12 Ways Women Unknowingly Sabotage Their Success

12 ways women unknowingly sabotage their success

12 Ways Women Unknowingly Sabotage Their Success

Did you think the glass ceiling was a relic of the past? Not so much.

Even if there weren’t plenty of statistics to demonstrate continued gender bias in the workplace, the marketplace, and in financing for start-ups, a depressing stories out of Silicon Valley makes it brutally clear just how far we haven’t come.

Unfortunately, according to Wendy Capland, CEO of Vision Quest Consulting and author of the bestseller “Your Next Bold Move for Women,” there’s a lot women do ourselves to make matters worse.

“It’s not that I don’t think there’s a glass ceiling,” Capland explains. “More women now graduate from college than men, and women are the breadwinners in almost 50% of American households. But only 22% of executives in Corporate America are women, so that number is pitiful.”

But, Capland says, her work coaching executive women has given her a different perspective. Her company has trained thousands of women leaders, both Fortune 500 executives and small business owners. And from what she’s observed, women business leaders often fail to put ourselves on the same footing as men. Thus, she says, we suffer not only from the glass ceiling, but also from what some call “sticky-floor syndrome.”

As a woman in leadership and a lifelong feminist myself, my first reaction was to dismiss Capland’s view as just another case of blaming the victim. But as she began listing the ways that women leaders undercut themselves, I had to admit that many items on her list were things I myself have done. So have other women leaders I know.

Here are 12 things Capland says we women need to stop doing ASAP so as to claim our power in the business world. See if any of these sound as sadly familiar to you as they did to me:

1. Using minimizing language.

Women use words that minimize their own impact,” Capland says. “Like ‘just.’ ‘Let me just tell you something.’ ‘I just wanted to stop you for a minute.'” That simple word sends the subtle message that our statements and opinions aren’t that important, she says.

And there are other belittling words women are prone to using, she says. “‘I’m feeling a little bit concerned about something.’ I doubt you’re really feeling just a little bit concerned or you probably wouldn’t have brought it up,” Capland says. “You’re feeling concerned.”

2. Apologizing.

Women in business are prone to apologizing when there’s no reason to do so, Capland says. “Many women’s voicemail messages begin, ‘I’m sorry I’m not able to take your call right now.’ Even in our voicemail, we apologize!”

3. Asking permission.

Women are prone to asking questions when they already know the answers, Capland says. “We don’t want to be too overpowering, and we want to get buy-in up front. And we ask permission to say something when there’s absolutely no need to do that.”

4. Waiting until we’re experts before taking on a new role.

“Often when offered an opportunity, women will feel like they need to be fully skilled before taking it on, while a man given the same opportunity will say, ‘It’s about time they picked me!'” Capland says. “Men will say, ‘I’ll take the job and figure it out when I get there.'”

And, she says, age doesn’t seem to make a difference. “I just talked to two 20-year-olds, one man, one woman, both unhappy in their jobs. The woman says she wants to get a new job but doesn’t know what else she can really do. The man says, it’s no problem, he’ll just get another job because he’s so marketable.”

5. Focusing on cooperation rather than competition.

Yes, there are a thousand business articles that tell us collaboration is the more effective approach. The problem with that? “It’s not the structure of Corporate America,” Capland says. “Corporate America has a hierarchical structure. It’s not set up for collaboration to be effective long-term — I don’t care what people say.”

6. Questioning ourselves.

“A lot of women I’ve been exposed to — including myself — spend a too much time thinking about these common concerns,” Capland says. “Will I be a threat to my husband if I surpass his income? Will people think I’m a bad mother because I’m working so hard or running my own business? Will I lose my friends if I upset the balance of power or popularity? And who am I, anyway?”

7. Not setting clear goals.

“You have to be really clear about what you want,” Capland says. “Do you want a promotion or a job change? Funding for your new company? Do you want to write a book or be a keynote speaker? You have to be really clear so that you can set priorities and boundaries. You’re going to have to make big asks. If you’re wishy-washy about what you’re going after, everyone else will be too.”

