Get Attention & Be Heard

Can you hear me now? No. Really. Getting attention and being heard in this noisy world can be exhausting and discouraging.

You know the scenes in movies when the Army yells, “HOOAH!”?

It means H. U. A. = Heard, Understood and Acknowledged.

“HOOAH!” lets their Commanding Officer know that the instructions have been received and that they’re gonna

Can I get a virtual raise of hands - like, right now, raise your hand wherever you are - If…

You can think of a time in the last week when you WISH you could have gotten a “HUA!” back from someone?

Like, say an SO? Or a toddler? Or coworker? Just as a for-instance ;)

Heard, understood and acknowledged - are distinct actions. Deliberate, separate responses.

When we say we want to be heard, what we really want is to be understood and acknowledged.

Unless you’re a Commanding Officer, how do you get attention for what you’re saying?

Let’s talk about how to make sure your points are understood and you get the acknowledgement and action you need, in a way that creates respect and can help your reputation, so you don’t seem needy. How do you get a HUA holler back the right way?


The pre-game. THINK IT THROUGH.

(If you want the short cut, here’s a checklist for all of these steps. You can download it instantly here.)

1. What do you want to get across?

Distill your point down to as simple a statement as possible. Then cut out all of the unnecessary words. Get rid of the fluff. You may add some fluff back later. You’re going to be restating the same thing a few ways a few different times but having a “headline” version of what you need them to understand and acknowledge will help you drive it home.

2. How will you sharing that information make a difference?

Thinking through your ideal result - describe  the best possible outcome once you have their attention.

  • How will it impact the other person? Will that other person take action and do the thing? Change their mind? Are you hoping it will trigger an emotional connection like joy, guilt, shame, caution?

  • How will it impact you? What feeling do you hope you’ll have afterward? How’s it going to make a difference for you?

3. AND… Is it worth it?

Is it worth the time and energy to fight for attention air time?

:: Touchy subject disclaimer ::

Here’s what I deeply internalized with my Alzheimer’s grandmother. Most of the stuff we talk about in our day-to-day lives does not matter.

For dementia patients to key into their diminishing focus ability, it takes EFFORT. Is small talk worth it? Not really. But what is worth it is really, really valuable. It’s totally worth the investment of effort to tell her I love her. To make sure she eats.

She would never remember what I said but she would always remember how I made her feel. She would smile at me. She scowled at others - like family who fought with her about the fact that no, there weren’t cows in the trees.

What’s the point of arguing about cows in the trees? Does it matter? To what end?

Which brings us to…

4. If your answer’s “Yes, it’s worth it,” then you need to tailor your message to the person whose attention you want.

Here’s how…

Woo Woo-Hoo

Knowing your audience gives you an unseen advantage. Compassion is powerful - as humans, we’re wired to connect. The more we can authentically demonstrate that we’re aligned to someone else’s best interest, the easier it is for them to give us what we need and want.

Start by imagining the other person’s wants, needs, priorities, and motivation. You’ll weave these points in to support your statements and add weight and urgency to your requests.

What are they currently working towards? What risks are they mitigating?

For even more in-depth examples of how to build heartfelt connections and relationships with those you work with, to get attention at work, positive professional caliber inter-personal PR with those who can sponsor you in some way, like your client or mentor, check out this (free) e-course > Sponsor Woo.

Say it

Because this is worth the effort and your relationship with the other person matters, here’s a proven formula for saying whatever it is you need them to hear:

Tell them there will be a test. When you start by telling them you want to hear back what questions they have or their opinion you’re priming them to dial in their focus in advance.

  • You can say, “I’m about to go over XYZ. Can you do me a favor please and after I’m done, let me know if it generates any questions or if you see any impacts I need to consider further?”

Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them again, remind them of what you just told them. Attention spans aside, a healthy dose of repetition, emotional triggers and our own individual mental dot-connecting for humans to really learn something. This may feel redundant but this hand-holding can be as simple and straightforward as a few sentences, depending on your topic.

To recap

Check out this quick reference guide that you can use as a reminder the next time you’re having to intentionally get attention: Your Checklist & Cheat Sheet to Get Attention & Be Heard (the RIGHT way)

  1. State the topic: Hit the bullet points of what you want to say in as few words as possible.

    • “I’m about to go over XYZ.”

