Eight Ways Women Can Self- Advocate

Women are generally poor at self-advocacy but ironically good at advocating for everyone else, their friends, children, co-workers etc. The goal of self-advocacy is for you to decide what you want then develop and carry out a plan to help you get it. A large majority of women who don’t self-advocate cite fear of retribution, fear of being labeled aggressive, and anxiety as the principal reasons. You are treated by others based on how you present yourself. When you position yourself as equally smart, capable and worthy, you stop granting permission for others to treat you any less than you deserve.

     1.Challenge inner thoughts

Rather than accepting feelings of self-doubt and unworthiness, challenge these thoughts. You must recognize that people in the next room or even those sitting next to you are not any more deserving than you.

     2. Be specific about what you want

It’s difficult to advocate for yourself if you’re not sure of what you want. Take the time to identify what you need to stay within the same company or position. If you want a raise, decide on a number. If you want a promotion, choose a position title you want.

     3.Take risks

By staying safe, you preserve the status quo. Your leverage is your ability to take risks, if you fail you will recover. All women leaders who have achieved great things readily acknowledge that failures were paramount to their success.

     4.Intervene early

Don’t wait to be ‘polite’. In business, employees jump in , interrupt and cut each other off as a regular course of communication. Do not hold back

     5.Assume everything is negotiable

Do not accept what is proposed to you. Always ask for more: responsibilities, profile, mandate, title or promotion. Adopt the perspective that you can and should negotiate.

     6.Align yourself with a power broker

Find someone in your organization who will commit to challenging you to ensure you are thrown into the deep end. Having a strong sponsor, male or female means they can partner with you in overcoming your fears and support you in speaking up and getting ahead.

     7.Use data to support your request

If you’re asking for a raise, look into what the market industry standard is for your position. If you want a promotion, build a portfolio consisting of your achievements within your company as well as a list of your skills and how they contribute to the position you are seeking.

     8.Communicate simply with confidence and gratitude

Begin your request with gratitude for working at the company, then bring in the impact and accomplishments you have made. Finally point to your data to substantiate your request without deviating into backstories. Aim for a friendly yet confident tone.

Sources: Understood, Self Advocate, Forbes, asbc, Indeed, ndalc, Learn how to become

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