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Leadership Skills for Women - Study Notes


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While women have entered and successfully adapted to most industries, including traditionally male-dominated fields, they have yet to obtain equal representation in the upper ranks, therefore …

While women have entered and successfully adapted to most industries, including traditionally male-dominated fields, they have yet to obtain equal representation in the upper ranks, therefore establishing and maintaining their authority as leaders in their companies.

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  • 1. Leadership Skills for Women Study Notes +W Series - Business Skills For Women1 1 Men are allowed to read too, if they wish, as the language style and the document format are universal.
  • 2. Study Notes 2 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Table of Contents About “+W Series - Management Skills For Women” .............................................................................................................................................3 1. Learning to Play by the Rules ..........................................................................................................................................................4 2. How Mentors and Advocates Can Enhance One’s Career .....................................................................................................4 3. A Mentor Can Help Your Career......................................................................................................................................................6 4. Choosing the Right Mentor...............................................................................................................................................................6 5. Analyzing Potential Mentors ...........................................................................................................................................................8 6. Building Strong Mentoring Relationships ..................................................................................................................................8 7. Building Your Network.................................................................................................................................................................... 10 8. Who Should Be Part of Your Professional Network?........................................................................................................... 11 9. Measures for Building a Network ............................................................................................................................................... 12 10. Using Your Network to Discover Corporate Culture ...................................................................................................... 14 11. Be an Advocate for Your Own Career................................................................................................................................... 15 12. Finding Opportunity in Rapid Growth ................................................................................................................................. 18 13. Communicate More Effectively............................................................................................................................................... 19 14. Take Smart Risks.......................................................................................................................................................................... 21 15. Behave Like a Leader.................................................................................................................................................................. 22 16. Focus on Your Skills..................................................................................................................................................................... 24 17. Understanding the Advantages of Being a Woman........................................................................................................ 26 18. Using Gender Diversity to Improve Business..................................................................................................................... 27 19. Maintaining Control Over Your Job....................................................................................................................................... 28 20. Keeping Your Life in Balance................................................................................................................................................... 29 21. Lean on Your Support System When Required................................................................................................................. 31 22. Avoiding Burn Out ....................................................................................................................................................................... 32 23. Reasons Why Men Understand Business Rules................................................................................................................. 33 24. Ways to Identify Unwritten Rules.......................................................................................................................................... 34 25. Tracking Unwritten Rules......................................................................................................................................................... 36 26. Benefits of Displaying Confidence.......................................................................................................................................... 36 27. Techniques to Advance Your Career..................................................................................................................................... 37 28. Strategies to Be Assertive.......................................................................................................................................................... 37 29. Control Your Emotions in Business Situations.................................................................................................................. 38 30. Build Support as a Leader......................................................................................................................................................... 39 31. Bending the Rules......................................................................................................................................................................... 39 32. Exerting Your Influence............................................................................................................................................................. 40 33. Global Factors that Enable Women to Lead...................................................................................................................... 41 34. Cultural Changes that Enable Women to Lead ................................................................................................................ 42 35. Creating Your Advancement Plan ......................................................................................................................................... 42 36. Exhibiting Self-confidence as a Female Leader................................................................................................................ 44 37. Creating a Shared Vision........................................................................................................................................................... 45 38. Role of Diversity in Advertising Changes ............................................................................................................................ 47 39. Persuade a Company to Make a Marketing Shift ............................................................................................................ 48 40. Become a Diversity Advocate .................................................................................................................................................. 49 41. Qualities of Leadership for Women in Daily Activities .................................................................................................. 50 42. Styles of Leadership..................................................................................................................................................................... 51 43. Cultivating Essential Leadership Qualities ........................................................................................................................ 52 44. Determining Your Leadership Potential ............................................................................................................................. 53 45. Avoiding Self-defeating Behaviour........................................................................................................................................ 54 46. Basic Rules of Communication for Women Leaders....................................................................................................... 55 47. Conquering Your Fears as a Leader...................................................................................................................................... 56 48. Learning to Assert Yourself...................................................................................................................................................... 59 49. Process for Neutralizing Conflict ........................................................................................................................................... 60 50. Creating a Supportive Environment..................................................................................................................................... 61 51. Elements of Effective Delegation............................................................................................................................................ 62 52. Increasing Your Success in Negotiations ............................................................................................................................ 64 53. Glossary............................................................................................................................................................................................ 66
  • 3. Study Notes 3 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n About “+W Series - Management Skills For Women” Study Notes in the fields of management and technology will be put together under this category for the following reasons:  to encourage ladies, who wish to do so, to stand up and look over the fence into management related topics;  with no apprehension or fear;  and perhaps consider embracing a career move into a technological management path;  or simply as to broaden their general knowledge;  no matter the decision, their skills, professional strengths, and contribution can only be something positive for management and technological fields. Enjoy!
  • 4. Study Notes 4 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n 1. Learning to Play by the Rules Business leaders have a better chance of winning if they know the rules of the game. But figuring out the rules can be challenging at best. Fortunately, there are two simple rules that can help you to discover unwritten company rules so you can play to win. Rule 1: Observe how the game is played. The first step of learning the game of business is to observe how the game is played. As a leader, you're expected to give meaningful input, so jumping in too soon could damage your credibility. It's important for you to recognize what matters within your own organization. A key to discovering what matters is observing the rules. To learn the dynamics at work, ask about the past and observe how decisions are made and who participates. Rule 2: Emulate others as you play the game. A leader's success lies in her ability to implement what she has learned. For example, your company president often spends one Saturday a month socializing with big clients, and the clients expect such invitations. You heard about this unwritten rule during a casual conversation with a colleague. That colleague also has lunch or dinner with clients regularly. Now that you know, it is important to emulate the unwritten rule and plan some personal time for your clients. You probably won't risk your job by not following you company's unwritten rules, but you will build more respect as a leader among your clients, colleagues, and president if you do. However, using proven strategies doesn't mean you set your own ideas aside. You need to find a balance between your own creativity and what the organization is willing to accept. Organizations rely on the abilities of their leaders to thrive. And once leaders discover and emulate the rules that drive their organizations, they can use their abilities appropriately to fulfill that expectation. As a new executive, you would be wise to be conservative as you figure out your role. It's best not to trample long-standing unwritten rules until you earn authority within the company. When you earn a new leadership position, you're best bet is to observe the game and emulate others as you play the game. 2. How Mentors and Advocates Can Enhance One’s Career Good mentors and advocates can help a woman put her career on the fast track to leadership. Mentors and advocates can help a woman learn a company's organizational culture, benefit from outside observations of her performance, and gain visibility in her profession.
