We are slowly seeing more women in leadership positions and many more are aiming for them in their career or starting their own business. The leadership badge can be a hard one to manage, so I’ve put together five areas that can help all ambitious women to create the impact they want whilst enjoying the role.
1) Finding your purpose
To find an authentic purpose, we need to see that what we are doing is making a difference and when there is a cause that we can direct our attention to, we can then create goals which will shape who we need to be and what we need to learn to achieve those goals. (Source: Women Rising - Harvard Business Review 2013).
Think about what strengths you have and what interests you. This gives you a greater level of self-awareness that can help you find your purpose.
2) Managing your time and energy
We all talk about work-life balance, but the truth is this doesn’t exist. When we focus intently on one thing, our attention in other areas naturally sways. The issue is how long can it sway for? In areas such as health, family and friends, we cannot leave them for too long or we risk doing damage to ourselves and our relationships.
Therefore learning what you need to sustain yourself and your relationships is key.
Identify situations which drain your energy and what replenishes your energy and ensure that you balance that.
Lean on a support network, especially if you have kids and home responsibilties, so you can concentrate when at work and then have healthy home practices (like switching off the laptop or phone at certain times) so you can fully recharge and relax.
Many people think you either have confidence or you don’t, but in reality, we can cultivate confidence and we feel it more when we are really passionate about something.
I don’t believe in ‘fake it till you make it’ but we can change our body language, and the words we use to be more optimistic and increase our self-esteem, which are both related to confidence.
The more we practice something and take action the more evidence we store up that feeds into our confidence. So pick an area you want to increase your confidence in, figure out two or three small steps you can take over the next few weeks and then keep building on it. Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements along the way!
In widening our networks we can benefit from learning from senior leaders, finding good mentors, and seek promotions.
Within your organsiation, identify people that you could connect with every month.
Aim to increase your visibility, perhaps by arranging an event or a training session.
Look outside your orgnaisation too; there are many online groups availble to join.
Networking also means to speak up about our work, showcasing what you are doing to the right people. If we don’t shout about our achievements, who will?
Part of growing a career or business means that we have to learn to negotiate for what we want.
My top tips are:
Do your homework, try find out what the other party wants.
Understand your own intentions. What exactly do you want? What would be your walk away points? What could you compromise on?
Re-frame the negotiation so that you are trying to satisfy both parties. This makes your demands less about yourself but showing that you are thinking about the wider organisation or team (win/win).
Priya Mohal is one of our partner coaches. To find out more about working with Priya, visit her coach profile: www.careeringintomotherhood.com/priya-mohal.