  2. Why does it matter to them? Woo, baby, woo.

    • “You’re gonna love it because it will help relieve ABC and boost your DEF.”

  3. Remember to test prep.

    • “Can you do me a favor please and after I’m done, let me know if it generates any questions or if you see any impacts I need to consider further?”

  4. One at a time, tick through your bullet points of what you want to have heard. State the bullet point. Elaborate if you must.

  5. Set a follow up: If they need time to respond or if you want to make sure they take certain steps, propose a circle-up.

    • “Let’s plan to touch base on this tomorrow afternoon?”

  6. Send notes.

    • For notes tips, check out this post >> Listen like you mean it.

    • “Here’s what I captured from our conversation including your action items and my next steps. I welcome your edits and thoughts.”

  7. Repeat! The whole process is a cycle and every conversation is a chance to refine their understanding and continuously reinforce their acknowledgement.

  8. Before the follow up, start by stating the topic again plus the action items you’re expecting to have updated by then.

Sometimes, getting attention and responses from some people can feel like you’re beating your head against a wall.

If you want feedback with how you’re positioning your ideas or just a sounding board of other amazing professional women, you’ve gotta join The Real CREW’s Facebook community. Click here to request access:

With love, joy & gratitude,
Tarah Keech

Listening is Hard: Three Ways to Improve Listening Skills

I work with a large number of colleagues who have English as their second language.

Sometimes, to give my eardrums a break, because I work from home, I leave my conference calls on speaker. This past week, my husband passed through and paused, tilted his head and said, “That is a well-educated guy.”

He was right. That’s not new - my husband’s a wicked smart, intuitive guy. He’s usually right about almost everything.

Here’s what’s interesting - the guy he was listening to, speaks English as a second language.

In every meeting, this guy often gets over-talked and is almost always asked to repeat himself a few times during calls. On a regular basis, he has to restate previously made points in follow up emails and redundant meetings. He knows his stuff at an expert level. He’s professional and entirely credible.

But to be HEARD, he has to repeat. ALL.THE.TIME.



Because LISTENING is hard.

Why listening skills are difficult

Hearing happens to us. It’s a circumstance.

Listening takes effort. It’s hard. It’s a discipline; a skill that only gets better with practice.

Can listening skills be improved?
Yes, yes they can.

Why listening skills are important

How can listening skills help you? When you listen you gain…  

  • Your time back: You don’t have to ask for repeats.

  • Stress relief: Multitasking is killing your brain and makes us feel like we’re behind.

    Like, right now. How many windows do you have open? Are you on your phone and at work? STOP it. Next time you have the chance to listen - STOP EVERYTHING ELSE and LISTEN.

  • Protect your energy: If needed, when you’re really dialed in and listening, you can get any needed answers or clarification right away instead after-the-fact, without having to waste energy spinning around hypothetical interpretations of partially caught meaning.

  • Results: Want to get more done? Quicker? Better? Tune in to one thing at a time. LISTEN, with your whole self.

BONUS TIP: Sometimes, my four year old acts out for attention (shocking, I know) by increasing her volume or doing behavior that she knows I’ll react to (pull on curtains, push her younger sister, etc.).

When I have the presence of mind to recognize that’s what’s going on, I respond with this amazing little ninja move: “Alright, I can tell you want some attention. Right now, you’ve got both of my eyes and both of my ears.”

Like 95% of the time, this shuts down the inappropriate behavior, gives me the chance to be present with my daughter and experience her moment that she desperately wanted to share.

It’s a beautiful thing, being present with the ones we love. At the end of the day, don’t we all want to be seen and heard?

Which brings me to what you want to know now… How to be HEARD. We’ll be talking about that next week. Meanwhile, drop me a line and let me know what about being HEARD do you have the hardest time with?

How listening skills can be improved

For three ways to LISTEN like you mean it, I created this guide for you >> GET IT HERE.

Now, let’s go exercise those ear muscles!

With love, joy, gratitude and my full attention,

Tarah Keech |
Join us in our private FB community:

Thank you!

