How can you advance your career and overcome the challenges of this virtual world today?
How can you leverage and lean into the available resources to advance your career as a leader, team leader, supervisor, manager, Director, VP, whatever your role may be today?
The most powerful way that I have learned to advance my career over the last 30 years is by building an inclusive network.
30 years is a long time, and I've been running my own business only in the last four years. I know what it's like to be in the corporate world and "climbing the ladder," as we call it. But now that we are in a virtual world, it's taking us to a new level of challenges.
Some of you already felt hesitant to network when things were "normal." In this isolation, you don't even get to pass by people's desks to say hello, or swing by somebody's office on your way to the kitchen to get some coffee or tea.
How are we going to stay connected?
How are we going to expand our reach and our influence to advance our careers?
How will we have more impact and get to know our peers better when we can't connect physically?
Enter the power of inclusive networking.
I'm going to share three things that I do to advance my business and what I teach my clients to do to continue to grow personally and professionally and grow within their field.
Identify Your Centers of Influence
How do you identify your centers of influence?
Identifying your centers of influence is very simple. Look at your role and the people that are around you that have some influence on your role.
Think about your manager, your direct reports, your team, and your peers across the organization. Think about mentors and sponsors, clients and stakeholders, people who you serve.
Now expand that circle of influence and look at people outside of your organization. Who are those people that you are touching base with?
These are all people in your centers of influence that you want to start building intentional connections with regularly.
One of the first objections you may have is, "I don't have time for this. I am doing it all. I'm the person who is taking care of everything at work and home."
But remember, "how you do one thing is how you do everything." If you don't give yourself any space, if you don't prioritize yourself in any way, then that's happening in other areas of your life, too, not only at work, not only with networking.
At the onset of my career, I learned about the power of networking.
I melded networking into my job so that I wasn't working and then networking. I was working and networking simultaneously. It became part of my job to make appointments on my calendar, to reach out to a particular person I wanted to connect with. That became my operating model.
By combining work with networking, I built and developed meaningful connections with people that, to this day, I am still friends with. Because to me, it is about the connections and the relationships.
This is going to be something new for you if you haven't been doing it. It's going to take you time to acclimate and to bring it into your every day. But once you do, you will notice what a difference it will make, not only in helping you with your career but how you will feel personally. You're going to feel more connected to people in general.
Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
In many cases, we don't understand our strengths, and we don't grasp our challenges. In the training I deliver, I talk about identifying your strengths, weaknesses, and areas to improve around networking and inclusive networking.
Let people of different backgrounds in those circles that I already mentioned come into your life and connect with you. Connect with them from a place of curiosity and a place of contribution, which is what makes the biggest difference.
We may get in our heads about what am I going to say? What am I going to share? We hold back instead of thinking, I'm going to get curious about this person? I'm going to ask empowering questions. How's it going? What have you been working on? What's exciting for you these days. How are you coping with COVID and the working from home situation? How's the family doing?
Those are all empowering questions that begin with what or how.
Create Your Action Plan
Create a meaningful action plan. Everything that you have on a purposeful action plan will move the needle and impact you achieving your goal of increasing your inclusive network.
We create action actions based on our goals, desires and then attach meaning to each of those goals.
Why is that goal important to me?
What will I feel when I accomplished this goal?
How will I feel if I don't?
When we ask these questions and attach an emotion to a goal, we're more likely to go after it and achieve it.
The "why" is going to give you the fuel to go the extra mile and get it done.
Many of you create goals at the beginning of the year. Statistically, by week six of the year, most of us have already blown off these goals, i.e., going to the gym, becoming healthier, being more patient, etc. Goals need to be soulful. They need to have meaning and depth for you to stick with them.
We create soulful goals by asking ourselves what's important about that goal for me and then writing that down so that it is tangible. You can see it in black and white.
Your challenge is:
Identify your centers of influence.
Look at your strengths and your weaknesses around networking so that you can increase your self-awareness.
Create an action plan that will help you leverage your strengths around networking and mitigate the weaknesses that you identify.
For example, some of your challenges may be that you procrastinate or don't create a structure that would allow you to network in a time-effective way.
We'll love to hear how you plan to use what you learned to continue to build your inclusive network and how that makes you feel. Email us and share at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are here to support you to get promoted, advance in your role, and navigate the challenges of this virtual work environment. Let's connect here: www.callwithginny.com.
With love and appreciation,
Coach Ginny 💕
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About Dr. Ginny A. Baro
Dr. Ginny A. Baro is an award-winning motivational speaker & leadership coach, career strategist, and #1 best-selling author of Fearless Women at Work. Ginny specializes in partnering with organizations and ERGs to develop leadership dream teams. And she supports individuals navigating a corporate hierarchy or transitioning into an entirely new phase of their career. She has successfully facilitated live and virtual leadership training and coaching programs for individuals and Fortune 500 companies with over 140,000 employees, and delivered keynotes impacting global audiences larger than 7,000. To learn more, visit ExecutiveBound.
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