Want a glimpse into my executive coaching process?
I have a very specific coaching methodology behind every single thing that I teach.
And I use that methodology to teach you a step-by-step process to get promoted inside:
- This very podcast
- My brand new book, Promotions Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Executive Suite
- And my Executive Ahead of Time and Leadership Table coaching programs
But there is a big gap between learning the processes I teach, and actually turning these processes into action.
Coaching. But that coaching doesn’t always have to come from me. You can use the same techniques I use to begin coaching yourself.
In this episode of Maximize Your Career, I am going to show you two very simple but powerful questions you can ask yourself to tackle any career roadblock that comes your way.
Once you put these into action, you’ll solve the problems you’re facing with more ease, AND you’ll ALSO set yourself up to be promoted into higher-level executive positions.
If you want to step into a higher leadership position, receive the recognition you deserve, get paid for your ideas instead of the hours you put in at work, and enjoy more time, freedom, energy, and joy, then you need to get your hands on a copy of Promotions Made Easy. Get your copy here.
What You'll Learn:
- Exactly how I guide my students through the tools I teach
- Why you need to name the problem you are experiencing
- The two questions you need to ask yourself before trying to tackle any problem in your career
- Real life examples of what coaching yourself looks like in action
- How learning how to coach yourself will stop you from sabotaging your own career
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Get your copy of my brand new book, Promotions Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Executive Suite
- Read reviews of Promotions Made Easy here
- Learn more about the powerhouses who reviewed my book: Trudy Bourgeois, Minette Norman, John Gray, Scott Jeffrey Miller, Eleanor Beaton
- Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex by John Gray
- Connect with me on LinkedIn
- Join us inside of Executive Ahead of Time
Hello everyone, welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacy Mayer, and super excited, as always, to be here with you again this week. So, this episode is actually a little bit surreal for me because at the time of recording it, my book has not actually been released to the public just yet. But at the time that you're listening to this episode, it will have already been out for a couple of weeks. So I'm sitting here thinking about recording this episode, talking about the impact that my book is going to make on getting more women promoted to the C-Suite, and giving you guys all of the step-by- step process that I teach inside of Executive Ahead of Time; and just really so excited to get this work out into the world for everybody to listen to. And it hasn't actually happened yet. But I know that it is going to be hugely impactful.
And one of the reasons that I know that is because obviously I have had a few people read my book. It's not just something that I created, and nobody ever heard of it; and then now it's just going to come out on November 30th. It's something that I have been sharing with people along the way, getting feedback from them, and putting together the pieces to make sure that every single thing that needs to be included in this book to make it so incredibly valuable is all in there inside of these pages.
And one of the things that has been so cool about having these advanced readers read the book is I really, really respect them. And so, before I get into today's episode, I just want to give you guys something to think about. I know that you are somebody who likes to actively solicit feedback, or at least you're open to the idea of getting feedback from other people on your career, or on what it's going to take for you to reach that senior executive leadership position. But what I notice from a lot of the members inside of Executive Ahead of Time, is that what you're doing is you're getting that feedback from people that you don't actually appreciate or like that much. Perhaps your boss or somebody you think that is just going to tell it to you like it is, but it's not somebody that you really respect, but somebody who just kind of gives you feedback that often hurts or feels challenging or feels negative. So, you're like, 'Okay, that's the person that I'm going to spend my most energy on getting feedback from'. And that is human nature because we want to improve, we want to do better. And then the other side of human nature is that we also tend to dwell on the negative. And so, we'll hear something from somebody even if it was unsolicited feedback, and we'll dwell on it for many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many weeks.
But then we'll hear something super positive from somebody about our work or on the impact that we're making, and we won't even pay attention to it. So why am I sharing this with you? I did not send advance copies of my book out to people who I did not like or respect their opinion. That is not something that I did when I was getting feedback. But what I did do is I sent the book to incredibly powerful women and men that I really, really valued their opinion. People who have been, quote-unquote 'in the arena', people who are doing the work of executive leadership, people who are making huge amounts of impact on the world, people who have single-handedly changed the or their organization from the C-Suite out - All of these different people who I admire so greatly. They're not people who sugarcoat it. They are people who tell me like it is. They are going to give me very honest and open feedback. But on the other side, I really care about what they say, and I'm willing to implement the changes or suggestions that they offer. So, some of the people that I got advance feedback for - and you can go to my website at StacyMayer.com/Book and read some of the advance reviews that I got on my book from people that you've heard on this podcast over the last couple of years. People like Trudy Bourgeois, Monette Norman, Eleanor Beaton, who wrote the foreword of my book; John Gray, the author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. Scott Miller, the head of Thought leadership at Franklin Covey.
