June 26, 2017 Asked and Answered

How to be your own advocate at work without stepping on toes (podcast with transcript)

By Stephanie Francis Ward

Even trained advocates don’t get everything they want at work. But what are some good strategies for knowing when to accept a manager’s decision, or continue to press for what you want?

In this episode of Asked and Answered, the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward speaks with Dr. Artika Tyner, associate vice president for diversity and inclusion at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Tyner discusses how lawyers can advocate for themselves in the workplace without getting in their own way. Tyner also says that many people have jobs that don’t includes tasks where they can showcase their strengths, and she suggests finding out what one’s strengths are for pursuing promotions and career satisfaction. She wrote an article (PDF) on the topic for the ABA Young Lawyers Division in 2008.

Podcast Transcript

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Stephanie Francis Ward: Even trained advocators don’t get everything they want to work. But what are some good strategies for knowing when to accept a magistrate’s decision, or continue to press for what you want? I’m Stephanie Francis Ward, and on today’s episode of the ABA Journal’s Asked and Answered, I’m speaking with Artika Tyner, vice president of diversity and inclusion at the University of St. Thomas. She’s talking about how lawyers can advocate for themselves in the workplace without getting in their own way. Welcome to the show, Dr. Tyner.

Artika Tyner: Thank you. I’m excited to be here today.

Stephanie Francis Ward: Let’s say first off, before you go in to advocate for yourself about something you want at work, what’s your advice on getting the confidence to go after what you want, without second guessing yourself?

Artika Tyner: I think the process begins for me, when I think about it, is having a vision for your career. Because oftentimes it can get discouraging, overwhelming and not knowing what to say or what to do. But if you have a clear vision on where you’re headed, where you see yourself long term in that one-year, five-year, ten-year, even for a lifetime, you know what you’re seeking to accomplish. So then a setback becomes something that’s temporary versus something long term because you continue to have that vision and focus.

But unfortunately for most attorneys, even including myself, I never really thought about what my vision was. I would just each day say OK, I’m going to work and then I’ll report back at my annual review. But now, I’m doing more work in career development and coaching. One of the things I have all of my clients do is develop their vision board and their vision statement. That way, they have at the forefront what they seek to accomplish and as they go through they can measure their success, set the right benchmarks, and have a clear path of where they’re headed and what success looks like for them.

And in some ways, and also in that process of creating a vision board, you can anticipate what some of the potential roadblocks could be, and then you do something that I would say is the second step after having a clear vision, is to also have a very clear strategic action plan. And that’s something that I also recommend when I’m coaching clients, to write that out as well. That way you have a document, something tangible that holds you accountable to reaching your goals.

And for me, just kind of a word of encouragement about vision. There’s a passage and phrase that IA always remind myself of, is write the vision, make it plain; that way he who sees it can run with it. How will you know what direction you’re running without a clear vision?

Stephanie Francis Ward: You’ve just mentioned the vision board. I’m assuming you mean that’s a physical thing that one would look at, right?

Artika Tyner: Yes. I highly recommend creating a physical vision board.

Stephanie Francis Ward: Can you explain that? I think I know what it is, but if you could explain that to listeners.

Artika Tyner: Of course. It will take you back to maybe your kindergarten, first grade days of doing a collage, like a collage for career day. I remember doing one of those when I was younger. But a vision board is really the very essence of capturing the images of who you seek to become, and where you’re headed. Because oftentimes we get lost in the sight of where we are in our position or our title. But my vision board reflects skills that I’d like to develop, experiences that I would like to have, and it also holds me accountable each day for striving to get closer to those.

So when I think about a vision board, mine is of course a collage of different pictures that includes everything, from my health and wellness because I can’t be effective in my career if I’m not healthy and strong. It includes my dreams and ambitions. I’ve always had a dream to travel the world, so I have some of those dreams and ambitions there and some of the other things I do in my career. So putting those all together, that’s my morning inspiration. That’s the first thing that I see when I wake up, as a reminder of where I’m headed and also to take the steps and be proactive to get there.