  • 5. Study Notes 5 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n The terms "mentor" and "advocate" describe roles more than specific people. One person can be a mentor at one point and an advocate at another. Mentors teach you the ropes of a business either formally or informally. They are often considered guides who've been involved in your business longer than you. Advocates also know your business better than you do. They are people who champion your professional abilities. They might stand up for you in the face of adversity or recommend you for an assignment or promotion.  They can help you learn a company's organizational culture. Mentors and advocates serve as cheerleaders for professionals with the desire to get ahead in business. One way they can help a woman who strives to be a leader is by teaching her the organizational culture. Organizational culture describes the subtle, often unwritten, rules of the politics within a business. Mentors and advocates understand those rules. They can teach you how internal systems function so you can direct your efforts more effectively. Learning the organizational culture from your mentors and advocates won't give you all the answers, but it can give you just what you need to put you one step ahead of your competition.  They provide outside observations of your performance. Women who want to be strong business leaders can benefit from having outside observations of their performance. Because mentors and advocates are on your side, they want you to succeed. That gives them incentive to offer constructive criticism of what you've done. Their honest feedback about your strengths and weaknesses will give you a chance to step back from your work and think about ways to do an even better job. If you're looking to make a strong impression with a client, for example, have your mentor look over your work before you show it to your boss. Her input can help you see what you've done from a fresh perspective and what you can do to refine your work.  They can help you gain visibility in your profession. The final way mentors and advocates can help women become strong leaders is to help them gain visibility. An advocate with authority can influence how other leaders view your abilities. And this may bring opportunities. Company executives have different expectations of employees who want to reach powerful positions. Mentors and advocates can tell you what work habits, credentials, and dedication decision makers expect from the people who become executives. Sometimes it is difficult to know which corporate leaders you should make aware of your accomplishments. Mentors and advocates are great sources to ask about whom you need to impress to be considered a serious candidate for promotions. Because mentors and advocates are probably closer to decision makers than you are, they often have insight into promotion opportunities. With their help, you can find out more about the opportunities and whether you've got what it takes to fill the positions.
  • 6. Study Notes 6 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Mentors and advocates are professional allies as you try to reach your destination as a business leader. They can provide insight into your company and into your work by helping you to learn the organization's culture, critiquing your work, and helping you to gain the visibility. 3. A Mentor Can Help Your Career What would you expect from someone who agreed to become your mentor in your professional life? Mentors can do numerous things to help you advance in business. A mentor can be a role model, a motivator, and an advocate. The mentor as a role model The first important part a mentor can play is role model. A strong mentor exhibits behavior you want to emulate as a professional. The right person has strong abilities, implements good ideas, and takes risks successfully. By observing your mentor and following her lead, you know that you'll perform tasks appropriately. The mentor as a motivator A mentor can be just the person to offer you that outside perspective. Observing your performance and goals is how he would serve another role: the motivator. Once your mentor looks at what you are doing to reach your professional goals, he can point out your strengths and encourage you to try new approaches. And the most important part of being a motivator is to keep you positive. He's the person to turn to for advice as well as the one who convinces you that you need to keep trying when work becomes challenging. The mentor as an advocate Finally, a mentor can be your advocate. A mentor has close contact with you and understands your abilities and interests. She can become your advocate by letting others know about your skills. She might help you by pitching your plan and giving you credit for its creation. Plus, she has the contacts that enable her to introduce you to others who can assist in advancing your career. A mentor won't guarantee your success. She can't get you out of every jam or solve every problem. At the same time, you're not a servant to your mentor. It's important for both of you to keep the relationship respectful. A mentor can be a valuable resource in moving your career forward. As a role model, motivator, and advocate, the right mentor can help you to become an effective leader. 4. Choosing the Right Mentor A mentoring relationship offers numerous benefits to the new executive. A mentor can act as a role model, a motivator, and an advocate in your career. But for a mentor to be effective in these roles, they must have the right qualifications.
  • 7. Study Notes 7 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Establishing a mentoring relationship is more than asking someone for help. You need to choose a person who can become an asset in advancing your career. The following guidelines will help you to select exactly the right mentor for your particular needs.  Choose someone you want to emulate. The first guideline in choosing appropriate mentors is to select people whose abilities you admire and want to emulate. This step will ensure a mentoring relationship that is productive and founded on respect.  Don't limit your choices. Don't limit your mentors to women or to high-level managers or even to people within your own company. It is important to consider men as potential mentors. If you limit yourself to women because you think they understand your point of view, you'll miss out on many opportunities to grow. It's also important to remember that people outside your industry can offer great insight. They have a fresh perspective on your career and can expand your understanding of the business world. Successful mentoring relationships are only possible when you pick people who have the skills and experience to teach you exactly what you want to know. Learn all you can about every candidate to be sure you're making a good choice.  Be ready to choose more than one mentor. Finally, it is unrealistic to think that one person can teach you all you need to know about your profession. When you stop learning new things from your mentor or when you discover your mentor doesn't have all the skills you want to learn, it's time to move on. The ultimate goal of a mentoring relationship is to improve the abilities of the protege. The need to move away from the relationship is really a sign of success. Mentoring relationships will only be helpful if you choose the right people as mentors. By following these guidelines, you will be able to select people who can broaden your professional experience and improve your chances for advancing in your career.
  • 8. Study Notes 8 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n 5. Analyzing Potential Mentors This is a guide to analyze candidates you're considering as potential mentors. Your Needs Details (Describe each skill or the knowledge you want to learn from a specific mentor.) Are You Still Learning? Learning Completed? Skill 1 Skill 2 Skill 3 Knowledge Candidate's Name Describe your mentoring candidate's potential to help you. Skills Knowledge Power Availability Willingness to help and history of helping others 6. Building Strong Mentoring Relationships The most productive professional relationships are based on mutual respect. A mentoring relationship is no exception. For a mentoring relationship to be productive, you need to choose someone you respect and whose skills you want to emulate. Your mentor, in turn, must respect
  • 9. Study Notes 9 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n you and support your desire to excel in your profession. But how do you gain this respect from your mentor? To gain respect and build strong mentoring relationships you must act responsibly to establish trust, and you must reciprocate in the relationship. Act responsibly to establish trust. Acting responsibly is one behavior you can practice to help build trust in mentoring relationships. Think about how important it is to trust the people who work with you. Then consider the trust you have in friends. When mentors feel the same type of trust toward you, your relationships can grow. Mentors gain trust in you when you act responsibly in applying the advice they offer, perform well at work, meet your obligations, and maintain confidentiality. Your need for advice is the main reason you have asked mentors to help you. You will gain their trust when you apply the suggestions they have given you. Your mentors want to know you're doing your job well. When you perform tasks as they expect, you earn their trust in you as a professional. It's important that you put forth effort to achieve success if you expect mentors to continue working with you. Any strong relationship needs the participants to carry through on their obligations. If you say you will make a call for your mentor, then do it. Or when you promise to finish something on time, be sure to make the deadline. Meeting your obligations will build trust. At times you may become a sounding board for mentors. They may tell you about stress they feel on the job. It's up to you to maintain confidentiality. You expect mentors to respect your privacy. You need to offer the same respect to earn your mentors' trust. Reciprocate in the relationship. The other behavior you should exhibit as a protege is reciprocating in your mentoring relationships. You can't expect relationships to be centered only on your professional growth; your mentors deserve consideration too. One-sided relationships usually don't last very long. Your mentors want to know they're doing something positive for you and that you are reciprocating in some way. Satisfaction in helping someone grow is the reason many people become mentors. It can validate their years of experience and boost their egos. In addition to showing your appreciation verbally, you should be ready to assist your mentor with the job at hand. Don't expect your mentor to do everything for you or she will quickly lose interest. If you want to benefit from the help mentors can offer, you must build strong relationships. You need to work hard at meeting your mentors' expectations and you must let them know how much you appreciate their efforts. Acting responsibly to establish trust and reciprocating in the relationship provide a solid foundation for building strong, productive mentoring relationships.