So many fabulous, incredible, incredible pioneers in their industries were reading my book and giving me such valuable feedback and also writing advanced testimonials for my book so that you can know what to expect when you get a copy of it yourself. So, I am just so incredibly honored and grateful for their opinions and for their time. And if you're somebody who's seeking out that feedback, I want you to check in with yourself. Are you getting feedback from mediocre people that you only kind of admire? Or are you going for the big guys? Are you truly asking for feedback from the people who are very, very powerful and people who really care about making that higher level of impact on the world? And I encourage you to go more for the latter - To really challenge yourself, to put yourself out there and to get that feedback from people that you just super admire and respect. So, I'm super excited about that.
The other piece is that I've had some of my clients read the book over the last couple of weeks and then, in the efforts of them being able to share it with their family and friends. And I wanted them to actually have read the book so that they understand what it is that I'm offering, and I'm looking forward to hearing what they have to say in a more public way. But some of the feedback that they've given me directly is that it's an amazing story of their career journey.
So I've been working with some of my clients for two or three years, really taking them from being an 'in the weeds manager', from being somebody who was incredibly reactionary, from somebody who felt like they always had to do all of the work themselves; and they had no support from their organization, to a sought after executive leader, somebody who is not only been promoted once or twice over the last couple of years, but that they are really respected by their organizations. And so, when those people started to read the book, they were like, 'Oh My gosh, this is my life'. This is what we've been working on for the last couple of years. And that's because everything that I'm giving you inside of this book is what I actually did with my clients to get them into these higher-level leadership positions. That is how I created this step-by-step process - was by trying it out, by taking action, by actually putting the tools to work, by having conversations with C-Suite executive leaders about what their real expectations were in order to promote these individuals into higher level positions.
And because they did the process that's laid out for you inside of Promotions Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Executive Suite, because they have done that process over and over and over again; then they're having more success at the executive level. Because they've basically crafted the world and the leadership around them that they want to be in. So, they didn't want to get promoted and work 60-to-80-hour work weeks where they're constantly feeling like they have to prove themselves and they're on the chopping block at any moment. And instead, what they have created is an executive level position where they're really able to make that impact and have that influence at their higher levels of their organization to really see their work matter at the bottom line of the organization; and to have the energy to thrive in those higher executive level positions.
So, I am super excited to get this book into your hands - can't wait to hear what you think about the book as well, definitely go to Amazon to purchase the book. Go to StacyMayer.com/Book to find other retailers where you can go and purchase this book. Share it with your friends! Because this work is so, so important and I've literally laid everything out there for you inside of this book.
So, speaking of - in today's episode, what I'm going to teach you is the coaching process that I take my clients through once they have actually received the steps that I'm teaching. So, I have core training modules- I have over 24 video trainings inside of Executive Ahead of Time that the members of that program get lifetime access to; and then obviously I have my book Promotions Made Easy. We have this podcast that gives you all of the tools that I teach my clients. So, then the question becomes, well, what am I actually teaching my clients in my weekly group coaching sessions? What are we working on Inside of Executive Ahead of Time, inside the higher, more advanced Leadership Table and The Boardroom? Those are the clients that have been working with me for two or three years and really digging into the concepts that I teach on a whole nother level. And I wanted to give you a little bit of a glimpse today as to what I'm doing in that coaching process, and how I'm actually guiding them into the application part of all of the tools that I teach.
So, today's episode is all about how do we actually apply what you're reading inside of the book or learning in Executive Ahead of Time, or listening to in this podcast? How do you actually put it into action? And I've broken it down into basically my coaching methodology whenever somebody presents me with a particular scenario or something that they want coaching on. So, the first thing that I want to mention - and like I said, please try and apply any of these techniques to your own process as you're thinking about the material - is I really encourage them to come up with specific situations. So, I don't like to coach people on hypotheticals or 'well, you know, every time this happens', because what happens there is our brain naturally generalizes information, and we think that it's much more of a problem than it is. And so, I have difficulty coaching somebody on a generalized problem and instead, I want to coach them on a very specific situation. So, when you're reading the book and you're thinking about, 'does this apply to me/', I really want to challenge you to name it.