Stephanie Francis Ward: Where do you hang your vision board in your home?

Artika Tyner: You can hang it in your bedroom; you can hang it in your kitchen. For me, it’s in my home office that I walk past as I’m leaving out in the morning. So just somewhere that it’s visible every day, because that’s that piece that psychologists have taught us; the power of our imagination and keeping it at the forefront of who we are.

Stephanie Francis Ward: I’m curious. Sometimes lawyers tend to be kind of cynical. When you are coaching other attorneys and they suggest a vision board to them, do some of them say I don’t want to do that, or I don’t have time? As you said, it’s what you make in kindergarten. Have you had any responses like that? And that also could be a sign of perhaps being rigid to new ideas and new ways of doing things, I would think.

Artika Tyner: Of course! But I also can tell them my own personal results and the results of other clients. Case in point for my own vision board, I developed the first version of it in 2013. I had everything from doing a TED Talk, so I had Ted on there, I had doing some outreach work and building my own nonprofit, about here and doing work in Ghana; I had all those things there. I had books, and I only had published my first book at that point, The Lawyer’s Leader.

But I said no, I’m going to do a series of books. And I can tell you by having that vision board and writing my own blueprint for success, fast forward to today in 2017; I’ve accomplished nearly everything on that vision board. And those were just things that I said I would do, but it held me accountable to pursuing it. IN fact, in 2014, so less than a year after I had done my vision board, that’s when I did my TED Talk and it’s radically transformed my life in how I convey messages to do my speaking career; all those different pieces. So I can tell them proven results.

Another student that I had from Uganda had come to study in one of our master’s program. I invited and challenged her to do a vision board. Today, she’s living out that vision because that’s the connection between visualization, planning and strategy, and outcomes.

Stephanie Francis Ward: That’s a great story. So you have your vision board. It’s hanging up where you can see it. What’s your advice on getting a sense and being mindful of your workplace in terms of how you go about pursuing what you want at your job?

Artika Tyner: For me, I tend to walk into organizations, whether it’s my own job or if I’m helping in coaching and mentoring someone else, and I try to understand the landscape. Because in order to assess the workplace environment and to know where you can advance your career, where is additional potential for you, and how you can build your brand as well; you need to know where you are.

There are some organizations, for instance, that foster creativity. That was like when I was in China studying. I had the opportunity to visit Alibaba. Alibaba is different from any other organization I’ve visited in my life. They have a ping pong table, they have video games, and it has this unique energy around being creative. So then you know in that type of environment, that what do they reward? They reward creativity in unconventional ways.

Now, let’s look at it in a practical way as an attorney. I’ve been to all different types of law firms, government agencies, and connected with attorneys all over the world. You also have to know, in that same setting, what yields results in that organization. What motivates people? Once again, for some organizations it’s innovation. For others, it’s OK, this is how things have been done in the past; this is how we’ll continue to do them. So you need to get a sense of what type of organization that you’re in.

One of the books I have my students read, it’s called Images of Organizations. It gives you a sense of what type of organization that you’re in to then assess how you can bring forward change in the organization and advance your career as well.

Stephanie Francis Ward: Say you do that, and you ask for something and you’re told no. What is your advice to do to keep yourself from being discouraged, and to keep asking?

Artika Tyner: For me, no potentially means maybe. Maybe it’s not the right time, maybe it’s not the right organization, maybe it’s not the right point in your career. So for me, I don’t necessarily… no is too much of an absolute for me. So in that way when I hear a no, I usually go back and try to evaluate what does that no really mean. So in that way, I would encourage folks in this career development path to be reflective to understand what does that actually mean. There’s been points in my career where it’s been no from a certain organization; I knew that wasn’t the organization for me.

So over time, I had to create a new pathway. Or the no was not necessarily no what I was asking, but no we didn’t have the resources. So guess what I helped to do? Find the resources to get done what I sought to accomplish. So I think really figuring out what the no is, because sometimes no is just two words that can be communicated that means a myriad of different things.

