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How A Paddle Boarding Lesson Could Help You Make A Splash In Your Career

How A Paddle Boarding Lesson Could Help You Make A Splash In Your Career

Do you think it’s possible that you’re sabotaging or hindering your career progress? If you were to receive an objective summary, you might be surprised.

This summer I went paddleboarding in Portugal as part of a group. I’ve been paddleboarding many times before but this was my first foray into the ocean where the waves were choppy, the tide and wind strong, and I had the threat of other, far larger boats to consider.

Our journey out to sea was uneventful; I felt confident and proud of myself for going for it. However, as we turned to make our approach back to shore I could see the rest of the paddle boarders in the group getting further and further away. I was falling behind. I couldn’t understand why.

One of the instructors, who could see the gap widening, suggested that I kneel on the board rather than stand; as a tall woman, standing was like adding a huge sail to a tiny boat. In other words, because of the direction of the wind, I was working against myself.

It was a typical case of “what got you here won’t get you there”

Even though I had great balance, a strong core, a good stance and a steady rhythm, I was making minimal to no progress. As soon as I knelt down my efforts paid off; it wasn’t long before I had caught up with and overtaken the rest of the group. One by one they copied me and knelt down.

This story is the perfect example of how most of our delegates feel when they first join our online programmes at Elevate Talent. They know that they “should be” successful, but they can’t quite grasp why they’re not already further ahead in their career.

We created the Discover Your EPIC Career Scorecard so that they could understand which strategies were supporting them, and which ones needed extra input and attention for optimal progress.

By completing a scorecard at enrolment, and then again at graduation a year later, you can clearly monitor your results, and your personal and professional growth. 

We frequently find that our delegates have a false impression of how well they’re doing; they’re often convinced that they are (or should be) doing better than they are. All change starts with awareness; the Discover Your EPIC Career Scorecard provides the perfect snapshot of reality, and gives you a launchpad from which to move forward (think of the before and after photos you see for weight loss – the scorecard offers a similar comparison).

Motivated by metrics

When you fill in the scorecard your answers to the questions grade you on four areas (the EPIC formula) which includes Exposure, Performance, Impact and Conscious (being self- aware).

Your overall score will indicate if your performance is:

  • Star – fantastic and lends itself to further fine-tuning.
  • Strong – performing well and could be a rising star.
  • Steady – consistent and making changes will accelerate their career.
  • Stationary – stagnant with no change; plenty of room for growth.

A recent survey of 450 of our delegates showed that two per cent of them received a star rating, 14 per cent were strong, 47 per cent were steady, and 37 per cent were stationary.

At Elevate Talent we are dedicated to supporting women on the lower three rungs of the career ladder to climb to the next level, and for those on the top rung to polish and refine their performance to enhance and underpin their progress. By reframing your current thinking, providing proven strategies and tactics, we know that you will be in the best possible position to be promoted or make a change within your career to broaden your skill set.

When we teach you how to make a shift, you can go on to support your team or colleagues to do the same. The ripple effect within an organisation is potent, in the same way that when the rest of the paddle boarders saw me kneeling down and flying past them, they adopted my strategy and achieved similar results. As a senior manager, can you imagine the difference it would make to your workforce if your female colleagues were being coached to perform at their optimum, and encouraging their peers to replicate that success?

The secret to feedback

Research has shown that most white males benefit from solid feedback, but women and specific minority groups typically lack the support that they need to make a significant improvement to their performance. Women tend to receive feedback that is critical or inaccurate or no feedback at all.

Elevate Talent is expert at providing feedback in a positive, constructive, useful, encouraging way that supports women to tap into their deepest desires when it comes to career progression, and to implement the strategies to bring it to fruition.

The next steps

Have you ever been paddle boarding? What other lessons did you learn that you could transfer to your career? Recognising that what got you to where you are now might not be the best strategy to get you to where you want to go, offers you the perfect opportunity to find a better way.

Have you completed the Discover Your EPIC Career Scorecard yet? Click here to find out how you rank (Exposure, Performance, Impact, Conscious). If you’re a senior leader, what do you think you might do differently to help optimise your female talent pipeline? What would happen if you had a flourishing workforce that enjoyed continuous development? How might it grow your professional reputation and boost your bottom line?

If you’d like to find out more about how Elevate Talent can support your female talent to perform at Star level, get in touch, or why not complete the Discover Your EPIC Career Scorecard and dive into the results?


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