5 Tips For Women In Business
By: Kimberly Pace
These are five specific lessons that I have taught hundreds of female graduate business students and women executive clients on how to be a more effective leader. They apply specifically to perceptions of women in senior management positions, but they are equally valid for women on all levels and for men.
1) Don’t Wait. If you want something, ask for it. You have a voice. Use it. Do not let others speak for you. Never assume that just because you have executed everything perfectly, you will get the promotion. You must speak up and share why you want it and why you are the most qualified. [Also, see #5 Get a Coach]
2) Take Risks. Risks should be calculated, but avoid being over cautious. Choose projects that challenge you even if they are out of your comfort zone. Don’t think, “I can’t do 25% of this job.” Instead, say, “If I can do 75% of this job, I can learn the rest.” Choose new projects, new companies and new places that make you think differently, and strengthen your knowledge of the business.
3) Offer Solutions. Many woman have a tendency to apologize and over-explain when something goes wrong. This is part of taking risks and growing as an executive. Don’t be afraid of failure. If you are not failing some of the time, you are probably not trying hard enough. Acknowledge what went wrong and why (including you own failures), but don’t apologize. Offer fresh solutions, based on what you learned, not excuses.
4) Listen to Feedback. Seek feedback from people whose opinions you trust, even if (especially if) it is hard to hear. Women are often better than men at this, but may forget to seek it under the pressure of business decisions. Asking for feedback is not a sign of weakness. The more honest feedback, the more quickly you learn. Caution, do not confuse seeking feedback with seeking approval. Honest feedback comes first. Approval later.
5) Get a Coach. We all need coaches who can raise our self-awareness, offer insights and skills to move our leadership to the next level. From increasing our emotional intelligence and designing our next persuasive strategy, to delivering a quality speech, coaches are a good investment of your time and resources.
Executive Aura is a boutique-consulting firm in Nashville, TN that provides business strategy, leadership development, and culture solutions that engage employees. We work with CEOs, senior management and emerging leaders to Think, Lead and Act like a CEO. Our services include: executive coaching & advising, employee engagement, culture and communications audits, and a variety of leadership development topics and keynote speeches. Our services are customized, providing unique solutions for our clients.