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Stepping into a more senior role

It can be frustrating when someone you know has no confidence in her abilities.

How many times have you worked with someone who were incredible in their role and yet didn’t have the confidence to apply for a more senior role.

I’ve worked with many women (yes! I am purposefully being gender specific as it doesn’t occur so often with the men I work with) who were outstanding at what they did yet usually wrote those accomplishments off as something ‘anyone could do’.

It’s like when you compliment someone and they say ‘this old thing’, or ‘yes but…’ Why not just say ‘thank you’. We don’t have to put ourselves down all the time.

This lack of confidence spills over into what others’ think of you. Not only will you probably not apply for that more senior role, if you did you have already set expectations of those around you about your confidence levels.

I once coached a woman who had been acting in a senior role as an interim measure while they advertised the role. I asked her if she had applied for the role and she said ‘no’. She didn’t believe she had all the attributes they required in the job description!

When I checked in on her several months later she was disappointed that the person who had been successful in getting the role was pretty useless as a people leader and certainly knew less than she did.

I recommend everyone watch the Amy Cuddy TED talk. This is a fabulous way to build you confidence. Amy talks about ‘Faking it until you are it’.

My questions are

  • Are you constantly putting yourself down?
  • Can you accept a compliment graciously?
  • When you look at a role do you focus on those attributes you don’t think you have, or the value and experience you can bring to the overall role?

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