Stephanie Francis Ward: What’s your advice on finding people in your office for good feedback? And I don’t mean good just for them to tell you positive things, but to be realistic with you when they have—perhaps someone who has a better sense of the political landscape than you might have.

Artika Tyner: I always recommend having relationships with people who have a deeper sense of the political landscape. That may be by experience, that they’ve been there long enough. They may just have a heightened level of intuition to be able to give you new insights as well. So when I look for those people, I look for the people who get results. When I go into an organization for myself, whether it’s in consulting work or in my own professional work, I’m looking at who are the all stars, who are the MVPs, and trying to get a sense of are there things that I can learn from them that I can emulate.

But also, in order to do that, and I’ve been that young lawyer coming into an organization and you don’t have the same level of credibility yet; you also need to make sure you find those sponsors, those champions who see potential in you. I’ve had to find the people who see themselves in me, and build those connections as well.

Stephanie Francis Ward: Do you find that the superstars in the organization, are thy usually pretty willing to help out other people, maybe more so than young lawyers may realize?

Artika Tyner: In my experience, definitely yes. But I will offer a caveat because I’ve seen people fail with flying colors related to this. Their temptation is just to go in and say OK, this all star partner, this all star manager, will you mentor me? I don’t think it’s necessarily a question versus more of something that a relationship will evolve. So case in point. One of my mentors that I greatly admire is my bishop. So instead of walking up one day and saying can you mentor me, and can I learn more from you about leadership from a woman who’s traveled all over the world and ministry and educational initiatives?

So I never said that. I just took the initiative to offer support and to be present where she was. Over time, there were lessons that I learned that were not taught in law school or in a textbook. There were lessons that were taught by seeing the way she interacted, the way she communicated, the way she managed conflicts. Those are different things that may not be like an A to Z experience, but still something that has an amazing result. So I never had to ask the question, but guess what was happening the whole time? Mentorship.

Stephanie Francis Ward: I would imagine, too, you were probably very mindful of never wasting this person’s time. I think maybe sometimes that comes up if a younger person wants a mentor, but the relationship may be one-sided. Or as I said, sometimes a person, maybe not even meaning to, can waste some of that other person’s time. Do you have advice on how to avoid that?

Artika Tyner: I would say the results and the relationship is dependent upon the person who’s seeking the mentor. I know it’s always a concern; are you wasting time? Is it going to be something that’s an annoying experience? But if you find ways, and you’re being reflective, and you’re being very intentional, your only question should be for any mentor relationship; how do you also add value?

For instance, I can think of some mentors that come to mind for me. Very experienced litigators, or very experienced in their work in managing law firms, but for instance they may say how do you do some of the marketing branding that you do for your leadership institute? What are some of the steps that you take to engage different populations, work across age diversity, all those different pieces?

So if you continue to look to add value to the relationship, from my experience I can guarantee that it won’t feel like a waste of time because mentorship is something that’s mutually beneficial of either sharing or exchanging information. OR the second piece that I don’t think we talk oftentimes enough about, and I’m seeing this more as a lot of my mentors are retiring as well; it’s also about the power of succession planning. To know, then, that I’m positioning you, my mentee, to go further, faster than I ever have before.

Stephanie Francis Ward: What’s your advice on that? I think that’s a wonderful point you bring up. If you are the mentor, what can you do to position your mentee to go further and faster?

Artika Tyner: For me in my experience and for serving now as a mentor to some of my former students or other young attorneys, it’s them being in those key places, those key opportunities where learning happens. And it’s not just necessarily a one-on-one thing with someone coming to my office or visiting with me. It may be the the opportunity for someone to shadow me. It may be an opportunity for someone to see my role in bar association or community and civic engagement.

Once again it goes to kind of that caught versus taught piece. A part of what I tell my mentees is being present. And another thing that I also give them as a tip and what I tell them as a mentor; also anticipate what some of my needs may be because it’s not just a linear type of exchange. It’s not just about the mentee receiving something. The mentor should also be enhanced in the experience as well.

