Dr. Nancy Wayne

Scientist, Educator & Speaker

Practice, Practice, Practice Naming Your Skills and Accomplishments!

One of the most popular workshops that I give as part of my Women Advancing Together workshop series is The Importance of Self-Promotion (also the topic of a previous blog).

I point out in an upfront presentation that there are gender differences in self-promotion due to the way in which women and men are socialized. For WOMEN, self-promotion feels uncomfortable because we are socialized to be modest and to be helpers, whereas MEN are socialized to dominate and to be leaders. WOMEN who self-promote are viewed negatively as arrogant, pushy and bitchy, whereas MEN who self-promote are viewed positively as confident go-getters. WOMEN also fear that self-promotion will lead to social backlash (and it often does), while MEN recognize that self-promotion is necessary for advancement (and it is).

The majority of the time spent in workshop is in small groups of 5-8 participants in discussion using guided questions that require them to name their skills — both technical skills and “soft” skills (for example, good communicator, very organized, takes responsibility, etc.) that are equally important in the workplace. The participants also practice promoting themselves and their work where they receive feedback from the other participants in a safe and supportive space.

At the end of the workshop, I give homework! Participants are asked to come up with a plan to promote their skills, get recognition for them, and turn that recognition into something of value to them. They hold each other accountable by following-up with their small-group discussion mates.

Here are a few examples of the feedback I have received from workshop participants who did their homework assignment and promoted their skills and accomplishments:

From a medical student: “I recently applied for a leadership position for the … Reproductive Health Interest group, and a portion of the application required answering several prompts where I had to discuss my skills, past experiences, and why I am a qualified/effective leader. I am happy to share that I received the position I applied for :)”

From a faculty member: “Emailed my dean an update on my activities and accomplishments of this past semester; to which he responded very positively.”

From a staff researcher: “I attended the workshop you held last week, and I wanted to let you that I followed your advice and made a bullet point summary of my accomplishments from the past year and presented it to my boss. With this I also requested a 15% raise, and my boss approved it! So thank you so much for this advice!”

I love that these women were proactive and overcame their discomfort to get what was of value to them, including the recognition they deserved.

Here’s YOUR homework assignment: Within the next month, YOU develop a plan to promote your skills, get recognition for them, and turn that recognition into something of value to you – and then act on your plan. Let me know how it goes via email at WomenAdvancingTogether@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you.

And if this is something that you want or need coaching on, let’s set-up a one-on-one consultation.

Keep Calm_Self-Promote

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This entry was posted on March 5, 2018 by .
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