Tap into your super powers #1 – What to do when you keep getting told No

Key Learning point: The key learning point in this article is how to get a YES for your best ideas from your senior stakeholders (especially when you keep hearing a No to your good ideas).

To create this change you will need to create a compelling WHY to motivate a change of mind.  

And, we will also work through a case study on how do you get additional time and funding  approved.

Do your best ideas always get a no?

Do you find it hard to get endorsement for changes to scope, estimates, cost or resource hires?

If yes, then this post will help you do just that by providing you with:

  • learning prompts
  • case study example – going from a NO to a YES
  • ideas on next steps

Learning Prompts

To get a senior stakeholder to say yes (especially to anything involving a change in cost) you need to create a compelling why. A compelling WHY creates the motivation for someone to change their mind.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the biggest problem facing my stakeholder?
  • How does my idea help with this?
  • Can my idea help solve my stakeholder’s problem in someway?
  • What would it mean for this problem to be solved?
  • Who else will benefit?
  • How will it improve business outcomes (profit, strategy, financial, marketing, reputation etc) ?
  • Is my idea aligned to business strategy?
  • Has my idea been tried before?  (And, what happened?)
  • Are there quality reasons for pursuing something that has failed before?
  • What does this idea add or take away from my current role?

 

Case Study

In one Test Manager role I was in a few years ago, I had inherited an estimate that could be at best described as ‘optimistic’ but I would describe as ‘crazy’.

I decided to ask not for the 23 days (which had been approved) estimated but instead ask for approval of a 288 day estimate.

The Delivery Manager’s response: “You’d have to get the CIO to approve that’

My response: “Ok, I will get that!’

And… I did.

How?

  1. I researched what had happened in the past (the project had been tried and failed 3 times over 10 years due to a lack of or poor testing)
  2. I researched what a poor quality delivery would actually mean if implemented in production. The impact I found was : catastrophic business failure, regulatory breaches and huge (newspaper story worthy) customer financial loss
  3. I put a succinct options paper together – this was a 3 page slide pack with 3-4 bullet point per slide which succinctly stated option, risk, cost and recommendation (yes/no)
  4. I got the business sponsor to publicly back the best estimate to his General Manager  (this took some time to influence)
  5. I then presented the options paper to the steering committee which consisted of the CIO and the CEO’s direct reports
  6. And, the CIO approved the new estimate – in fact the whole committee did

How did I ‘win’ the argument?

I pitched every risk with a direct (yet implied) statement which if that risk came true would directly lead to the CIO losing his job. 

Because the risk that poor quality would create in a production environment was so great to the company, any realisation of this risk would mean business failure (or close too) and that would mean no more jobs for the CIO or the other members of the committee.

 

Extra context

For some context, I have well over 10 years technical estimation experience and I had the most experienced person on the programme run the numbers as well.  I knew the estimate was right.

I also knew to pursue the other estimate would lead to project failure or even (if the project actually got into production) potentially business failure. I had 100% faith in myself and my team that we were the best people to deliver this work and I had 100% belief that I could get the CIO’s approval with a fair argument for the new estimate.

 

Take Action

Next time you get a No, ask yourself – do I 100% believe in my proposal? And if the answer is yes, then ask the person who said No:

“What needs to happen to get a YES?”  

And then?

GO FOR IT!

Would you like to work more on developing this skill set?

Do you have career goals to work on that you would like support and coaching in?

Have you thought of getting your own career coach to help you take the next step in your career?

If yes, then find out more about my  Tap into Your Power coaching series. 

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Goal Setting Secret #3 Taking Action

Secret #3 – Keys to successfully taking action

How often do you say this:

“I keep going no matter what!”

Secrets to successfully taking action

1. Schedule it
2. Allow enough time for each action
3. Get Support
4. Keep it super positive.

Pro tip: Use your project management and organisational powers that you use everyday at work and apply them to your personal goals and projects.

