Although you bring knowledge and experience and you challenge basic thinking - you seem to be getting boxed in by others who think they know where you belong. Not any more! I’m going to arm you with the weapons of mass destruction to defeat the enemies of your mind and soul that are holding you back from becoming the corporate woman of God that you are. There is no time to waste. It’s time to challenge the naysayers. It’s time to lift your voice in both a metaphorical and literal war cry. It’s time for corporate battle!
1. Be Informed and Authentic, Not Clueless and Fake
There will always be people that think they know where you fit best without having any factual context of who you truly are and what you are capable of. Sometimes that falls on the person’s lack of knowledge, but other times it may fall on you, lady. Now is not the time to hold back. Corporate has a myriad of people, like you, who, because of their fears and insecurities, will try to box you into positions and situations that aren’t meant for you. You have the choice to go down the path someone else wants you to walk in, or down the path that God has created you to walk in.
“But, how can I explain this tangibly, Tamara?”
By being authentic with your message with educated authority. Nothing compares to the confidence you have when you know the ins and outs of a topic. The trajectory of your life is based on the information you have and applying it accordingly. You know the capabilities that God has given you and the ones that you are more than willing to acquire. When you back up your words with knowledge, fact, statistics, percentages, and case studies, you are displaying that you mean business and that you are the person for that job, title, promotion, or project. There will be challenges ahead but worry not. Study the facts and communicate clearly.
2. Be Resilient, Not Stagnate
It is said that the palm tree is the epitome of resilience. Through the toughest hurricanes, it stays rooted and can bend until parallel with the ground. Devastating winds will destroy everything surrounding it, but once the storm passes, it rises back up until it’s standing tall. THAT’S exactly what you need to be: a palm tree.
First, you must stay rooted in who God says you are: The light and salt of the Earth. A royal priesthood. A holy nation...made for such a time as this. But, of course, the enemy doesn’t want you thinking these truths. He wants to plant the seeds of lies and deception in your mind. What you think is connected to how you feel. What you feel is connected to what you do. So, if your thoughts affect your emotions and your actions this much, you need to stand rooted in the truths that are given to you through God’s word. Once those negative thoughts pop up in your head, it’s time to stop, pause, and challenge them. “Is this based on my emotions, lies, or truth?” The power of life and death is in your tongue. Start speaking life!
Next, get comfortable with being uncomfortable. When that palm tree is parallel to the ground, that’s uncomfortable. When you’re the only woman in the room, that’s uncomfortable. When your input is different from the rest of your team, that’s uncomfortable. But once you come to this realization, it’s easier to move closer to the table instead of sitting in the back of the room. It’s easier to disagree or speak up on any number of other things when you understand that this process isn’t supposed to be comfortable. It’s ok! Like the first Black Congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm said: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” Pull up your folding chair, lady. You’ve got work to do.
3. Be Assertive, Not Aggressive
First, let’s figure out the difference between being assertive and aggressive. Assertiveness confidently and clearly communicates ideas, opinions, advice, and contributes to a solution. It’s all about being direct with both your words and body language. It’s about being courageous to speak especially when there is something that you strongly disagree with or have a difference of opinion. What separates you from crossing that line from assertive to aggressive are multiple factors such as your tone, your stance, and facial expressions. When we step into aggressiveness, empathy goes out the window. You can see it from your stance, your tone, your facial expressions, your lack of listening, and your interrupting.
You’ve decided that this is the year you won’t be held back. Good! But now, it’s time to prepare. Whether it be for a promotion, input on an important project, or possibly some frustration with a peer or someone in leadership, preparation is key. Do a total brain dump of everything that’s in your mind concerning your situation. Now, prioritize your message into the key points you know have to be communicated. Once your thoughts and points are organized, write down any questions or challenges that may be brought up. This way you have a solution to their challenge. Next, practice. Say it out loud to yourself in the mirror, if you have to. You want to keep the same energy, confidence and clarity in public that you have in private. Lastly, give yourself grace. God believes in you, lady. I do too! Now, it’s time for you to believe in yourself and start stepping forward.
There are plenty of women like you that are ready for battle, but without your battle buddies, it can be difficult. That’s why I created a community of like minded women that uplift and support each other in career, business and life: Corporate Girl Network. In this community, you’ll be able to network, build your skills, and enjoy FREE masterminds. Get ready to expand your network while engaging in some fun social experiences and discussions all curated for you. Plus, you’ll have access to customized personal and professional development opportunities designed to motivate, encourage, and inspire transformational growth. Click here to join Corporate girl Network: Inspiring Success Through Mentorship & Community. We’ll be waiting for you there!