Think of a time in the last couple of weeks or months where something like that particular situation actually happened to you. And so instead of just saying, 'I tend to have a problem with my boss, where my boss is always stepping on my toes,’ I want you to really think about: What was the last time my boss stepped on my toes and what did it look like? We have to get super facty. We have to get really specific before we can get into the coaching on your particular needs. Okay? So, there are generalized problems, there are generalized solutions that really do work when applied across the board.
That is what Promotions Made Easy is - these techniques work. Everything in this book works. Everything that I teach works to everybody. Whether you have a bad boss or you're trying to find a new organization to move into or you have certain limitations at your company that aren't going to allow you to get promoted. If you do what I lay out every single week for you, you will get promoted. But it also needs that extra application. So, the first step is to really come up with a very, very specific scenario. And so, when somebody is coming to our weekly group coaching calls inside the Executive Ahead of Time group, I am asking them for more specifics. I want to know what actually happened when their boss quote-unquote 'stepped on their toes'. And then once they're able to give me those specifics, then I ask myself a couple of questions that I'm going to start to get you guys to answer. So, the two main questions that I ask myself before I give coaching to anybody is: Is it true? And number two is: Is it helpful? So, is it true and is it helpful?
So, you're going to answer these questions for yourself in order. So, if you want to start self-coaching as you're reading through the book and you're saying, 'Okay, so specific scenario', and then I want you to break down - is my assumption about this scenario, is the problem about the scenario actually true?
So let me give you a more specific example from one of the members inside of Executive Ahead of Time. I want to tell you a little bit more about this idea of somebody stepping on her toes. So, she recently shared this with us. She said she's been working at her organization for three months now, and her boss keeps going around her, and going directly to her team. And that makes her feel like her boss is stepping on her toes. Like her boss doesn't trust her - She's going around her back and going directly to her team, and obviously her desire is to not have that happen. So, all of this stuff that she's laid out, it only works if she gives me these specifics. So 'stepping on your toes' means nothing. I need to know exactly what we're looking at, exactly what her boss is doing. She says her boss is constantly going around her and meeting directly with the team. So, then I inquired a little bit more. And she explains that prior to her coming on board, her boss was actually the boss of her team, so there was no person in the middle. Her boss did go directly to her team. She does have a direct relationship with them. That is the process that she is used to doing. So, unless that process is broken, unless that process needs to be changed, her boss may or may not really even realize that this is a problem.
Now you can say that her boss should probably know that - her boss hired somebody, so wouldn't she want that person? But then now let's get into even the deeper truth of this is - is that somebody who is new to an organization has not built that trust yet. So sometimes it's easier for her boss just to go directly to the team. It's easier for her boss - because her boss is very busy - to just skip around her, so she can think to herself, I mean, who knows for sure. But she might be thinking to herself, 'Well, I'm just going to do this temporarily Until she gets up to speed and then, of course, I'll go through her'. But the problem is, and the reason why I ask, 'is this true?' first of all, before I get into any coaching, is because the member inside of Executive Ahead of Time, the director who's in Executive Ahead of Time who wants to solve this problem, is worried. She's upset. She's anxious. She sees this as a problem.
And so, once I'm able to point out to her these different scenarios, which are actually pretty true - she's new. her boss used to directly manage them and so this is a process that she's used to - she's waiting it out. All of this stuff is actually more true than 'her boss has it out to get her'. And the reason why I know that is because nothing else is wrong. She has a fantastic relationship with her boss. Everything is going really, really well. There's no reason to think anything is wrong, except for the fact that her boss keeps going around her. So that tells me that nothing is actually wrong, and this is why it's so important to really ask yourself, 'Is it true? Is it true?' And look at the facts, because sometimes the opposite might be true.
So let me give you an alternative scenario where it would really make sense for this person to know that their boss is constantly going around them and it's actually a problem. So, I have another - so she's a senior director - and I've been working with her for almost about nine months. So, she's in my advanced Leadership Table program and her boss is constantly going around her, undermining her, and she presents this as a problem. So, same initial scenario. 'Look, my boss is always going around me', and so then I dive into it a little bit more. So, here's the situation for that client. So, she's been working at her organization for many, many years, like five or six years for the same boss. Her boss actually has a challenge because she used to be the head of the department that my client currently runs. She doesn't have anything else to be in charge of, and so even though my client has been promoted to a higher level and she's supposed to be taking over this, her boss is actually a little bit threatened by her. She's genuinely threatened by her and is honestly going behind her back because she is threatened by my client. And that is an equally valid scenario that is backed up in many, many, many, many, many other ways.