8. Only setting goals we know how to reach.

“Don’t be stopped from setting a goal because you don’t know how to get there,” Capland says. “No one does when they set a goal where they’re stretching themselves.”

Years ago, she adds, she found herself declaring during a workshop that she wanted to have her own television show. “As soon as I said it, I thought, ‘I have no idea how to do that. That was a stupid goal.'” But a woman in the audience came up to Capland afterward, told her she was being interviewed by a cable show next week, and invited her to come along and observe. Capland decided this was a good way to get her feet wet.

“You can head toward a big goal one baby step at a time,” she explains. In fact, it may be better that way — you’ll avoid setting off your own fight-or-flight response.

Sure enough, Capland eventually wound up with her own cable program. “It ran locally for three years and I had 2.5 million viewers,” she says.

9. Not setting clear boundaries.

Once she’d done the show for three years, Capland was done with cable. “My next stretch goal was a PBS special,” she says. So when a woman got in touch and invited Capland to do a cable TV series, she said no. “Create some non-negotiable boundaries so you can say yes to things that lead you toward your goals and no to things that would distract you,” she advises.

10. Worrying too much about relationships.

That “no” on the cable series was harder than it should have been, Capland adds. “I was really clear that was a no for me,” she says. “But I think the woman was surprised. And all I cared about was the relationship — even though I didn’t even know her.”

11. Getting too hung up on details.

Women tend to pay too much attention to little details for too long, versus seeing the bigger picture,” Capland says. “That can make it hard for them to delegate and therefore prevents them having the freedom to take on the next challenge. I have a client who’s been focusing on details for years and now realizes that she’s pigeonholed herself in a role she doesn’t want, rather than planning and preparing for the role she wanted next.”

12. Failing to build a personal brand.

A strong personal brand will help you get what you want whether you’re working in a company or running one of your own. “The way to develop a personal brand is to deepen your own self-awareness,” Capland says. “What makes you stand out positively from other people?”

A personal brand, she says, is an asset that defines the best things about you. “It’s the impression people have of you, and the impression you want them to have,” she says.

Read more: http://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/12-ways-you-might-be-making-gender-bias-worse.html#ixzz3RtzPCOmJ

How To Convince Your Prospects to Buy and Win Them Over?

How To Convince Your Prospects to Buy and Win Them Over?

So how do I make that sale? It’s the opposite of what conventional wisdom suggests. It’s like trying to win an argument. You might have taken on a more proactive approach especially when your prospect is a bit more reluctant and comes up with all types of excuses. Rather than coming up with things you might say next STOP!

If nobody is listening, then what you say won’t work.

Tom “Big Al” Schreiter

Have you ever tried to defend your position or views? If you think that if you salivate like a Pavlov’s dog while talking to your prospects the greater the chances of them buying your stuff you’re wrong! Forget all the conventional wisdom you’ve been taught.

The more you talk, the more the other person thinks of new things to say to support his position.

Tom “Big Al” Schreiter

Your efforts might be counterproductive, let’s say you’re the one who does the talking, the other person isn’t listening because he is already thinking of what to say next … It’s a vicious circle. You’ll never get your message across if your message is not being heard.

So rule number one of  convincing your prospects to buy and winning them over is the opposite what the logic suggests…  If you want to win an argument over agree with the other person first! That way you’ll open up a window of communication and prevent the other person from thinking of new things to say. And guess what happens if you agree to what the other person is saying? There’s no argument!

So the first step to convince your prospects to buy and win them over is to… agree. Then once you have your prospects full attention you can put your point of view across simply because other person is listening.

Want a hint?

Master these two simple words: “Of course.” Here’s how:

Prospect:I don’t have any money to join.”
You: “Of course you don’t have any money to join. That is why I am talking to you, because I know you want to change that situation. So let’s first look at how you can raise the money to …”

Prospect:I don’t have any time. I am way too busy.”
You: “Of course you don’t have any time. That is why I am talking to you, because I know you eventually want more time in your life. So let’s see how …”

Agreeing with the other person even if you don’t necessarily agree with everything opens up a line of communication to get your message across.

How to convince your prospects to buy and win them over