Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
My name is Chantal Boeckman, and I am co-president of the Ellevate Dallas chapter. I’ve been an Ellevate member and leader since 2017 and have valued this organization for the space it has provided me to up-level my networking skills and to meet exceptional women who are supportive and accepting of each other from the moment we meet.
I’ve dedicated my career to communications and public relations driven by a fascination to understand what motivates people to take action or to believe in one another. Any public appearance, media interview, team meeting or customer call is an opportunity to build trust. I believe that our communication skills, the words we use, and the ways we choose to interact with people are at the core of securing trust from the people we want to do business with.
I lead Corporate Communications in the Americas for Amadeus, a company based in Madrid, Spain, that is the global leader in travel technology. I’ve spent the bulk of my career working for European companies and have loved the exposure these companies have given me to people from all over the world and the opportunity to travel to amazing places.
My most beloved role is being mom to my almost 10-year-old son. My passion for communication has blossomed into exploring how I can be a better a parent and spouse with empathy, patience and an open mind.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
I discovered Ellevate when I arrived at a stage in my career when I wanted to strengthen my network and connect with professional women who did not necessarily work in public relations and marketing. Being a member of Ellevate has given me exactly what I wanted — the opportunity to meet and be inspired by women who have one great thing in common: we all want to get better together. There are no egos with Ellevate, so any gathering is a chance to learn from the experience and ideas of women who are dealing with so many of the same challenges we all face in life. A 30-minute conversation at an Ellevate event can provide me with weeks and months of inspiration.
My recent Ellevate success story is that I challenged myself to be a Squad Mod in Spring 2020 — when I volunteered the state of world we know today had not erupted yet. When a Squad typically has 6-8 women, mine started, and continued with two originally assigned women and me. Efforts to reach out to the other Squad members didn’t bear fruit, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that the other two women had to have been so disappointed because all they were getting was me as a moderator and not the 6 other women they thought they’d meet and learn from for the next 12 weeks.
That fear was laid to rest quickly. Our little group showed up for each other each week, none of us missed one session and we were able to add a 4th member who was a fabulous addition. All that to say that Ellevate provides these opportunities to connect, lead and learn in ways that are different from other parts of my life.
How would you define your professional mission?
My professional mission is to help people, particularly people who see themselves as leaders, understand their goals and use various forms of communication to achieve them.
What are some career challenges on your radar?
A career challenge that I didn’t anticipate in my first five, or even ten, years of my career was that I’d reach a point where I’ve accomplished everything I set out to accomplish when I started my career. I’ve done everything I wanted to do, and I didn’t anticipate reachIng a point where I have to challenge myself with the question of “what’s next?”
It’s daunting and exciting all at the same time. I’m in a stage of self-discovery for which there is no guidebook (like so many stages of our lives when we find ourselves doing something for the very first time). I’ve been leaning on the Ellevate Network for ways to define “what’s next” for me.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is when my counsel helps someone move in the right direction of their own goals or projects. More concretely, I’ve spent the better part of my career working in media relations, which is an exhilarating form of storytelling short of being a journalist (which is what I initially thought I’d be years ago). For many companies, a positive news story can catapult their business. Equally, a negative story can upend it. A great part of my job is when my company’s story is positively told in a news article as a result of my team’s or my efforts.
What would you say your personal superpower is?
Empathy. It is the single most important part of my psyche that helps me make sense of the world.
What does success look like to you?
Success is feeling an overall, consistent sense of confidence in who we are and in what we believe. We will all have moments of fear, uncertainty and doubt — those are feelings that make us human. Success is in realizing that all the smaller moments — the decisions we make, the conversations we have, the questions we ask, the problems we work to solve — all come together to shape our points of view and harness the power of the unique gifts we each have to make our companies, communities and homes better. Success comes with this deep understanding of ourselves.
Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Work-life balance was an issue for me when I had a poor grasp on time. We gain balance when we intentionally carve out time for ourselves and have a firm understanding of how much time we can actually give ourselves.
Sit down with your calendar and map out everything you do — sleeping, morning routines, getting the kids dressed, drive time, sitting at soccer practice, preparing meals, bedtime rituals — everything. Add to that an 8-hour workday and you get a really good sense of where your “me time” is or can be. When I first did this exercise I realized I maybe got one hour a day to do whatever I wanted to do. That was a great discovery because it started me on a path to making other adjustments in my schedule to take more time for me. My calendar also became a tool that gave me the power of choice versus the burden of obligation.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
Wisdom I gained more from spiritual reflection that now helps me each day at work is: focus on the things I can control, i.e. the only thing I can control is myself — my actions and reactions, my words, even my facial expressions and how I spend my time. When a situation feels out of control, spend your time thinking about what you can do that will inspire others to act similarly.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?
Remember that no stage of your child’s life lasts forever, even when they feel like they could. The sleepless nights due to feedings or diaper changes will end. Making multiple bottles to bring to daycare; strapping them in their car seats; getting them dressed in the mornings when you’re running late for work — all of that eventually ends, and many times without warning. I wish I’d realized that sooner because I would have slowed down in those moments and embraced them rather than be frustrated by them.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Director, External Communications, America
Amadeus IT Group
Chantal Boeckman is a communications leader with 20 years of experience who believes that communications is at the heart of everything we do. She is the president of Ellevate’s Dallas chapter, and she is director of corporate communications in the Americas for travel technology leader Amadeus. Chantal has extensive experience working with C-level and regional leaders for major global brands in both corporate communications and public relations agency environments. She specializes in communications for leaders. Chantal... Continue Reading
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