Greetings, CREW!

Exciting things are coming in the near future and the New Year but in this moment, I feel still and grateful.

I feel my feet on the floor, the cool from sitting near the window. I hear the dishes running and smell fresh coffee.

I love these moments with you. I love our community, our conversations, our sharing and this togetherness we’ve forged.

You are amazing! Thank you for showing up and sharing who you are and what you think.

You matter! What you feel matters. What you want matters.

You are important and you are worthy. There is nothing that you can do or not do that in ANY way changes the fact that you are wholly worthy.

With so much love, joy and gratitude!
See you in the group! And back here, in your inbox on the other side of the New Year!


Tarah Keech |
Join us in our private FB community:

Your Big Dreams

What’s your big dream?

You know, the thing you keep thinking of.

  • You find yourself thinking of it in the middle of the night…

  • Your thoughts wander there while you’re driving your most familiar routes...

  • Have you ever even said it out loud?

Big dreams are important.

It’s one of the gifts of being human.

These big, beautiful brains of ours come with the ability to imagine all sorts of things - creations, experiences, the future - and imagination is the catalyst for progress.

Imagination is what we’re wired to do and I believe, part of our purpose.

We’re not supposed to do all the dreams.

Most of the time, allowing yourself to imagine is the exercise that’s most impactful. Flexing those creative muscles and stretching the boundaries of what you’re willing to consider, allowing yourself to dream - is usually way harder than the actual action it would take to make the dream real.

I wanna know what your imagination’s cooking up these days.

Post in the comments and tell me: What’s your big dream?

With love, joy & gratitude,
Tarah Keech |
Join us in our private FB community:

PS - If this is one of those dreams that may be a real-life-worthy adventure, we’ve got your back. Post in our private FB community with the tag #bigdream for unbridled support - feedback, launch pad, sounding board, accountability partners, and cheer squad :)

Hope is not naïve

Did you know that you’re in charge of how you feel?

And -

However you feel - whatever that emotion is - is valid.

But -

It’s a choice.

Human physiological response to an emotional stimulus remains in your body for 90-seconds. Fear, anger, grief, joy, surprise. These chemical responses surge and course through your body immediately kind of like road flares to signal your brain and body what you need to do immediately in order to stay alive and protect yourself.

If you are feeling an emotion for longer than 90-seconds, it is because you are choosing to. You re-trigger that physiological reaction by tell yourself stories. By “stories” I mean any internal monologue or conjured thought: memories, imaginations, speculations, gossip, self-talk (negative or positive).

Now -

If you CHOOSE to tell yourself stories that are negative, undercutting, focused on the worst-possible outcomes, or reliving misses - you will FEEL those feelings of anger, embarrassment, discouragement, resentment, defensiveness, hostility.

If you CHOOSE to consider what you hope for, what you appreciate, who you love, what you enjoy, what you look forward to, how you can give and share to encourage someone else - you will FEEL joy, peace, excitement, restored.

This is why gratitude is powerful. This is why intention setting and visualization are tools to practice.  

Hope is not naïve, it is an exercise of will. The will to choose… Joy. Optimism. Best. Worthiness. Amazement. Peace. Happiness. Contentment.  

Believe what you will about afterwards but this existence is finite. But here, in this space, between now and then - you have the power and the ability to choose your experience.

In the giant curiosity-shop of all possible feelings - what will you choose as your experience today? 

With love, joy & gratitude,

Tarah Keech |
Join us in our private FB community:

Creating Community in the Emotional Desert of Corporate America

Alternative title: Mentorships v. Masterminds - You can have your cake and eat it too.

We’re going to start with a PSA…

In case you are not already part of our private community, please come on over and join us. I invite you cordially, formally and with engraved invitations to join this amazing group of women where we talk about all the things related to being a professional in today's society and culture.

Here’s the link where you can request access (it’s free) >>

We also love to talk about applying the art and science of psychology to help improve ourselves, our lives and our careers - everything to being seen, being heard, being appreciated, being recognized and for God's sake - getting paid.


