How would you react if I asked you to start your next meeting with your manager by sharing your biggest accomplishments this week? Given the feedback in my recent Q&A session on Citi’s Linkedin group, Connect: Professional Women’s Network, you might say“I don’t want to sound like I’m …bragging.” Sound familiar?
Here’s why it’s important. In its 2011 Myth of the Ideal Worker Study, Catalyst revealed that there was only one behavior that made any difference if the female MBAs in their study wanted to close the wage gap between themselves and their male peers. That one behavior? Making their achievements known. A key piece of that puzzle? Ensuring that their managers were aware of their accomplishments.
So what to do?
- Get more time with your manager: Our research at Joyce Advisors shows that men meet with their managers more often than their female peers- as much as 30% more. When we dive deeper it turns out that the majority of that incremental time comes from informal meetings. So here’s a question: Do you feel like you have to be very buttoned up when you see your manager? Try loosening up just a little bit. Stop by or shoot an email to him or her just to share some good news. Talk through your recommended approach to solving a challenge with them. Learn about what’s important to them inside and outside of work and ask about those things.
- Prepare a list of at least 3 accomplishments every week and commit to sharing them with your manager. Our research also shows that our male peers are more likely to arrive at a meeting with the intent to share their accomplishments. If you don’t know where to start try this:
- Ask yourself what you are working on that you are most passionate about? List a few things.
- Compare that list to your work priority list and see where there is overlap.
- Take it even further by choosing from that list what is most important to your manager. What projects came out on top? This is your starting point.
- Write a script and practice your delivery until it feels comfortable. Here’s my formula:
- Start with your own brand of enthusiasm. “I am really excited…”, “I thought you would be interested to know that…”
- Add in your accomplishment- I had a great client call, I closed the deal, …, the analysis I had the team run validated our hypothesis.”
- Finally, close with why your accomplishment is good for your company, client, or team. “And the best part was we were able to make the client look great.” Or “ It looks like this is going to not only save the company money but make a great PR story as well.”
The ability to share your accomplishments at work is critical to ensuring you see the compensation and promotion rates you want. Try it, practice it, do it! Your bank account will thank you.