The Top 3 Tips for Emerging Female Leaders

Emerging female leaders face challenges that male leaders don’t face. Discover the top three tips for emerging female leaders here.

1. Practice Resilience

Life has a habit of throwing us curveballs. Despite the best laid plans, everyone goes through ups and downs – from everyday struggles to catastrophic incidents that reverberate longer-term. Every shift has a different impact on people, bringing with it a unique set of perceptions, powerful emotions, and uncertainties. While these difficulties are undoubtedly painful and challenging, they do not have to define you.

As defined by psychologists, resilience is the capacity to handle difficulties mentally or emotionally and quickly return to pre-crisis status. By readily overcoming the stress of tragedy and trauma, adversity, threats, or failure, resilient women not only recover, but often emerge stronger on the other side.

While there is a genetic predisposition to resilience, psychologists have noticed various characteristics common to resilient people, including:

  • Optimism and a positive outlook
  • An internal locus of control – belief that you are the author of your destiny.
  • The ability to regulate emotions
  • The capacity to view failure as valuable feedback.

Follow these best practices to develop your resilience:

  1. Beat the negative impact of stress with good nutrition, sufficient sleep, regular exercise, and mindfulness or other spiritual practices. Building your body’s reserves helps you avoid unhealthy outlets such as drugs and alcohol.
  2. Develop and nurture relationships with people who are trustworthy and kind and who acknowledge your feelings.
  3. Practice introspection and emotional intelligence. Be proactive in looking for ways to deal with the issue, learn from your past behavior, and constantly refer to your moral compass and personal values.

2. Have Humility

Not to be confused with being meek, submissive, or lacking self-confidence, humility is “absence of vanity or excessive pride”. As part of a leadership style, humility is an attribute of great leaders.

The positive impact of female leaders redirecting positive attention from themselves to the performance of the team inspires increased employee engagement, greater job satisfaction, and lower staff turnover rates. These successful leaders treat everyone with respect, admit their mistakes, share the credit for successes, and grow by learning from what others have to offer.

If one of your professional goals as part of the next generation of women leaders is to heighten your humility, here is an action plan:

  • Listen. Spend time actively listening to others. Be open-minded and curious rather than protective of your point of view. Not only will others feel heard and valued, but you will also gain a better understanding of organizational needs. Hearing the insights of your team members will help you to make better decisions about performance and new opportunities.
  • Acknowledge. Gratitude lets you channel your drive back into the organization and leads to an optimistic, humble state of being.
  • Ask. Humility includes acknowledging that you don’t have all the answers. Women leaders who are humble ask for help, are open to innovative solutions, and seek feedback regarding their performance. This further serves as inspiration for a culture of personal development in the workplace.
  • Reflect. Review your actions to keep yourself in check. Those in top leadership positions are often mentors and coaches. You may find yourself slipping into those roles in situations when allowing rather than pushing would be more appropriate.
  • Accept. Women’s leadership ambitions focus on constant improvement. As valuable as that is, there is also a need to accept what is without judgement. Move from “seeking approval to seeking enlightenment”. Only once you dispassionately recognize your strengths and weaknesses can you appreciate and dovetail the competence and contributions of peers and employees.

3. Play to Your Strengths (Not Your Weaknesses)

Following on from the last action above, berating yourself for your shortcomings is counterproductive. But that does not mean that you shouldn’t strive to do better.

Globally, business leaders agree that focusing all your energy on fixing your weaknesses is a distracting and frustrating use of your time. Identifying what strengthens you and then cultivating your strengths will empower you. Playing to your strengths helps you to flourish and build a successful career in your leadership role.

If you want to step into your power with confidence, join fellow emerging female leaders for our Women in Leadership Masterclass. Contact Corporate Class Inc. for more information.

4 traits of a mindful leader

Before we dive into the traits of a mindful leader, let’s first uncover what it means to be a mindful leader.

