen Laos

Are you a leader holding back? What is that costing you? What if you could channel your fear and self-doubt? It’s actually possible. I know, because that’s my story. That’s what the Ignite Your Confidence podcast is all about. It’s for women in leadership who want to speak up and stand out. You’ll find both solo and candid conversations with real people sharing vulnerable stories to inspire you with simple tips to step into your confidence.


March 22, 2023 26 min

Tangible Takeaways:

  • Part of becoming a great leader requires understanding your unique skills and experiences to help relate to others and create the most impact.
  • To close the gaps that exist in representation across all industries we need to collaborate  and fight together to make it more equitable.
  • Women face a lot of external and internal barriers in the workplace, and one way to push back is to learn how to speak up.
  • Being BOLD...
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Tangible Takeaways:

  • Never underestimate the power of research and knowledge. If you have a need or question, seek to find the answer! It may be your path out of a dark place.
  • Set your own boundaries and own them with confidence and grace.
  • Be aware of love bombing: right when the abuser is aware they’re losing control, they’ll shower the victim with love and affection. It’s a tactic to keep them close.
  • Invest time in learning how to...
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March 8, 2023 17 min

Tangible Takeaways:

  • Assume you have permission to lead: step out and go for it!
  • Speak with conviction, and have a declarative tone. People will take you seriously if you sound confident.
  • Punctuate your words when you speak! We do this naturally when writing an email. It’s the same when we speak. End with a period, and pause.
  • Have a strong handshake and make direct eye contact. This is equally as important on zoom! In that case, it’...
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March 1, 2023 15 min

Tangible Takeaways:

  • Remember where people pleasing often comes from -  desiring for everything and everyone to be ok. First, acknowledge that you’re stuck in an accommodation cycle.
  • When people give you something or compliment you, receive it with gratitude.
  • Own what you want - it’s ok to ask for what you want!
  • No is a complete sentence that doesn’t require an explanation. Practice saying no diplomatically, and remind yourself you ...
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Tangible Takeaways:

  • Speak louder - when we speak louder, it takes intention and attention to do this, forcing you to slow down and articulate. 
  • When you speak, open up your mouth bigger. This may feel strange, but often mumbling comes from a closed-off mouth.
  • Practice the pause and speak slower. This helps with clarity.
  • Breathe intentionally. It supports the strength of your voice.
  • Speak in sound bursts - go loud and fast, and chang...
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February 15, 2023 27 min

How do you accomplish this? Everything comes down to how you prepare and position yourself, from mindset, body posture, and the words you say. Listen to how you can prepare for your next negotiation through my mistakes and successes, and walk into your next negotiation with unshakable confidence.

Tangible Takeaways:

  • Before you begin to negotiate with anyone, you have to know what you want first.
  • Ask direct questions that require a...
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Kelley shares why burnout is a betrayal and how to recognize the symptoms in yourself and others. Listen to how businesses can protect employees from burnout and embrace small steps to transform an impossible situation.

Tangible Takeaways:

  • The three symptoms of burnout are: overwhelming physical exhaustion, feelings of cynicism, and decreased ability to do things you love.
  • Burnout feels like a complex, heavy problem - but the ste...
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February 1, 2023 15 min

Tangible Takeaways:

  • Ask these two framing questions when something unexpected occurs: ask, “what’s needed here?” and secondly, “what’s required of me.”
  • The key to thinking on your feet is being cognizant of those around you versus focusing on yourself. This information is vital for quick assessments!
  • If you tend to interject and react too quickly, create a mantra such as “stop, pause, breathe” that you say to yourself to stop your...
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Heather Fison has been with me from the very beginning and helped create the structure of this podcast. I have valued her feedback along the journey and her ongoing support. She shares her favorite episodes and the impact they have had on her career, and how you can apply the same tips to your life. 

Dani Hamlet has been my podcast editor for the last year, and she shares her biggest takeaways from not only being my editor, but also...