So, I said that the first client actually had an otherwise very healthy, strong relationship with her boss. This second client does not Have a healthy and strong relationship with her boss. Her boss is not positive to her. Her boss does not give her positive feedback. Her boss has cut her off several times in meetings. Her boss does actually put her down in front of other people. So this is a problem. This is an actual problem that needs to be solved in a totally different way. But the only way we're going to get to it, is to start to ask - ‘is it true? What is the meat of it?' And so, what I want you to do is ask yourself this question - if you can, answer it yourself, that's fantastic. If you can't, have a coach, have a mentoring program, have other colleagues that you can actually hash out this situation. But basically, you're trying to get to the truth of the scenario so that you can solve for the correct problem.
And when we're caught up - because both of these women are anxious and frustrated and annoyed and worried and all of these things. They both have these very valid feelings, but when we're so caught up in those emotions, we can't see what's actually happening. So now I'm going to go on to question number two, which is, 'is it helpful? Is it helpful?' And this is going to actually give you the tools to be able to proceed. What is actually going to help you get to that next level of impact that you want to be making at your organization? What is actually going to Help you start to make those changes at work?
So, scenario number one - I mentioned that nothing has actually gone wrong for this particular woman. So, she is - things are fine. Honestly, when she pointed it all out to me, I was like, 'No. Sounds normal to me'. And so, what is actually helpful for her is to realize that this is just normal par for the course. It's actually better for her in terms of her own leadership to not get anxious because we cause so many problems for ourselves. You've heard of the concept of self-sabotage. This is the beginning of self-sabotage for her. If she starts to create a problem with her boss, very quickly, she will actually have a problem with her boss.
So, when I start to ask ‘is it helpful?’ - Well, it's definitely not helpful for her to think that her boss has it out to get her because, well, truthfully, I don't think she does. And second of all, it's going to make her show up differently when she feels like her boss has it out to get her. Now, here's the thing. The second piece of 'is it helpful' is really: what am I going to do about it? What type of action am I going to take? Because I think in both of these scenarios, action Is needed. So, what our old way of thinking before you started listening to this podcast and working with me? The old way of thinking would be, 'Well, if nothing's wrong, then I'm just going to keep playing it out.' So, if she did that, if she didn't actually approach her boss, truthfully six months from now, nine months from now, if her boss is still going around her to her team directly, it really is a problem. And so, what we're going to do is we're going to cut it off at the pass. We're going to make sure that we change some things at our work, and in our relationship now so that we can actually improve this particular relationship.
So, what she's going to do is she's actually going to have a conversation with her boss - say, 'Hey, this has been great. I've been here for 90 days. My plan has laid out exactly how I wanted to. I've gotten to know the organization. I feel much more confident in my role. What would you think about me stepping up a little bit now so that you don't have to go around me, and report and have conversations directly with my team? What would you think if I actually started to intervene? What would you need from me to begin to trust me to be that liaison for you? Because I feel ready to step up my management. I want to be the director that you hired me to be, and I would like to start doing that.' So, she's going to have an incredibly direct conversation with her boss, but from the standpoint that nothing has gone wrong, that her boss is there to respect her, that her boss trusts her. And then what will happen is we'll have a whole nother set of information. Then she'll come back to coaching again and she'll say, her boss said, 'Yes, oh my gosh, absolutely. And things have started to shift for the better'. Now her boss is coming to her first and everything is looking great. Or she'll say, 'You know, my boss wasn't really, really into that'. And then we sort of decide again, we go through the same two questions - What exactly happened? What did her boss say? What were the specifics and is it true? And then what are we going to do in a helpful way that's actually going to help advance our career? So that scenario number one, hopefully I think it's going to work out just fine. I think her boss is going to be very receptive, especially if she has an open, direct and honest conversation with her from this standpoint that nothing has gone wrong. So that's my prediction in terms of the work that I've been doing for many years and how it usually unfolds.
