By Guest blogger, Selena Rezvani,
author of the newly released book, “The Next Generation of Women Leaders” and president of NextGenWomen, LLC, where she consults to executives and aspiring women leaders. www.nextgenwomen.com.
1) Women who want to move up must take professional risks before they feel ready for them. The day when you can say “Now I feel ready” is usually too late – others have claimed the opportunity you wanted. Get in the habit of asking yourself, “What do I need to be comfortable enough to do this?” Perhaps the answer is a mentor, an advisory council, family support, or training.
2) Use emotional intelligence to read people and situations, but don’t use emotions to make a case for something. When building your argument or making a case, keep things fact based ― not innuendo or hearsay based ― using phrases like “The data shows…” and “The facts are…,” rather than “I feel…”
3) Those women that make it to the top continually ask for what they want at work, rather than waiting to be noticed, rewarded, or promoted. They’re not afraid their requests will inconvenience someone or that they will look pushy for asking. When making requests, figure out where you have leverage ― the value you bring to your employer and the extent to which you’re relied upon for your skills.
4) Don’t be naïve about the extent to which politics govern the workplace. Find ways to proactively learn the culture and political climate of your organization, learning how people like to be communicated with, and how and when people have launched initiatives that have been successful. Solicit information from several parties as you accumulate information, never just one. Play in the politics or perish!