A mindful leader is someone who embodies leadership by being present, non-judgemental and tackling problems with clarity. Mindful leadership encourages focus, creativity, and compassion while serving others. Additionally, mindful leaders can manage their own workloads while simultaneously organizing the team’s workload. Other crucial mindfulness characteristics include boosting employee engagement, promoting productivity, and managing stress levels. The innate characteristics we mentioned are fundamentals of excellent leadership. However, it can be challenging to embody these characteristics since the world is filled with distractions that can derail us from our goals. As a result, you need to take a deeper look at yourself and figure out if you can lead without ego and put the wellness of your teammates and the organization before yourself. 

Here are four traits you should focus on to become a genuinely mindful leader:

Lead by humility

Humility is the quality of being humble and putting the needs of others before yourself. According to Ken Blanchard, “humility doesn’t mean to think less of yourself; it means to think of yourself less.” Additionally, humble leaders can recognize their own strengths and weaknesses and understand when to ask for help. This includes asking for feedback and accepting their own shortcomings when company goals aren’t met.

Humility is also directly connected to integrity. As a result, leaders with humility uphold a high standard of integrity. This way, they can lead with authenticity and guide others meaningfully. This is crucial since leaders often find themselves in challenging situations where the lines between ethical and unethical behavior are blurred. Leaders who lead with integrity can make the right, selfless decisions and put the company’s needs before their own.

Lead by example

Mindful leaders need to lead by example and exemplify what the workforce should do morally and professionally. This is crucial since teams usually look up to their leaders and view them as role models. As a result, unethical behavior or leading with poor interests can influence the organization’s culture and its people. Mindful leaders can guide others positively through their behaviors and inspire them to perform similarly. When you lead by example, you provide a path for others to work toward a common goal with the same ethics. Additionally, you shouldn’t expect your employees to do something you’re unwilling to do. This can cause distrust and a disconnect between leadership and the workforce. 

Recognition

Although your employees get paid for doing their jobs, a paycheck sometimes isn’t the only form of recognition people need. As a result, mindful leaders need to show appreciation and recognize employees for their hard work and dedication. You can do this by thanking employees personally or publicly or rewarding them with personalized benefits like time off or gift cards. Regular appreciation is essential since it can also help balance out the critical feedback that leaders need to provide. Employees who are appreciated and recognized are more likely to be engaged, productive, and loyal to the company. 

Compassionate communication

Mindful leaders also need to be self-aware and consider how they communicate with their employees. As a result, you need to ensure your emotions are in check before responding to an email or person. Additionally, you should think about what kind of impact your message or communication will have on the person who is receiving it – is what you’re saying honest and beneficial? Taking these things into consideration will help you communicate with your workforce correctly and create a transparent workplace. 

Contact Corporate Class today if you want to develop your skills and become a mindful leader. We offer high-quality training, coaching, and consulting to some of the world’s most enormous Fortune 500 companies across the globe.

How to assess your own interpersonal communication skills

Good interpersonal skills are a fundamental part of any successful relationship, whether at home, your workplace, or school. If you want to be a good communicator, you must be skilled in all the aspects of interpersonal communication. Even though soft skills like communication can be hard to measure, understanding these skills will help you identify areas in which you might improve.

How to assess your interpersonal communication skill

To assess your interpersonal communication skills, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  1. How well can I anticipate and predict possible causes for confusion and miscommunication, and how good am I at dealing with them upfront?
  2. How often do recipients fully understand my messages, emails, or other documents? Do I give enough information and detail?
  3. Do I ask questions when I don’t understand something, or do I keep it to myself?
  4. Do people often misunderstand my messages? Am I often surprised that they don’t understand what I am saying?
  5. Is it easy for me to understand someone else’s point of view during a conversation?
  6. Do I think about how my responses will be perceived by others, or do I speak without thinking? 
  7. Can I use communication platforms such as email to quickly and efficiently communicate complex issues?
  8. Do I find it difficult to see and read people’s body language?
  9. Do I struggle to find the right words to convey my message?

If you find it difficult to answer any of these questions, it might be something to think about. You might want to write down the areas in which you are struggling and reconsider your approach to communication and receiving information. That being said, even someone who has answered these questions with the utmost confidence might still have room for improvement. Even if you think you are the world’s mos skilled communicator, there is no downside to learning new skills and improving on the ones you have.

