If you’re like the majority of the population, you probably have made a New Year’s resolution. I know I have, as I do every year.
What if I told you that by doing just this one thing, you could increase your chances of keeping your resolution by 80%. Would you believe me? Well, it’s true.
Most of us fail to do the one thing that is critical to reaching our goals. What is it you ask? Answer: Writing down your goals along with a plan to accomplish them.
Those who put goals in writing are 80% more successful than those who don’t. A famous study conducted by Harvard Business School involving MBA students from the class of 1979 proved it. In the study, as sited in the book, What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, by Mark H. McCormack, the graduates were asked 3 questions around goals. They were as follows:
Have you set goals?
Have you written them down?
Do you have a plan to accomplish them?
The researched revealed that only 3% of the Harvard class had written goals and a plan to accomplish them, 13% had goals but didn’t put them in writing, and 84% had no specific goals at all. When the graduates were resurveyed 10 years later, the difference the graduates’ success was staggering.
The 3% whom had written goals with a plan to accomplish them, earned 10 times as much as the others combined!
The moral of the story: Put your goals in writing along with a plan to accomplish them. This one step could get you on to the road to success.
How’s your goal setting? Take our poll.
Want help achieving your goals? Join me for Coffee and Coaching
Diane S., a seasoned accountant, accepted a job with a large company without doing any pay research. When they made her an offer, she was so excited, researching the salary never entered her mind.
After a conservative counter, she accepted the job.
Two months in, one of the interviewers told her that they were willing to go above the salary max due to her experience. In fact, they were surprised when she didn’t ask for more. It was then she realized, she had “sold herself cheap”.
Why hadn’t Diane asked for more?
Answer:simple, she didn’t know her worth.
Have you heard of this story before? The fact that women still earn only $.77 for every dollar a male earns tells me the we are not only underpaid, we are not equipped to negotiate effectively. Our inexperience in negotiations plays a role in this discrepancy.
When it comes to talking money, many women feel inadequate, unprepared and uncomfortable. Knowing how, when or what to ask for is critical if you seek to get paid what you are worth.
To prevent selling yourself cheap, consider taking the following recommended steps:
Step 1. Research the company and industry. Find out the common pay practices for someone with your education, experience and expertise for the company in which you are interviewing. This will help you understand the best way to negotiate and what other types of compensation you may be entitled. There are many horror stories where women have missed out on perks because they didn’t know that they were available.
Step 2. Know what you want. Don’t go into negotiations until you determine what you are willing to take. Write out your minimum salary, your ideal salary and your dream salary ( for me this would be at least 2x my ideal). Knowing this in advance will help you know when you are being paid according to your worth or to jump for joy when you get your dream offer.
Step 3. Know what you are worth based on your qualifications, skills and experience and what the company/industry pays for your credentials. Each company or industry pays differently, so don’t generalize. Look into your network for individuals whom may know more about pay practices and salary ranges for someone with your experience and qualifications.
Step 4. Don’t allow the employer to base your new salary on your past or previous position. This is a common practice not just for employers but for us as well. Your past should not have any bearing on your future role. The new role will require a new set of competencies, scope and expectations and you should be paid for it.
Step 5. Ask for it. Most employers expect to negotiate salaries. Therefore, many leave room for 5-15% above the offer. If they can’t give you straight salary, ask for other perks like time off, car allowance, flexible scheduling, relocation, etc. So, don’t be bashful, ask for it and you may get it.
Don’t sell yourself cheap. Do your homework, know your worth and get paid.
Check out these resources for researching salaries and compensation
U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics at www.bls.gov.
When was the last time you took a moment to acknowledge all that you do? If it has been awhile, I bet you feel drained, unappreciated or overwhelmed.
So many of us are doing “it” everyday. Whether your “it” is balancing work/life, single-parenting, going to school, taking care of parents or going through tough times, we are all doing “it”.