  1. Schedule in time each week to work exclusively on your goal and actions
  2. Book in enough time to one action done at a time
  3. Use tools like a spreadsheet or project management tool like ASANA to prioritise your actions and work through them in a logical order
  4. Get Support – find a career coach to support you, find an accountability partner to check-in with weekly,join a mastermind or find a mentor. Get the right level of support for the goal you are progressing with to help create your own cheersquad that is always on your side and keeping you accountable to getting those actions done.
  5. Keep it super positive.Celebrate small wins and surround yourself with positive inspiration.
    • What is the first thing you see or hear in the morning?
    • What is the first thing you see when you walk in the door?
    • What is the first thing you do when you get to your desk?

Create a routine that incorporates positivity from podcasts to the music you listen to, the art work at your home, the inspirational quote on a sticky-note at your desk or the gratitude journal you write in every morning.  Find little ways to shift and support your mood and keep you in the best frame of mind to achieving your goal.

Want more on goal setting, watch this Facebook live to get more thoughts on how to progress your goal and close out those actions.

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Goal Setting Secret #1 – Know What You Want

My name is Beatrice Crocker, and I help women to stand in their power and get ahead of a pack. And I work with women in male dominated professions to get the career that they want. You can find out more about me at beatricecrocker.com

Today’s post is the first in a series of three, which is three secrets to always getting what you want. And today I’m sharing secret number one. 

Watch the video and read more below

 

 

Secret #1 How to know what you want. 

How often do you say this “I know exactly what I want in my life” ?

hmmmm, like never right? 

I know this is something I’ve really struggled with.  Although for a long time I didn’t realise it.  But I was definitely living life according to what I had been told what to do vs what I most wanted.  It wasn’t a conscious thing.  I’d had goals for career and relationships and I achieved them.  I just didn’t have bigger goals or appreciated what I really wanted in my life.  And it didn’t click for me until a great friend and mentor told me ‘You have to have a plan Beatrice, you have to know where you’re heading and WHY you’re pursuing it’.  

It sounds like an easy thing to say but let’s face its not an easy thing to do.  

For a long time I led a life according to shoulds instead of examining what I really wanted. I should have a high paying job, I should have a house, I should get married etc. And although these things are great, I never asked myself what do I really want? And when I did it it was really hard work, because for a long time I had overlaid other people’s wants onto what I thought I wanted. 

I hadn’t done the work.

So I ended up marrying the wrong person, buying the wrong house, and staying in the right job, but for too long until it became the wrong job. And to be quite honest I didn’t even realise I was leading a life of shoulds, but I look back now and I can see I was doing just that. Of course that’s the beauty of hindsight. However, during this period I got sick a lot, I had colds, sinus infections, migraines, nearly lost the eyesight in one eye, and a breast cancer scare (thankfully only a scare). So my body was screaming at me to stop, but I just kept going anyway. 

And so when I found myself single again, no hubby, no baby, no house. That was really when I took the time to self examine and really have a look at what I really wanted in life. And I guess my biggest realisation was that I wasn’t very good at doggedly pursuing what I truly wanted, and I wasn’t very good at knowing what that was either. 

So I’m sharing the secrets that I’ve learnt in terms of getting what you want because now that I have done the work, and I understand my WHY (helping women progress) and WHAT I want to achieve.  I have had the happiest, most satisfying 2 years of my life.  

I really want this for you as well.   

So if you’ve gone for a long time without being clear on what you want, this series will help you get crystal clear. 

What do you really want? 

1. Let instinct be your best friend.

It’s time to practice letting instinct guide you. The best way to tap into instinct is to focus on your emotional and physical reactions. 

  • How do certain events make you feel ? 
  • How do people make you feel physically and emotionally? 
  • Do you feel relaxed, energised, happy, at ease?
  • Do you feel tight, contracting, anxious, uncomfortable? 
  • When you feel most relaxed? 
  • When do you feel most energised ? 
  • When do you feel super healthy? 
  • When do you feel on edge? 
  • What gives you an instant headache? 
  • When does that injury play up again? 

All these reactions are giving you clues to what you want and love and what you don’t.  

Action: 

1. Take notes on how people, events, ideas, make you feel and act. 

2. Take note of any recurring themes. 

2.  Embrace variety

Try lots of new and different things in your life. 

Say YES more. 