  • 10. Study Notes 10 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n 7. Building Your Network Nearly every day at work, you meet someone who can become a solid member of your professional network. You don't even have to look far; most of them are right in front of you. Members of your network can include those:  within your peer group  beyond your peer group  across the gender gap. Your peers are the most obvious part of your network. Often these become your most relaxed professional relationships. You have the same authority and often share the same experiences. It's not difficult to relate to one another, and these positive relationships often help your business run smoothly. Other people in your network will be beyond your peer group. Sometimes trying to connect with people beyond your peer group takes you out of your comfort zone, but it's necessary to build a strong network. Although peers offer an understanding of your views, branching out will expand your understanding of your business. Those outside your peer group include executives, subordinates, and professionals who don't work in your office. Executives - It's impossible to move high up the corporate ladder without connecting with top executives. If you're in touch with corporate leaders, they have a chance to learn of your abilities. Subordinates - Networking with people who work under your authority proves to them that you want to earn their respect. If people who answer to you know you honestly care about them, they're likely to be more productive. Keep in mind that you never know when you might end up working for them. Professionals outside of your organization - Sometimes relationships that start with loose professional connections turn out to be quite valuable. Experts in other fields may provide information you need one day or an outsider's opinion of your business. You can also experience personal satisfaction if you're able to help them. One crucial move you should make as you network is to cross the gender gap. It's easier for most women to connect with other women, but that's not a realistic way to build a network. For example, Rita became the first female executive in her corporation. She avoided socializing much with her male colleagues until she realized she wasn't learning the culture very quickly. Once she included men in her network, she enriched her professional life and enhanced her success as a leader. Remember, many high-powered men have been in the business world longer than you have. They have valuable knowledge and can teach you things that would take years to learn on your own. Not including them in your network would be foolish.
  • 11. Study Notes 11 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n You should remember that your network needs to be diverse if you want to keep growing professionally. Among the few you wouldn't include: people with questionable integrity or those you don't work with successfully. Most women who have reached the top offices continue to build their networks. They understand that successful networking will bring them closer to experts in many areas who will help them continue to develop their careers. If you include people within your peer group, beyond your peer group, and across the gender gap, you'll likely find that you know someone with the right advice on just about anything. 8. Who Should Be Part of Your Professional Network? Building a professional network is an important aspect of becoming a strong leader. A professional network can help you to acquire knowledge and develop new skills, particularly when you know who should be part of your network. Because your time is limited, you need to focus your efforts on developing relationships with people who will have a positive impact on your career. This includes: leaders in powerful positions, colleagues, and professionals outside of your organization. People in positions of power The first group to include in your professional network are people in powerful positions. If you want to become a leader, you need to get to know the people who lead now. You need to make contact with the people who run your department, office, and corporation. These connections will increase you visibility to the people in power. They will also help you become more comfortable around powerful people. Colleagues Your colleagues are another crucial group to include in your professional network. These are the people who can relate to what you go through every day on the job. They offer understanding and support and help you achieve the tasks that must be done in your business. Colleagues include peers, subordinates, and people in other departments. Peers having the same amount of power as you can offer support. They understand the pressures of your responsibilities. Peers also have experience getting things done in your company, which they can share with you. Subordinates are the people who report to you are important to your network. They accomplish the tasks for which you carry the ultimate responsibility. They can tell you what's happening on the front line and help you improve processes. Working closely with subordinates lets you gain their cooperation. You can't be a leader if you don't understand all aspects of your business. For this reason, you will also want to include in your network people from other departments. These contacts will encourage better coordination within your organization. They will also help win the respect you will need when you do become a leader.
  • 12. Study Notes 12 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Being open to networking with everyone in your company will help you build a strong understanding of what it takes to be successful. You will see the operating procedures in various departments as well as the efforts of the people who work on the front lines. Professionals outside of your organization In addition to getting to know the people inside your company, you need to cultivate professional relationships with people on the outside. The most crucial people to network with outside of your company are those in your industry. It's a great way to learn about new techniques in business and what competitors may be considering. You also should network with key people in businesses closely connected to your own, such as those who handle the finances or supply equipment to your company. Your organization's success depends on these members of your network. The people you interact with every day are potential members of your network. Your decision to cultivate a professional relationship should be based on your understanding of how they can help you lead your company to achieve even greater successes. As you build your network, remember to include people in powerful positions, colleagues, and others outside of your organization. 9. Measures for Building a Network Author, John Mason, once wrote: "Don't wait for your ship to come in; swim out to meet it." Mason's book by the same title was written to inspire people to follow their dreams, a concept that applies well to business. You may experience luck at times, but you can't depend on it. If you want success, you have to create success. A good way to pursue success in your career is to be proactive about building a professional network. Being proactive means seizing network-building opportunities by: conversing with people in power, being accessible to people at all levels of your network, and seeking input from those in your network. Conversing with people in power You can't create a strong network without including people in high-powered positions. Sincere conversations with leaders will help you gain access to the level you hope to reach in your career. The contact also helps you build support among people who make the big decisions. Conversing with people in power takes practice. Don't be intimidated by executives. Most corporate officers want to be connected to the staff. All it takes is bona fide reasons to build communication. Being accessible to people at all levels of your network The second strategy is being accessible to people at all levels of your network. You already know that you need contact with powerful people. But you also must connect with those equal to and below you in the corporate hierarchy.
  • 13. Study Notes 13 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Be considerate of everyone in your network. Peers will learn that they can count on your skills when working with you. And those who report to you will know they can expect your support. Seeking input from those in your network Remember that members of your network are resources. If you need help solving a problem, call on contacts who may have a solution. If a process fails, ask for a colleague's ideas on changing it. When your company's image slides downward, speak to a CEO who has been through a similar crisis. Ask people with experience what solutions have worked in the past and what things you should avoid. However, don't abuse your connections. It is unacceptable to call people only when you need their help. Build genuine, respectful relationships, and offer your assistance when you think you can help others. Each time you speak to people in power, make yourself available to others, and ask people for help, you strengthen your professional network. You also gain better visibility among executives and colleagues in your network will be more willing to help you accomplish quality results and support you as you gain more responsibility. Work to maintain connections with people in your network all the time, not just in times of need. When you make the effort to strengthen relationships with those in your network, you are being proactive in advancing your career. Below, decide whether you're building and using your professional network appropriately. Your goal is to answer positively as many of the questions as possible.