For years now, I've been a corporate consultant and I really do love that job. I love the strategy involved. I love helping our clients achieve exactly what they want. I love bringing clarity and structure around chaos. I love building bridges and relationships across teams and individuals who, frankly, don't always see eye-to-eye.

Split personality

I also love entrepreneurship and thinking about business strategically. My husband and I have a couple of businesses. Thinking about the marketing, the online moving pieces, and learning the tools. But, I feel like my brain has two levels that it's always operating on: corporate brain and entrepreneur brain (not to mention the family and personal stuff).

For the corporate side, I have been truly blessed to have amazing mentors. But I sought them out, cold-called, fan-girled them on social media, took their classes and inserted myself into their circles.

Mentorship, for me, has been something I've always had to go after, I've had to make a conscious effort to establish it and maintain those relationships. I've been very fortunate in that these people have usually been very receptive and continue to guide me mentally, strategically and even emotionally as I progressed through different points of my corporate career.

Let’s compare that to what’s available to entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurially, there are amazing communities online of other entrepreneurs who are helping, coaching, supporting, masterminding, master-classing, always generating content and creating groups where these types of conversations can happen.

What I aim to do with The Real CREW is something that I lack of. This community is a mastermind, sharing, community culture in the corporate world.

Can you imagine?

How great would it be if you were sitting in your day job or trying to think about your career strategically and not have to go after a mentor? Not have to consciously seek them out? Not feel like you're being a cyber-stalker like I felt? Not have to pay someone, or feel like you're inserting yourselves and someone's already extremely constrained schedule?

Can I get an amen?

THIS what The Real CREW is here for.

We are a cooperative, reciprocal mentorship network where we do all of those fun things and more.

Let us hear about your challenges and talk about them together. Other people in The CREW have been where you are…

  • trying to get to a new position

  • trying to negotiate a salary

  • dealing with a really nerve-wracking presentation

  • a really creepy co-worker

  • having to step out of your comfort zone and do a stretch role

The CREW is a group of professional women who have been there and done that or want to get where you are and can learn from you.

So join us. The Collective of Real Executive Women

We are a cooperative, reciprocal mentorship community. We are that beautiful hybrid between the corporate, formerly structured and sort of rigid mentorship dynamic and this beautiful online community of people who are truly thoughtful and positively intentioned professionals, who want to help you succeed and want to learn from you so that they can succeed.

You hear the JFK quote “A rising tide lifts all boats,” all the time in the entrepreneurial world — I invite you to join us as we bring this into our corporate cultures. This has the potential to change the world for the better.

I want to hear from you if you have questions that you would like us to talk about here and in the group. Please post them in the comments below.

I am excited and honored with the hope of getting to see and talk with you soon, thank you.

With love, joy & gratitude,
Tarah Keech |
Join us in our private FB community:

Can Gratitude Change Your Life?

Everyone’s thinking about what they’re grateful for and in a few weeks, we’re all gonna be thinking about what we want in the New Year.

It’s a beautiful cycle. These are two important steps - Gratitude and vision. Gratefulness in the present and intention for the future we want.

This is typically how it goes:
Make a list of what you’re grateful for that you already have. Check. Make a list of everything you want that you don’t yet have. Check.

But… What about when gratitude doesn’t work?
What about when goals don’t work?

But that leaves us with a list focused on what we don’t have. Good intentions, for sure, but that list of resolutions or desires can feel like a bucket list of lack. Take it from me, nothing kills hope and momentum quite like that scarcity mindset.

You gotta be hella gritty to push through and achieve despite feeling that gap of insufficiency.

How goals affect your brain

Our beautiful human brains are wired to avoid risk and scarcity - it’s how we all work and it’s helped us survive as a species. Additionally, the more scarcity we perceive, the more we avoid a particular stimuli and the more reinforced those neural pathways become. For more on this awesome science and how our amygdala works - check out the work of Dr. Kay Tye (Nature, 2015).

Intention setting FAILS when you focus on what you don’t have

What this means in your life is when you think of something as a failure, a gap, a deficit, or scarce, your brain circuitry gives you the go-ahead to actively avoid it. (Hello dropped New Year’s resolutions, circa always!) And, the more you avoid that topic/ action/ task/ unopened bill/ toxic coworker/ gym/ public speaking, the more your brain reinforces that you’ve made the right decision and the easier it is to never do the thing!

