Today's final Mini-Series: Get What You Want At Work by ADVOCATING FOR YOURSELF.
Self-advocacy is one of the most important skills you should be utilizing. It's also a challenging skill to practice.
Why is advocating for yourself important?
1. Your supervisor and coworkers can't read your mind. This means you have to let them know when you have a great idea, or when you aren't getting the kind of professional development you desire. Most people will assume everything is okay unless you let them know otherwise.
2. It shows confidence. When you confidentiality express your values and needs, people will listen. You gain respect from others by respecting yourself and standing up for what you deserve.
3. It forces you to set goals for yourself. By continually advocating for yourself in the workplace, you are constantly and consistently setting and accomplishing goals for yourself.
Self-advocacy can be tough for most people.
Often times, it's uncomfortable to have conversations about yourself with others. Here are 3 reasons:
1. You believe you are self-promoting, and it's wrong. There's a major difference between promotion and advocacy: INTENT. Self-Advocacy is standing up for what's right, fair, and respectful. Self-promotion is solely focused on you getting attention-at all costs (not cool!).
2. You don't believe you are worthy. You're worried about sounding too pushy or arrogant, and you also compare yourself to others, feeling a sense of shame or guilt. Newsflash: You add value. Step into the role you know you are being called to do!
3. You believe someone else should initiate the conversation. You figure if you keep doing a good job, someone will notice and you'll get what you deserve for the hard work you put in. Guess what, they are busy thinking about themselves and their own challenges. If you need something, you simply have to SPEAK UP or lose out!
It's Time to Change Your Results.
Trust That You Are Worthy.
If you know you're deserving of a raise or a promotion, say so. If you feel you need additional professional development in order to excel in your position, speak up. If you believe you aren't getting the same flexible time as your coworker, talk to your supervisor.
Know your worth and what you can bring to the table - and then actually bring it to the table by advocating for yourself.
It's important to note that there is a RIGHT way to advocate for yourself.
The Right Way to Self-Advocate:
1. Decide what you what. Figure out exactly what it is you're advocating for and why. Be specific. If you're wanting a raise, decide how much of a pay increase you're advocating for.
2. Do your research. Come to the discussion armed with reasons why you deserve what you are asking for. Give specific examples or instances. Explain how getting what you're advocating for will not only benefit you, but the company as well.
3. Provide solutions. Don't just complain about a problem or issue you're having. Come to the discussion with well thought out and realistic solutions. If you're wanting more professional development, find out which classes or conferences would benefit you. You're more likely to get what you desire when you take initiative to solve the problem.
Remember, you are your own best advocate.
If you don't advocate for yourself, who will?
Still feel like you could use some help in the area of self-advocacy? Consider working with a coach. Nothing helps you make progress faster than creating a plan with someone and having them hold you accountable to sticking to it. The School of Executive Presence Coaching Programs can help - click here to get started today!
Angela Nuttle is an author, speaker, talent remodeler™, and consultant in talent and organizational development. As founder of The School of Executive Presence, she teaches business people how to show up with executive presence. She also works directly with CEOS, Business Leaders, and HR Teams to develop people, potential, and processes that create productive and profitable business environments. To learn more about her experience with Fortune 500 companies and relevant solutions, visit www.corporatetalentexpert.com or www.schoolofexecutivepresence.com.
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