5 Steps to Raise your Visibility

by | Sep 10, 2011

Marion Chapsal

I often hear women com­plain about their lack of visibility. They are not heard in meet­ings, not seen dur­ing a net­work­ing event, not noticed by their col­leagues, their boss, worse, not acknowl­edged for their con­tri­bu­tions, not given any credit, nor pro­mo­tion.

Here are five steps to raise your visibility

  1. Reveal Your True Colors
  2. Don’t Think Twice, Be Bold and Show Up!
  3. Cre­ate Your Own Tribe
  4. Find a Sponsor
  5. Do the Work and be Per­sis­tent
  1. Reveal Your True Col­ors.Lead from within. Develop your con­fi­dence. Build on your strengths. Ask for feed­back and get it! Take off your nice girl hat and be feisty, raw, wild and crazy! Com­mu­ni­cate clearly on what you do, where you want to go, who you are. Get your­self a per­sonal career coach and sev­eral men­tors. invest in your­self so that you are very clear on what value you can add to the com­pany, to your clients. Only then, when you have a clear sense of who you are and what you want, can you get it!Ask your­self, “What makes me unique? What value do I bring? What prob­lem do I solve? You don’t have to wear red stilet­tos… (no, Rox­anne, you don’t have to put on the red light…)Story Just like in The Red Shoes, an ancient fairy tale revis­ited by Clarissa Pinkola Estès. She shows us that there is a way to con­struct a life that is uniquely our own; a life made by hand. “In our cul­ture, we may travel life’s path in one of two ways: 1) in hand­made shoes, crafted with love and care accord­ing to the unique needs of the indi­vid­ual soul; or 2) in Red Shoes, which promise instant ful­fill­ment, but ulti­mately lead to a painful, hollow-split exis­tence.”  Wow…powerful…just think about it for a minute…
  2. Don’t Think Twice, Be Bold and Show Up! If it seems pretty obvi­ous to you, just think of the num­bers of oppor­tu­ni­ties you missed because you just were not there! Strate­gic meet­ings, net­work­ing events, con­fer­ences where attend­ing is strate­gic for your busi­ness and your job exper­tise. Or maybe you were there phys­i­cally, but not really 100% present. Show up, develop a real pres­ence, here and now. Raise your hands in a meet­ing as Sheryl Sand­berg, CoCEO of Face­Book reminds us, “speak up and keep this hand up!” Push the door open and step in!
  3. Cre­ate your own tribe become the VIP mem­ber of your very spe­cial club! Another pos­si­bil­ity is that you were not invited…You are not on that “spe­cial short list” of “50 most tal­ented”, “top 10 experts”, best CEOs/managers/consultants/bloggers in the world? Stop wait­ing to be invited to come inside. Stop star­ing with envy and angst at the shop win­dows, the cor­po­rate glass walls, the places where deci­sion are made, projects are cre­ated, ideas are given life, blood and flesh to. Make a list of the top influ­encers in your com­pany or top play­ers in your field. Get in touch with them and play with them! But remem­ber, before, you need to have pre­pared what you have to offer that makes you unique.
  4. Find a spon­sor, bet­ter, be noticed by one and become remark­able! In How Spon­sor­ship Can Help Senior Women Break the Marzi­pan Ceil­ing (I love this image, just pic­ture your­self caught in a thick pink marzi­pan office space, just like Hansel and Gre­tel…), a great arti­cle from The Glass Ham­mer, you will find out how to get your own spon­sor. Be strate­gic. Be inten­tional about spon­sor­ship early in your career. It really does enhance the climb. Mentors can be a path­way to spon­sor­ship. Connect.“Spon­sors get you the key stretch assign­ments that allow you to shine.” Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Found­ing Pres­i­dent and Chair­man of the Cen­ter for Work­life PolicyBuild­ing strong rela­tion­ships with indi­vid­u­als above you, as well as your peers, can help make poten­tial spon­sors aware of you and pro­vide an entry­way into net­works of power.Ker­rie Peraino, Chief Diver­sity Offi­cer of Amex.(Note to myself: you can­not buy your­self a spon­sor in a shoe shop.)
  5. Do the Work, have Faith in YOU and Be Per­sis­tent. It won’t hap­pen overnight. Vis­i­bil­ity builds up with time, trust and con­fi­dence, one step at a time. Don’t give up if you feel you’re not mov­ing fast enough. Don’t give up if you ever fall or miss one step. Embrace fail­ure and learn from it. Be kind with your­self. Keep show­ing up, tak­ing risks and explore the edges of your com­fort zone. Things will even­tu­ally come together for you.

Sing along!:

"And I’ll see your true col­ors
shin­ing through
I see your true col­ors
and that’s why I love you
so don’t be afraid to let them show
your true col­ors
true col­ors are beau­ti­ful
like a rainbow”.

It’s a Small Change To Your Job (devel­op­ing a strong con­fi­dence), That Makes A Big Change To Your Life!

Be A Lead­er­ship Braver, Now!

I’d love to hear how you’ve devel­oped your vis­i­bil­ity, what steps you took, how long did it take you, what obsta­cles you found on the road, what sort of help did you get too? Share the sto­ries of your suc­cesses and your fail­ures , true heroes and hero­ines’ journeys…

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