Women leaders face unique challenges when effectuating their leadership abilities. There are characteristics that are seen as assets to leaders that women, or society, may view as negative. Some women may avoid embodying certain characteristics or will approach particular leadership styles with caution due to fear of being viewed in an unpopular light.
Although women aspiring to become effective leaders will face numerous challenges, their innate desire to lead and to initiate change will certainly prove to be more influential than the effects of any roadblocks. However, it is critical to identify the challenges that could prevent aspiring leaders from actualizing and becoming the true authentic leader that your people need you to be.
Below we will discuss some of these common challenges to leading more boldly with alternative perspectives to help you rethink these leadership challenges.
Challenge #1: Excess concern with popular opinion.
Research indicates that women tend to value communication, compromise, and collective effort. At times, however, placing too much of a focus upon these themes can hinder your ability to make intuitive decisions. Trust your gut. To be an effective leader, you must be willing to remain agile in your thought processes, think outside of the box, challenge the status quo, and maybe even sometimes take the path least traveled. I encourage you to find a balance between valuing the opinion of others versus overriding your natural intuition.
Challenge #2: Effectively leveraging emotional intelligence
The ability to utilize emotional intelligence to foster and build trust can be a competitive advantage for any leader. Research suggests that women have a tendency to make decisions and communicate by primarily using emotional processing, thus improving their ability to lead empathically, fairly, understand the needs of others, and make decisions with more determination. These are excellent leadership qualities, but an equally important trait is the ability to use objective logic. As a leader, developing an awareness of your tendency to lean towards emotional thinking is key because you will then be able to know when to activate logic over emotion or vice versa. When you can be self-aware and truthful with yourself, your leadership abilities will improve greatly, allowing you to pass on this self-development knowledge to others.
Challenge #3: Difficulty celebrating accomplishments
This may be due to how individuals actually define success and what one tends to view as an accomplishment. However, when we are talking about accomplishments in more measurable terms for women that are wanting to carve out a successful pathway to promotion, there are some important distinctions. In terms of accomplishments, celebrating wins that are both quantitative and qualitative are important. Additionally, being able to articulate wins that have helped to impact the bottom line and/or ROI for your industry or, organization are also important. Celebrating your wins not only feels great emotionally, but it reinforces the behavior you want to ‘show up’ when you face a new challenge or opportunity. Although celebrating success can at times seem intimidating, by being able to successfully overcome this hurdle, you can open a gateway to greater achievements in both your professional life and business.
Many of the women leaders I work with struggle with “imposter syndrome.” But, this syndrome doesn’t have to define you, or, stall your career.
Over the years, I’ve helped thousands of high performing women, fulfill their potential, break down barriers, and create a meaningful impact by making important mental shifts in their self-perception.
I’ve also created leadership training and coaching programs based upon my years of experience that empowers women to:
- Confront and conquer beliefs that may have previously limited your success
- Identify your professional and personal blind spots, and correct them
- Work and create a strong leadership presence
- Get in touch with your true authenticity, and expand your leadership capacity
- Increase your self-awareness
- Expand your emotional intelligence
- Improve your communication skills and speak with more confidence
Are you currently experiencing any of these challenges?
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how I can help.
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