When Laurel’s boss overlooked her for a promotion, she was stunned. She had received high praise for her market analyses and team cooperation and was sure she’d be selected for a major project.

Tip #1: Get Feedback
Rather than wallow in disappointment, Laurel sought from her boss an assessment of her strengths and weaknesses.

Tip#2: Arrange a Follow Up Plan and Appointment
It was difficult for Laurel to hear an honest appraisal, but she promised her boss that she would address her weaknesses. She asked him about a time frame, and he said to come back in six months with reviews from co-workers and supervisors.

Tip#3: Value Your Past Performance
The boss and team leaders saw Laurel’s strengths as cooperation, enthusiasm and fairness. She encouraged comments from less active team members, mentioned the value of each person’s contribution and was always upbeat. Laurel avoided self-deprecation by reminding herself that these qualities were still vital to any team.

Tip#4: Learn about Gender Differences in Career Success
Laurel researched gender differences in leadership styles of men and women. Women tend to be more democratic, inclusive and communal. They are more concerned about fairness, interpersonal relationships on teams and on-going reward to others for their good performances. Women favor collaboration and are often content to just be part of a great effort or project.

Sometimes, these valuable qualities impede decisiveness, task- and detailed-orientation and follow up and follow through. Yet, women can also inspire, serve, mentor and see the big picture for the future.

Men tend to be more autocratic, direct in their communication and task-oriented. Execution and success are more important than fairness or inclusiveness. Team-building exists to get the job done. Pleasure derives from success rather than collaboration.

These valuable qualities of men can often overshadow critical skills in listening, patience, brainstorming and welcoming conflicting ideas.

Tip#5: Set Personal Improvement Goals to Forge a Personal Style
Laurel now understood she needed to make decisions and promote and implement them. To address her weaknesses of inattention to task detail and follow through, Laurel added an implementation plan to each of her ideas, including follow up and follow through schedules. She melded her cooperative style with task and detail abilities.

Tip #6: Find a Mentor
Laurel learned that mentors can serve as educators, role models and supporters. She asked a woman executive from another department to help her. After six months, this mentor’s report, in conjunction with other feedback, convinced Laurel’s boss to put her on the important projects.

This article first appeared in www.networkabundance.com
Dr. LeslieBeth Wish is both a psychologist and social worker, recognized for her work with women on careers and relationships. Her next book project is on the relationship problems of strong, independent women. To participate in the research, go to www.lovevictory.com

Author's Bio: 

Dr.LeslieBeth Wish, EdD, MSS, MA
Psychologist and Social Worker
www.lovevictory.com dr.l.b.wish@comcast.net
Be a part of the No-Nonsense Woman’s Research Project. See the invitation below.
I am a psychologist and social worker, nationally recognized for my work with women's relationship and career issues and my work with soldiers and their families. I am a regular feature contributor to major self-help sites such as www.helpstartshere.org, the award-winning consumer site for the National Association of Social Workers; www.networkabundance.com; a major multi-media company; www.w2wlink.com, the premier web community for professional women and www.selfgrowth.com, Yahoo and Google's number one self improvement site, where I am the family expert.
My expert advice is frequently quoted in many major newspapers, magazines and websites such as The Washington Post, Women's Health, US Weekly, More, VivMag, Better Homes and Gardens, Star Ledger and Hartford Courant. I am a speaker for non-profit, corporate and university organizations. I offer sound, research-based relationship advice that makes sense -- specializing in issues such as smart dating, women's relationship advice, career coaching, families, post-traumatic stress, sexual dysfunction, and leadership training. I also serve as the Co-Director of The Counseling Network of the Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The Network offers free counseling for grief, post-traumatic stress and family and children needs for military families and veterans.

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