  • 14. Study Notes 14 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Building a Network Yes No Do I make connections with people in power? Do I make connections with people with the same authority I have? Do I make connections with people with less authority than I have? Do I make connections with people in other departments of my company? Do I make connections with people outside of my organization? Do I contact people I've recently met after I say I will? Do I find good reasons to contact people I want to meet? Do I make a sincere effort to build relationships with people? Using a Network Yes No Do I call people in my network when I need something? Do I make sure I call people in my network at times other than when I need something? Do I contact people in my network when I think I can help them? Do I make time for people at all levels of my network? Do I listen to the opinions of people in my network? Do I use the advice of people in my network? 10. Using Your Network to Discover Corporate Culture Understanding your organization's corporate culture is essential if you want to advance in your career. One resource for learning about company culture is your professional network. The people in your network can provide important information about company values, goals and expectations when you know what questions to ask. You can advance your career by asking the people in your network: who has power within the company, what expectations you need to meet, and how to advance your career. Who has power within the organization? The first thing you need to know about the corporate culture is who has the power. Obviously, corporate presidents and vice presidents play major roles in operations, but you need to know who really makes things happen. Who listens to ideas? Who is interested in ways to improve daily operations? Who gets things done? Who is responsible for implementing changes? Who
  • 15. Study Notes 15 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n makes decisions about daily operations? The answers to these questions will tell you who in the organization has the power to help you reach your goals. What expectations do you need to meet? Your network also can help you discover what expectations you need to meet within the corporate culture. You may already know your written responsibilities but you will also want to discover any unwritten responsibilities. When you ask questions to find out all of your responsibilities, both written and unwritten, you can devise a plan to meet or surpass expectations. How can you advance in your career? The final reason to find out about the corporate culture is to learn how to advance in business. Seek details about those who lead in your company, how they reached the top, and how you can prove you would fit the executive mold. Find out who should know about your accomplishments and how they want to hear about them. Then be sure your accomplishments and skills are visible to these people. Get to know your managers, executives, and the CEO. Your knowledge of what it takes to excel and your visibility to company decision makers will help you advance in your career. Leaders who quickly adjust to new companies usually work hard to discover what makes each organization's culture unique. They build a network of people who can answer their questions. When you know what questions to ask, you can discover who has power within the company, what expectations you need to meet, and how to advance your career. 11. Be an Advocate for Your Own Career When was the last time you did or said something that boosted your career? If you want to become a solid business leader, you need to do more than dream about reaching the top. Sometimes you will find lucky breaks, but most of the time, you will have to create your own luck. The best way to do that is to become the most active player in your career—to become your own advocate. To become your own advocate, you have to create a career statement, interact regularly with high-powered people, and realize you can't always be liked. Create a career statement. Creating a career statement is the first step in becoming your own advocate. A succinct sentence or phrase about what you want to accomplish or how you want to be perceived will help you focus your daily activities. Take out a piece of paper, and write a phrase or sentence that sums up the legacy you'd like to leave with your company. This is your career statement, and it can ultimately guide you through all the things you want to achieve. Once you put your professional purpose into a concise statement, it will be easier to focus all your goals on reaching it. The exercise will help you establish a career plan that outlines your
  • 16. Study Notes 16 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n goals and keeps them focused. Specifically, it will help you to set short- and long-term goals, and avoid distractions. Short-term goals - A clear objective of your career allows you to decide which short-term goals matter. For example, your statement might be to recruit and retain major clients. Completing research for a client might be your short-term goal. The task may help you hang on to that important client. Long-term goals - You'll use long-term goals to view the big picture. For example, your career statement might be to find and work with the best talent in the business. So you might track your hiring practices carefully. You will see what works well and urge managers to continue those practices to reduce staff turnover rates. Distractions - Knowing what you want to achieve will help keep you on track. Imagine your statement is to keep business efficient. If there is sometimes little to report at your weekly all- staff meetings, stop the practice, and call meetings only when needed. This would be more efficient. Interact regularly with high-powered people. You should also interact regularly with high-powered people. Speaking with executives might seem intimidating, but the contact gives you a better chance of becoming a member of the decision-making team. Find reasons to hold legitimate conversations with company leaders. Small talk is fine, but more relevant contact will get you noticed and won't feel like a waste of time. And the more often you speak to powerful people, the easier it gets. Practice the strategy by:  making small talk, but not every time you speak with executives  discussing genuine day-to-day business concerns  talking about something you read about your business  asking questions about the company. How many times have you been face to face with the CEO of your company only to find you have no idea what to say? If you interact regularly with powerful people, that feeling will be drastically reduced. The more you are around people in charge, the more comfortable you will become working with them. Realize you can't always be liked. The final strategy, realizing you can't always be liked, will help you learn to be a strong leader. If you make decisions based on the goal of being a friend to everyone, your decisions won't be effective. It's important to learn that your actions matter to the business, not to your social life. Women fall into a "like me" trap more often than male leaders, because women have a strong urge to be accepted. Men do too, but men seem more skilled at separating business from personal relationships. Many have been raised to view business as a game and to think that it isn't about their personalities. Women need to practice that skill too. Imagine yourself heading a department. You've done well in getting people on your staff to work toward the same goal. You've even heard that workers in other departments have asked
  • 17. Study Notes 17 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n to be transferred because of your reputation as a great boss. Now think about what you would do if you discovered that people were abusing their lunch hours. Imagine you spoke to a few people directly, but the problem continued and became widespread. Then you started enforcing the one-hour lunch rule. People wouldn't be pleased, but it would be necessary. These kinds of decisions may not make you popular with your department. However, if they are the best decisions for the business, they must be made. And it's your job as a leader to make them. When you become your own advocate, you become the driving force on the road to advancement. You can become an influential leader in your company by practicing these strategies and learning to use them effectively. It takes practice to get used to the strategies that will put you in command of your professional destiny. However, the effort will be worthwhile because you will build the focus and confidence that you need to become a strong force in your business. Below, create your personal career plan. Create a career statement: one sentence or phrase that sums up what you want from your career. Make sure the items in the chart focus on making your statement a reality. Use additional sheets if you need more room to document your goals or plans.