Stephanie Francis Ward: I was going to ask you about that. I would imagine in a wonderful mentor-mentee relationship, each party would learn things from each other. Is that correct?

Artika Tyner: Yes, I think that’s of critical importance. Yes, and there’s plenty of models that we can find. In fact, my local bar association, the Hennepin County Bar Association holds a peer to peer mentor. So they have a more seasoned attorney paired with a young lawyer, and then they both write out their goals from the mentorship relationship and kind of outline what they seek to accomplish. I was one of the first people that signed up, not on the mentor end because I was a young lawyer back then; on the mentee side. And lo and behold what I found out was that once again, it was mutually beneficial because we both had goals.

My mentor had a fear of public speaking. And you’ve been in this conversation with me for a few moments. It’s clear that I don’t have a fear of speaking. I thought my name was hush child versus Artika Tyner because I could talk since I was born, probably. Then I had an opportunity to work with my mentor to be more comfortable in her voice. And then she had the opportunity to really teach me some core skills on litigation. So I think we go into a mentor relationship assuming what we’ll get out of it without clearly defining the goals; then there are some challenges.

Stephanie Francis Ward: I’m curious in what you just described where both parties get something from each other. In the work setting, when employers are trying to encourage mentor relationships, is that usually understood and expressed or is that something that might not really jump out at a lot of people; that everyone gets a little something from it, not just the mentee.

Artika Tyner: I don’t think it’s frequently expressed, or if it’s expressed, not enough. So that’s what leads to a lot of frustration in mentor relationships. So then when I’m going out and asking people to volunteer to mentor one of my law students or a young lawyer, the first response is I don’t have time, or those two letters we talked about; no.

But if I can then explain how a mentor relationship, if you’re setting goals, if you have a clear vision of where you’re headed and what you both seek to accomplish, that it can be mutually beneficial. So I think that’s a part of setting the groundwork, like any other relationship. But to be candid, unless we’re able to do that in the initial stages, it certainly leads to a lot of disappointment in a mentorship relationship.

A part of what we do at our university, at the University of St. Thomas, we have a mentoring program for faculty members. So you have someone who’s new and going through onboarding, and then a tenured faculty member. And one of the first things that you do in that relationship is set up the goals. You set up the parameters then, and you outline what that relationship would look like so all the parties involved have clarity.

Stephanie Francis Ward: I see. OK, we’re going to take a quick break and when we come back, we are going to discuss some good ways you can make sure your supervisor remembers you’re looking for more opportunities.

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Stephanie Francis Ward: And we’re back. I’m Stephanie Francis Ward and on today’s episode of the ABA Journal’s Asked and Answered, I’m speaking with Dr. Artika Tyner about how lawyers can advocate for themselves in the workplace without getting in their own way. Dr. Tyner, what are some good ways when you are a young lawyer to make sure that your supervisor remembers that you’re looking for more opportunities and you’d like to advance, other than simply doing good work and meeting deadlines? What are some other ways?

Artika Tyner: The most immediate way is in building the relationship. So having clarity around what do you seek to accomplish, but not just saying what the outcome is; having some ideas of the process. So for me for instance, I knew that I wanted to further my education. I knew that I wanted to do more in research related to lawyers and leadership. So for me, when I was meeting with my managers and my supervisor, the ideas that I gave them was OK, can I do the next training program on leadership for our department?

Can I take on going to the COE and traveling to this particular leadership institute, and then I’ll come back and teach everyone else? So part of once you know what your vision is and what you seek to accomplish, being proactive to integrate that into your job experience. And here’s one important lesson that I learned. Do not wait until the end of the year when you’re doing your personal assessments to have those conversations. These conversations should be ongoing, and just emerge organically, and where you see yourself in opportunities for growth.

Stephanie Francis Ward: I’m curious. I was looking at your bio. Have you done all of your academic work at the University of St. Thomas?

Artika Tyner: All of my graduate level work, yes.

