Elevate Your Career by Communicating Your Impact
For the first time, there are up to five generations in the workplace. Recent globalization of companies makes the workplace larger, with more reach, more colleagues, and more internal opportunities.
How well you communicate the impact you are making on the company or industry will determine if the audience that matters the most hears and understands your value. Here are three simple actions you can take right now.
First, you should create a tool to visually communicate your impact.
Create a simple, yet impactful, visual representation of your current state of projects. This tool could be a spreadsheet or a presentation slide. Each project should include the current state, challenges, progress, and pipeline.
In our digital age, effective communication is accompanied by imagery, concepts, and visuals. This tool should be easy for your manager to digest and could stand alone as a reference to your work.
A crucial element to moving the needle in career growth, this tool will keep records of all of your stated goals and accomplishments throughout the year.
[Related: 7 Ways To Raise Your Visibility]
Second, you must align your specific accomplishments and initiatives to the stated business goals of the company.
To advance and thrive, women must understand the business and know how to communicate their contributions through the lens of other executives. Susan Colantuono shares a simple, surprising piece of information you might not have heard before quite so plainly:
When it comes to mentoring, women are taught confidence while men are taught the business.
Aligning your specific accomplishments and initiatives to the stated business goals of your organization will show the areas of impact that matter to the leadership team.
Ask yourself, “How does the work I perform impact the organization's bottom line, people, and strategy?” And then, using your progress tool, state how your strategies and work products support the organization's stated business, financial, and people goals.
Having the ability to align your output with a direct effect on the organization communicates your value in a language the C-suite understands.
Third, develop a cadence of accountability for real-time feedback.
Feedback is essential for any leader to understand her contributions. Who says you must wait for an annual review to discuss your value to the team? Communicate your value early and often.
Each day, we witness our leaders toil over projects, deadlines, and organizational changes. The last thing most of us want to do is to pull our leaders into yet another meeting. Nevertheless, developing a cadence of accountability is pivotal to gaining the visibility required to move your career to the next level. Make these conversations worth their time and yours.
Take the initiative to check in with your manager at least once a month specifically to discuss the high-level priorities of your projects. The frequent conversation will allow you to receive feedback on your work product and provide you with time to improve or shift direction before the end-of-year evaluation.
Discuss with your immediate manager the idea of including your director in the next “discussion” to walk through your current impact and to forecast future initiatives or ideas. During these meetings, use your progress tracking tool to drive the conversation.
In a perfect world, you gain what you earn, and every conversation is lasting and meaningful. In 2019, the most visual and most consistent communications make a lasting impression.
Stacey Ware is Founder/CEO of InComms Collective, a company that supports women in elevating their careers by defining their brand, building their impact proposition, and unleashing their competitive advantage to their employers, investors, and competitors, all under the cloak of achieving work-life integration. She also effectively mobilizes Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses alike to adopt innovative practices and drive progress toward transformation at the intersection of people, process, and change.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
At The Impact Warehouse we provide the tools and training required to conquer your most crucial talent challenges. Our collective includes a women and girls community group for communications coaching, a training series for executives, and a consultancy practice for startup businesses. Continue Reading
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