  • 18. Study Notes 18 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Short-term Goals (note details) Target Date Process (what it will take to reach the goal) Date Reached Goal 1 Goal 2 Long-term Goals Target Date Process Date Reached Goal 1 Goal 2 Becoming Visible (Write down a task you took on or an idea you originated.) Date Result Experience Acquired Distractions (Write down a task you should stop doing or can delegate.) Date Stopped Result Experience Acquired 12. Finding Opportunity in Rapid Growth When companies grow quickly, they often have difficulty hiring enough people to meet their needs. Fortunately, these rapid changes mean more opportunities for women because:  job openings outnumber qualified candidates
  • 19. Study Notes 19 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n  women make up a larger percentage of today's work force  companies are more flexible about how their employees work. The first change in business that benefits women is rapid growth. When organizations grow rapidly, they need to hire capable people quickly, regardless of gender. The second change that brings more business opportunities for women is that women now make up a larger percentage of the work force. In the past, female applicants competed mainly with men. Today, they compete with nearly as many women as men. Women make up about half of the work force today. As the pool of qualified job candidates shrinks in relation to the number of openings, and as the ratio of female-to-male candidates evens out, women are finding better opportunities. Third, women can benefit from companies that are becoming more flexible about how their employees work. Technology has expanded business over larger geographical areas, which often requires employees to keep nontraditional hours. And corporations are finding value in giving staff members options in how they achieve their responsibilities. Telecommuting, flextime, and job sharing are three examples. Telecommuting - Organizations with the right technology can hire people to work from many locations, including their homes. Files can be sent by fax or e-mail. Teleconferences and the Internet can keep people connected. Women and men alike can avoid travel or even moving if they can telecommute. Flextime - Many women now juggle multiple work and family responsibilities by setting their own schedules with flextime. Technology often allows people to accomplish work at any time of day, which can be a benefit when doing business across time zones. Job sharing - Job sharing gives flexibility to those with family obligations. Employees can share duties and split company benefits. They avoid the rigors of full-time employment, but can still produce quality work. Organizations that offer job sharing exhibit a respect for family life and a desire to keep loyal employees. Women who are leaders may have less flexibility, because business often demands their presence. However, flexible work environments have become more commonplace, and leaders usually have control over their own schedules. Consider the changes in your organization or industry. Can you take advantage of them? Changes in business can benefit women because: job openings outnumber qualified candidates, women make up a larger percentage of today's work force, and companies are more flexible about how people work. 13. Communicate More Effectively Michelle oversees development for a company that builds ergonomic equipment for office supply stores. She pitches ideas to executives to convince them to fund new product lines. It's
  • 20. Study Notes 20 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n common to hear Michelle giving detailed explanations of what doesn't work well in offices and how her latest line of equipment will change everything. Michelle knows exactly what she needs to do to communicate effectively in her business. It doesn't mean she's perfect and always wins her funding, but leaders such as Michelle succeed more often than they fail. In general, leaders who communicate effectively have learned how to express ideas, use body language, and talk about accomplishments.  Express ideas. You can't become a successful leader if you don't know how to communicate exactly what you want to do and how you intend to do it. Think about the people who command attention at meetings. Good leaders state exactly what they think will help their businesses. They make their points quickly and succinctly, and they are not afraid to tactfully disagree. It's rare to see a good leader sitting quietly if she disagrees with a point or thinks she can improve upon someone else's idea. Powerful leaders have no trouble speaking up when it matters the most. It's rare to see them squirming even if they aren't sure about something. And they let people know when they've reached a well-planned goal.  Use body language. You can't take a leader seriously if he doesn't look you in the eye when he speaks. The same is true of someone who appears nervous or distracted. The way a leader comes across physically as he speaks is just as important as the actual message he's sending. Women often struggle to keep eye contact. But if you use it, it can express that you believe what you're saying. Averting your eyes can indicate submission to the listener or insecurity about what you're saying. Standing straight exhibits authority—but not if the body appears stiff. A confident leader should appear commanding but relaxed in her stance. Avoid slouching because it can suggest a lack of interest. Leaders should avoid touching their faces or crossing their arms. These gestures indicate the speaker is insecure or has something to hide. Gestures should emphasize points, not compensate for nervousness.  Talk about accomplishments. It's not bragging to describe your accomplishments. Those who didn't work with you directly on a project can't guess how you contributed to its success. Letting others know about your success simply creates the positive impression you're seeking. Leaders should also exhibit confidence when discussing the successes they've had. Perhaps they've come up with great ideas or led major projects to reach difficult goals. A leader must make sure others know of her capabilities and accomplishments. What you say, how you say it, and who knows about it matter a great deal in the world of business. To succeed in a powerful position, you need to learn to communicate effectively by
  • 21. Study Notes 21 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n expressing your ideas clearly, being aware of your body language, and talking about your accomplishments. 14. Take Smart Risks Have you ever considered taking a gamble in your professional life and then decided it wasn't worth the price you might have to pay if you failed? To improve your career, you should learn to take smart risks by not giving in to your fears, moving beyond your comfort zone, and knowing which risks are smart ones. Learning not to give in to your fears Successful female leaders explain that they overcome fear by ignoring their doubts and simply doing their jobs to their best ability. They also say they become better at facing fears by tackling them. To take on your own fears and build confidence, you should: Improve what you see as your shortcomings. - Many women don't have enough faith in their abilities and only focus on what they can't do. If you believe you're lacking in skills, find a way to improve. You haven't reached your current level of success without learning something, so know that you're always capable of learning more. Think of the worst thing that can happen. - Another thing that might cause you to fear taking risks is imagining the worst thing that can happen. So do it. Consider what will truly result if you fail at the task at hand. Will you lose your job, or will you just have to start your work over? Answering such questions can help you put the risk in perspective. Learn from your mistakes. - Most leaders can tell you stories of their greatest failures. They're what taught them to do things better the next time. People spend a lot more time analyzing what went wrong than what went right. If you look closely at your mistakes, you're not as likely to repeat them. The thought of completely failing while taking a chance is enough to scare anyone, but you must get over that fear. Not giving in to those fears is the first way women can learn to take smart risks in business. Moving beyond your comfort zone Often when women feel fearful as leaders, it is because they're being pushed off the routine path. Moving beyond that comfort zone is the second way to take smart risks in business. Getting too comfortable in a job can stop your climb to the top. It's not enough to just wish for a chance to do something meaningful. You must take opportunities to stretch yourself further than you have before. Jot down some things you might try in your job that would put you outside your comfort zone and choose to do the things that will help you gain new skills. Knowing which risks are smart The final step in taking smart risks is knowing which risks are "smart." To help you decide, you'll want to do a little research.
  • 22. Study Notes 22 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n First, do some homework to discover the possibility of success if you take the risk. Decide what you already know how to do and figure out what things you can learn. Then take on the challenge. Second, you must be confident with what you'd like to try. If you know that you can do a good job in a more responsible position, apply for it and convince your company you can do it. If you've had success in your professional life so far, why wouldn't you be the right person to tackle the difficult new task or be considered for an open management position? Deciding to risk doing something that might go wrong is not an easy step to take. Once you decide to take it, however, you'll never regret having the courage to try. You can begin to take smart risks by not giving in to fears, moving beyond the comfort zone, and knowing what risks are smart. Below, determine whether you're taking on tough tasks in your career. Challenge Date Achieved I asked to take on a challenging client, account, or job duty that will help me meet my career goals. I volunteered for a task I've never done before. I said to a supervisor, "Give me a chance to prove myself." I asked to perform a task that isn't part of my routine responsibilities. I asked for additional training. I requested an opportunity to hone a new skill. 15. Behave Like a Leader Irwin Federman once said, "Your job gives you authority. Your behavior gives you respect." What Federman was getting at is that being appointed the head of your department or company isn't enough to make you an effective leader. You must also exhibit behavior that earns you the respect of those you lead. To gain respect, female leaders must avoid self-defeating language, meet expectations, and delegate appropriately.  Avoid self-defeating language. To be an effective leader, you must avoid self-defeating language. Don't apologize before making a point or downplay or qualify your ideas.