Stephanie Francis Ward: I see. How did you go about—because you know, once you have a JD and then you have a PhD as well, how do you go about kind of gently reminding people or just letting them know that besides the fact that I have a law degree, I have a PhD in higher ed now, too, so there’s other things I can do. What did you do?

Artika Tyner: I think I would say that piece of knowing what extra added value I can bring to the table, part of that was through branding. And I’ll give you a short story to give you a glimpse of this I remember the first time that I presented the idea that I wanted to write on the topic of lawyers in leadership. I talked about lawyers having influence in the community, and in the courtrooms, wherever we are; inherently people look to us for leadership and guidance. And I remember facing a lot of resistance. Folks would say oh, that’s a soft skill; why do you need to learn about leadership? You’re just born with it or you don’t have it.

So what I actually did, I was like OK, that’s interesting. Everyone’s telling me no, and remember what I was telling you earlier; a no could possibly mean maybe. And for me, it was maybe your using the wrong approach. So what I started, I had a friend who was in IT. I said, can you build a website? And he’s like sure, however I can help. So I built a website on lawyers and leadership. It’s under my name, ArtikaTyner.com, and I started to upload resources, I started to blog. I started this years before I was ever on a stage or doing any public speaking around lawyers and leadership.

So I give this as an example because a part of the quest as well for career development is creating your own opportunities. And I call that branding. Because sometimes we talk about branding in the concept of a product or a service. But the reality is, I have a branding now around being what? A leadership expert. So when you build that brand, it’s both been beneficial to my university, to myself, to my other businesses because my brand is clear, concise, and consistent. So I also recommend building a brand wherever you are.

Stephanie Francis Ward: Did someone have the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion job at the law school before you had it, or was the position created for you?

Artika Tyner: I serve in the position as chief diversity and inclusion officer at the law school in addition to serving as a faculty member. And you may wonder how did that evolve? Because I was already doing the diversity and inclusion work. So then when my dean was looking for someone to take on more leadership around the opportunity of increasing diversity on campus, but also the inclusion proposition of what type of learning experience did all of our students have; how responsive was our curriculum, for example, how do we engage with the community? All of those things; I was on an interview before I ever even knew it.

That’s something I want to emphasize. You’re always being interviewed. So then one day I was called into the office of my dean, and I thought what did I do now? What challenge did I create? But it really was an opportunity. Why? Because my dean knew my brand. He knew that I was passionate about diversity and inclusion as a part of leadership, about using our influence to bring people together. So when he thought about the position, he had me in mind.

So when I think about that, I hope that the message is loud and clear that with building your own brand and that brand consistency, and knowing your purpose, that it has to be conveyed in a way that other people can see it. Because for me personally, I’ve never really interviewed for a job. I have to a certain extent; when opportunities prevent themselves; typically someone comes to seek me.

And then I interview formally in the process, but someone has already seen my brand and my value, and then they’re the ones saying I want that in my organization or my department or my institution. That’s a different way of looking at career development.

Stephanie Francis Ward: Yeah, definitely. What about with your current job with the University of St. Thomas? Was this a position that was created for you or was someone in the job before?

Artika Tyner: There was someone in the position before, but in a slightly different role. I’m the first associate vice president of diversity and inclusion. This provided—if you’re thinking about my brand again—once again another unique leadership role where I could bring my expertise around leadership to enhance experience for the whole administration. And I went from then being at a law school to then helping support the entire university, which is over 10,000 students, plus faculty and staff members. So when you think about it, it was an opportunity to also expand my influence. So yes, once again it was someone looking for me based upon my skills and expertise that align with a need.

Stephanie Francis Ward: I see. Let’s switch gears a bit. I want to ask you on your advice for advocating for more pay. Because I think advocating for pay is often a different discussion, with different nuances in advocating for better promotions or opportunities in the workplace. Do you agree? And what do you think are some key differences in the negotiations in terms of getting more money at work?

