Secret #3 – Keys to successfully taking action
How often do you say this:
“I keep going no matter what!”
Secrets to successfully taking action
1. Schedule it
2. Allow enough time for each action
3. Get Support
4. Keep it super positive.
Pro tip: Use your project management and organisational powers that you use everyday at work and apply them to your personal goals and projects.
- Schedule in time each week to work exclusively on your goal and actions
- Book in enough time to one action done at a time
- Use tools like a spreadsheet or project management tool like ASANA to prioritise your actions and work through them in a logical order
- Get Support – find a career coach to support you, find an accountability partner to check-in with weekly,join a mastermind or find a mentor. Get the right level of support for the goal you are progressing with to help create your own cheersquad that is always on your side and keeping you accountable to getting those actions done.
- Keep it super positive.Celebrate small wins and surround yourself with positive inspiration.
- What is the first thing you see or hear in the morning?
- What is the first thing you see when you walk in the door?
- What is the first thing you do when you get to your desk?
Create a routine that incorporates positivity from podcasts to the music you listen to, the art work at your home, the inspirational quote on a sticky-note at your desk or the gratitude journal you write in every morning. Find little ways to shift and support your mood and keep you in the best frame of mind to achieving your goal.
Want more on goal setting, watch this Facebook live to get more thoughts on how to progress your goal and close out those actions.
1. Agree ways of working and behaving for every meeting
2. Keep the agenda narrow to 2-3 topics only
3. Keep the attendee list as small as possible
4. When people behave badly and refuse to change, remove them from the attendee list (and get instant respect from everyone else)
5. Ask for feedback
Want more? Watch the back story by clicking the linked picture below or continue reading below.
I was recently running a series of meetings last year where behaviours were less than ideal. These included people talking over each other, not listening to each other, not respecting my role as chair, not respecting people who were presenting — so just talking over, interrupting, asking questions at the wrong time, making personal attacks, being very competitive, being very negative, and just outright rude behaviours.
As much as I could have blamed the people for their “bad behaviours” I took responsibility as the chair and really looked at what I could control within the meeting.
Why were things going so wrong?
What was contributing to the behaviours?
What had happened is that over many months the agenda had become bloated. The invite list had tripled and the attendees really had a different understanding what the meeting was for compared to myself or the original members of the meeting. This meant people came in confused, felt unheard, felt that their issues were undervalued. Because they weren’t given space on the agenda they would fight to create that space.
So, I just took a step back and I said, “Well, I have to address these issues.”
What I did next is I relaunched the meeting and reframed the agenda of the meeting to be much narrower and clearer. I reduced the number of topics and agenda items from 12 to 3. Set really strict times for each agenda item. And allowed specific time for Q & A and discussion and we would go around the room to make sure that everyone was heard and prompt them to ask questions or to get feedback.
So the meeting went from something that was very loose to something super-structured. And I did sort of hesitate a little bit on that, thinking that that was going to be too structured. I also reduced the invite list by about 70%. And, obviously, that was controversial because some people didn’t want to be left out of the meeting. But for me the point of the meeting was to achieve certain objectives for which only certain people needed to attend to do so.
I also went and spoke individually to some of the people in the meeting and asked for their support for my role as chair and also to support better behaviours in the meeting of each other and themselves. I asked for respect when people were speaking, rather than talking over them and bringing up old war stories to attack people with.
Old stories don’t let us create a new story.
The most powerful thing I did was relaunch the forum and complete an exercise in that first forum on how do we want to feel and make others feel in our meeting. That really was about instilling responsibility for behaviour amongst everyone, not just myself as a chair or the leaders in the room but everyone who was attending.
The impact of these actions was really to take a ramshackle, aggressive meeting, where people felt anxious attending it, to a well run, respectful, enjoyable, easy meeting that people wanted to attend, an easy meeting for me to run, and a very easy meeting for people to speak up in.
And I had feedback from people saying, “I was beginning to feel anxious coming to that meeting, and now I feel like I really want to go to that meeting. And I’m not worried any more.”
Don’t be afraid to relaunch a meeting. Don’t be afraid to take people out of the meeting if they’re no longer suitable to attend, and the other thing I would say is take the time to discuss what behaviours you want in the meeting.
This is a great way to make everyone feel included, make everyone part of the story of that meeting, and also to take the temperature down if things are out of control.
I hope you found this really useful. My name is Beatrice Crocker, and I am the founder and lead coach of I’m Ready Now! Coaching and I am an executive coach that works with women who work in traditionally male dominated fields or have reached that job level where there are very few women in the peer group.
