Do you have the communication skills you need to effectively advocate for yourself at work?
If your answer is “No”, don’t worry.
Most of us arrive at a certain place in our careers without having ever learned this skill.
Since you first started school as a child, it was your teacher’s responsibility to notice and reward you for your hard work.
And the same thing happened during the early stage of your career.
You worked hard, your boss noticed, and you (hopefully) get rewarded.
But once you made it to middle management you were suddenly…stuck.
You’re still working hard (maybe even harder than you’ve ever worked before), but you keep getting denied the promotions you are after.
Well, most middle managers get to their position by possessing great people skills or a solid subject matter expertise.
But if you want to get to a higher level leadership position, you need to start building your executive skills.
And one of the most important executive skills you need to be working on right now is learning how to effectively communicate your work.
My name is Stacy Mayer and I am on a mission to get a thousand underrepresented, amazing corporate leaders promoted into senior executive leadership positions each and every year worldwide. And in this edition of Your Promotability Factor, I lay out the three steps to getting recognized for the amazing work you are (already) doing.
Step 1: Understand What Communicating Your Work Actually Entails
This may sound counterintuitive, but sharing your amazing work does not include telling the leadership team how awesome you are.
Instead, it means showcasing how awesome you are by speaking in a more strategic way.
Here’s what I mean:
Let’s say you have a really good idea that you’d like to share with your boss.
If you sit down and dive right into discussing the details with them, they are going to see you as a great subject matter expert.
But…if you go in and lead with your ideas instead, they will begin to start to see you as an executive-leader-to-be.
Not sure where to begin? Here’s how to do it:
When you sit down with your boss, focus on sharing the thought process that went into your idea.
Why did you choose one option over the other?
Why did you choose to do something in this particular way?
#2: See Things From Your Boss’s Perspective
Put on your leadership hat for a moment, and imagine that you are in your boss’s position.
Imagine that there are two positions available at your organization: a lower level management role, and a senior director position.
Now, imagine there are two people who work for you that you really like.
Person 1 is wonderful. They work really (REALLY) hard, and they have a lot of potential for a leadership position. But…they’re just not there yet.
When Person 1 does check-ins with you, they focus on the details of the work they’re doing rather than speaking to the overall strategy.
Now, person 2 is wonderful as well. But rather than focusing on the details, they are having high-level conversations with you and speaking like an executive. They are focused on strategy, they are clearly showing their results and thought process, and they’re not stuck in the details.
So, which person is going to get the senior director position?
Person 2, of course.
At the end of the day, it’s your boss’s job that’s on the line when it comes to recommending someone for a position, so it’s in their best interest to play it safe.
They’re going to select the person that is already showing that they can succeed at a higher level leadership position, so show them it’s you.
#3: Learn Exactly What it Looks Like to Have These Higher-level Conversations with Your Boss
So we’ve talked about how you need to show up in meetings with your boss and the leadership team…but what does this actually look like in practice?
It looks like this:
When you walk into your bosses office, tell them what you want to talk about that day.
Explain what you would like to achieve during the meeting, and describe the challenges you are facing right now or the help you need.
Lay out the agenda for them and define what the purpose of the meeting is.
THAT’S how you show that you can think and act as a higher-level strategic thinker.
If you would like more support on developing your executive leadership skills so you can land your next promotion with ease, I invite you to join the waitlist for my small group coaching program: Executive Ahead of Time.
The next cohort for Executive Ahead of Time starts January, 2021. Go to www.ExecutiveAheadOfTime.com to learn more and join our waitlist.