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Senior managers can support their employees by holding

more conversations and

men to get ahead, but that is not the case. Women have incredible natural skills that can be used to thrive in the workplace. Firstly, we are professional networkers. Not only that, but our genuine, social nature enables us to create and sustain fantastic business relationships. We are true masters in joining up people, resources and relationships. Remembering small details that might not seem important to someone else, but that are important to the person you are talking to. Sometimes these skills can be glossed over because perhaps they are perceived as less important – but they are not. Tey are actually very important and can help secure contracts or develop lasting business relationships.

natural skills? ``

`` `` `` `` ``

What, generally, are women’s Socially conscious.

Great listeners. Well organised.

Excellent networkers. Natural givers.

Collaborators – sharing insight and welcoming feedback.

workshops around confidence and building new skills. Engaging with team members through one-to-one sessions is a great way to interest individuals and allow them to share their voice. It is also a great opportunity to assess how that individual sees their role developing and ascertain needs for training. Taking time to engage in dialogue with people early and often can be highly motivating for the individuals involved and will help managers identify whether individuals will benefit from focusing on developing personal skills. If someone lacks confidence, you

can help them by asking if they would like some extra responsibility for a certain project, which may boost their confidence indirectly. It could be something small, such as writing some company blog posts, gathering interest for a team workshop or organising the next team event. If people don’t like to ‘put their hand up’ and willingly vol- unteer to take on extra responsibility, some small steps of positive guidance from senior managers can go a long way. Confidence might not change overnight, but by positively encourag- ing people to try something new and take the lead on activity, their confidence will grow over time.

Negotiate with your line manager

A one-to-one session with a manager can also provide an opportunity to negotiate in an informal envi- ronment, whether this is requesting flexible working or asking to work on a particular project from home once a week. Women in particular

need to focus on artic- ulating the value of the

work they do. To negotiate successfully, be confident in

your approach. You can build your

confidence by preparing what you are going to say. Success in negotiating

26 | September 2016 |

By pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones we gain experience that unlocks career progression

in the workplace is dependent on explaining how your request aligns with the overall aims of your employer and the business. For example, focus on how working from home will help you and the business get the assignment completed faster, which could generate a financial saving overall. Outline the fact that, with less travel and more productive time to focus on the project, the organisation will receive a more successful end result, so it becomes a win-win scenario for everyone.

Put your hand up

Part of building self-confidence comes from experience and showing willing. Impressing your managers and employers by ‘putting your hand up’ and nominating yourself to take the lead on projects can be a good place to start and raise your profile in the office. By pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones and volunteering for more responsibilities, we are able to gain valuable experience that unlocks career progression. Putting ourselves forward is

not something that women are traditionally very good at, as we often doubt our ability to do a good job, and that fear can hold us back. Terefore, it’s important to help employees find their inner confidence to take an opportunity, showcase their ability and help close the gender gap. Encourage employees to ‘put their

hands up’ by identifying potential up- coming opportunities – for example, if there is an internal team manager role that is being advertised. Recently, I had a few employees who came forward for an internal role when it became available, which meant I didn’t have to advertise externally, and the successful candidate ended up being a great team manager. In this case, encouraging a ‘put-your-hand-up’ culture saved the business money.


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