So if you’ve sort of dropped some hobbies, go back to old hobbies, find some new hobbies and activities. 

Action:

  1. Write down what makes you happy, sad, passive, excited, joyful, tired. 
  2. Is something draining your life force? Then, stop doing it. 
  3. Invest more time in the activity that boost your energy and make you feel good.   

3. Turn a negative into a postiive

 

Write down a list of things that you don’t like, at work, in terms of a partner, in terms of your home. They don’t have to be current things, they could just be things you know you don’t love, 

Action:  

Reverse it. 

So if you’re like look I don’t like being in roles that require high detail and little human interaction, then the  reverse of that is I like being in strategic creative roles with lots of time spent face to face with people. And so if you haven’t really had a lot of time recently where you’ve really been happy doing something, write down all the things like are really bugging you, and then reverse it. And it will give you the keys to what will make you really happy. 

4. Feel it out

Don’t expect too much too quickly. If you’re out of practice with knowing and feeling what you want then it will take time. So start off small and build up. And if you’re working on big life changes focus on changing one thing at a time not everything. If that’s a choice. 

After getting divorced I lived in three different houses, made three different job changes – all in 18 months. It was way too much change!!! Some of this was definitely avoidable and it happened because I just didn’t take the time to listen to myself and give myself some breathing room to feel it all out. 

Action: 

1. Take all the time you need. 

                    

Getting instinct back into your life takes practice. 

Good luck!  

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Beatrice’s Equality Day Dreams #5 – Making an important career decision is so easy

Can I be honest with you? I’m beginning to think my day dreams maybe a bit cynical.  When I read over this day dream that I wrote 5 months ago, it was part of a list of things I wish the workplace was vs wasn’t.

It shouldn’t be a dream that we are supported and progression is easy if we are ambitious and competent.  While writing my book and starting my life coaching business, every woman I have spoken to has talked about the challenge of finding out information on how to progress.

At work, a colleague came up to me (after reading my blog) and admitted she didn’t know that she was supposed to ask.  She has recently started working in Australia and asking wasn’t the custom in her previous country and in fact it might even have been deemed rude to ask.  People progressed once they met a benchmark and their manager would ask if they wanted to go up a level or take on a new role.

If you’re a manager, how transparent is it to your team how they progress? Are you over looking someone because they haven’t told you what they are interested in?  And, are you being overlooked because you are not asking?

One more story, recently a senior manager let me know that a role was available in his team and talked me through a series of names and I gave my thoughts.   I added an extra name to the list and we both agreed she’d be great for the role if she was interested.  In my gut, I thought she probably wasn’t.   Later, I asked her if she would be and let her know the role was available.  She surprised me by saying she was interested. So I said, “call him NOW and let him know NOW”.  She waited 5 days to speak to him (after another prompt from myself) and she missed out on the role.   The senior manager made a decision in 3 days.

If you hear of a role and you are interested, let the hiring manager know  straight away.  Don’t hesitate or let other work get in the way.

Just ask.

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How to be heard in every meeting

Today’s blog post is about how to be heard in meetings and this follows on from some of the work I’ve been posting on social media around getting your voice heard more often and easily in meetings.

Watch my latest FB live to hear more.

Grab the guide to be heard more today.

This work is part of a series I am putting together of helpful guides to help you be more confident at work and is part of work I am doing to set up my coaching business.  I help women to be seen living their true purpose so that they can radiantly embrace a lavish life. I truly believe that we all deserve to live a powerfully meaningful life.

Now on to my top tips to start getting your voice heard today.

Preparation = Credibility

My top tip to be heard more in meetings is to PREPARE.

Prepare three to five points that you want to speak to.  You can be confident going into any meeting with  credible comments to make knowing you have prepared some ideas around those comments before the meeting.

Meet the Chair before the meeting = Interest

Talk to the chair of the meeting prior to the meeting and let them know that you are really wanting to contribute to the meeting and you’ve got some points to talk about

Tip : ask them to call on you during the meeting if you haven’t spoken up.

