Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2016

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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We Mean Business > d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m Fa l l 2 0 1 6 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 29 leave, I became team leader and handled some of her responsibilities," she explains. ird, she volunteered, an easy way to get noticed and to get to know colleagues. "I now lead an October charity event, part of the company's Employee Charitable Contribution Campaign," says Moya. In addition, she spent a day at an animal shelter with a group of IBM volunteers. If a company doesn't have organized volun- teering, you can take the lead in starting a program, even on a small scale. Moya has one broad suggestion for women about getting noticed: step out of your comfort zone. For example, in- troduce yourself to people you don't know, even if it makes you uncomfort- able. "I stepped out of my comfort zone by taking risks, by doing things that were outside my job description, by vol- unteering for leadership opportunities, and by networking," she says. "A lot of times, I'd never handled the tasks I was assigned, so I put on my learning cap, took deep breaths, and just accepted the challenge and immersed myself." In addition, Moya says, develop expertise in an area. During a performance review, when her boss suggested that she do this, Moya wasted no time delving into the re- tail industry. "I learned that you become essential at IBM by becoming an expert in something. I wanted to position myself so that I was necessary to future projects or opportu- nities. When the leadership saw me take steps to become an expert, they wanted to invest in me and that really helped me get the promotion," she explains. 3 Ace the performance review Earning a good performance re- view requires many steps. Most important of all, of course, you need to excel at your position. Many wom- en do a great job, but they don't always get the stellar performance review that often translates into a significant raise. Studies and anecdotal evidence have demonstrated that women are not as comfortable as men at self-promotion. For better or worse, tactful self-promo- tion is key to earning a good performance review. "You have to become more vis- ible," Glaser recommends. Fortunately, this is a learnable skill. Study how other women do it, and use self-talk, if that will help. Work with a mentor. Or for models on performance review sessions, search YouTube. Understand that everyone feels awk- ward or uneasy about performance re- views—not just you. Your supervisor, who has many other performance reviews to complete in a short period, doesn't like them, either. Go in with the idea of mak- ing the process easier for your supervisor. Do that by preparing well. Keep a file of your accomplishments and compile them into a list before your appointment. Include anything you have done that has contributed to the bottom line and be very specific and provide numbers, if possible. Be as objective as you can. Pres- ent the document to your reviewer. is gives the reviewer talking points, and since you have provided them, you have enhanced your ability to help direct the conversation. 4 Ask for a raise e performance review is often the time to discuss compensation. When making your pitch for more than just a cost-of-living raise, Glaser sug- gests framing your pitch in positive lan- guage and using specific examples. "You want to both talk about and demonstrate the value you have brought to your depart- ment," she says. List the reasons you de- serve a raise and then, in advance, share the write-up with a colleague or mentor and role-play with that person as your boss. Keep the conversation on an objective plane. Never bring emotions into it. Gla- ser says, "For example, if your boss says 'I was disappointed in your numbers,' return to your accomplishments. Pinch your wrist or dig your nails into your arm to maintain control." is is not the time to rebut. "Listen and say, 'ank you, I appreciate the construc- tive advice,'" Glaser advises. If a comment is really unjust, address it afterward. is is an opportunity. ere are not many occasions for you to talk about how well you've done, so if the conversation takes a different turn, get it back on course. 5 Choose a mentor Bond suggests that the defini- tion of a mentor is broader these days than in the past. You can re- quest help with one aspect of work from one person and on other aspects from someone else, she says. For example, one person might help you navigate the sub- stance of your job, and another may offer guidance on the office politics. You can also get mentoring from your peers. A trusted colleague can help if you're won- dering, for example, "Did that really just happen in the meeting? Did I say some- thing I shouldn't have?" Your company may have a formal men- toring program. Or you can ask your su- pervisor or another person within the or- ganization you admire if he or she knows anyone who might mentor you. Moya inquired around IBM and found two em- ployees on her own. Both are in other ar- eas of the country, so they talk by phone. One helps her with sales advice, and the other provides career advice. Remember, says Glaser, a mentor is dif- ferent from a sponsor. A mentor serves as a sounding board, as someone who can offer advice. A sponsor offers guidance and critical feedback, and is in a position to help you move up. If you can find both, you're lucky indeed. DW Pat Olsen is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and other publications. Keep a file of your accomplish- ments and compile them into a list before your performance review.

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