Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

A four-week professional development course, the first course in the Mindful Leadership for Women Programme.


What's on offer?

  • A four-week online course offering a truly transformational professional learning and development experience.

  • Working with like-minded and like-hearted women in a safe, supportive and courageous environment, we will explore - and overcome - that most pervasive and debilitating phenomenon impacting so many women in the modern workplace: Imposter Syndrome.

What is Imposter Syndrome?

  • Imposter Syndrome is a term coined by Oberlin psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in late 1970s to describe a set of beliefs that has us feeling we are frauds, we are in some way lacking or unworthy, we don’t deserve our successes and/or it’s only a matter of time before we’re found out.

  • Research shows that although Imposter Syndrome is experienced by men, it is particularly prevalent among women with over 70% of us experiencing 'imposter symptoms' during, and in many cases throughout, our careers.

Why does Imposter Syndrome matter?

  • Imposter Syndrome is something individuals and organisations should seek to address for many reasons as it:

    • breeds - and feeds on - fear and anxiety

    • leads to exhausting cycles of procrastination and over-work

    • hot-houses self-criticism and low self-compassion

    • damages our confidence and self-esteem

    • undermines connection, relationship and trust

    • contributes greatly to stress and burn-out

    • can lead to loss of talented staff

Impact in the workplace

  • Imposter Syndrome undermines women in many key professional areas including:

    • motivation and engagement

    • levels of productivity, effectiveness and impact

    • fulfillment, health and well-being

    • 'staying under the radar' e.g. avoiding leadership roles, promotions, pay-rises, projects, speaking opportunities

    • not realising their full potential and making their fullest contribution

    • practising - and modelling - unhealthy models of leadership

    • staying stuck in roles for which they are over-qualified

Imposter Syndrome has also been shown to negatively impact organisations in many business-critical areas including:

  • realising the full potential of the whole workforce

  • modeling trust and collaboration

  • fostering creativity, innovation and risk-taking

  • benefiting from the many inherent opportunities of more diverse and inclusive workplaces

  • succession planning

  • competing effectively

  • redressing the imbalance in the number of women in senior leadership roles

Course content

  • Week 1: The Nature of the Beast
    Defining imposter syndrome, exploring where it comes from, how it operates and why it is a particular challenge for women.

  • Week 2: The Hustle for Worthiness
    Exploring the drivers, beliefs and behaviours of imposter syndrome.

  • Week 3: Radical Acts of Kindness

    Sharing leading-edge compassion-based research and practices to help us recognise and overcome our imposter 'symptoms'.

  • Week 4: The Wizard of Us
    Identifying and cultivating a range of inner leadership qualities which empower us to let go of exhausting, unsustainable work habits and lead from a more relaxed, balanced and authentic place.

  • The course features a rich mixture of live weekly webinars, buddy sessions (pairing with a different course-mate each week), personal reflection, assignment exercises, mindfulness practices, poetry, TED Talks, and more.

  • Jo and I are committed to helping women take their place as whole-hearted, authentic and inspiring leaders in the workplace and we're hugely excited to be offering this course.

Course Goals

  • Understanding what Imposter Syndrome is, why we have it and how it particularly impacts women

  • Learning to recognise ‘imposter symptoms’ in ourselves and those we lead

  • Sharing leading research illuminating the specific issues faced by women in the workplace

  • Exploring empowering knowledge, skills and practices to help you manage imposter syndrome

  • Growing your professional and personal confidence

  • Supporting your health and well-being

  • Reclaiming your power and personal authority

  • Sharing our insights and experience in a safe, courageous, supportive environment

Course format

  • Each online course* is fully-facilitated and takes place over 4 weeks with knowledge-sharing via live, interactive webinars at the same time each week.

  • Each week there is also a ‘buddy call’ where participants connect with a different colleague each week (via the phone, Skype, FaceTime, Zoom etc) to share their experiences and discuss their key learning arising from the week’s webinars.

  • Participants also benefit from Ruzuku, our virtual learning environment in which participants can create a profile and connect with one another. Each week, after the webinar, there are assignment questions to consider and respond.

  • In addition to the above, I also provide extra resources in a ‘Deeper Dive’ section for each week in Ruzuku. Here I will provide links to articles and audio files for ‘expert interviews’ I have conducted with information professionals who have long experience of negotiating with information service providers.

    *An in-person workshop is also available for groups of women leaders within organisations who wish to take this training together.

Ready to Book?

  • The next public course will be held in the Spring 2019. Dates will be confirmed soon.  

  • Places will be limited to 14 and there is typically a very high level of interest so if you're ready to join a small group of like-minded, whole-hearted women on this empowering learning journey, please get in touch. By registering your interest you will among the first to be notified when the next course dates and early-bird pricing are announced.

  • If you’re interested in the Mindful Leadership for Women programme, please subscribe to the Mindful Leadership for Women Programme mailing list.