Working Woman's Guide to ... SELF PROMOTION Part 2
Welcome to SELF PROMOTION Part 2! We're glad you're back for more :)
In Part 1 we talked about why self promotion is so important for us as women and why it can feel difficult, even dangerous, to do it. We reminded you that your brilliant work does not speak for itself and so your self promotion is simply allowing those who need to see it, to see it! Our fear of been seen as arrogant means that we under-pitch our self-promotion. We need to overcome our fears in order to get visible and feel more comfortable self-promoting.
In this part 2 we’ll show you a practical and tangible way you can self-promote in a way that feels authentic to you.
Firstly here's a scenario we see play out frequently for women .... do you recognize this for yourself?
Your senior team and board are arriving for meetings at your workplace and they want to do a tour and hear about the progress. Where’s your focus? Are you checking there’s enough coffee and tea, or that your team are well prepared with their presentations? OR are you focusing on what is the story YOU want to tell about your contributions to the teams' success?
So many women we coach will focus on the behind-the-scenes, making sure this high profile visit goes smoothly. They will miss the opportunity to shine, and get VISIBLE with their senior stakeholders.
Please hear us, we are not saying that refreshments are not important, and that supporting your team to shine brightly is not important. It is. We are saying notice whether you are also seeing these kinds of situations as opportunities for you too, and are you maximising them. You can be intentional about creating opportunities for authentic self promotion into these kinds of scenarios. You can plan who you want to meet, and what you want to say. You can use our framework below.
So how can we start practicing authentically self promoting?
Here are some tips for planning and crafting your own authentic self promotion.
1. Reframe self promotion simply as communication and getting more visible – getting your work, your services and the great things you are doing visible for others to use them, enjoy them, benefit from them. By self promoting you are simply communicating about your great thing.
2. Focus on Service –connect what you are sharing to how it benefits others, the learning that is useful for others, the bigger picture purpose of your organisation. This moves away from centering on ‘me’ and may feel more comfortable as you develop your self promotion muscles.
3. Identify what do you want to be known for (hint: your brilliant work !!) What piece of work are you proud of, that you want others to hear about? What story do you want to tell?
4. Identify what is valued in your company, what is rewarded? Numbers? Profit growth? Customer satisfaction? Connect what you have contributed to these areas that are valued in your company. What are the pain points in the business at the moment – how are you solving them?
5. Clarify what is your contribution to the team's successes and focus on showing this stuff! Use ‘I’ in your descriptions, updates and storytelling !! When you are telling your story, explain clearly the result or progress towards the result that you have achieved - how it adds value to the business, how it benefits to those you serve – i.e. why they should care.
6. Explore who needs to know? Who needs to hear about it? Who do you need to get visible with? Who needs to see you/ get to know you/ hear about your work?
7. Brainstorm how can you get in front of them? What opportunities are available for you? How can you make it known to them? Can you arrange coffee? Join a meeting and get an item on the agenda? Plan an informal water cooler moment or walk past? Offer to host the shop floor tour or board presentation?
8. Tell the whole truth – no lies of omission about yourself! Share what is your contribution ('this is what I specifically did...'), as well as acknowledging and valuing others' contributions- give credit where credit is due – that includes to yourself!! If your team have a great success, talk about that, and talk about how your leadership and steering have enabled that to happen.
9. Find role models who you see self promoting really authentically, and watch what they do. What can you learn and use in your own way?
10. Dial up your self promotion gradually. This may feel more authentic and trigger less adverse reaction that going full tilt.
It gets easier, and feels more 'you' with practice - Keep experimenting and learning as you go!
Over to you – coaching prompts
- Who needs to know about your brilliant work?
- What is the story that you want to tell?
- Who else can you credit?
- How can you own YOUR contribution too?
- Where and how can you PRACTICE sharing your story and what YOU contributed to the success, the learning, the progress
- What is your best next step?
We'd love to hear what you experiment with, and how you get on - let us know!
Catalyst Collective Conversations – we post a live video every week covering different topics - check out our conversation on self promotion
Eleanor Beaton's Fierce Feminine Leadership podcast
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway - How to Turn Your Fear and Indecision into Confidence and Action, Susan Jeffers
Playing Big, Tara Mohr
Coaching Women to Lead Averil Leimon, Francois Moscovici and Helen Goodier
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Dealing with our inner critic, doubt and fear; imposter syndrome; getting more visible even when you hate networking; navigating systemic bias; authentic self-promotion; comparing, competing and collaborating with other women; ally-ship and role modelling.
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