  • 23. Study Notes 23 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n It's easy to apologize if you think your views will displease someone. But don't do it. Apologizing for your ideas only undermines your power. Instead of saying, "I'm sorry, but I disagree," simply say, "I disagree," and keep talking. Avoid qualifying phrases such as "I know you've heard this, but..." and "I don't know if this will work, but..." And don't seek confirmation all the time by asking "Don't you think?" or "OK?" Another habit some women have is using a doubting pitch when speaking. If you complete a sentence and it sounds like a question, you are introducing doubt into the conversation. A questioning pitch gives your listener the impression that you don't even believe what you're saying. You should also avoid hesitating speech which conveys insecurity. If you have something unpleasant to say, just say it. Skirting around the issue is painful for you and your listener. Avoiding self-defeating language doesn't mean that you should be rude or brash as a leader. Just make sure that when you speak, you make it clear that you deserve to be heard.  Meet expectations. Another behavior women in leadership should exhibit is meeting expectations. Employees and employers want to know they can count on you to make decisions, set and enforce the rules, and provide guidance. Corporations and employees expect many things from their leaders. One is to make quick decisions. Sometimes that means you can't do as much research as you'd like or take as much time to think about things as you'd like. In your position, you must also maintain your authority. Those who report to you expect you to set limits. As the leader, you must enforce the rules and be fair when you have to discipline employees. Finally, employees expect guidance. You need to be available to assist people as needed so they can do their jobs. People will look to you for answers every day. You'll make mistakes along the way, but your goal is to do the best you can and consistently meet their expectations.  Delegate appropriately. Delegating appropriately is the final skill that will help you behave like a leader. Some women who move into leadership are perfectionists, and they wrongly believe they must do everything themselves. Don't get caught up in perfectionism. You are responsible for the work that comes from your department or company, but you have to let your employees fulfill their duties. You can't do it all. - Most people, especially leaders, can always think of one more task they should do before they go home. Because you probably have more work than one person can realistically accomplish, get some help. You never know: The tasks you hate may be tasks someone else actually enjoys.
  • 24. Study Notes 24 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n You have priorities. - It's easy to get buried in mounds of paperwork or calls to confirm appointments. You need to prioritize and decide what tasks are most important for you to finish. Ask yourself whether you're really the only person who can do a job. If not, give it to someone else. It's their job. - One of your biggest priorities as a leader is to improve the skills of those who report to you. That doesn't mean doing their jobs for them. You need to give guidance to employees so they can succeed in their jobs, but remember to back off and let them work. You'll get more done once you learn how to delegate effectively. If you find it difficult, start with small tasks and give a lot of directions. With practice, it will get easier, and you will be amazed how much more work you will get done. Remember, just because you hold the title of someone in authority doesn't mean people will automatically give you the respect you deserve. It is crucial that you reinforce your leadership every day. You can do that through what you say, how you act, and what you accomplish. 16. Focus on Your Skills Focusing on personal strengths is a strategy successful leaders use to develop their own style of leadership. To put this strategy to work for you, you must take a look at your abilities, your relationships, and your instincts.  your abilities Recognizing your abilities is the first step toward using them effectively to advance in your career. Knowing which skills are your strongest will enable you to put yourself in positions in which you can use them. If you know you have a knack for convincing reluctant employees to work a little harder, use that skill whenever you can.  relationships The second technique to help you focus your skills is to focus on relationships. As a leader, develop sincere professional relationships. Get to know reports, colleagues, and supervisors as individuals. Also learn their professional abilities. Most people will notice genuine concern for good relationships, and they will return the respect. Because you are a leader, you should also encourage others to build good relationships. Be objective about the conflicts among your staff. Offer advice and encouragement to employees to maintain professional attitudes.  instinct The final technique to help you focus on your skills is to trust your instincts. Some researchers believe instincts are based on personal experiences. Others believe instinct is the ability to pick up on nuances. Regardless, give yourself permission to listen. Track the times you have trusted your gut reaction and see how often you are right. Then go with your instincts when you see a strong reason to do so.
  • 25. Study Notes 25 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Your methods of leadership may be different from others' because you are drawing from your own skills, relationships, and experiences. Expect to be different from others, and do what feels natural to you as a leader. The ultimate goal of every leader is to make the business work. You can focus your skills on achieving this goal by recognizing the best use of your abilities, focusing on relationships, and trusting your instincts. Below, to assess your abilities and willingness to alter things you'd like to change or improve. Rate your abilities from 1-5 with 5 being the highest. Then rate whether you feel you need to or are willing to change each ability. Abilities 1 2 3 4 5 1. I build communication and relationships with people at all levels. My willingness and ability to change or improve 2. I face and resolve conflict. My willingness and ability to change or improve 3. I motivate others. My willingness and ability to change or improve 4. I learn neccessary facts quickly and adequately. My willingness and ability to change or improve 5. I keep up with advances and news in my industry. My willingness and ability to change or improve 6. I produce at levels expected from myself and those above me. My willingness and ability to change or improve 7. I reach beyond my current skill levels. My willingness and ability to change or improve 8. I prioritize and delegate tasks. My willingness and ability to change or improve 9. I prepare for presentations, meetings, and tasks. My willingness and ability to change or improve 10. I pursue interests not related to my career. My willingness and ability to change or improve