Artika Tyner: For getting more money at work, I believe the question is rarely asked, which is a missed opportunity. Because better opportunities, better pay, are like a both/and for me. They’re not something that’s polarized as two opposites; to me they’re inherent. For me, better pay means more resources to do the other aspect of my work; more of the social justice, community engagement work. Now, did I always see it this way? Absolutely not. If you had told me maybe even three years ago that I needed to learn how to negotiate for my salary or my pay, I would have said that’s not polite; my mother didn’t raise me that way to ask critical questions related to that type of thing. Whatever I’m given is enough.

But now, knowing the power of money as a vehicle to accomplish my goals, and for me those social justice goals, it’s a moral imperative. So I’m always negotiating. But here’s the interesting piece. I was recently doing a lecture on gender bias and the experience of women, especially females who are attorneys and thinking about what are some of the pay inequities, what are some of the inequities around us being in leadership roles. But this piece of data really stood out to me. That men are four times more likely than women to initiate negotiations related to salary.

I said OK, that’s fascinating. But here’s the piece that caught my eye. Researchers have now shown that for women, our failure to negotiate can lead to nearly a million dollars of lifetime lost wages. So thinking about that, I had a new bit of initiative for myself to ask myself, was it how I perceived myself as a female, or from my own cultural background; did that limit my ability to advocate for myself? And I also had the blessing of a remarkable coach throughout this last five years of my leadership journey, Dr. [inaudible]. Dr. Van; he’s referred to as the power expert.

And one of the first things that he asked me, Dr. Van said, “Do you know your worth?” And I thought, do I know my worth? Yeah, I know I’m a lovely person. But no, no. He asked me again: “Do you know your worth?” And with asking that question, it’s made me very intentional about negotiating my salary because now I know my worth and my value-added, and my brand, and what I bring to the table, I can’t help but negotiate for what’s fair and just.

Stephanie Francis Ward: Do you think that perhaps millennials are more open about talking and money than people from previous generations?

Artika Tyner: Potentially that could be so. Maybe that answers a part of the piece with even the gender differences in negotiating about funds. Because if you look at the researcher about millennials, they’re negotiating every aspect of their lives. Primarily not even just about money; about paid time off, about professional development opportunities, so the full culmination of their professional growth. So it very well may be plausible that that is going to bring forth a stronger movement or proposition around what does pay really mean.

And also to clarify, now there is one point where I was negotiating for pay, and I knew based upon the budget there were no additional funds to provide in this particular organization. So in knowing that, I could spend all my time and been discouraged; I know you asked me that question earlier with the answer of no. But in going into that particular negotiation, I knew funds were limited. So I asked for the funds to a certain extent anyway, because I wanted to be at the market pay.

But in excess of that, I knew there should have been more room, but unfortunately not the budget to support that. So what did I ask for? Better opportunities. More opportunities to get training and receive training, more opportunities to do more research on this career development and leadership development pieces. I asked for opportunities to do informational interviews with key leaders. Because I think everything is not necessarily tangible in dollars and cents. Those other opportunities I received from that position have opened up additional doors that have brought in revenue even unexpectedly.

Stephanie Francis Ward: That may be you were aware of that to know. As I said at the beginning, part of this podcast is how you can avoid getting in your own way when you’re negotiating for more opportunities at work. What are some common things you’ve seen with young lawyers who maybe do kind of get in their own way when they’re trying to get better opportunities at the workplace?

Artika Tyner: One thing that can get in the way is delivery. What I’ve noticed from working with other students, other young lawyers, there tends to be a tendency as well to have these conversations either by email, or to have these conversations at the annual review of end of the year assessment. So the reality for me is these are conversations that happen through building a relationship.

These are conversations that happen after you do your homework. Because there have been people who say OK, I’m coaching them and they’re saying this is what I should get and this is why. But I’ll ask then, did you do your research? What’s your market analysis? What does that mean in light of your organizational structure, and they have no idea.

For instance, let’s say a person comes to me and says I want to be coach for XYZ leadership role with my bar association, or within my own organization. If you can’t tell me something about the profile or the background of then who would be your predecessors, how can I understand the recipe for success? So one thing I personally do as an ongoing challenge, the people who inspire me, I study their profiles. I want to know where they came from. I want to know what experiences they’ve had.

