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Could you be more decisive?

Could you be more decisive?

 

Being seen to be a strong, decisive decision maker is a critical factor in establishing our leadership credibility. A quick and well thought through decision backed by logic, gut instinct and taking personal responsibility for whatever the outcome will be, can boost our professional standing in the eyes of those around us.

While appearing indecisive tends to leave an impression of doubt and lack of confidence and our capabilities and experience can come into question. Add to that the personal frustration, energy and time that goes along with a protracted decision making process, indecisiveness is rarely seen as a positive professional attribute.

A 2014 study of 6500 workers found that decisiveness was one of the top three skills sets that make the biggest impact on helping leaders to build credibility. (The other 2 skills sets were open communication and personal presence.)

So clearly it’s an important leadership quality.

As someone who for many years agonised over even quite simple decisions, I can see now how my old habits and indecisive ways held me back.  I’m sure at times my team watched as I dithered and procrastinated. I often caused projects to be delayed as I struggled to make key decisions. Or even worse… I failed to make any decision at all… leaving good ideas languishing. 

How would you rate your decision-making skills?

  • Do you have unshakable confidence when making the big calls required of you within your role?
  • Do you agonise over decisions, taking way longer than you would like?
  • Do you get stuck in a cycle of seeking input, collaboration and agreement hoping to make everyone happy even when you know it’s not possible?

Making difficult decisions is what we look to leaders to do.

We expect our leaders to have the courage and confidence to make the tough decision, give direction and take responsibility for it.

Here are 5 Keys to becoming a more decisive decision maker

1. Take a balance view. Our natural tendency can often be to look at what can go wrong or the risks associated with a decision. Make sure you are taking a balanced view considering not only what can go wrong but also what the benefits of a decision could be.

Often when I’m procrastinating over a decision I like to call in my good friend Richard Brandson. He suggests asking, “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” And “if that happened, could I handle it?” Almost always the answer is YES.

2. Embrace uncertainty. Indecisiveness is often a result of wanting to be certain about the outcome. Looking for certainty is nothing short of torturous… because it can never be achieved! You can only be certain of an outcome once a decision has been made and action is taken.

Learn to make decisions based on the information you have on hand. A timely decision made with confidence and based on experience will almost always trump one that’s perceived to be slow and indecisive. 

3. Engage stakeholders. This is all about getting buy in and discovering issues you may have been unaware of. But ladies we need to be careful not to over do this one. We have a tendency to want to consult and to get consensus from the team. Don’t over play this or your behaviour could be perceived as indecisive or showing a lacking confidence. There comes a time when you quite simply have to move on from the fact finding and collaboration phase and make a decision!

4. Use your internal GPS. Trust your intuition and your internal knowing. Over the years you have built up a wealth of experience and knowledge, which fuels our internal GPS. Trust it. It’s what allows us to make reliable, quick decisions when we take the time to listen. Your gut instincts will be right way more often than you think.

5. Own it. Once you make a decision, own it! Speak of your decision with confidence and conviction. Follow through with bold courageous action. No flip flopping or second guessing your decision once it has been made.

And most importantly you must own the outcome… good or bad.

Could you be more decisive?

Reflect on the decisions you currently have on your plate right now. Could you be more decisive in your decision making?

Yes it’s important to listen, gather critical information, and weigh up the options but without a decisive decision all this good work could go to waste.   Your leadership credibility and reputation is at stake.

Make decisions with confidence and courage, take action and move on to the next big decision.

LET'S CONNECT

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Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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How to position yourself for promotion

How to position yourself for promotion

If you are thinking that this is going to be your breakthrough year where you finally get that promotion you have been craving, it is time to start positioning yourself for what you want. Staying silent, flying under the radar, purely working hard and doing a good job simply will not work.

Gone are the days you can wait to be “tapped on the shoulder.” I know it has possibly worked for you in the past. I hear it all the time from smart, successful women. They tell me their career success, up to this point, has come to them purely through hard work and good luck.

But to get the more senior leadership roles, a new way of thinking is required. You need to be more strategic, more intentional and position yourself to be considered for the best opportunities.

To do this effectively, the most important question of all is….

Do you know where you want your career to head?

If you don’t have the answer to this question… it’s pretty difficult to position yourself for it.

Many of my Inner Circle clients have come along with their career at a crossroads. They had experienced success and had been given many great opportunities along the way. Until one day they found themselves in a place where they knew they wanted something different but lacked clarity and direction of what that looked like.

Through learning how to position themselves effectively, these women have snapped up new and exciting opportunities – often much more quickly than they thought would be possible.

So how ready are you for promotion and what are you doing now to position yourself for that next step?

It’s your career – it’s time to take the reins and manage it!

Here are 7 keys to position yourself for promotion

1. Get career clarity. Without clarity of where you are going, it is very likely you will end up some place you would rather not be. If you are not sure about the specifics, then start with what you do know for certain. Things like; do you want to lead a big team or just a few highly skilled people? What type of products or service is of most interest to you? What new skills or experience do you ideally want to be exposed to in the next position?

2.  Do Great Work. This might seem obvious, but still needs to be said. You will only get promoted if you do great work. Why on earth would anyone trust you to do a bigger role if you aren’t doing this one well… all of the time!

3.  Stay on the radar. It is time to be seen, heard and recognised for the good work you do. No more flying under the radar. Speak up in meetings. Let your opinion be heard.

Get involved in the high profile projects where you can showcase your skills to a broader group of people. Let others know of your accomplishments – in an authentic non-sales-y way.