Why Improve Interpersonal Skills?

Communication is essential if you want to advance your career. This skill will help you to get customers, maintain relationships, negotiate, and conflict resolution. Here are some interpersonal skills that are particularly important to look at:

  • Verbal communication skills

This includes your ability to speak clearly and concisely, and appropriately. You should be able to choose the correct tone of voice and vocabulary for the given situation. For example, you might speak differently when giving a eulogy at a funeral than you would presenting a new idea to your manager.

  • Active listening

How good are you at giving someone your undivided attention during a conversation? It is important that you genuinely listen to what others are saying and show engagement with verbal and non-verbal responses ( such as nodding, eye contact, facial expressions, and posture). You must also pay attention to the other person’s non-verbal cues and body language.

Non-verbal communication, like your body language, can say just as much as your words, if not more. Examples of open body language include nodding, eye contact, smiling, and a relaxed posture. Crossed arms, restless behavior, and shifting eyes are examples of closed body language.

Here are some steps to help you get started:

  1. Figure out what you need to improve.
  2. Observe others.
  3. Learn control over your emotions.
  4. Think back on previous social interactions.
  5. Practice your skills.
  6. Get constructive feedback from others.

Assessing and improving your interpersonal communication skills can have a wealth of benefits for you. It can help you to build strong relationships, have efficient teamwork, build good morale, etc.

Interpersonal communication skills in the workplace

How well do you communicate with others? Developing your interpersonal people skills can be vital for your career success. There is a continuous flow of communication in any business setting, both non-verbally and verbally, in person and online. When employees can not effectively navigate this flow of communication, it will be detrimental to the productivity of business processes.

Interpersonal Communication and Remote Work

With the emergence of the pandemic, we have all witnessed a change in the way that peers communicate. Businesses have learned to rely more on digital platforms to facilitate communication between employees to reach business goals. Companies must try to retain effective communication and drive conversations even when employees work from different places. In this way, businesses will grow resilient to change as their processes won’t be interrupted due to remote working.

The Components of Interpersonal Communication

To fully develop good communication skills in the workplace, you must understand the different components of communication.

  1. Communicators: Both the sender and the receiver of a message are seen as communicators, and each interaction must have at least two communicators.
  2. Message: The message can be conveyed in many different ways depending on the situation. You can convey a message through speech, body language, tone of voice, gestures, eye contact, facial expressions, etc. Verbal messages can go hand-in-hand with non-verbal communication that adds more context, shows deception, interest, and confidence (or lack thereof).
  3. Noise: This refers to barriers that can impede or distort the message that the sender is trying to convey. This includes things like Jargon, language barriers, interruptions, literal noise, inattention, etc.
  4. Feedback: This is the response that the receiver gives to the original message. This creates a two-way flow of communication, allowing the sender to know that the receiver understands the message.
  5. Context: There are many different contexts in which communication can occur, such as the environmental, political, cultural, social, and emotional contexts. The context of the conversation dramatically impacts the expected tone and direction of the communication.
  6. Channel: How is this message being communicated? The medium that is used for communication is just as important as the context. This can be in person, in writing, online, etc.

How to Improve Interpersonal Communication in the Workplace

Employees are becoming more aware of the importance of having good interpersonal skills as the business climate continues to change amid the pandemic.  Although communication skills can be challenging to measure, you can develop them through practice and awareness.

Here are some tips that you can follow to become a good communicator:

  1. Do your research: Gather some facts about good interpersonal communication and prepare for meaningful conversations that you are planning to have. Ensure you know what you want to communicate before going into meetings or planning e-mails and interactions.
  2. Consider who you will be talking to: Consider the personalities and mindsets of the other participants of an interaction. Find the right time and channel for your message and adapt your communication style accordingly. Some communications are best suited for face-to-face meetings, while others can simply take place on email.
  3. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses: Self-evaluation can be very useful when developing soft skills such as social skills and people skills. You can also ask for constructive feedback from coworkers and managers as a learning opportunity for future interactions.

Developing strong interpersonal skills can have many benefits for you, from helping you streamline your work and solve problems to facilitating conflict management and conveying important information to colleagues and managers.