I want you to find more purpose, meaning, leadership and growth in your career. I’m passionate about helping women to be seen living their true purpose and who want to radiantly embrace their lives, find more meaning, purpose, and growth in their career.
If you’d like to work with me, book a complimentary consult today to get started.
Ever found yourself getting these kind of comments in a performance review:
- ‘They’ don’t know who you are
- No one has heard of you, so I couldn’t get you that bonus / promotion ?
- What do you do exactly?
- Maybe I should sit with you, to see why you are SO busy?
- I just don’t get what you do?
Visibility is the key to career progression.
What is it that the ‘people with power’ don’t know about you?
How are you making yourself and your work visible?
This isn’t about a name tag.
This is about your work being known.
Here are 9 tips to help you be MORE visible:
- Identify the people that you want to know who you are and what you do
- Find a way to increase the face time you regularly have with these people. You could work on a project of theirs, attend social events that they attend, grab a moment to talk to them, attend a talk or workshop they are running, find opportunities to be seen and heard
- Circle back – after receiving advice, come back to that person and let them know how using their the advice went and what it meant for you and your work
- Status reports – be the one to send out the regular status report, so your name and key information is always popping into the right inboxes (delegate the formatting, the collation but not the high vis opportunity)
- Run a workshop, seminar, talk series or other event. You don’t have to be the one talking, just be the one organising (and the name popping up in the inbox, the person visibly asking for interest and ideas).
- Organise a charity event, help out with organising an off-site (of course only do this for events that you are genuinely interested in.)
- Use random down time, to your advantage – nothing says ambitious like swinging by a senior managers desk when you’re computer is ‘getting repaired’ than ‘hey, I’ve got half an hour spare is there anything I can do for you that doesn’t involve a computer – photocopying, grabbing them a coffee or lunch, chasing up something with someone on another floor.) You don’t want to be seen as an admin clerk or dog’s body so don’t get into the habit of routine tasks. Make sure each time you up level the task but also have humility when the boss really does need a coffee (tip : they will always be grateful if you remember the order).
- Put your hand up for extra projects
- Celebrate successes as visibly as possible.
Find a way to delegate non-essential work to your direct reports and 2IC.
No one to delegate to?
Find time and the budget to increase the size of your team.
No budget for increasing your team?
Then its time to get some budget and show off your negotiating and influencing skills.
Alternatively, look over your workload and really assess what is core and non-core aspects of your role. Opening up just an hour a week for networking and increasing your visibility will make a big difference.
Is there a non-essential task that can be dropped or completed less often?
Its time to go after what you want and to stop ‘making do with what you’ve got’.
Now, I’d love to here from you.
How would being more visible improve your career opportunities?
Do you ask for permission?
Look for a compliment?
Wait for approval?
What would happen if you didn’t?
“No one is critical and everyone is super supportive.
There is an open forum where you can present a big idea, win or improvement.
We get trained in how to present and if you don’t want to present live, then you film it as a webinar for anyone to watch.
No one misses out and talent never goes unnoticed.”
What would happen if you could fail safely and trial & error were encouraged?
What would happen if every talented person and achievement was visible to decision makers?
Would this make a difference to you, your workplace, leadership style or company culture?
Yes!! You are!
And, here’s why!
– you’re reading my latest post – woo hoo! (and Thank you!!)
– you care about your career and are seeking out information to help you with that!!
– you are ambitious
– you are reading this quote instead of online Christmas shopping
– you have a really good attention span (because you read to the last bullet point!)
Now, I’d love to hear from you – why are you amazing?
What amazing things have you achieved this year?
And, What amazing things are you planning for 2018?
I have a confession to make and its a serious one. And, as a women it seems to be quite unique.
My confession is that I do not have any issues with my body image and never have.
Why am I writing about it?
Because I guess I want to explore why. There is so much in social media either feeding body hate or battling it. When do we hear from people who just don’t think about – as in ever!?
Well that’s me and this is my story of how I came to not have issues with my body.
I’m not sure when my not having a body issue ‘life philosophy’ or ‘way of being’ commenced. I guess maybe its more in the absence of certain things in my life vs the inclusion of anything specific.
I did not have parents who had body issues.
Sure my Dad’s weight fluctuated as mine does (I certainly know where I get my genes from) but Dad never said ‘I hate my body’… he was more likely to say ‘I want lose that extra weight, so I’m going out for a bike ride every day until that extra weight is gone’.
Dad had simple health rules like – ‘you have to keep moving everyday’ or
‘our ancestors got through the potato famine so don’t eat carbs.’ (ahh Dad logic!)