Case in point: The path less traveled had a poem written about it. No poem about the common path is nearly as renowned - why? Because it’s easy to take the common, worn path. No big deal. It is MUCH harder to take the less traveled path. Enter grit: where deliberate action meets intention, “passion meets perseverance”.

But now! You strategic diva, you see it coming. Let’s short circuit that discouragement dip and start with a simple re-program of the way we do our Thanks Giving and Intention Setting.

I made an Intentional Gratitude mindfulness exercise for you >> get it here.

How gratitude affects your brain

Here’s what you need to know about gratitude...

Gratitude is NOT comparison. Gratitude is not recognizing that others are worse off than you. Just like intention setting is not about focusing on what you don’t have.

Gratitude is an appreciation for the positive aspects of what you do have.

As for how gratitude plays in your brain, it triggers dopamine - the amazing chemical responsible for feeling “reward” (think: happiness, joy, peace) and for initiating action (NIH, Zahn et al., 2009).

What this means in your life is that the more gratitude you can practice, the more rewarding emotions you feel and the more likely you are to take actions to protect, reinforce and strengthen what triggered that feeling.

SO… What you practice being grateful for, you are more likely to endorse with your actions.

TAKE HOME: Gratitude can hot-wire your brain for success. Joy-full success.

Here’s how: Intentional Gratitude >> get your guide right here.

Intentional Gratitude means you deliberately practice gratitude and you practice gratitude for what you intend for your future (like resolutions).

Now, think of all that you want and intend for the future. The next year. The rest of this season. Make a list of what you want that you don’t have and for every item on the list, add something you want that you already have - and give thanks for that too.

Intentional Gratitude

(Get the guide here)

  1. Make a list of your wishes for the future. Alternate on every other line, list a wish for your future and alternate the other lines and list something you wish for the future that you already have in your life (can be a person, routine, thing, habit, etc.).

  2. Be grateful one by one. One by one, go down the list and think: What is it about that item that you are grateful for? What do you most look forward to about having it in your life?

  3. For your future intentions: Actively imagine having it already - right now - in the present tense. Feel it. Appreciate how amazing it is. Imagine experiencing it in the present tense. What does it look like, feel like, sound like - imagine that it’s already integrated into your day and life - imagine a day with it already real. Go through every step and recognize how much you like it and are enjoying it.  Feelings create thoughts (which reinforce those neural pathways in your amygdala!).

  4. Continue these grounding thoughts for what you already have: Remember the first time you interacted with it or them? Remember the last time? What do you love about it? What does life with it look like? Feel like? Sound like?

  5. Go forth and do with ease and the simplified neural path. These Intentional Gratitude steps reinforce your neural pathways in ways that make it easier for you to achieve your desires and work from a place of joy and abundance. You are literally hot wiring your brain to help you succeed.

With love, joy & gratitude,

Tarah Keech |
Join us in our private FB community:

PS - This little exercise is inspired by The Life Coach School and Brooke Castillo. I’m a fan. Follow, listen and absorb - if you want to nerd out together about all the amazing wisdom shared, hit me up on email @


CREW, We’re starting a new thread. Introducing…



Because I want to know what you know.

For this inaugural conversation, please, please answer this question in our private FB group:

What topic, area or industry do you know the MOST about?

(Ahem, holistic and organic hair care! Cancer research! Navigating bankruptcy! Vacation rentals! Health and wellness! Copy editing! Crowd sourcing funding! Makeup and skin care! It doesn’t have to be your job.)

As my hubs and I teach the kids life “stuff” - oh, so much random stuff - I’m kind of falling in love with the marvelousness of how we learn.

“Sharing what we know (read: what YOU know) supports us all”

“Growing Up Wild” (on Netflix) has this scene of baby macaques diving and swimming (did you know monkeys can swim?!) to find the hidden superfood, seed heads of lily pads.

This is a remarkable example of how we benefit from growing up in a society with a cumulative knowledge base - we get to learn the best of the best from those who have gone before us and figured it out. The information gets updated and refined through the group’s experiences and shared which multiplies the benefit to society.