Now this other scenario, when you start to ask - is it helpful? - a different kind of question comes up. So, this is the woman where her boss is really actively blocking her and challenging her. And it's very frustrating. And honestly, when I hear my client talk about it, I'm like, 'Yep, you're right'. I totally believe her. Yep, she's blocking you. Yep, she's not an advocate for you. Yep, she's not your sponsor. Yep - You got to figure something else out here. And so, then I coach her on what that something else is. Now, the helpful piece again is, she can be really, really angry about this and very mad and very frustrated and like, 'Wow, my boss is really out to get me. And isn't this a terrible life?' And all of that is not helpful at all, like she is never going to get what she wants by just being mad at her boss. And if she ever chooses to confront her boss in a public forum, her boss is always going to win. Her boss has a lot more credibility at her organization than my client. And so, nothing about being frustrated or hitting this head on is going to be helpful for her and her career. And so, we have to figure out an alternative path.
And in the beginning, what my coaching was for her was to literally just ignore her boss. So right now, what she's doing is, she is trying to fix her boss. And I'm like, 'Okay, let's take a step back and let's figure out who our other allies are at your organization. Who can we connect with in other ways? And let's take a step away from your boss'. We need to diffuse that situation a little bit. So sure. she still has to have conversations with her boss, but instead of trying to fix and put all of her energy on her boss, the most helpful thing that she can do right now is start to build relationships in other areas. Figure out other opportunities at her organization and start to work for somebody who actually respects her, who actually admires her, who actually wants to advocate for her, and where she's able to make that bigger impact that she really wants to be making. So, we came to that conclusion simply from the question that I asked. And when I say I asked this question, I don't ask it to my clients directly, like, 'is that helpful?' I ask it in my head. This is how I'm coaching them, is by asking myself, which is more helpful: Is it more helpful for her to get mad to stand up on her soapbox, to get louder? Or is it more helpful for her and her career to find people who really do support her because they're there? They're 150 percent there at her organization and the answer is the second one. It's much more helpful for her. Now we can just get into the more political nature of it, which is, obviously we want to do something about somebody who is an aggressor at your organization. And the best way to be able to do that at some point is to have other allies, to have other people on your side. And so, once she builds up these allies, then perhaps something can be done about her boss. But right now, just through aggression and frustration, it ain't going to happen. She's never going to get what she wants.
So those are the two questions that I ask myself when I am coaching clients, and you can start to ask yourself these questions as you're reading through Promotions Made Easy and you're thinking about various different scenarios and ways that you want to start applying the tools that I teach inside of that book. You're going to ask yourself, 'Is it true' and 'is it helpful?' Really start to unpack those two questions for you and then you will have the action steps that you need to start taking to move the process forward.
Now, if you don't want to do this by yourself, or it feels a little too complicated at first to really understand this, then I suggest that you join us as fast as possible inside of the Executive Ahead of Time program. This is a program that I put together that literally outlines everything that you need to do to set yourself up for higher-level executive positions; and the process makes it so that you exceed expectations once you get there. And recently I just opened up the program to lifetime enrollment. This means that not only are you going to get access to the 24 video trainings, to the bonus trainings for life, and you can watch these videos over and over and over again on your own time; but you're also going to get weekly group coaching from me every single week for the rest of your life.
You are going to get coaching from me on how to apply these steps to your unique scenario, and I'm going to be asking myself, 'is this true and is it helpful?', and that is how I'm going to be coaching and guiding you along this brilliant promotion pathway that I have laid out for you. You're also going to get weekly roundtable discussions so you can meet with your peers. There's a Facebook group. This is single-handedly the most valuable community on the internet, and you are going to get so much out of every single week that you spend inside this program. So, I definitely recommend that you join us before the end of the year so that you can go ahead and get started, get that head start on your New Year's resolution and really start to make that impact that you actually want to be making at work and not trying to solve for the wrong problems.
I hope this episode was helpful, and you're able to really apply on an even deeper level. The techniques that I teach you every single week on this podcast, inside of my book Promotions Made Easy, and I can't wait to see you join us inside of Executive Ahead of Time. Thank you so much for listening, and I'll see you next week. Bye.
About Your Host
Hi! I'm Stacy Mayer, a Certified Executive Coach and Promotion Strategist on a mission to bring more diversity to the leadership table by getting 1000 underrepresented corporate managers promoted into senior executive positions each year worldwide.
I help undervalued executives scale to the C-Suite using repositioning strategies that build your confidence and visibility, so you can earn the recognition and support you need from key stakeholders while embodying your unique leadership style.
My podcast “Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer” tackles topics like executive communication, getting more respect in the workplace from challenging bosses and team members, and avoiding the common mistakes that sabotage career advancement.