Most of us don’t give ourselves credit for getting “it” done. So what is your “it” and how are “you doing it?” I am interested in hearing how you get your “it” done.
How I Get My “It” Done
Right now, my “it” is holding down a full-time job while pursuing my passion of helping women advance their careers or business. Many people ask how I do “it”. Here’s how …
1. Set realistic expectations. There are only so many hours in a day, so prioritizing my work is critical. I always get my full-time job done first. Then, I work on my passion when I can.
2. Schedule time for things that refuel me. Spending time with my family and having “me” time is rejuvenating. Therefore, I carve out designated time and work around it. This keeps me happy, healthy and fresh.
3. Have fun. I allow myself to have fun. I decided not to stress about anything. If things don’t go as planned, I use it as a learning opportunity. I just keep plugging along, doing my best at what I enjoy.
I know you are getting it done too.
So, how do you do “it”?
Are you balancing work/life?
Are you running a household, a business or a department?
Are you going to school or looking for new opportunities?
Are you caring for parents?
Are you going through tough times?
Take a minute to write out how you get “it” done in the comments below. Not only will you feel appreciated, you will be amazed at what you do to get “it” all done.
This is an exercise I do frequently. It helps me acknowledge how much I am doing instead of dwelling on what I am not. Once I see my list of accomplishments, I feel proud.
Try it by writing how you get “it” done in the comments. The added bonus: you may help other women do the same!
Let’s take time to pat ourselves on the back for getting “it” done. It has been too long. Be proud and share with the world how you do “it” !
I grew up believing that names would never hurt you, until I entered the world of business.
Names are everything in the world of business. Decisions involving jobs, promotions, demotions, salaries, perks, etc. are made based on names. So what names are people calling you?
Are you called a people-person or a “B” on wheels, a friend or backstabber, a pushover or ultra powerful, innovative or stuck in your ways, frumpy or professional? If you don’t know, you could be in for a rude awakening.
Years ago I learned that I had been named ”too nice”. I was appalled as I always saw my “niceness” (strong interpersonal skills is what I called it) as an asset that set me apart from others. Little did I know, this name would hurt my career.
Although I was “well- liked, “talented and smart”, based on a “name”, higher-ups were afraid to put me in situations where they thought I may get eaten alive. Therefore, I was not selected for specific promotional opportunities.
No matter how talented you are, it is the names that determine how far you will go.
Why is it important for women to know what names we’re called?
Names seem to stick to us like glue in the workplace and especially if you are a leader. Maybe it’s because we are in the minority in leadership and with fewer numbers, our mistakes or mishaps are never forgotten. Our professional reputations are extremely fragile and we have to handle them with care.
So, how do you find out what names you are called? Simple…You ask.
One day, that ‘s exactly what I did. During a routine supervision meeting with my boss at the time, instead of the usually babble, I asked her frankly why I had hit a career road block. She told me straight; everyone liked me, but I was “too nice” for certain positions that may require you to be tough.
Just like that I had the answer. All the time, I thought it was because I didn’t have the right experience, or credentials. I never thought it had to do with being called “too nice”.
How I became Ms. ”Too Nice”?
To my surprise, my name came from a single incident, when a “B” on wheels (that was her name) challenged me during a presentation. I was so caught off -guard by her rude approach, that I allowed myself to get off -track .
After the meeting, I forgave myself for the stumble and thought that my track record would protect me. That’s where I went wrong.
Big Lesson #1 Reputations are fragile
You can spend years building a strong reputation and it can be shattered by one incident. You and your actions are under constant scrutiny. People are making judgments about you with every encounter and forming new opinions everyday.
People talk and spread names throughout organizations. Therefore, you have to realize that it’s “show time” everyday and you must come with your “A” game.
Now, everyone makes mistakes. However, never let one go without putting forth effort to recover your reputation. If I had not been so self-absorbed after my mishap, I would have realized that I was being judged on how I handled the situation. I did not come prepared for the unexpected.
Big Lesson #2 Be open to feedback and accept what you hear.