I want to know what they did after law school, like one of my sheroes is Marian Wright Edelmen, the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, one of the early, groundbreaking civil rights attorneys. One of the things I did right away, before I met her, before I got involved with her work in the Children’s Defense Fund, I looked at her experiences. What were the types of things she did? Where did she volunteer? What were her interests and passions? Then I had kind of a blueprint for success to be an effective civil rights attorney myself.

Stephanie Francis Ward: I see. Do you have tips for managers about managing people in a way that will support them having great career opportunities, ad what’s up on their vision board? I think some people are particularly talented at managing people and wanting the best for the people who work for them. What’s your advice on that for managers?

Artika Tyner: For managers I would encourage them to help their team find their strengths. One of the assessment tools that I use is the strength finder assessment tool. For instance in my organization, a part of new employee training, you get the Strengths Finder book; you can do your assessment. And what you find, based upon their studies, is that 80 percent of people come to work each days and are not using their strengths. So I would say take inventory of their strengths. For me, my top strengths are related to being relational. So that means if there’s a conflict, I can help facilitate a process to help people work through them related to input.

So I love research. So it’s natural for me to move into academia and become a professor at a law school because I love research, I love learning, I love data. I love exploring, I love building. So when you think about that, if you figure out what the strength areas are of all your employees, that’s different from their job titles. And I can think of one of the members that I had on my team. The job title said this individual should do these specific things. They were not the individual’s strength areas.

So it was either manage to the job title or incorporate the strengths into the position. So it’s almost like managers are on a treasure hunt to figure out what are the strengths, where do people work most effectively, and what are the opportunities to help to get them to the next level?

Stephanie Francis Ward: Treasure hunt; I like that. That’s a wonderful way to put it. The Strengths Finder test, is there a link to that on your website?

Artika Tyner: No, but I can definitely put one up there. Because I wrote a blog on Strength Finder. I definitely will. I think it’s an important part of the work that we need to do in that self exploration. But I’ll definitely add a link to my website as well. But you can find it just by looking up Strengths Finder on Amazon, or just doing a Google search. The book is about $420.00 but it’s well worth the investment, and you’ll learn about your five strength areas. And not just about how to use them but how to grow in them and and kind of what’s that shadow side or that weakness.

Stephanie Francis Ward: How many books have you written now?

Artika Tyner: I just completed two with the ABA, so I have The Lawyer’s Leader: How to Plant People and Grow Justice, and then The Leader’s Journey: A Guide to Discovering the Leader Within. And now I’m working on my third book, which will be released in September. It’s a children’s book called Making a Difference: The Story of Miss Freedom Fighter Esquire. That one is for really encouraging young people not just to think about a career in the law because you know you have that sense of justice, but really about how to make an impact and how to be a leader.

Stephanie Francis Ward: Great, I’m looking forward to it. Dr. Tyner, that’s everything I wanted to ask you today. Did you want to add anything else?

Artika Tyner: For me, I only would like to add a word of encouragement. I encourage everyone to continue to take inventory of those strengths or those gifts and talents, and discover opportunities to really learn and grow and build. And the last piece, the advice from my coach, Dr. Van our power expert; know your worth and help to define your experiences around the worth that you bring wherever you are.

Stephanie Francis Ward: All right, thank you so much for joining us. It was wonderful having you here today.

Artika Tyner: Thank you for the invitation.

Stephanie Francis Ward: And listeners, thank you for joining us as well. I’m Stephanie Francis Ward, and you’ve been listening to the ABA Journal’s Asked and Answered. I hope you tune in next month.

[End of transcript]

Updated on July 7 to add transcript.

In This Podcast:

Stephanie Francis Ward
Dr. Artika R. Tyner is an educator, author, speaker and advocate for justice. At the University of St. Thomas, Dr. Tyner serves as the associate vice president of diversity and inclusion. She is the founder/CEO of Planting People, Growing Justice Leadership Institute, which provides leadership development training and career coaching.