A tweet once said, Behind every strong woman is 5 other strong women who proofread her email real quick when they had a second. But behind these women, I think, are even more women who explained how to ride the road to success at work. At our HerChesapeake meeting last month, we called on our own members to help us explore our inclination to undervalue our skills and abilities and rate ourselves too low during reviews.
Research has found that women are three times more likely than men to underestimate their standing with bosses and coworkers. They tend to undervalue themselves, talk down their achievements, and attribute success to male teammates when working in successful co-ed groups. Women also underrate their performance in skills like decision-making, problem-solving, and strategic awareness, while men overrate their own. Indeed, it seems women have an acute lack of confidence that can undercut their success at work.
Because growing evidence suggests confidence is critical to success—and because we want women to be successful—it is critical we work to diminish these self-deprecating tendencies.
Pulled directly from our meeting’s discussion, here are four tips for evaluating yourself without undervaluing your worth.
- Quantify your accomplishments. The resulting data could help you feel more comfortable describing the great things you’ve done.
- Track your accomplishments on a monthly (rather than annual) basis. More regular tracking can mean less chance of missing something.
- Don’t be scared to tell the truth. There is no shame in sharing an honest list of your accomplishments.
- If you’re filling out a self-evaluation, ask a trusted colleague, mentor or supervisor to complete the same form on your behalf. If their evaluation of your work is more positive, you may realize you’re too hard on yourself.
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