Stepping up to a bigger challenge

AW was on the leadership track within Microsoft but realised her fears of being found out as a fraud were holding her back.

“I’d been very successful in my career in technology marketing but often worried about whether I was “good enough” and compared myself unfavourably to others. I’d noticed this pattern of thinking and how it hindered me but didn’t know how to change it.

What I’ve learned through this programme has really helped – the ‘I’m not good enough’ thinking now happens less and less. And, if it does, I have an approach to deal with it. I’m much better at noticing when unhelpful attitudes are operating and hindering my performance – e.g. not fully contributing in meetings or holding myself back from networking – and can eff ectively challenge my own thinking.

The techniques I’ve learned to use are simple but powerful. When any negative thinking does kick in, I’m able to see that the judgements I’m making are rarely true. Once I’ve ascertained the facts of any given situation, I have a much clearer picture of what to do and new choices become apparent that I couldn’t see before.

I’ve also learned how to value my worth/talents. I notice and acknowledge my many achievements, however small or big – whether diffusing a potentially difficult conversation between colleagues or organising a house move at a critical time in the business and still achieving my targets – stuff I didn’t acknowledge myself for before. When I start saying “it was just…” or “I only managed 3 miles in my run today, when I really should have done 5”, I catch myself and stop, asking myself “is that true, was it ‘just’ or ‘only’?”. This has really helped my confidence.

And, my performance has definitely benefited as a result, as have my team relationships. I managed to turn around team performance on a difficult metric, alongside moving house and running a marathon, and have recently been promoted to a much more senior role! I feel on top form.”

AW, Senior Marketing Manager, Microsoft