The Most Underrated Skill for a New Hire

Shh Kelly blog post

Kelly puts the skill of silence to work during a meeting.

It’s your first time in an office, first time in a “real” job and your first time speaking in a room where you aren’t called on when you raise your hand and everyone has years of experience under their belt. You’re not sure if you should be trying to contribute a lot or bouncing ideas off of your co-workers, but the one thing you do know is that you don’t want to be silent. However, silence might be the most underutilized skill that “new kids” can use in a meeting.

For budding, type-A, go-getters, it can be hard not to fill in the empty space. But if you can harness silence to reign in and organize your hundred-mile-a-minute thought processes, what comes next might surprise you.

Mastering the art of silence was one of the first tasks I took on at Curley Company. I was always the girl with her hand up in class, and always spoke my mind in our Student Government meetings. I always had something to say, and my words were always ten steps ahead of my thoughts. On my first day at Curley, Jennifer challenged me to use my ideas and enthusiasm for “good, not evil.” So I forced myself to be a sponge and decided just to listen. I developed a method for active listening via preparedness so that if I were asked to contribute, my thoughts were concise and strategic. It also helped me resist the urge to jump in!

Four weeks later, I travelled back up to my university for a retreat with the Board of Trustees.  As the youngest in the room, I knew this was the time to practice and put my work to the test. Discussing changes to their beloved alma mater always gets the trustees in the room a little heated. By the last day, everything was on the table from the trustees, but my colleague, the other Student Delegate, and I had not yet weighed in on the topics. I waited patiently for our turn to speak, and I was prepared and poised with four pages of notes and three bullet points to drive home.

With three sentences carefully crafted and refined over three days, I weighed in on the topic. I was strategic and concise. That was our plan, and it succeeded.

When used strategically, silence can be a hidden gem in your arsenal of skills. By knowing when to emphasize quality over quantity, you can master the skill of the strategic strike and really move a room surrounded by experts in the field.

Shhh…it’s a secret!



#HillTasteTest pic collage for blog
Yesterday, Curley Company headed to Capitol Hill to host our first-ever #HillTasteTest event!  We set up a delicious display of candy and chocolates, courtesy of Sugar & Ice, in the Cannon House Office Building and invited professional staffers to join us for treats, social media tips and a short survey.

We asked staffers to answer 10 questions related to social media use, to  find out how their congressional offices like to share and receive information and how best to engage with them. This survey will let us know how they want content delivered to them, how they want to share content with their constituents, and on what channels they want to push that content out.

The #HillTasteTest was a hit! We’ll be rolling out the results in mid-September, so be sure to follow @CurleyCompany and #HillTasteTest on Twitter and check back for the full survey results.

Next Stop, Washington, D.C.!

Looking at my weather app the night before I venture down to Washington, D.C., I suddenly realize I am going to regret buying so many silk blouses. As I gather my garment bags and begin my summer journey as an intern for Curley Company, nervousness and excitement swell inside of me.

Next stop, Washington! Madison has quickly become an expert in navigating D.C.

Next stop, Washington! Madison packed her bags and headed down to the district for her first D.C. experience.

This would not only be my first internship, but also my first time visiting D.C.  My journey began as I drove towards the GWU dorms, which would be my home for the next seven weeks.  As with any good adventure, there were some speed bumps along the way.  There’s nothing quite like driving down the wrong way of 20th street NW, all while desperately searching for the right residential building. My excitement grew as I realized that navigating my way through Memorial Day traffic was only one of many “firsts” that I would experience this summer.

My first two weeks with Curley Company have been a whirlwind. I have been tossed into all different aspects of the company, from drafting press releases and bios for new clients to attending meetings on the hill to strategizing for our next event. I love working with the different members of the Curley team, being thrown into a project and learning how different parts of the company function together.

Since I started, I have been able to help the Curley team and gain experience assisting with research, event logistics and social media. The exposure to industry practices has been invaluable and will shape my experience this summer. I have not only discovered what I love about the PR scene, but also what I love about working with a group of individuals who are focused on being better and pushing to meet their next goal. These people inspire me to work my hardest and not be afraid to do something wrong- because it happens- and keep working until I get it right.

At Curley, clients come first, and the team will go the distance to make sure the job is done right. Curley values the impact their work has on the people and organizations they work with and are resourceful and creative when it comes to their strategy. They are a team of like-minded people who invest their time and energy into solving the problems that their clients face. Whether it is planning a major event with close to one thousand attendees, or making sure the press release best reflects their client’s mission and purpose, the team is always prepared to get the job done.

As I sit here writing my first blog post for Curley Company, I think about all the adventures I hope to have and people I hope to meet.  I am overwhelmed by the possibilities that lie ahead for me this summer and excited to see where this journey will take me! I hope that this season of exploration brings the discovery of what I hope to pursue in my future as well as the skill it takes to promote, defend and advocate for clients the way Curley Company so seamlessly does.