Morristown, N.J. (November 5, 2014) – Pamela York Klainer '67 returned to her alma mater on November 3 to give a talk about assertiveness for women. The event was sponsored by the Conklin Academic Success Center.
An engaging speaker, Dr. Klainer quickly captured the attention of the 40-plus young women in the audience. She began by explaining the differences between her generation and the current one, and then launched into the similarities that college "makes you bigger."
Dr. Klainer explained assertiveness as not a personality trait, but a skill that is learned. "To assert is simply defining what you need and assertiveness is the way to get it," she says.
Explaining the five steps of assertiveness, Dr. Klainer shared strategies with the group that struck a few chords. Some participants admitted that they were shy and others talked about not wanting to offend others. Dr. Klainer faced these head on by advising the group to look at what they need and using appropriate language skills to get it. She also talked about persistence and talking to the person who has the power to fulfill the need.
Using a tennis ball as an illustration, Dr. Klainer tossed the ball to a participant who was role playing a request for a raise. When the role played response was that the company did not have enough money, she then asked the participant why she had caught the ball. "The response about not getting a raise is not your problem – so don't catch the imaginary ball," she advised. Instead, she said, look for the movable piece – what aspect can change to achieve the original goal?
The participants had many questions during the presentation and Dr. Klainer offered advice on how to resolve the issues. She then offered to meet with students on Tuesday in small groups to continue the dialogue on assertiveness.
Pamela York Klainer '67 is an author, entrepreneur, executive coach, and a former Peace Corps volunteer. She and her late husband Jeremy founded a fee-based financial services firm which they owned and operated for more than 25 years. Pam authored a book in 2002 based on her experiences in the firm titled How Much is Enough? which chronicles the interplay between money, success, and happiness. She is an avid long-distance cyclist and has completed two challenging trips – one around the big island of Hawaii and one from Argentina, across the Andes Mountains into Chile.
About the College of Saint Elizabeth and her ongoing involvement Pam says, "I'm a firm believer in the tradition of women supporting women. Women have reached out to me all through my career generously sharing skills, teaching political wisdom, and modeling courage. I'm firmly committed to doing the same."