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:
- 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.
- Develop and nurture relationships with people who are trustworthy and kind and who acknowledge your feelings.
- 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.