It is not easy to hear negative things about yourself. But if you never hear the bad things, you can’t fix them. So when you ask for feedback, stress that you want honest feedback. And then, take it like a woman. Although appalled, knowing “my name”, empowered me to save my reputation. And that’s what I did.
My then boss, did me a big favor. She gave me good, honest , feedback that helped propel me forward. If you don’t feel comfortable approaching your boss, consider peers, mentors and friends as information sources. Sometimes your saboteurs can be a great wealth of information. Most will find joy in telling you what names you have.
Every women needs to know her “names” to get a head in business. So, do you know yours? Take our poll and tell us your experience.
Special Note: Although many of you send me emails, please share information, comments and experience here so others can learn as well. We fail each other by not taking the time to share, support and engage with other women. Please contribute and let’s grow together. Thanks
Women have a good excuse for being harder to work for.
If I had a dime for every time I hear that women bosses are worse than men, I’d be rich.
Is it true? Are women really harder to work for? Many women I know would answer “Yes”.
I have to admit that I believe there is some truth to it; with the following caveats:
-not all women are hard to work for, and
-we have a good excuse.
Don’t get me wrong. There are many great women leaders. I myself have worked for a few. However based on my experience, women are more challenging than men.
Guess what? We have a very good reason.
Women, we do have a good reason that stems from how we’re socialized. Most of us will agree that women and men are indeed socialized differently. Men are usually socialized to compete and still be friends, while women are usually socialized to make friends and keep harmony. Therefore, competing with friends is frowned upon. Many of us believe that anyone who conflicts with us, is potentially out to get us.
This variance in socialization plays out in the work place. When men disagree at work, they can still go out and have a drink and slap each other on the back. In fact, many men respect a man more, after they had an opportunity to duke it out. They actually respect the man for how well he fought. Have you ever seen men shake hands after a duel?
On the other hand, when women fight, we sometimes let the fight affect the relationship and carry ill feelings. We see things through the eyes of relationships. If someone conflicts with us, we often feel like the relationship is tainted. Have you ever seen women shake hands after a duel? Not me.
As women, we tend to think in terms of;
“I like you…, I like you not.”
“You like me,…. You like me not.”
We often have a difficult time letting go, which makes us more susceptible to carrying grudges. These grudges carry out in various ways, getting ugly at times. This is what makes some women harder to work for.
Let me break it down further: If you have a misstep with a male boss, he is more likely to let it go, not allowing it to jeopardize the relationship (except for narcissistic bosses which is another story). Women on the other hand, are more apt to let a mishap affect the relationship.
This tendency to hang on to bad feelings makes us more likely to behave as unreasonable, micro-managers, moody, playing favorites, and down right bitchy (sorry). I remind myself of this tendency so that I don’t take things so seriously and realize that many things are just business.
Writing this article was risky for me as I didn’t want to offend women. However, it is important for us to be honest with ourselves and to understand how our tendencies may affect our professional behavior. Therefore, I took the risk to bring it forward.
Admit it, haven’t you ever felt like you hated someone after you had an altercation at work? Didn’t you let your “b” side come out even a little when around them? We all have had our “b” side come out at one time or another. I’m just keeping it real.
You be the judge. In your opinion, are women harder to work for? Take our poll or leave a comment and let us know what you think?
On a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the highest), how would you rate your level of confidence?
This is a question I often ask women. To my surprise, most rate themselves pretty high. In fact the majority rate themselves between a 4-5. Now, that’s pretty darn confident.
However, it always baffles me when I ask the same women to tell me what they do well. Most struggle to answer the question.
In my opinion, a good test of a high confidence level, is knowing what you do well. Most confident people understand the importance of using everything they have to compete. Therefore, knowing their strengths is important.
Do you know what you do well? What you do better than anyone else? If you have to think about it, maybe your confidence can use a boost.
Rate your confidence level by taking this brief Confidence IQ Survey. Be sure to click the link below for results.
