Revealing Your Inner Prowess- 8 Ways to Standout And Get Promoted

leadership development | Speak Genesis

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As a leadership development coach, I’ve helped many to get noticed and be promoted.

Prowess is expertise or skill in a particular field, and it also means bravery; getting that promotion requires both. It’s stepping outside of your comfort zone to do and learn more.

Follow the eight ways below and you will be the clear and obvious standout for the next promotion.

1. Step Up

Enthusiastically volunteer for any additional assignments or projects. Your boss will only trust you with more responsibility if you prove that you can handle it. Show them that you are competent, confident, and calm with this additional workload. Once your boss sees you are skilled at handling additional responsibilities, they will know that you’re capable of handling more than your current requirements.

2. Learn New Skills

Often, moving up the career ladder requires more or different skills than your current position. Preparation is key. Do whatever is necessary to gain this knowledge; this could be an e-learning course through a trade association or college. Talk to your boss about this; ask their opinion of the best and most suitable courses. Learning demonstrates that you’re more than willing to do what it takes to move up. Keep your boss in your learning loop. Once you’ve completed something significant in your studies, show them your progress.

Ask if there are ‘shadowing’ opportunities; this is working with someone in a senior role whose responsibilities align with your desired promotion. It’s an excellent way to learn, and it shows that you’re committed and determined.

Think about the overall goals and objectives of the company and your department. Brainstorm ways to make that a reality. Explore and identify untapped resources, potential strategic partners, possible service or product champions, leveraging social media, social media campaigns- you get the picture.  Write up your best ideas and share them with your boss. This shows initiative and the ability to ‘think outside the box.’

4. Stay Above the Fray

Act like a boss; employees who advance are the ones who know to stay above the fray. Click here for resources on how to stay out of company politics. Every workplace has cliques; Don’t be in one group, practice inclusiveness with everyone on the team. Treat all with the same respect, interest, and niceties that you would the boss.

Don’t gossip. It may be tempting to share a titillating story about a coworker or vent your frustration about a recent encounter with a coworker or boss. If you do this, you could tank any potential future promotion. Keep your opinions to yourself, and only vent outside of work.

leadership development | Seattle

5. Be Friendly

Management promotes people they like. Who’d you rather work with, a “competent jerk,” or a “likable fool?” No matter how brilliant, no one wants to work with someone they don’t like — your likability matters. 

Small talk and taking a genuine interest in your coworkers and manager is the difference between connection and forgettability. The quote, “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel,” is true. (author unknown) Asking how their weekend went, actively listening, and then asking follow-up questions, increases connections, and your likability.

Small gestures matter and reverberate ripples of goodwill and increased trust. Bring in doughnuts from Top Pot; if you’re going out for coffee, ask everyone for their orders.

6. Do Afterwork Team Social Events

This shows that you’re a team player. It’s great for team building and getting to know people outside of work. If your boss is planning and attending these events, it’s a great way to get additional face time. Don’t drink double martinis, or anything else, in excess. Have fun and continue to be professional.

leadership development | Seattle

7. Track Your Work

Many employees believe their work speaks for itself; that if you work hard and keep your heads down, you’ll be rewarded. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. While lousy work is sure to be noticed, good work rarely makes a splash.

Track your accomplishments and the effects your projects have had on the company’s bigger picture. Did the software that you developed result in increased revenues, or greater efficiency? Make a list of these triumphs and discuss these in your next review.

8. Speak Up

If you tend to stay quiet at your company meetings, you’re not showing leadership skills. Start contributing insight and information specific to your projects. Offer ideas and concepts that demonstrate you can think outside of the box. Contribute regularly. Leaders lead through vocalization, vision, and team collaboration. Show that you’re comfortable speaking and sharing.

Following these eight steps will make you the clear and obvious choice for the next promotion. Now it’s time to soar.  Congratulations, you’ve earned it! 

tips for success | blog | Kim Vanborkulo

Kim VanBorkulo is a public speaking and leadership development coach for individuals and teams, non-profits and for-profits.  She is CEO of Speak Genesis [ ]

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