  • 26. Study Notes 26 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n 17. Understanding the Advantages of Being a Woman Women in business have long fought the stereotypes established in our society. But is it wise for women to dismiss all the traits that originally defined them? More female leaders are refusing to simply mimic successful men and have given themselves permission to use their feminine strengths. Many women know that being female can itself be an advantage in business. The reasons? Women dominate the marketplace, are often raised with different values, and take different approaches to business. The first reason women have an advantage in business is that they dominate the marketplace. As a group, women now buy, or contribute to buying, a majority of the goods and services sold. Over the past ten years, advertisers have turned their focus to female consumers. Consider the following statements from women consumers: "I've taken charge of shopping for my family's clothes. It's something I don't mind doing. I'm the one who knows how to find the most efficient and economic places to get the job done." "I've always paid the bills. I just prefer handling the finances." "I've even become more active in buying stocks and choosing mutual funds, through my company plans and on my own." "Whenever we need a new car, I'm the one who researches what models we should test-drive. Then we both come to an agreement on the one we like best. I'm also more likely to take our cars in for maintenance and major repairs." "When it comes to vitamins and medicine, I'm more knowledgeable about the choices. I'm careful about reading labels. And I'm the first one in my family to look for another doctor when I'm not happy with the service we're getting." Being raised with different values than men is also an advantage for women in business. Some traditions that parents teach their daughters can create obstacles in the business world. But some aspects of those lessons can be channeled in positive ways, such as:  learning to consider the feelings of others  not interrupting people  not bragging. Being taught to "act like a lady" doesn't mean you can't be assertive and it actually gives you an advantage where tact and diplomacy are essential. Learning to respect the feelings of others and making a habit of not interrupting people are skills which enable you to listening carefully in business situations. Being taught not to brag can inspire you to share the credit for successes with others—remembering, of course, to take some of the credit yourself. A third reason women may have advantages over men is that women take different approaches to business. For example, many female leaders prefer to build sincere relationships with business associates. Or they use more of their life experiences at work. Men tend to separate
  • 27. Study Notes 27 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n their personal and professional lives which means they may miss an opportunity to apply something they've learned at home in an appropriate business situation. Women can use life experiences to draw their audiences in at work. This doesn't mean women achieve success because they use stereotypical behavior, such as being more nurturing or not being as ambitious as men. It does, however, give women permission to use business approaches that better fit their perspectives. Women must realize that they can enrich their careers by embracing all aspects of who they are. In fact, women can have an advantage over men in business because they: dominate the marketplace, are often raised with different values, take different approaches to business. 18. Using Gender Diversity to Improve Business In the past, women emulated male leaders to achieve success in business. But times have changed. Today, women are learning to take advantage of gender diversity by:  expressing unique and innovative ideas  inviting dialogue about diversity  moving beyond stereotypes. The first strategy women can use to succeed in business is to express their unique and innovative ideas. Women can offer fresh perspectives based on their multi-faceted roles in society. Your perspective as a women can help your company stay on the cutting edge. Inviting dialogue about the diversity between men and women in the workplace is the second strategy you can use to take advantage of that diversity. Instead of ignoring gender differences, encourage people to talk about them from their perspectives. Consider the following example of a gender-based dialogue: "I've noticed that we never show women in the ads for our house paint. Don't you think we're ignoring potential customers with that approach?" "I hadn't thought about it like that. I guess we haven't really considered women as a separate group of customers. Let's talk to our ad agency about changing that." Once you begin to invite dialogue, you can work on the last strategy: moving beyond stereotypes. Society has reinforced many images of what women value and how they should behave. You may not fit society's mold of a "typical" woman. Few women do. So when co- workers generalize about female behaviors, try to widen their perspectives. Explain how you see things from your experience. You also can point out that some ideas that may seem feminine actually appeal to a much wider audience. Of course, you don't want to focus solely on being female, but instead use the strategies to be true to yourself. Don't completely dismiss traditions or try to come across as superior to men. Just become confident in providing your input to improve business.
  • 28. Study Notes 28 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n The more open you are about gender diversity within your company, the more comfortable you will become in contributing to the business. You will learn to believe in your ideas and you will be in a better position to help co-workers move past stereotypes. Once you understand these basic strategies, you need to know how to put them to work. Find ways to express unique ideas that will help your business improve. Open up the discussion. - Don't shy away from the discussion when co-workers charge that an idea is too "feminine." Be open about using your perspective as a woman. Then invite a discussion about the issue. Emphasize the positive. - Describe how looking at something from a different perspective can improve business. Point out the benefits you believe stem from your point of view. Ask for others' opinions. - Instead of waiting for objections or challenges to your ideas, ask others what they think, so you can get the issue on the table. Finally, women need to help their co-workers move beyond long-standing stereotypes. You don't have to live with the misperceptions others have about women. In fact, you can help prove those expected behaviors are wrong. Point out when people use stereotypes. Then explain how the stereotypes aren't appropriate or accurate. Ultimately, you need to be true to yourself and trust that you can use your female perspective to improve business. 19. Maintaining Control Over Your Job You wouldn't want your boss to tell you how to spend your time away from work so why would you let your job take all of your time and energy? While you might be tempted to devote all of your time to your profession, you need to set limits that enable you to maintain a healthy balance at work and at home. Job demands can be overwhelming, so it is important to stay in control by communicating your limitations, listing your priorities, setting goals, and celebrating your achievements.  Communicate your limitations. You have to be realistic about what you can accomplish in the time you are given. If you find that your job responsibilities are greater than the time it takes to achieve them, communicate your limits. When you communicate your limits, you maintain control over your responsibilities and avoid delays and failure.  List your priorities. Once you have set limits you need to decide which duties need immediate attention and which ones can wait. Prioritize your tasks according to the task's ability to improve business or damage it if ignored. Shelve tasks that consume time but offer little benefit. If you fail to finish a task on time, will it cost you your job? Will your company lose money or a client? Will a positive outcome bring profit or prestige? Are other people waiting for you to finish before they can continue working? What is your deadline? Is the deadline arbitrary or absolute?
