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5 skills ambitious women need to get promoted

Today’s post explores 5 of the key skills that ambitious women need to practice and develop in order to get promoted.

Communication

Communication is a core skill that is absolutely essential in every role in every sector. Without good communication skills, you will struggle to reach our full potential.

‘Communication’ is a very broad term that covers everything from being able to write clear and concise emails to knowing how to speak up with confidence in meetings.

How do you know which communication skill specifically to focus on? Take a clean sheet of paper and brainstorm all the different types of communication needed in your current role. When you have done this, go through the list and highlight the ones that are the most important in the role that you want to be promoted to.

Of the ones you have highlighted, which are strengths for you right now? Which ones could do with some work? Over the next 30-60 days, focus on improving those. Observe other leaders and what they do. Read articles. Watch Ted talks. Listen to suitable podcasts. For example, if you know you are not good at speaking up in meetings, check out this Confident Conversations podcast episode with Susan Heaton-Wright.

Networking

Lots of women ‘groan’ at the thought of networking. Don’t think of it as ‘networking’ but instead making friends and nurturing relationships. It’s not just about networking on the golf course or in the pub. There are many different ways to network. Networking is about creating meaningful conversations. It’s about going to events (in-house or external) and chatting to people. Talking about work-related things. It’s about developing your personal brand. People knowing who you are and what you do.

You can network at an all-day conference; you can network over a cup of coffee with a small group of peers. Find out about existing networks in your organisation or in your sector.

I enjoyed this article that discusses how to network to get promoted.

Leadership mindset

When you want to get promoted, developing a confident leadership mindset is crucial. I interviewed Catherine Cuffley of Thinking Choices for The Confident Mother online conference. She explained how mindset is a set of thoughts and beliefs about yourself. Our thoughts lead us to our feelings. Our feelings lead to behaviours. And behaviours bring results.

Some of those thoughts will be conscious, others will be unconscious. When you are more aware of your thoughts, you become more aware of your beliefs which are held at an unconscious level. Sometimes those beliefs can be limiting. For example you may have a belief that in order to be a Head of Department, you need to have a degree. And if you don’t have a degree, you may (unconsciously) believe that you cannot become a Head of Department.

A leadership mindset is about exploring positive beliefs and then acting in accordance with those beliefs. Over time, your thoughts and beliefs can change. If you feel your mindset may be holding you back, join me when I interview Catherine on Thursday 26 January. You can register here.

Productivity and time management

Women are absolutely brilliant at getting loads time. We think we can multi-task and do lots of different things all at the same time. However you will be much more effective and you are much more likely to get noticed when you focus on productivity rather than ‘busyness’.

Productivity is a measure of how efficient you are – how well you convert input (your time) into output (your results). It’s about managing the hours and the time you do have available. If time management is a challenge for you, check out The Time Doctor or Grace Marshall, the Productivity Ninja.

What I see in the women I work with, is that often you work at 110% BUT …. are you working on things that the company values? Are they tasks that get you noticed? Is it work that makes a difference and has an impact? (And actually, is it work that’s meaningful you. During The Confident Mother conference, I’m interview Professor of Management Katie Bailey, about how finding the meaning in your work can drive motivation and fulfilment).

Avoid burnout

In an earlier post, I share 5 very clear signs that you are on course for career burnout. I’ve been there, done it and got the t-shirt. It’s not a good place to be.

If you constantly feel exhausted, if you struggle to get to sleep, if you keep getting sick, if you feel permanently overwhelmed, if you rarely take a break, and if you’re not looking after yourself properly, you are in danger of burnout. Sadly, there is still a taboo around mental health and burnout. Don’t put yourself in that position.

Take good care of yourself – eat well, get active and take ‘me’ time.

For more ideas on and tips on tools and skills that ambitious women need to get promoted, why not sign up to The Confident Mother online conference when we’ll be exploring burnout, productivity, self-care, imposter syndrome, healthy eating and so much more. Register here.

 

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Sherry Bevan

It can be hard to balance career and family. Sherry helps ambitious women get clear on what they really want, then find the confidence to do it.
If today's the day, you want to put your head in your hands and cry, know you are not alone. Why not check out these tips on how to cope with overwhelm.

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