Take in Post-Its

Take in your talking points on post-its  so it’s really clear that you’re prepared. Everyone will be looking at you going okay, she’s got the post-its so she knows what she’s talking about.  She’s prepared!  (Yes, this has happened to me. Slightly to my horror as I had only prepped those notes exactly 10 minutes before the meeting but suddenly my post its made me the expert that kept getting asked to contribute, quite possibly more than I was even hoping too.  It might sound a bit silly but its a simple strategy to get people’s attention and show you care.)

Eye contact = engagement

Make sure you’re making regular eye contact with the people who are speaking and the chair so that when you want to speak you can be like hi, this is now my time to talk. This also makes you look really engaged.

If you look interested, engaged and credible, you’ll be called on and if you’re trying to get into the conversation you’re more likely to be listened to and asked for your opinion.

Offer Support

The other way to contribute is to offer support for someone else’s idea, ask a follow up question or offer a solution for a problem. You can do this by asking a question that prompts discussion of that solution or simply providing a suggestion.

Follow Through

If you keep following these steps in every key meeting that you’re in and you do these regularly every day for four weeks, people will be asking you to contribute. They’ll be putting your ideas and name on the agenda and they’ll be asking your opinion leading into the meeting and during the meeting.

You have to be persistent and you have to be consistent.

Now, would you like to be seen living your true purpose? YES?

Then, set up  a complimentary consult with me to work through your next steps.

I am  passionate about about helping women to be seen living their true purpose and who want to radiantly embrace their life, find more meaning, purpose and growth in their career.  My strengths as a coach are empathy, warmth, belief in you and what you want to achieve and unwavering confidence that what you want is the right thing for you.  I absolutely hope to share and bring these out in you too.

I have a foundational offer running for :

(1) 6 * 1 hour session coaching series for $480

or

(2) 12 * 1 hour session coaching series for $960

Want more info on what a series involves? Below is a framework I follow to ensure your goal is met by the end of the series.

  • Session 1 :  Create an inspiring goal for you and set some key actions to understand where you are at now with that goal
  • Session 2 :  Making the goal real, setting intention and actions to achieve your goal in 6 or 12 sessions
  • Session 3-4 (or 11) : Structure support, appreciation, celebration.  Each fortnight set new actions to take, review your progress so far, take steps to keep on track, appreciate the journey and plan you big Goal achieved celebration.
  • Session 6 or 12: Celebration time!  Review your achievements, celebration what you’ve done and take learnings to help with the next chapter in your story.

Between each session you will complete homework as part of your actions and I will be available the whole way to support, provide feedback and help you achieve that big goal.

Want to start a coaching series? Book a complimentary consult now. 

Want to find out more about coaching, read more here.

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Rituals for openness

“Please grant me coffee to change the things I can, and yoga to accept the things I can’t”

It just makes me feel ready for work when I’ve had a cup of really good coffee before leaving the house.

Each morning I start with a cup of coffee (sometimes with ghee, sometimes black) ground and brewed fresh in my french press. I usually drink Market Lane coffee because they have that magic combination of quality, community and beauty in their coffee. I love how each bag of coffee arrives with a little card telling me about the people who work to make such beautiful coffee. I also love their subscription service so I am never at risk of running out of coffee. I use a Bodium coffee grinder (a red one) to grind fresh coffee to create that perfect cup.

Meditation and yoga work for me a bit like coffee, it creates a gap in doing things.

Each Sunday afternoon, I finish my weekend at Warrior One with a combined Yin Yoga and meditation practice. This is a really peaceful way to end the weekend and start the week. When I am in high pressure mode at work I practice yoga or meditation in the morning for 10 minutes to start off feeling open for the day ahead. When I’m less busy, my practice becomes less habitual but I find regular meditation and yoga keeps me mentally open, ready and quiet mindeded which I love.

Now, I’d love to hear from you.

What do you love to do to keep positive and open for the day and week ahead?

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How to get a YES when you ask for promotion

I used to wait to be asked, now I ask to be promoted.  This has taken a huge mental and skill shift to take this approach. Some people around you may say this lacks integrity but how is waiting to be ‘discovered’ and holding yourself back, lacking integrity ?

People who want a recording contract – perform, compete on a talent show, run YouTube channels and busk.

