In my last article I talked about a couple of the self-limiting behaviors that Marshall Goldsmith and Sally Helgesen discuss in their book, How Women Rise.
This time I’d like to talk about a few more of those behaviors and share some suggestions around how women might transform those behaviors to get to where they want to be.
Reluctance to claim achievements. Women tend not to brag about their accomplishments and often go out of their way to give credit to others. But here’s the thing. Those who are making decisions around pay, opportunities, and advancement need the data to make those decisions. Periodically take stock (and write down) what you’ve achieved and the value you’ve provided to the organization. And don’t hesitate to share it. Don’t wait for others to “spontaneously notice and reward” your hard work. Be bold.
Failing to enlist allies from day one. Goldsmith and Helgesen suggest that, when starting a new job, instead of isolating yourself to spend time getting up to speed, begin immediately building a network of partners at all levels. “The more inclusive your ally web, the more robust your support.” Another author, successful businesswoman Carla Harris, says that to be successful in business people need three key relationships – an advisor, a mentor and a sponsor.
Putting job before career. This is one of the areas where a strength – loyalty, commitment to the team – may be working against you. You do your job so well and get recognized for it (what would they do without you?) that you lose sight of your career goal. Again, take stock of what you are doing and how it contributes to where you ultimately want to be.
The disease to please. This is an area that may be the result of the gender-related messages received as children – girls rewarded for putting others ahead of themselves. The authors say, “Even women at senior levels tend to be most highly rewarded when they fulfill expectations in ways that others find pleasing rather than when they act boldly or assert independent views.” Take a step back and think about what your personal priorities are.
Allowing yourself to be minimized. Goldsmith and Helgesen say that women may inadvertently minimize their presence and impact by being too willing to squeeze into a circle (while men will let others adjust), by speaking softly, or by understatement: “I was just thinking,” or “I could be wrong, but…” or by using “I feel” instead of “I propose” or “I think.” These physical or vocal signs may be perceived as a lack of confidence and could hold you back from getting to where you want to be.
For the rest of the 12 habits in How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job, I suggest you buy the book!