How to Organize Stakeholders into Buckets


When it comes to stakeholders, you've definitely got some. In fact, you've got a lot. But what does that mean, really? 

When you know who your stakeholders are, you can also determine how to communicate with them, when to communicate with them, and what to communicate. 

What a difference this makes! 

Understanding your stakeholders' needs and delivering what they want will take you miles toward developing and maintaining trust, a critical element of career growth and personal brand.

Click here to download the free one-pager: How to Organize Stakeholders.

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How to Find the Right Mentors for You

mentorship Jun 11, 2019

The verdict is in: No matter your industry, experience level, or job type, mentors are proven to be critical in accelerating career growth. 

There are formal and informal mentoring relationships. In formal relationships, the mentor and mentee are aware of this relationship and may have a specific agreement or program that they are following.  Informal mentor/mentee relationships are not following any kind of framework and the professionals involved may not be aware that on or the other views the relationship in this way. 

Sometimes a person can provide you a lifetime of mentoring, but also, mentoring can come in moments of help and guidance. Both are valuable.

To get started with adding solid mentors to your career path, look for formal mentorship programs offered by your employer, or industry/professional groups and associations.

If you're not sure how a mentorship should "feel," make an effort to work with some people who are less advanced in their career than you...

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How to Speak Project Management: Four Important Terms


With a growing interest in the field of Project Management and the Project Management Certification comes an increase in the value of those who understand the terminology used by project management and consulting professionals. 

Start by listening for and using these four project management terms to elevate your vernacular and better demonstrate your competence. 

  • Critical Path
  • Scope
  • Business Case
  • Constraints

Watch the video to learn more about each of these four terms - and more!

Download the complete description of the Four Terms here (free).

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Three Strategies for Countering Interruptions


Today's question is from Tara:

"I feel like women are talked over more than men. For example, I know for certain that I am talked over more than men. How can I stop that behavior without looking like a b*tch?"

Today's answer is:

It's true, both experience and research show that women and girls are interrupted far more frequently than boys and men in all environments. 

Three solutions for both men and women to help ensure that the voices of women are heard include:

1. Ask your colleagues for an environment of respect when it comes to allowing another to finish his or her thoughts. This applies to both men and women and will benefit women more since we are more often interrupted and cut short.

2. Amplify women's ideas and comments. When a woman has a good idea, make sure it isn't swept under the rug. Amplify her by mentioning it. Use her name. Restate her idea and ask if you got it right, then give her the floor. Let her expand on her idea, which gives her more opportunity to...

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What Mid-Career High-Performing Professional Women Are Thinking


What are high-performing high-potential women in mid-career thinking? I recently spent a week interviewing professional women who are on their way up to learn more about their experiences. Watch this video to learn what they are dealing with and how they are advancing their careers. 

Speaking of high-performing women, be sure to take this quiz and share your result. What's your career stage? 


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Why Your Expertise Keeps You Stuck and How to Grow Around It

[Image by Quang Nguyen vinh from Pixabay

By Sunday Tollefson, MBA, PMP

[Wanna skip straight to the freebie? Grab your Promotion Worksheet here.]

Does it ever feel like there is no end to the amount of information you’re expected to know?

Do you feel like you have to continually prove your competence “growth” to gain respect?  

Are you ready for a higher challenge but you’re passed over for promotions – while you watch lesser qualified candidates get promoted?

You’re not doing anything wrong. You’ve done what you needed to do. When you started this job, you needed to on-board yourself and demonstrate your value by becoming a super expert on your subject matter. In doing so, you became a trusted resource for your colleagues. You proved that you belonged and the hire decision that got you there was a good one. Great! You did the right thing.

You continued to demonstrate this same ability to rapidly consume and manipulate...

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How Your Expertise Holds You Back - and How to Fix it

overvaluing expertise May 14, 2019

You're an expert at what you do now. You worked hard to get here. But.... what got you here will not get you there. As you aspire to that next or ultimate role, a shift in perspective is required. The strategies and expertise that created your success in your early career will not be the factors that propel you to executive roles.  What questions should you be asking yourself (and maybe your manager)? 

  • What skills do I need to develop in this role to prepare for my next role?
  • What relationships do I need to develop at this stage?
  • Do I tend to be the one asking questions or answering the questions?

You want to build upon you expertise to grow your career. Four pillars you need to develop to boost your career:

  • Expertise
  • Connections (women tend to be inherently good at this)
  • Personal Authority (the ability to inspire people)
  • Position (title or location on the org chart)

Here's last week's video with the elevator speech assignment:

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How Self-Promotion Sets You Up for Career Promotion

claiming achievements May 07, 2019

Q. I want to get two promotions in the next five years. Can you give me three actionable tips on how I can make that happen?

A. Yes! Here are three action items:

  1. When you're moving up, lessen the amount that you defer credit to other people for your own achievements. Demonstrate your confidence in your own abilities, expertise, and ownership your accomplishments. 
  2. In fact, promote your accomplishments to market your career. Do not expect others to notice your career. Manage up and manage out.
  3. Declare your career goals often. An easy way is through an elevator speech.

Homework: Prepare and rehearse your elevator speech. It should be three sentences:

  • What you're doing now
  • What you're doing next
  • Who you need to meet or want to work with

Having your elevator speech ready will open the door to opportunities. Remember, fortune favors the bold. 

Are you considering whether to advance your career with an MBA or a Project Management certification? Check out this comparison tool...

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How to Invent Managerial Experience for Promotion Interviews


Q. How do I get delegation experience to prove that I have management potential?

A. Do you need to be a boss to become a boss? Not really. Popularized behavioral interviewing techniques have created the opportunity for you to reflect on specific experiences rather to answer questions. You need leadership moments, not formal positional leadership authority, to demonstrate your ability to influence people towards a goal.  Start by understanding what matters to the people you need to take action. 

Techniques for developing delegation or leadership:

  • Create growth opportunities for others inside of your work. You might encounter someone in another group who is interested in your work. Give them a task that supports your work. 
  • Provide feedback to them and highlight their work to your stakeholders.
  • Delegate outside of your current job. For example, hire a housekeeper or a personal assistant. Bonus: in this way, you are using your precious time advancing your career and...
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How to One Word Can Change Your Relationships

language psychology Apr 24, 2019

Q. How can I get people to recognize my ideas? Sometimes I feel they are ignored and overlooked.

A. Your ideas are worth hearing. That said, people are programmed to listen based on language, so consider how you might change your language in order to be received differently. An important word to understand is the word "but." While we use it as an introduction to a thought, or a conjunction, the subconscious mental interpretation is "forget what was just said." Consider how this impacts your communications. 

If you remove the word "but" from your vernacular, you can appear less resistant, less combative, more inclusive, and more considerate. People will perceive you as a better team member. 

Removing the word "but" from your self-talk can also improve your mindset and build your confidence. 

An adequate substitute for the word "but" is almost always the word "and."

Listen for the word "but" early in the discussions of your idea, and see if that changes the...

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