Hellooooo, CREW! Sharing what we know (read: what YOU know) supports us all!

Please, for God’s sake, learn what I know without having to go through the toil, tribulations and student loans it took me to learn it.


Here’s my vision: #whatweknow will become our very own CREW directory of awesomeness.

You never know what you might have a question about or when you might be able to help someone else in a moment of need. What you take for granted just might help one of our CREW score some of that sweet, sweet, lily pad superfruit in their own ponds ;)

So, tell us! What do you know?

Post what you know in our group HERE >>

With love, joy & gratitude,
Tarah Keech
Join our online community:

This is dangerous for me to say...

I disagree with Harvard Business Review.

“The war for leadership talent is real, and organizations with the best leaders will win.”


The teams with the best leaders are winners. But see, organizations can’t hire their ideal leader.

You can only hire good humans & then it’s on YOU to bring them up to be the leader you need them to be.

How exactly do you make that happen?

The Best Leaders = Winning
Good Humans + Mentoring = The Best Leaders

Your company is doing what you’re doing because you care - because you provide value to your end user. You’re invested in their success so you invest in your team to make that vision real.

In that sense, of course you want to win. You want the best leaders. You want the innovators, the creators, the collaborators, the blue ocean captains of industry, the why-fortified enterprise of earth shakers and money makers, the grittiest and the greatest.

So you compete for top talent. You recruit aggressively. You woo. And once they’re in the door you measure KPI’s and ROI’s and continue to hold up performance for visibility and accountability.

Then, people fall short for the myriad of reasons you’ve come to expect and we all just accept it.

You don’t have to accept it. You don’t have to settle. You can have the best.

What I’m about to say next is dangerous for me to say.

It’s a conversation I only have in very private situations. Closed-door meetings. One or two people at a time. But I’ve had to say these exact same words, over and over and over again with nearly every corporate consulting client I’ve ever had.

“You don’t need better people. You need the people you have to do their jobs better.”

The team you have is not well enough equipped.

And that’s on you.

How do you get Good Humans to do the best job?

Pareto Principle = “80 percent of consequences come from 20 percent of the cause”

Some people are rock stars. Some people just show up and walk in the door giving a care and getting things done - they’re good and resourceful and they’ve got grit. Then there is the other 80%.

Here’s what’s missing

Where do you learn tone, politics, context, history, matrixed layers of impact? How do you learn a customer relationship? Not to mention the tech archaeological digs through years of code fix, migrations, acquisitions, etc.

Being and having the best leaders in your team only requires that you start with Good Humans, and add the right Mentoring that supports the right learning that empowers the best performance.

The Best Mentoring

  • I am NOT talking about traditional corporate mentorship matching.

  • I am NOT talking about cold-calling or fan-girling.

  • I am NOT talking about any rando’s arbitrary advice.

The Best Mentoring includes:


Human brains are hardwired to learn from observation. Create a culture where modeling is woven into the day-to-day.


No ulterior motives. Transparency and inclusion is the ultimate launchpad for dynamic creativity.


Cooperative and safe. Without the vulnerability of hierarchical disadvantages.


Inspiration in action propels progress. Inspiration in consistent action perpetuates success.

If you, your team or a team you know is looking to develop, launch or revamp their mentor program, helping you be and have the BEST leaders through the right mentorship is exactly what I do. Email and we’ll chat:

With love, joy & gratitude,
Tarah Keech

About Tarah Keech, Host and Founder of The Real CREW

This is homework. And me, practicing what I teach.

So, let me ask you this - How do you prep for an interview? Your rituals? Advice? Tell me in the comments below.

For me, I’ve gotten coaching, asked mentors, begged for feedback and studied all the articles and blogs.

Let me save you that hassle and expense. The experts, the impressive people and the best in the industry all say the same thing:

The key for killing it in an interview is knowing how to spin information about yourself while making it ALL about the person and company who are interviewing you.

Here we are. Up until now, The Real CREW hasn’t had an about page.

The assignment is to tell the origin story, the meet-cute for what’s brought us together here and now. I’m going to figure out how to write the about page and try to apply this nugget of wisdom.