(Please note: the survey is not a test. The point is not to answer how you think you should, but honestly. This is not scientific, or a psychological profile, etc. It is based on various research and findings and designed to give you somewhere to start.)
Click Here to Get Your Results Be Sure To Take the Survey First and Track Your Responses!
When a woman tells me she wants to learn how to talk with confidence with her boss, she most likely is referring to her verbal communication skills. This is the number one mistake professional women make when it comes to speaking with confidence with your boss.
The more I work with women; I find that we often neglect to think about our nonverbal communication and body language. Most of us think of communication as just talking. When is comes to speaking with confidence with our boss, most want to focus on using power words.
Confident body language is far more effective in communicating the right message than any words that may come out of your mouth. Therefore, using the right body language can make all of the difference in earning respect and credibility of your boss.
To earn the respect of your boss, try the 5 confident body language tips below to help you communicate the right message:
Tip 1. Always approach your boss as your equal. You must demonstrate that you have earned the right to be a prominent member of the team just like she has. Always be respectful, but think and act like you belong. You may do this by not asking for permission to enter her office, or don’t wait to be spoken to in order to speak. This step works best when you feel confident about your ability and performance.
Tip 2. Establish good eye contact. Eye contact is a powerful body language tool. To use it effectively, never look up, down or to the side when talking as this conveys uncertainty and mistrust. Practice keeping eye contact without staring by shifting eyes slightly to your boss’s forehead every now and then.
Tip 3. Walk tall and with confidence. Good posture goes a long way when you are talking about confident body language. Therefore, stand up straight and keep your head up. When entering your boss’s office, walk all the way in, don’t wait to be invited. If appropriate, remain standing next to her desk for some time, especially if your boss is seated. This will require her to look up at you, subconsciously putting you in a confident position. This strategy helps balance the power between the two of you.
Tip 4. Keep your hands visible at all times while seated. Hands are also useful when conveying confident body language. This is difficult for some women, as we tend to keep our hands on our laps. Use open-handed gestures to emphasize points while talking. This animation will automatically help to promote a confident demeanor. Also, taking a confident position in your chair goes a long way and will make you feel confident as well.
Tip 5. Make sure you keep hands away from your face, mouth and hair. Touching any of these while conversing sends all the wrong messages from nervousness, boredom to weakness and is sure to zap your power in seconds.
Try these confident body language tips and you will show your boss your confidence. Remember, communication is more than just talking. What you say non-verbally through body language speaks volumes.
Please share your comments and ideas. I’d like to hear from you.
There are all kinds of myths about confidence floating around. Below are 3 myths I thought you may find interesting.
Myth #1. Confident People Are Born. The other day I watched a public TV interview with CEO, Bob Fish of Biggby Coffee. Mr. Fish, (AKA Biggby Bob) has a refreshing philosophy on what it takes to make it in business, especially when it comes to confidence.
Although Biggby Bob said many things, there was one comment that stuck with me. He stated that “confidence is a choice”.
When one chooses to be confident, they are choosing to have faith that they will be successful. Therefore, people are not born confident, they choose to be. Biggby Bob holds faith, confidence and courage as part of his 7 Core Values to business success.
Myth #2. Confident people are perfect. Not all confident people are perfect. And, perfect people are not always confident. Being confident has nothing to do with being perfect. It is more about an attitude that you are good enough to do it. Confident people are comfortable in their own skin and take on the world with a positive attitude.
Myth #3. Confidence can’t be learned. I agree with Biggby Bob. One chooses to be confident by taking action. Your confidence grows as you continue to exercise confidence building boosters such as practice, patience and perseverance. In fact, practice is the best confidence booster. If you wish to build your confidence, keep practicing the task until you get it right.
I hope these confidence myth-busters will help you look at confidence from a different perspective. You can learn to be confident. You just have to choose to be.
Question: Do you have faith that you will be successful? Share your story and let me know how you choose to be confident.