People wanting a promotion do not wait, they stand out and they ask.

Timing

Ask when promotion, new jobs and opportunities are available. If there is a lull in available jobs, practice the following skills and techniques to boost your chance of the being no. 1 pick when jobs do come up again.

Credibility

Know your business case and know your ask  and work on making this visible to the ‘powers that be’.

Be the Obvious Choice

The right role is the easiest role – apply for and show interest in the roles that most easily match your ambition, skill sets and connections.

Visibility

Make your work visible and in demand (I will write more on this next month but for now, I have included some tips at the end of this post).

We want you!

Make your future leadership team and peers want you on their team!!

You know the ‘vibe’ is good when you start hearing things from senior management like:

“How do I find the right role for you, so you say yes”

“I NEED you on my team”

“We’re so glad you’re here”

“You’re wasted in that role, you should be doing XYZ role”

“They really have great THINGS to say about you”

Advocate

Find someone to advocate for you who is on hiring and promotion panels. This person could be influential with a potential sponsor or may hire directly as well.

In a hiring decision, who will recommend you if asked to provide an opinion on you?

Sponsor

Find someone that you would like to work for and talk to them about your ambitions. Apply for roles working with them and keep yourself and your work visible to this potential sponsor.

Who wants you on their team right now?

Influence

Make your ambition visible and known to people who are influential with hiring managers but may not be in formal positions of power. Talk through your business case and pitch and ask them for advice. Ask for help to gain a promotion.

What role do people see you in next?

Increase your visibility through celebration!

Celebrate successes and draw people into your success.

Celebrate team successes frequently and invite advocates and sponsors to these events.

Create a winning vibe !

Persevere!

Keep asking.

Keep asking.

Keep asking.

Repeat until you have it! (And then start working towards your next one!!)

 

Now I’d love to hear from you, how have you got a YES when you’ve asked for promotion ?

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One bad chapter does not mean your story is over

Don’t let a bad boss, a bad role or bad employer make you give up on your ambition!
Go for it anyway!
PS – and move on as quickly as possible, don’t linger in a bad role so long you lose your ambition or will to live.
PPS –  and if you have a bully for a boss, colleague or your direct reports are ganging up on you, just get the hell out of there and don’t look back!!
Now, I’d love to hear from you!
Have you ever had a ‘bad’ work experience and how did you overcome this?
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Beatrice’s Equality day dreams #2

“There is just no politics in this place and everyone just gets along. Its such a happy place to work!”

Daydream, delusional ?

 

Wouldn’t that be nice – no politics and everyone just super happy – peachy keen!

 

I’m not sure if a politics free workplace is possible but I think a low political zone is possible when a workplace has :

  • a high level of diversity
  • open and supportive culture
  • a culture of setting people up for success
  • confident leaders
  • a low amount of org change, job losses
  • high profit
  • incentives rewarded based on company performance
  • a single pay rate for each job role
  • managers are supported when managing out poor performers
  • lots of training in positive culture and behaviours
  • a simple set of values that are realistic for that industry
  • low amount of overtime performed
  • community focus
  • well run teams are rewarded and a heroes are not
  • a fun and consistent induction for new starters and a welcoming culture overall
  • a focus on healthy living and balance (i.e.:  healthy snacks are provided at training and morning tea’s, lunches are held where good quality food is provided)
  • there is not a big drinking culture in place
  • attrition is below 7%
  • people are treated as human beings
  • a low level of open plan working
  • new ideas are welcomed and encouraged

 

Now I’d love to hear from you, what is your equality fantasy ?
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I Got This!

May all your vibes say 'I got this'
May all your vibes say ‘I got this’

 

I love this quote because it is exactly the attitude I want to have each time I:
  • start a new role
  • take on a new project
  • start working for a new boss
  • ask for promotion
  • ask for $$$ – a pay rise, quote a salary to a recruiter
  • try following a recipe from a real recipe book

Why is it so HARD to have this vibe when doing new things and asking for new things (or cooking) ?

 

When do you become super confident or does this just never happen?

Now, I’d love to hear from you!
What are your tips for having a ‘got this’ attitude?
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