4.  Build positive relationships. Relationships are everything when it comes to stepping into the next phase of your career. Taking time out to meet up with key people, either within your organisation or externally, is a critical step towards positioning for your next promotion. Who do you know who could assist you to secure your next position? Do they know what your career ambitions actually are??

5.  Balance short term and long term thinking. Too often I see smart, successful women get caught up in the day to day actions and forgetting to flex their long term, strategic muscle. It is important you keep an eye on the organisation’s top priorities and longer term goals and make sure you are seen to be contributing to the achievement of those goals.

6.  Develop your executive presence. To be considered for an executive position, you must be seen as an executive. The way you show up around the office, in meetings, in the tea room matters. This might mean giving your wardrobe an overhaul, dropping the desire to gossip and learning how to work smarter not harder so you appear calm and in control of your workload.

7.  Be intentional and stay focused. It is time to get strategic and focused on what you want. Yes… it may even be time to create a plan. Get clear on what actions you will take and what changes you will implement to fast track your way to positioning yourself for promotion.

Need to do some work to position yourself for your next promotion? 

Check out The Leadership Connection, an exclusive results focused program and community, designed for smart professional women.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

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The Power Of Owning Your Space

The Power Of Owning Your Space

One of the most powerful lessons for all leaders is to embrace the importance of owning your space.  

When you own your space, you say to the world that you belong, you believe in your value and you give yourself every opportunity to shine, allowing others to form a positive impression of you. 

When you fail to own your space, you are unconsciously letting the world, your team and colleagues know that you lack confidence, give the impression that you do not matter and that your opinion is not worthy.

So what does it mean to own your space? 

It is about walking into a room, a meeting or around the office with certainty, with a magic magnetic aura and a presence where people notice you and admire your energy.  It is often intangible but when you see it you will know it.

When it is missing, you are definitely doing yourself a disservice.  You may go unnoticed or, even worse, people may form a less than positive impression of you.  It is disempowering and your ability to have influence and the impact you know you can, will be reduced.   

If you are to be noticed, taken seriously and seen as worthy, it all starts with setting the impression and owning your space… both physically and metaphorically. 

Have you ever noticed someone who appears to be doing everything they can to take up as little space as possible?  They appear to shrink and tuck themselves into the corners of the room as if hoping they will not be noticed. 

The simple step of striking a “powerful pose” where you walk tall, stand with intent, or sit leaning into a conversation can be the difference between being taken seriously or not.  

On trip to China a few years ago with eight extraordinary women, the power of “Owning Your Space” became the motto of our travels.

Picture this… a decidedly scruffy and a somewhat grubby bunch of tourists. With no time to return to our hotel to freshen up after an amazing day walking the Great Wall of China, we arrived at one of Beijing’s most exclusive and highly awarded restaurants for some much anticipated Peking Duck.  To our horror the other diners were arriving dressed to the 9’s and being dropped off in their chauffeur-driven Porches, Audi’s and Mercedes! 

In that moment we had a choice…  to walk away and miss this rare experience of Peking Duck in the old city of Peking, to shrink in size and hope that no one would notice us as we tiptoed into the restaurant or to step into this magnificent restaurant Owning Our Space, being proud of who we were and enter with the energy of belonging. 

The power of choosing the latter was incredible! We did belong and the Peking Duck experience can be best described in one word … WOW!  We owned our space and we were richly rewarded for it. 

So the question is… “Do you own your space?”

Here are some ways you can step into Owning Your Space.

1.  Make the decision that you belong.  Your dynamic leadership presence comes from a decision that you are worthy as a leader and that you belong at the decision-making table.  Make the decision today to believe that you belong and that your opinion matters.  When you believe in you… it is so much easier for others to believe in you and want to follow your leadership. 

2.  Don’t judge yourself against others.  I think many of us are guilty of judging ourselves against others from time to time… and from my experience, it rarely ends well.   We are unique and bring with us our very own set of skills, abilities and characteristics.  Allow what is special about you to shine, grow and became your “special sauce.” Nurture your strengths and bring the best of you to your role as a leader.

3.  Develop your leadership presence.  Practice bringing your power pose to those situations when you don’t yet feel particularly strong.  No more hiding in the shadows or sitting as far away from the real decision makers in meetings.  Enter each situation with the belief that you belong and with the sense of positive energy.  How you feel on the inside will radiate powerfully on the outside.

LET'S CONNECT

Click below to…

Join “Leading Ladies” – a private FREE Facebook group of over 1600 other mid-career professional women to inspire and support
Join the newsletter list for weekly tips and strategies showing you how to ignite your career, lead your way and accelerate your success. 
Watch The Next Level Training to breakthrough to the next level of leadership, impact and recognition.  
Get my best tips on working smarter not harder 
Read my latest blog post.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact my team.

Similar Blog Posts

Businessman having stress in the office

Leading through and beyond burnout

Imagine this….

You’re sitting in the car park at work with a splitting headache and with that sinking feeling of here we go again. The 3 coffees you’ve downed already to give you a bit of an energetic lift haven’t helped; in fact, you feel more than a little shaky. Your phone has lit up like a Christmas tree with fires you’re expected to put out, yet all you want to do is book a room at the nearest hotel, close the blinds and sleep for days.

Jane Benston

Time’s Change But Not Fast Enough

Yesterday we farewelled my partner’s Mum… at the ripe old age of 101!

Sadly, I never got to know her before dementia stole her memory and much of her spark, but Betty clearly was a special woman. As I sat in the chapel listening to her life story, I reflected on how different her life would have been if she had lived in a different era.

Jane Benston

Why we must talk about menopause…

Let’s talk menopause

Yes! I’m going there.

Why? Because your ability to lead effectively and confidently relies on you being at your best – both physically and mentally.

Jane Benston