Powerful Tools For Women On Their Way Up
As women the struggle for respect and recognition is a daily battle. Women especially in the corporate world have to put with subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) put downs and character assassinations that take a heavy toll on their self-esteem and confidence. In spite of this, some have had sustainable success by applying a few simple ideas to reframe how they engage in this leadership world. These are the tools that successful women use to stay focused and stay ahead.
Wherever you are in life or whatever situation you find yourself in, it important to take full responsibility. When you see yourself as responsible for what happens to you or what you feel, you give yourself power to drive your own choices. This gives you the power to do whatever need to be done without making excuses or creating scapegoats.
Make Smart Choices
Your life is a total sum of every choice you have ever made. When we realize how important each choice is we are inspired to make better ones. This will free up your energy to make the most of it and deal with any resultant conflicts.
You have many strengths and characteristics that make you unique. As a woman, you tend to have a higher “Empathy Quotient” than many of your male colleagues. Don’t give away your leverage by trying to play someone else’s game. Define and play your own game, by your own rules.
Know You Belong
The first and most important person to sell on your right to lead on an equal footing is yourself. From a very young age, you’ve likely been taught by our society that you are valued for a pretty face and a body to enjoy. Our media has told you that you have to look a certain way to have any worth or influence. Even some of the most successful women feel like impostors in their positions of power, because they tell themselves story after story about how they are not good enough. Rather than respond to what is, we react to the stories we tell ourselves about what is. Stop trying to get from where you think you are to where you want to be. Rather than trying to get somewhere else in the future, try “coming from” that place right now.
Cut Yourself Some Slack
You can’t do it all! Doesn’t work at home when you try to be Super Mom, Worlds Best Lover, Best Daughter, and all those other roles in which you strive to be perfect. It doesn’t work in your career either. Prioritize. Strategically pick and choose where to focus your energy. Give yourself permission to say “No.” Delegate. Hold others accountable. Slow down. Slow… Down…
Lead Like A Boss
The most effective leader in the room is not the one with the greatest command of the facts. In fact, being the “smartest” person in the room positions you as a manager, not a leader. The most effective leaders are great at engaging and inspiring others to clarify ideas and move into action. You already have intuition and empathy working for you. Don’t say “I want…” or “We want…”. Say instead, “I will…” and “We will…” Don’t “Tell”… “Ask” questions instead. When we make declarative statements our listeners try to find fault with them/us. When we ask them questions they automatically engage with us. It’s not enough to be right. We also need to be helpful.