Cracking your Much Deserved Promotion!
Part I: How to get my promotion?
You may be at any level of leadership, performing your best to climb up the ladder of success in your professional space, but every time even after your best efforts, you don’t get to listen those three magical words,
“Congratulations! You’re Promoted!”
Well, the three magical words I can tell you right now are, “Do Not Worry”.
In this article I would be sharing some deep insights on what is it that you need to work on, so that you outshine others in your organization and create a much needed visibility, which will finally get you that much deserved promotion!
This article will help you scan and zero-in the crucial leadership traits and some other important aspects that will help you move towards the path of success.
Some of you might be believing that due to Covid-19, most of the companies have either stopped promotions or delayed them. But I believe it’s the right time to shine.
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.
So, if you are someone who are here for the long haul and really want to develop yourself as a truly outstanding leader, then use this opportunity. You will never have a better time to understand yourself. Work on the gaps and identify those key leadership traits that will help you flourish in every situation. Honestly, leadership traits take a long time to develop, and this could be the perfect year to hone those skills.
The challenges are unprecedented and bigger the challenges, bigger are the opportunities for the leaders to shine and make their mark!
I am writing this blog from my experiences of working with some of the topmost organizations of the world, being in that senior position in the leadership team, and having risen through the ranks. Despite my superlative performance, many times, I have personally been through the pain of not understanding what was holding my promotion. Back then, this would result in a lot of angst and frustration within me. I even moved jobs because of this. But now, reflecting back, I can see that I did not have the proper guidance. If I had that guidance, I would not have faced so much pain and frustration. And that’s the very purpose of writing this series of blogs: To save you from that pain and frustration and make you smile and reach the zenith.
What is missing?
Dear Readers, acceptance of the reality is the key!
Let’s face the reality- If your promotion has been delayed, then there is something definitely missing that needs to be identified and worked upon. And most likely you are not aware of the same or do not know how to work on it.
Then, how to find it?
Your boss is the best person who can tell you this in an honest way. Provided, only if and your boss share a very healthy relationship with each other.
And how would you know if they are being honest?
If your boss is telling you something that you don’t like, then they are being honest.
Truth is mostly bitter. If your boss is talking about some skills that you need to develop, then please write them down. The best way to ask your boss about which skills to develop, is to keep your emotions aside. This is not easy. So, the earlier you start off on this exercise of finding out, the better.
Sometimes, your boss is unable to tell you honestly, because he/she can sense a lot of emotion in you! And not all bosses are skilled enough to handle emotions, so they would rather avoid telling you what you need to know! Which is grave injustice to you, but this is the unfortunate reality in most organisations today.
When should you ask about it?
The more you delay, the more your emotions are likely to come in the way of having this discussion objectively. So please don’t wait and do not let your inhibitions stop you.
But keep in mind: You never should talk about promotion in any case.
Ask your boss feedback questions like:
Which areas do you think I need to develop myself on?
Have you observed any improvements in me in the areas you told me last time?
What else do you think I need to work on?
This is a great discussion to have with your boss at least once a quarter. And I strongly recommend this to be repeated every quarter for your continuous improvement. And not only with your boss, keep having this discussion with as many stakeholders as you can. Even with the people you don’t directly work with. Document this well. So you are well prepared for every such conversation.
It’s very important to be able to stay relaxed, calm, open and flexible during these conversations. This may actually be tough for many people. Get a coach for yourself and please take help. Your coach can actually help you to learn how to stay calm in sensitive situations like these. This is a critical leadership trait that you should develop- To be able to talk about yourself like a third person and be able to take your mistakes in your stride.
Why should you never talk directly about the promotion?
This is one mistake that I have seen almost everyone makes. I would say, make it a ground rule never to ask about your promotion directly. So how should you approach it?
Let’s first understand how your boss perceives you if you constantly keep asking about the promotion:
This is best understood, if you know of a subordinate who is pestering you about his/her promotion. How do you feel? Do you feel like recommending them to your HR for a promotion? In all likelihood, even if they deserve the promotion on all parameters, then just because of this pestering, you don’t feel like recommending them sometimes.
Whereas, if you have a subordinate who is very passionate about developing himself or herself and keeps checking with you periodically on what else should they develop themselves on, you will most likely develop an admiration and respect for this person. And then, you would do your best to support that person. Even if that person is lacking in some aspects, you will tend to take a softer view and still push for the promotion.
The world generally loves people who are open and flexible.
So what insights are opening up for you? Please share.
In our next blog we will talk about- What to do if you do not share a good relationship with your boss? Is there no way you can get a promotion then?
Stay Tuned and Stay Safe!