You know when you think you want one thing and then… you realize you don’t? You can call it growing or maturing or simply learning. It is all of those things (and I hereby give you permission to change your mind too).

Who am I?

I am in love with my husband. I am in love with my daughters. I am in love with my life. I am the host and founder of The Collective of Real Executive Women and I am so stinking proud!


My Dad is now retired Air Force and as a kid, we moved around state-side. The summer before I started high school, we moved to our “home base” of Grand Bay, Alabama. This is where my mom grew up, where my parents met and the setting for my childhood summers. We came back to take care of my mom’s mom and then my other grandma moved in too. I had the best days and made the sweetest memories getting to know them and be with them during the last years of their lives. It was hard, and fun, and hysterical and tragic.

Spurred on by the heartache of grief and the determination to live while the living is good, I set sights on serving Alzheimer’s caregivers. My freshly married husband and self quit our jobs, picked up our puppy and moved to Denver for my master’s program.

About 2 weeks into the program, it hit me that I did not, in fact, want to be a therapist. Hm.


I stuck with it. Largely because of my new amazing cohort of friends and the truly, profoundly inspiring researchers I connected with. They needed project management help - I plugged in. This work was life-affirming, heart-lighting soul-fuel. End-of-life decision making. Hospice and palliative care caregiver support. Data-based tools, treatments and support that I am honored to have worked on.

Then, I hit this point where I was in love with the work but not in love with the real-life salary constraints that they failed to match up to my #housegoals and new, shiny student loans.

Pivot Point

So where do you want to be? I’m asking you.

This is an exercise we go through in my mentoring workshops: Imagine all the possible Big Dreams - all the options that might be fun. No wrong answers. You’re not going to be graded on it. No one is going to read it or judge you for it. Now, pick the ideas that are interesting and reverse engineer how that career path looks. In one of my options, I kept seeing PMP and project management. I took the classes, passed the test, put the initials on my Linked In profile and went to Vegas for the weekend. The next Monday, I had four recruiter calls and ultimately became a project manager consultant.

Looking back at that transition, I created financial freedom and the freedom to change my story.

Next came chapters of learning, stretching, growing and this weird theme of really excelling (I’m talking unsolicited promotions and raises, emails, cards and flowers as thank you’s, three-step-above-me leaders asking for my advice) just by using what I learned in my psych program within these corporate situations: Appreciative Inquiry, Clinical and Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This is magic sauce.

Real definition.png

Why wasn’t everyone able to do this?

They are!

Lightbulb moment. Rather, hundreds of lightbulbs. These psychology skills and tools can be used by everyone in every single job to grow better relationships, create more engagement, get better results from happier teams and stakeholders and all around win more - with way, way less stress. Less pain. Less spin. Less drama. Less frustration. Less angst. Less worry.

Here we are

Since 2012, this idea has been marinating and iterating, growing and refining itself into what we have today:

This most amazing community:  

Join us, won’t you?

This WHY:

The Collective of Real Executive Women is here to support, encourage, enable and uplift each other in realizing our joy and purpose in all aspects of our lives - especially our careers. We believe in purpose and we believe in being real: real connectedness, real success, real joy. We are challenging the corporate status quo as a community of professional women encouraging, enabling and empowering each other to live the fullness of our joy and purpose in all aspects of our lives and careers.


Saying “Yes,” to more joy and being connected with intention to these lives we’re leading. That’s what we’re all about.

I foster this new opportunity for my clients in workshops and coaching on the application of the art and science of psychology in today's workplace:

  • Balance! Real balance and whole-self-care (without the guilt and burnout)

  • How to find and build authentic, lasting mentor and sponsor relationships inside and outside your company

  • Working with and for challenging personalities

  • Overcoming insecurity and imposter syndrome

  • Your interpersonal branding strategy (yes, that is a thing and it’s hugely important in your career)

If you know anyone who would benefit from this type of support, let me know and I’ll send them our “Hello” kit full of goodies and more information. Email me at

If you haven’t already, we want and welcome you to join our (free) private Facebook community! This link will take you there: Invite your friends - we’re all better together.

With love, joy & gratitude,

Tarah Keech
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