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Women Stuck in the “Managewich”, Get Out of Your Own Way!

Jim Bumgardner

Jim Bumgardner

There’s a new study out last week that shows women consistently underestimate and undervalue their own performance at work.  It gets worse the older women get, so the women who are most likely to break out of middle management (the “managewich”) and into the executive ranks are sabotaging themselves.  This makes me furious!

I thought we all got it by now.  We have to own our greatness.  That means telling people who are too busy to notice what we’ve done t add value.  Yes, as girls we were socialized not to brag.  There are all sorts of subtle messages girls and women receive around not being too good or too smart.  Don’t be smarter than the man in the room.  And, I am here to tell you to GET OVER IT.  This is the sort of behavior that stands in the way of advancement.

Much as I think most performance management systems are crap, Ladies, this is the system many of us work in today.  You HAVE to learn how to play the game.

It almost always starts with the self-evaluation.  Even if the self-evaluation isn’t formal, most managers will ask you to evaluate yourself because it takes a lot of time for them.  If they don’t, offer to save them time…that way they only have to edit.

Now, this is where the money is.  Do that PARS/STARS format just like you’d do for rewriting your resume or preparing for a behavioral interview.  Don’t know what that is?  Send me an email.

Tell a story about every accomplishment.  And, by accomplishment, I mean result.  If you can quantify it, that’s best.  If you can approximate it with a number, do that.  Even if it is an intangible, use it as long as it’s plausible.

Don’t worry about your evaluation being too long.  It’s part of how, in my last corporate position,  my VP and I persuaded the company give my team double digit raises (several were close to 20%).

The well detailed evaluation has a two pronged effect.  One – It’s evidence. Two – people unconsciously think that you must be really something if someone took that much time to make a detailed view.

Finally, OWN it.  You have to be able to talk about what you’ve accomplished in a confident way.

It’s rare that others will value you until you value you.  It’s human nature to think they must be missing something, because people expect that you know your worth.  Only the rare supervisor will believe in you when you behave like you don’t believe in yourself, and you still make their job harder, because chances are the next person up on the chain picks up on your false modesty vibe.

Be Your Best You Today,

Carolann

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