I never grew up in a household where women’s gossip magazines were ever present.
Or as Dad would say: ‘Don’t read that rot!’
or ‘ Don’t read that !! It will rot your mind!’
or ‘All that’s good for is fish and chips.’ (or maybe that was the Herald Sun, I digress)
The only magazine that appeared regularly in my house was National Geo or Australian Geographic – the only pictures of men and women were usually naked and these pictures showed ‘real’ men and women naked, there was no photoshopping then.
Some other random memories that come to mind was I remember desperately wanting to grow older and have laugh lines around my eyes because then I knew I would have had a happy life.
There is however one very specific memory that I have that maybe helps explain why I don’t have an issue with my body.
I chose not to.
Picture this, little Beatrice – 12 years old, end of year 7, puberty rapidly encroaching, breasts ‘blooming’, wearing a pink (slightly see through) leotard, end of year dance concert, standing at the edge of the stage, behind the side curtains, waiting to perform in front of all the parents.
It was my last ballet performance (before I began ballroom dancing) but I remember being very aware that my nipples were almost certainly visible beneath my pink leotard (seriously, why we weren’t allowed to wear black is beyond me) and that I would be performing in front of adult men and women.
And they would be able to see, almost certainly see my NIPPLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I seem to remember taking a breath at the edge of the stage just before the performance begun and thinking something like : “well they’re just going to have to deal with it and I’m am not going to feel embarrassed about this at all, I’m just going to get through this and then it will be over”.
And, so the performance began and I sashayed out – presumably with nipples blazing – and got through the performance.
Two takeaways – can we please make ballet wear age appropriate for developing girls bodies, and you can chose what hurts you.
I had a choice – I could have ran off, I could have performed with my arms somehow across my body, I could have been ashamed, I could have hated myself, I could have hated Mum for making me do this stupid routine, I could have hated the Head of the Ballet School for selecting the uniforms, I could have been embarrassed, red faced, ashen faced, I could have thrown up, I could have cried – I could have….
I could have hated my body for developing.
But I decided not to.
Somehow at 12, I knew that it wasn’t my decision to choose those outfits, it wasn’t within my control to decide when my breasts first appeared and I knew I wasn’t in control of what other people thought.
I knew all that I was in control of was how I felt about me and how I performed in that routine.
I made myself control my thoughts and feelings, and focused on performing that routine as best I could.
And, it worked!
I got through the routine, everyone clapped, I’m pretty sure a man in the front row looked red faced and we curtseyed and that was it. End of memory.
Maybe being forced to make a choice at age 12 with no family influences of body hate meant I could make that kind of decision.
Maybe it was just something within me.
And, maybe if I was forced to make that decision later in life when more influences could have crept into my psyche, it would have been harder to make and the decision may have been less powerful.
Maybe because I made that kind of choice so young, something stuck.
I do believe that there is something in how what you surround yourself with – sticks.
I’ve never bought women’s gossip magazines (ok, when I was 14 I did buy Dolly, CLEO, COSMO and stuck up pictures of Ethan, Johnny, Sean, Jason Preistley (*sigh*),New Kids on the Block – all over my wall) but I’ve never looked at women portrayed in women’s magazines as aspirational.
I think family must be a big influence and friends too. It wasn’t until university and corporate workplaces when I then and still now meet lots of women who have MASSIVE body issues (hello girls schools and your cult like diet regimes) that I realised how BIG of a problem it is.
That’s why I love – Body Image Movement’s message (https://bodyimagemovement.com) – because it really helps reset our thinking and view of ourselves.
I would love to have a pithy little ending here, a cute instruction on what to do next. I don’t. I think my story is unusual (sadly).
If there is one thing I would say is – your body is a beautiful gift – it will help you pursue your passions, make love (hopefully lots!), explore the world, remind you if you drunk too much the night before when you had an AWESOME time!, swim in oceans, help you see a night sky anywhere in the world you want to go – its part of you – not a seperate thing.
Love it for what is gives you not hate it for what it can’t.
(And, I love mine for helping me walk for 6 days on The Great Wall in China, crawl through tunnels in Vietnam and wander around Angkor Wat!!)
Know Your Value
Define a single sentence value statement for each of the following value types :
- Business value
- Strategic value
- Financial value
- Leadership value
Phrase the sentence as :
In the last [time period], I have led the team to deliver [value] by [1-3 steps to creating this value].
In the last 3 months, I have personally led account building activities which has led to a 50% increase in revenue by identifying key decision makers in resource acquisition in 4 leading companies, developing bespoke sales strategies for each company as well as a series of business strategies which will help these companies increase profit over the immediate 3 month period.
