We know about it, but don’t discuss it enough. Women are less assertive in the workplace to avoid being seen as too aggressive – and by extension – less likable. But being assertive doesn’t have to mean aggressive.
We think that if we keep our heads down and work hard, our talents will be recognized and rewarded. It is often this line of thought that prevents us from achieving our career milestones when we deserve it.
You may be familiar with one or all of these scenarios:
It is one thing to diligently play by the rules, and another not to stake a claim to the prize up for grabs – that promotion or increment.
With that said, here are 5 ways women in leadership can declare their value, collected by Pam, Jodi, Kelly, and Rari, co-hosts of our next career lab, Women in Leadership: Declare Your Value!
Unless you quantify the value that you and your team bring to the organization, your boss will find ways to politely rebuff your assertion. Use facts and figures to define how you help your company generate a higher revenue or reduce expenses. Compare the value you bring to your company with what you make and calculate the benefits that your daily tasks offer your company.
Women are natural born leaders and surpass men in this area; unfortunately, men trump us in the strategic thinking department. You may be less proactive in connecting your work to corporate strategy, which can prevent you from explaining specifically and explicitly how your daily contributions at work offer strategic value and further the company’s mission. A shift in perspective can make you more familiar with your strategic value and help you present a compelling case to your boss.
There’s a fine line between sharing and bragging, by presenting your value assertively and candidly, you can drive the message home. Promoting your personal brand effectively isn’t difficult, but it needs practice. The notion of self-promotion may initially make you queasy, but unless you have ‘the talk’, you won’t receive the kind of returns you desire and deserve for your efforts.
Women tend to befriend rather than network. The data on women, not supporting women, reveals women usually don’t always consider how they can help other female’s careers. They think about connecting, but women feel if they take their eye off of their own growth they might lose their spot in line. It’s time we change that mentality and work together to grow our careers. Working together can have a very positive effect if we change our perspective. We can give help and also receive help. It’s not a form of weakness to ask for help, it’s a strength. Becoming a bottleneck to your own growth career is a weakness.
In today’s world, it’s incredibly important to get out and network with other professionals in your industry. Gaining outside visibility and perspective from other top female leaders is exactly what most women need to take them to that next level. Realign strategic thoughts with outside perspective.