Women are well suited to excel at office politics but they are not using their natural abilities to get to the C-Suite. In my LinkedIn article Don’t go it Alone – Learn to Use Office Politics to Get Ahead. I’ve compiled an entire list of the winning qualities that women have that could catapult them to the top. These strategies work. I know they do since they are the very same strategies I use to take my executive coaching clients to the next level. They’ll work for you too.
In this blog, I’m offering the flip side of what normally springs to mind when someone thinks of office politics. Here you’ll see what’s working against women and how to change it. Give them a try and let me know how they worked for you.
When women do things well, we tend to look outwardly and point out what happened to impact our success. We might say, “It was a favorable market, positive environmental conditions, the team that I had in place”.
We really have to get comfortable with acknowledging that there are many skills, strategies and attributes that we bring to the table. These help forge success for not only ourselves, but our organizations. If we can embrace, and learn how to talk about our contributions in a way that’s comfortable and authentic, we will become masters at using office politics.
Advocating for Others
We naturally support others. When someone comes up with an idea that we believe has merit, we’re the first to jump on board. Not only are we supporting it publically by speaking out, we’re giving time, energy and resources behind the scenes. AND we do this without asking for ownership.
It is imperative that you get comfortable advocating for yourself. Often we’ll bring up an idea and if it gets shot down we drop it. Then someone else brings it up and it’s “brilliant”. I’m generalizing here, but sometimes it’s a man and it gets heard, right?
To learn more about advocating for yourself and getting your ideas heard, read on. I’m going to take this concept deeper.
Strategy is everything. We’re great at thinking strategically when asked to help others figure things out. We pitch in, developing elaborate plans and advice on when and how to position them and their ideas for success.
We don’t always follow our own advice. We need to be very strategic in how we think. And be opportunistic in how and when we act. It’s about timing. In real estate it’s location, location, location. In corporate, and in business, it’s timing, timing, timing!
Women think on multiple levels simultaneously, making us naturally gifted at selling ideas. We know just the right benefits to lead with to get help and support. We’re terrific at gathering the troops and gaining momentum for others.
Do all the prep you need to do to get comfortable and prepare to sell your idea. Work behind the scenes lining up your advocates and allies. Be prepared to introduce your idea, but hold off till the timing is right. You have to get really good at judging when is the right time? If it’s not, don’t do it. If it is, then take full advantage of the work you’ve done previously to prepare the crowd.
Women are very loyal, when we give our support to someone we are there till the end. Yet, we don’t always get the same loyalty in return. When that happens we need to assert ourselves.
Sometimes women get agreement and they get support behind the scenes yet when they get to a meeting it’s crickets, everyone around them has lost their tongue. There they are in the hot seat and nobody is supporting them. If somebody says that they support a concept or an idea or a product or a process and they’ve told me this, I don’t let them off the hook. I’ve moved forward with the knowledge of their support. I’ll say something and if I feel like nobody is stepping up, I get assertive. I’ll say to them, “You remember when we talked about this and you said X, Y and Z? Do you want to add to what I’ve just said?”
I’ve done my job. I got their input and moved forward with the best idea or concept that I think I have available to me. I make sure that I remind people, “Hey, we already talked about this and you were onboard, so step up to the plate with me here now.” This technique may not feel comfortable to some people but let me tell you, it’s memorable. People don’t give me lip service when I seek their counsel or support. They know that I say what I mean and mean what I say. This is just one of the strategies that give me “The Professional Edge”. Link to the blog in a window.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this blog. What ideas do you have or techniques you have used to incorporate office politics into your winning strategies? Thanks so much for reading, commenting and sharing.
“Dream Big. Take Action. Make it Happen.”
- Posted by Regina
- On March 10, 2018
- 1 Comments