Every professional woman has their own executive career journey and how they want to advance their career. One thing for certain is developing your own individual competitive advantage is key to helping you stand out in the corporate landscape, gain executive presence, build your own value proposition and get that job promotion. 

We went to our executive coaching expert, Maureen McKinnon for tips on how to discover your own competitive advantage. Read on to learn more. 

Building Competitive Advantage Starts with Self Confidence 

An essential skill and great starting point to help you develop your competitive advantage and advance your career involves building rock solid self confidence, which is the foundational piece in our McKinnon Executive Coaching Promotion Strategy.

We’ve met hundreds of talented women and it breaks our hearts to see that so many women don’t ‘see’ the talented professional that we see and don’t have the confidence in their abilities that they should have.

When you develop self confidence, you’ll improve your performance in job interviews, advance your career, feel valued, gain leadership and executive presence, and overall, lead a happier and more satisfied life. Self-confident people trust in themselves, and attract people to them because they radiate a certain power, and other people want to be around them. 

Photo by cottonbro, Pexels.

How to Build Rock Solid Self Confidence 

Building a rock solid self confidence starts with mindset. The McKinnon Executive Coaching Promotion Strategy helps women transform from a limiting mindset to a talented mindset and build confidence in their abilities. 

Our proprietary executive coaching promotion strategy is broken down into 3 independent phases: Talent Mindset, Building a Support Network and Increasing Your Visibility. 

Let’s dive deeper and learn how to develop the first phase – the ‘Talent Mindset’, the absolute belief in yourself, your talents, the value you bring and the results you deliver.

How To Develop Your Talent Mindset to Gain Self Confidence 

Developing your talent mindset takes time and self reflection. Below is a simple exercise to walk you through the process. Think of it as a research project and the subject of the research is you. 

Before you begin and to help you with this exercise, it is best to have your resume and a current performance evaluation nearby. They can be a prompt during your self reflection. 

Let’s get started with the exercise and build your Talent Mindset!  

Step 1: Discover and Identify Your Skills  

In this first step, the aim is to discover something unexpectedly about yourself. 

  • Think about your current job and previous jobs. 
  • In those roles, reflect on what skills you are currently using or did use to achieve successful results. 
  • Think about what skills you are good at and any compliments you received at work or in your performance evaluation about your skills 
  • Write down the skills that you are good at and add to the list skills other people say you are good at. 

Your list is something that you can be proud of!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels.

Step 2: Know and Be Aware Of Your Skills

The next step is about being aware of your skills through observation, inquiry or information.

  • Take the list from step 1 and select two (2) of the most relevant skills you are currently using to achieve success in your job. 

  • Next think of an example, a successful project or achievement, that showcases the use of those two selected skills. 

  • Write down the project or achievement 

Step 3: Accept and Recognize Your Skills

The next step is accepting and recognizing your skills. 

  • Taking the example from step 2 and expand the project or achievement and create a story. 
  • Create a story framework by starting with the situation before, your actions and then the successful results.  
  • Describe your actions and not your team’s actions. We are explaining your job experience and creating a Hero Story where you are the Hero.

Step 4: Believe In Your Skills 

The next step is believing in your skills.

  • Take your story from step 3 and read it out loud in front of a mirror at least three times a day for two weeks. 
  • Also, share you skills list and your hero story with people that you respect and trust to provide you with positive feedback such as coach or mentor.
  • You can also ask the people you trust what other skills they would add to your list and examples of successful projects or accomplishments. This may add more examples to your list that you had forgotten about or didn’t realize they were a success

The purpose of telling your hero stories out loud in front of the mirror or to a trusted person is to practice telling the stories and to internalize how successful you are, which leads to the last step.

Step 5: Owning Your Skills

The last step is owning your skills. 

Look at your skills list and the examples and be proud of yourself. Look at what you’ve accomplished, you are talented – own it! 

We’ve had the pleasure of working with many professional executive women through this entire process, and we’ve seen them bloom and grow into their self confidence and understand how valuable they are to any organization. 

Finishing Up

When you’ve acquired a talent mindset – the absolute belief in yourself and developed self confidence, that is your competitive advantage – it is your own individual skill set and your own value proposition. 

If you would like more support to help you build self confidence, gain a talent mindset and articulate your business value to decision makers, book a free Promotion Readiness Assessment and we’ll determine the areas you’re strong at and the areas where you need help. 

After working with many professional women and seeing the number of professional women looking to advance their careers, I’m excited to announce that I will be launching a Group Executive Coaching Program to help more professional women acquire their talent mindset, and build a community of talented professional women going through their career journey. 

In the program, we will discover your unique strengths, create hero stories for memorable impact, support each other in each other’s career journeys and grow your professional network by meeting other like-minded women committed to advancing their careers. 

The launch date of the group program is to be announced. Stay tuned for details, follow McKinnon Executive Coaching on Linkedin or check our website.