Wondering how to be a strong leader and still be a woman? Here are the secrets to female leadership.
Today, more and more women are achieving success in leading businesses, with increasing numbers of corporations developing programs specifically to attract and develop female talent. Today, a growing number of women want to be successful in the workplace… and still be women. Here are ten characteristics unique to female leadership.
- A woman doesn’t give orders. She asks for advice.
Ask others for suggestions and learn potential solutions. Then, choose the best way to do the work.
When we force people to do something good for them or the business, people start unconsciously to resist and silently fight back. Alternatively, when we ask for advice about the best way to do something, we allow people to see possibilities and decide for themselves; they ultimately choose the best ways to implement the task.
Even if we later correct or totally change what has been done, the task has been perceived differently, accomplished quicker and achieved better results. Often, people suggest genius solutions to problems that we may not have otherwise considered, so listen to what they have got to say.
2. A woman doesn’t just set the goals. She forms the vision.
Form an inspiring vision for yourself and your team. Only what inspires us has the energy to become reality.
Usually, pure goals are dry and boring (non-inspirational); they do not have life in them, and their achievement involves a lot of struggle. But, once we introduce images, colors, and emotions into the goals, they become the vision that we want to fulfill; the vision takes on a life of its own and encourages the physical reality to become one with the vision.
Just say to employees or the supervisor, “Imagine….” and draw the picture of a great future. The more details that we add to this picture, including sounds, feelings, emotions, colors, and how it will affect others, the more this vision will have energy that will become the fuel for us and the people around us.
- A woman doesn’t compete. She integrates.
Great things can only be done together. Integration is the key to success.
Many women wonder how to stop living in constant fear that of betrayal, substitution, and redundancy, or that the boss will prefer somebody else as a replacement. But, if we understand that everybody has their own strengths and talents, if we value our own unique selves as well as the uniqueness of others, then the competition transforms into cooperation. When a woman can integrate different people for a common good, then everybody wins.
When encountering a seemingly competitive situation, simply say to oneself: “I accept myself, and I accept you the way you are. I accept you with all of your strong sides, with everything I can learn from you, and what you do better than I. You have your own strong sides, just as I have mine. You are unique, as am I. Together, we can achieve more than I can do alone.”
- A woman doesn’t force someone to do something. She inspires others.
Empower others to be the most that they can be. When we demonstrate to those we work with that we believe in their skills, we trust them, and that we expect great things of them, 99 percent of the time people will lift themselves up to the level we expect. Deliver your expectations with heart.
Any work can just be done formally, especially when it is forced to be done. The work is completed equally well with a full heart, dedication, and creativity – with a richer result of a sense of fulfillment, as well as high performance.
Every woman has intuitive knowledge of what another person wants; we all know what another person can do best, what will make him or her “move mountains,” and what will inspire this person – whether it is recognition, money, power, or an idea itself. This is the art of every woman; finding a key to a person and how to say it to this person so he or she grows the wings to fly high and desire to show the best of himself or herself.
- A woman doesn’t punish. She is comforting and compassionate, even in the way she disciplines others.
When we treat people with an open heart and compassion, they will be grateful to us. In this thankful, uplifted state, they can do more than when they feel down.
Of course, everybody makes mistakes, and we usually understand when we have done something wrong. Often, however, we are afraid not about the mistake itself but of the punishment that may follow it.
If we practice compassion and mercy, then the mistake becomes a lesson. Usually, a woman treats her kids this way, comforting them after something goes wrong, and a wise woman would do the same with people around her.
- A woman doesn’t maintain in struggle mode. She creates a flow and enjoys the process.
Putting photos of a loved ones and flowers on our desks at work is not a whim; this activity enables women to create around us a joyful space. It is a happy place around us.
When a woman enjoys the process, relishing where she is and what she is doing, then everything goes well and is successful. For this reason, it is critical that we women do what we love, be creative when meeting challenges, and happy about what surrounds us. The smell of coffee brewing, sitting in a comfortable chair, or using colorful folders can all improve work performance.
Enjoy the process, refusing to stay in a state of struggle. For women, what is natural for us and where we are best able to meet challenges is when we are happy.
- A woman doesn’t fight and conquer. She affiliates.
Create an attractive environment in which to work, invest time, and devote energy.
It is not necessary for us as women to strive to take away somebody else’s business, market, or best employees. Instead, we can just show that the grass is greener on our side. We are confident about our advantages, and so we can present things in the best light.
Let’s be honest with ourselves about what we can each offer and make better. Do not be shy about sharing amazing female strengths with the world.