I’m writing this week about some of the ways I see women get lost in the crowd and slow down their career growth.
How many times have you seen a woman raise her hand timidly in a meeting… and then make a suggestion in that baby girl voice.. trailing off at the end into a question?
When that happens, here’s what we hear:
“What if we [this is a good time to zone out because this is just a filler comment] maybe, you know, changed our marketing focus [this must a bad idea because she doesn’t even believe it] from Live Journal to Facebook?” [hmmm…. Would it look bad it I took another cookie?]
Leaders make choices. They take positions.
Sometimes they’re wrong and sometimes they’re right.
But they’re willing to take a stand instead of dithering.
Do you dither? Do you hesitate to speak up? Do you have a hard time making decisions? That might be why you’re getting lost in the crowd.
I’m a reformed wishy washy decision maker….. Yes, of the paper-plastic variety. I can see all the possibilities—which is sometimes a great skill for a creative….but that knowledge used to make me get overwhelmed and frozen. Unable to choose. A
I was so, so afraid of getting it wrong.
But I unlearned that habit because I knew it was holding me back. And it not only supersized my career growth, it made my life better as well.
Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard the advice—lean in, lean in!
But do you ever think, that’s just somuchflippingwork….?
hughhhhh (exhausted sigh.)
Maybe you’re a working mom, working the ‘double shift…’ no, wait, it’s probably more like the triple shift—working a long day, coming home to take care of your family, and then logging in a few more hours at night. Or maybe you’re balancing putting in the hours while you pay your dues…study for professional development tests……and then go out multiple times a week to check your networking box.
I just got so exhausted writing this, I had to take a break.
But now I’m back…. With the second way I see women get lost in the crowd and slow down their career growth.
I see a lot of exhausted women come through Build Yourself Workshop…. And I see a lot of exhausted women decline to take Build Yourself, because they’re so exhausted they feel they just don’t have the time.
But I’ve also seen women break through.
I’ve seen the busy business owner take the time upfront to hire a project manager—it felt like she’d never make the time to hire—but once she did, it took less time than she thought to find the right person. And doing so allowed her to show up at 100% for the high-level clients she was booking.
I’ve seen the working mother get a promotion—and go home in time to be with her daughter. And she told me she had time to craft. To CRAFT? What working mother you know who has time to craft?
So what’s the secret? These women are working smarter not harder.
Feeling like your career growth has stalled out? Are you getting lost in the crowd? Stuck in the mid-career malaise, the sea of shiny faces at the bottom of the pyramid?
We all know the feeling of waiting to be picked…. And sometimes our careers feel that way—whether it’s hoping we’ll get put on the growth track at our companies, or hoping our dream clients will say yes.
Over the next few days, I’m going to be writing about some of the ways I see women get lost in the crowd and slow down their career growth.
One of those ways, is they look backwards and not forwards.
What I mean by that is that every day, at work, they behave like the person they are in their career now.
Well, duh? I am the person I am now, right? Are you about to get really meta on me?
Welcome to my book report! Today we’re talking about techniques to communicate powerfully and get what you want.
Think of these book reports as cliff notes to best books on a topic–I read them and pull out the most useful information for you, so you can apply it to your own life. And if you’re intrigued–feel free to nab a copy for yourself.
Does it ever take you the better part of an hour to send off an email that should have taken you five minutes, as you agonize over every layer of meaning?
Do you ever find yourself dwelling on a conversation you had with someone earlier in the day, going over every nuance of the interaction?
Do you ever defend a boundary of yours at work and then immediately feel bad about it–and worry that your boss is disappointed in you and doesn’t see you as a team player?
This week in Build Yourself+ Live Online we looked what I like to call ‘saying no to say yes’ learning to implement boundaries to all the unfiltered priorities of others (because all the priorities means no priorities) in order to direct our careers in the way we want them to go. We, as women, struggle to say no because we’ve been trained to be accommodating and put others needs ahead of our own. We also get more pushback when we say it–I get women really comfortable learning to say ‘not yet’ as a starter step which is both easier and sometimes can deflect negative perceptions of us. It’s hard to say no but it’s one of the key skills that will move you into the next leadership level.
Saying no is about time management, yes, but it’s also about unearthing a deeper skill–that of checking in with our inner wisdom.
When we practice saying no, we also remember to ask ourselves, what do I really want to be saying yes to?
When we spend our time and energy engaged in people pleasing, we fall out of touch with actively curating what we want, what we really, really want. When I first started this workshop, I thought each participant would, with the help of my strategies, hit the ground running on pursuing what she wanted for her professional life. I’ve learned, over time, that part of my job is to unlock the ballsy (and yes I used that word) girl within you and let her out again.
So when’s the last time you did something, or overdid something just to please someone? Was it today? Was it this morning? Was it five minutes ago?
Do me a favor, say no once today. It’s one of the best ways I know to tap into your “yes”.