Sometimes the difference between a manager and a leader is a shift in perception. Think of yourself two levels higher than where you are now. Start acting as if you’re there—dress the part, use power words, and offer insights that help move projects forward. As you’re doing this, heed these tips:
Come from strength. Take inventory of your strengths—actually make a list of them. Call to mind your current supervisor and managers—what else would they say about your strengths? Take this all in.
Don’t let fear hold you back. Your fear is probably grounded in a false belief about what will happen if you put yourself forward. With reflection you might find that your fear has been stripped of its power and that stepping up doesn’t seem as intimidating as before.
Don’t play it safe. Take a smart risk. You’ll be out of your comfort zone, but leaders get comfortable with the uncomfortable.
Adapted from The Confidence Myth: Why Women Undervalue Their Skills, and How to Get Over It, by Helene Lerner, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2015