It is becoming increasingly common to find women within the boardroom or leading teams of colleagues however a common misconception still remains that women in leadership need to drastically alter their personality in order to fit the leadership mould. Karen Meager and John McLachlan are the co-founders of Monkey Puzzle Training, and they believe otherwise.
The above statement is not the case, women can thrive in leadership roles by implementing these simple, straightforward tips. These are not exclusive to women, men can also learn the secrets of effective leadership from this advice.
Communication is Key
The best leaders are clear and effective communicators. Communication could manifest in dialogue in person between yourself and colleagues but this could also be online in emails. Regardless of its form, it is important that these directions or feedback are delivered with clarity. If you are not clear when directing, potential golden opportunities for growth could be missed due to misunderstandings. Ambiguity could be a costly mistake. Typically, female leaders use more gentle vocabulary when communicating with colleagues or employees. This is not completely redundant within business as a ‘harsh’ exterior does not need to be adopted. Instead, communicate coherently.
Your Opinion Matters
When taking on a leadership role it is sometimes easier to surrender to the opinion in favour of maintaining a calm work environment. However it is vital that you do not lose sight of what you deem is the most effective response to a situation. This is not to say you bulldoze others, but incorporate your opinion with those of others to achieve a collaborative solution. By choosing this path, every voice is heard. This will allow workplace harmony but not at the expense of your opinion.
Challenges and difficult decisions can be very unnerving prospects. Sometimes, the easier option appears to be avoiding these kinds of decisions out of fear of the outcome or lack of faith in your ability. However, these situations are not something that should be avoided. A common stereotype is that specifically women do not have the capacity for challenging workplace exchanges but this is not the case. By remaining calm and giving yourself plenty of decision making time, you can handle these situations expertly and comfortably. Converting challenges into a chance for business development is a key way to prove your ample expertise.
Additionally, setbacks should not be feared. It is important that your ability to bounce back is cultivated. Commonly, corporate individuals are stereotyped to be entirely tough however this does not mean that every ounce of ‘softness’ should be removed from your character. Instead, focus on increasing your ability to rebound from any setback as opposed to dwelling on this. One of the best ways that this can be achieved is through allowing yourself time. Whether this is through making an excuse to leave the room such as going to the toilet or having an urgent call or asking for more time to respond to a proposal, this extra time will provide you with a chance to remain calm and build your resilience. If a similar situation recurred, you would be then be better equipped to deal with it.
Negotiations can be an intimidating part of leadership but this is not something that should cause trepidation. It is commonly thought that women do not thrive in negotiations however this is not always the case. There are simple ways which can help you harness the power of negotiations. One of the key ways to increase your negotiating ability is to consider the impact of the outcome on your wider life. Excelling in negotiations could provide you with the confidence to make further changes within your business or empower you further in your leadership. By entering negotiations with a confident disposition you can reap the benefits of that situation but also embrace the wider impact on your leadership style.
Females in the fast-paced business world should not fear leadership opportunities but should embrace them with both hands. This does not mean altering your entire personality but just adding additionally qualities to your ever-growing arsenal. Additionally, advice is provided in Karen & John’s book ‘Real Leaders for the Real World’.