Does your value = promotion ?
Meet with your boss and walk through your ideas on your value, give specific examples for each value.
Check-in with your boss and ask the following questions:
- Do these represent sufficient outcomes to be promoted?
- Do these items represent the value to the business that I have proposed? More/less
- What gaps are there for promotion?
- Do these outcomes represent sufficient skills to do well in the new role?
- Adjust your value statements based on this feedback.
Develop a pitch, pitch it and then repeat it
Use the your value sentences to develop your very own sales-pitch. This should be something you can talk through with senior members of the leadership team. You want to get your message out there so effectively that you start to hear your key words and phrases repeated back to you when other people talk to you about your own work.
When this happen, it means you are being effective in increasing your visibility and doing this in a way that you are leading that visibility.
Your word of mouth is not being defined by what other people are saying about you but by what you want them to say about you.
Aim to create an opportunity for talking through your pitch at least once a week to a senior manager and create a list of target senior managers to be getting in front of to talk through your value.
This is a great activity to complete as a lead in to an ask for promotion. I recommend getting your pitch ready and out there 3 months prior to directly asking for a promotion.
Remember to Listen
Whenever you are in pitch mode, keep your listening ears on. This is not a speech, this an opportunity to be interactive, gain valuable feedback and test the waters to see if the senior manager agrees that you are (1) valuable and (2) promotable. Pay attention to their body language, tone of voice and how responsive they are to your pitch. Your pitch should receive a positive reaction and be received well. If you find this isn’t happening, check-in with how you’re presenting the pitch, how much active listening you are using and if you are presenting yourself in a positive way.
Practice your pitch in front of your web cam or/and a trusted mentor. Watching yourself back will help you adjust how you present your own value. Watch for facial expressions, tone of voice or hand gestures that detract from your pitch.
Make silence your best friend
Silence is a highly under rated tool. Silence allows people space to consider your words, consider their response and provide that response. Don’t take silence as a bad thing. Provide space and structure in the way you communicate for thinking time – both for yourself and the senior manager. Don’t fill pauses, let them linger. You will find you get much more thoughtful and deeper responses if you allow this to happen.
Now, I’d love to hear from you – what are you top tips for building a business case for promotion ? What has worked in the past and what will you try in future, to help get that promotion ?
Susan Colantuono is trail blazer in supporting women’s career progression. This ted talk neatly encapsulates a way of presenting your value to very senior levels of management. See : https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_colantuono_the_career_advice_you_probably_didn_t_get
Another, resource to improve your listening is through regular meditation. I recommend finding meditations on sounds (Gaia has some great 10 minute sessions) as this helps control the way you listen. I’ve found it super helpful in being less distracted by background noise in conversations.
Will you ?
One of the aspects of the book that I really struggled with was saying : “choose one role to focus on!”.
I struggled because at the time I was reviewing the progress of my own promotion plan. I really wanted a promotion but was getting annoyed and frustrated on how long it was taking. Some extra projects, which I had happily spent a lot of my own time working on, hadn’t paid off in the way that I had hoped. And, I realised I had a choice – wait another year for promotion or go elsewhere ?
The vibe was good, my word of mouth was good yet I was getting impatient. I had to acknowledge my momentum had slowed because I had taken time out to write my first book. My energy was directed elsewhere. I knew that this had delayed my promotion, reduced my visibility and meant I hadn’t had a chance to really line up the key decision makers to make the decision that I wanted.
There’s nothing like taking my own medicine to make my bottom lip stick out. Not fair banana bear, I wanted to write a book and get a promotion all in the same year!!
So I did look elsewhere – I talked to my recruitment contacts, I networked and caught up with old friends. But something didn’t feel ‘right’. Inside me was saying – that’s the wrong way, that isn’t even what YOU are recommending !!
So I stayed and within a few months a new senior manager started and I took the opportunity to ask the tough questions :
I want a promotion this time next year and will this role make this happen ?
New Senior Manager said ‘YES’.
I also asked him ‘will you back me for that promotion?’
And again he said ‘YES’.
So I decided to stay.
Lesson learnt! Momentum is powerful because it builds confidence, it also builds random oppourtunities. Being ready to ask the right questions at the right time when that opportunity arises (a new role, new boss, secondment etc) WORKS!
Choose one role and you will have that opportunity to create momentum for your next promotion!
Now, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you agree that focussing on one role will make it easier for you to get a promotion ?
What is one action you can take this week to get one step closer to getting your next promotion?