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January 18, 2023 15 min

Tangible Takeaways:

  • Remember my wise friend’s words: “Being triggered is an opportunity to grow and learn about yourself”
  • Spend some time to know what triggers you, and go deeper into why. This is an essential first step to handling these situations.
  • Avoid responding right away, create space between your trigger and your reaction.
  • Ask yourself if you're being direct: often we communicate passively when we’re trying to be polite, ye...
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January 11, 2023 31 min

In today’s episode, Terri shares how she gave herself the freedom to be the boss in her own way. Listen and learn how Terri’s self-taught entrepreneurial spirit led her to build her own business and overcome obstacles  - one baby step at a time.

Tangible Takeaways:

  • When you feel overwhelmed, focus on the baby steps. After each small step, the next one becomes easier.
  • Focus on serving people. This extends beyond your customers and ...
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January 4, 2023 20 min

As you prepare to give feedback, remember that your perceived idea of potential conflict is fiction until it becomes fact. Not all potential conflicts are actually conflicts, and you may be spending a lot of energy preparing (or avoiding) a conflict that isn't there.

I share tactical ways you can prepare and deliver feedback in a way that avoids conflict as much as possible. You have the power to shape the experience for those recei...

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December 28, 2022 20 min

Tangible Takeaways:

  • Celebrating matters because it reinforces what we want to continue doing and brings in others as a witness to our strengths. It also inspires others to do the same thing and builds relationships. It creates more happiness and positivity!
  • It allows you to speak with more confidence about your strengths
  • Stop and notice what you’ve done this year: make a list of both your tactical accomplishments and your characte...
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Hillary shares the logic behind “listening tours” and why she intentionally separates her identity from her profession. Leading a team is an art that Hillary has humbly mastered, and you’ll discover it has a lot less to do with what you say and creating the “perfect” plan.


Tangible Takeaways:

  • As a leader, you don’t have to be all-knowing- others know you’re not! Embrace a posture of learning instead.
  • Strive to be on the right sid...
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When Ruth realized that only 4% of people included disability in their definition of diversity, she knew it was time to step into that conversation. Ruth never expected her disability to become the foundation and launch pad for her career as an author, speaker, and non-profit leader, yet this became the very tool she needed to advocate for diversity.

Ruth talks about the power of connection and having the courage to take that first ...

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December 7, 2022 19 min

If you want to crack the code on how to create a memorable experience in your next virtual meeting, listen in. Amazing content doesn’t equal automatic engagement. Strategies to get people talking and typing in the chat does.

It may be tempting to wait until the end to invite questions, but avoid this at all costs. Listen for what to do instead! You’ll get tools on how to not only engage your audience but also stay on track with your...

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One of my favorite parts of hosting this podcast are moments when my guests say, “I wasn’t planning on talking about this!” We had many moments like this with Erica Goode. You’ll be surprised how many lessons can be found in a small rural town!

In this episode, we talk about the importance of being you, no matter how different that makes you. Erica also breaks down the differences between men and women when it comes to money, and yo...

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Meetings don’t have to be boring and dull. Grab these practical tips to help you lead with efficiency and credibility.

Tangible Takeaways:

  • Ask open-ended questions. Close-ended questions prescribe their answers. You want to give space for new ideas and perspectives.
  • Be aware that you’re typically navigating two conversations at work: one for discovery, one for action. You want to be aligned so you all know which kind of meeting it...
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From the outside looking in, Jessica Kriegel mastered success. She earned her doctorate, published her book, and became a keynote speaker. Jessica broke culture down to a science and turned this into a strategy, helping others transform their work culture.

Despite all of this, she felt like she knew the secret, but was unable to apply it to her interpersonal life. Jessica shares that moment she realized there was a God, and how this...

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When you lead a meeting you have the power to guide the discussion in a productive way. Some of these tips are surprisingly simple. When you add all three tips together, you’ll find your meetings become more effective.

It’s important we remember that people are busy - they’re moving from meeting to meeting. It is your job to set the compass for your time together. Take the initiative to be inclusive and use your voice to show you’re...

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