The term role model was coined by sociologist Robert K. Morton, who helped us understand the value of role models in our lives and careers. Numerous research conducted over the last several years indicates that women benefit more from role models than men do. Most of us know a role model helps us thrive, but the trouble is, how do your find a great role model when it seems like there are none around?
As always the juiciest stuff is in the video below, but if you’re too pressed for time to watch the full video (it’s less than 5 minutes), here’s a quick snapshot.
Become a Student of Observation.
Think about all the current effective, influential, credible leaders in your workplace today. Pause there. Process it. Now ask yourself some questions about those people:
How Do They Carry Themselves?
How Do The Speak?
How Do They Influence People?
Defining the characteristics of these potential role models helps you know what defines leadership in your place of work. You can use that information to improve your own standing in the workplace.
Consider What Role Model Behavior(s) You Want To Try On for Yourself.
Don’t simply copy everything you jotted down from step 1. You know your strengths. Pull from what you learned about the current influential leaders around you and see what jives with your current strengths and innate abilities. That way, whatever behaviors you’re trying on, match who you are, or who you are aspire to be. That improves your chances of showing up as not only inspirational, but also authentic.
Don’t Limit Yourself.
Your future role model is not necessarily someone with a big title. Consider those informal leaders who consistently make things happen at work without having a glam title. Also, be open to role models outside your current workplace. Consider people from other organizations, people you meet at conferences, friends, acquaintances or leaders you’ve read about.
Find a Trusted Confidant to Give you Feedback.
As you try on behaviors you may be a little self conscious or anxious. That’s totally understandable. This is a great time to ask a best friend at work to help you. Ask them to keep an eye out for the specific role model behaviors you are trying on. Ask them to observe you in meetings, leading a presentation, working with a customer – anywhere that will give them a chance to see you in action. Then get their feedback on how effective the behavior is for you. What is working well with this behavior, what needs to be tweaked and what needs to be ditched altogether.
Leave a comment on the video and if you like it, please share the video. You never know how you’ll empower someone to change the world with one simple video share.
The corporate world needs that unique gift that only you bring. So go out into the world, act with conviction, be courageous and live joyfully every single day.
Adwoa Dadzie is a Vice President of Human Resources at Comcast and a Millennial Corporate Career Thought Leader.
The views expressed in this post are Adwoa’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.
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