  • 29. Study Notes 29 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Figure out the amount of time a task will require as you decide its priority. Is the end result worth that much time? Will the work take you away from other tasks that have a greater impact on business? Decide which tasks are worth your precious time. As you evaluate each task, remember that priorities can and frequently do change. Be flexible and plan to re-evaluate your priorities at regular intervals.  Set goals. Once you know which duties are essential, you need to decide how to achieve them. Setting goals will help you to stay focused while performing critical tasks. To set goals, you need to evaluate the situation, imagine the outcome, assign tasks, and establish milestones. Evaluate the situation. - You already understand that some action must be taken to handle the priority. Stop and evaluate the big picture. What is really happening that needs to change? Once you figure that out, you will have a clearer picture of where you want to go. Imagine the outcome. - Imagine what outcome you would like to see once you have completed a task. When you can envision the positive result, let that image become your focus in reaching your goal. Assign tasks. - After examining the big picture and the preferred outcome, assign the tasks necessary to accomplish the goal. Carefully consider what duties will help achieve the goal and which might be a waste of time. Establish milestones. - To help you and your team evaluate progress as you work toward the goal, establish milestones. Knowing you have made progress encourages you and your team to keep going. Reflecting on the milestones also reminds you exactly what the goal is and how far you have come.  Celebrate your achievements. When you and your team succeed—celebrate. Offer extra time off, bonuses, or gift certificates to show your appreciation. And remember to report achievements to people in power. Acknowledging victories gives everyone a chance to appreciate what was accomplished and to be appreciated for their individual contributions. These strategies are not designed to help you avoid challenging work. Instead, they are meant to help you be more realistic about your career. By communicating your limitations, listing your priorities, setting goals, and celebrating when you reach those goals, you can avoid becoming overwhelmed and succeed in reaching your goals. 20. Keeping Your Life in Balance Successful women in leadership maintain strong dedication to their professions, but most realize that life is not all about work. Women who find success in business have also learned to find life balance by:
  • 30. Study Notes 30 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n  separating work and home You can't survive long at the top without taking care of your own needs. You do need to work hard, but you have to make time for family, friends, and for yourself. Separating your work and home life is the first way to find balance. Sometimes you must take work home, but avoid the practice as much as possible. Set boundaries that force you to step away.  using your resources Few people climb to the top on their own. A good balance also comes from using your resources. Family members, friends, home service people, and partners can provide the support you need to focus on your career. Consider your partner your greatest resource, someone who wants you to succeed because both of you will win. Share your struggles, and make time for the relationship to keep it emotionally sound. Planning is another helpful resource. If you know a new promotion will keep you away from home, plan to hire someone to take care of your bills. Give yourself permission to find help with necessary tasks, especially those you dislike.  taking care of yourself The last way to ensure you have balance in your life is to take care of yourself. It's impossible to stay healthy if you don't think about what's best for you. Make time for fun activities, eat well, exercise, and be sure to get enough sleep. Look closely at a high-powered person who appears happy in her life. Chances are, she's found ways to balance her professional and personal lives. That balance can be yours if you learn to separate work and home, use your resources, and take care of yourself. Separate Work and Home Life  Be realistic. You can't focus on all of your priorities at once. Sometimes work will come first, sometimes your personal life will.  Do everything you can to not take work home with you. If you do work at home, establish a no-work zone.  Consider or suggest alternative work schedules such as flextime, telecommuting, and job-sharing, if it's reasonable in your career.  Establish your home responsibilities if you have a partner and/or children. Decide who does which chores.  Hire someone to help with the tasks at home, such as paying the bills, grocery shopping, and housecleaning. It will allow you to enjoy time at home.  Talk to people at work who also balance their professional and personal lives.  Strive for a strong social life. Give yourself permission to get away and even show up late if you have responsibilities at work.  Take time to ask yourself if you're happy.
  • 31. Study Notes 31 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n 21. Lean on Your Support System When Required Have you ever faced a personal crisis or had to cope with a tragedy that completely interfered with your work? When you face personal struggles, it can become difficult or even impossible to concentrate on your job. On these occasions, you need to lean on others for support. To handle crises, you need to build your support system, know when you need help, and accept help. Build your support system. The first strategy for coping with crises is to build your support system. You can do this by looking for opportunities to help others. If you make time to help others, they will typically come through when you are the one who needs help. If you find yourself needing time away from work to care for a sick or injured family member, you may discover your biggest supporter is your supervisor or a colleague who you have helped in the past. Know when you need help. Once you have a support system, you must master the next strategy: know when you need help. When you have built a successful career, it's easy to believe you can do everything on your own. But that kind of thinking during a crisis can cause trouble. Don't take chances with your career. Don't wait until your life and workload are out of control before asking for help. Accept help. The final strategy in handling crises is being able to accept help. Don't try to be a superhero when you are weighed down with a crisis. Consider the times you have extended a hand to others. Chances are you didn't think twice about lending your assistance, so let others do the same for you. Everyone needs to lean on others at some point. When you need help, don't try to go it alone. Instead, plan for support by building your support system, recognizing when you need help, and asking for the help without feeling guilty. Below, determine whether your goals are in alignment with your priorities.
  • 32. Study Notes 32 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Priorities (List your personal and professional priorities.) Goals and Tasks (List the goals you've set to deal with the priorities in your life and the tasks that will help you achieve them.) Do They Align? 22. Avoiding Burn Out Can you remember a project in your career that kept you from getting a good night's sleep? If you're like most professionals, you can. And when the difficult time ended, you probably vowed never to let your personal life become so overshadowed by work again. But work stress has a way of recurring. You probably can't avoid the cycle, but you can use behaviors to help you leave work issues at work. Learning to balance responsibilities and making plans for time away from work can help you avoid burning out on the job. In this way, you can focus on each aspect of living at the appropriate time.
  • 33. Study Notes 33 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Balancing your responsibilities. Sometimes your career will demand extra concentration and effort. At other times, you will need to put your energy into family or friends. It's up to you to decide what is important so you can fulfill all of your obligations. Do you feel pulled in another direction while you try to concentrate on something? If you do, your work and home life may be unbalanced. To find out what you can do to achieve balance, ask yourself these questions: Do I avoid taking work home when I can? Do I shift my priorities when necessary? If your job requires you to put in extra hours at certain times during the year, plan for those periods. Adjust your schedule during peak task periods so you can focus on your professional responsibilities without feeling pressured. Plan to work overtime or to take work home and adjust your home life accordingly. But don't always put in overtime or work from home. You need time away from work to attend to your family, friends, health and house. Schedule time away from work. Schedule time for outside interests and for the activities you enjoy. Make time for family and friends. Then, be sure to leave work in time to follow through on your outside plans. Be organized. Schedule leisure time on you calendar and take that time seriously. When you have something planned, arrange to leave the office on time or a few minutes early to avoid the evening rush hour. Successful leaders understand the importance of balancing job and personal responsibilities. They know spending too much time at work will result in friction at home and may even injure their health. At the same time, effective leaders are realistic about the demands they face at work. Learning to balance responsibilities and scheduling time away from work are the keys effective leaders use to burning out on the job and damaging personal relationships. 23. Reasons Why Men Understand Business Rules In spite of the many advances being made in the business world today, women who lead face more challenges than men. It takes keen observation to discern all the various protocols, but knowing them helps women compete in the business arena and earn more respect within the company. By identifying and understanding the rules of an organization, you will fit in with other leaders and find your own voice. Men have an inherent ability to understand business rules. This instinctive behavior is due to their: 1. Upbringing Regardless of the efforts of many parents to raise gender-sensitive children, some traditions prevail. These traditions encourage boys to: Be tough - This encourages boys to be strong despite adverse situations. They learn not to cry or whine about losing or not getting their own way. This strength of spirit allows successful businessmen to maintain their composure when dealing with their adversaries.
  • 34. Study Notes 34 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Be persistent - This teaches boys to pursue issues they feel strongly about. It also gives them an early lesson on the importance of working towards a goal with patience and dedication. All effective business leaders are persistent. Work it out - Encouraging boys to work out problems with their peers teaches them to debate when they disagree. They learn to focus on the logic during the discussion. The ability to dialogue is a vital business skill. Play to win - Boys are willing to do what it takes to win, including going after their opponents weaknesses. This mindset is often transferred into other aspects of their adult lives. This thinking helps men to focus on achieving their goals with determination and confidence. 2. Creation of the rules Although businesses are changing, and more women hold powerful positions, men still operate most of the top companies. They also founded many of the organizations and the rules that exist today. This makes it much easier to grasp the rules. 3. Respect for rules. Men have an inherent respect for rules. They often debate the meaning of the rules, bend them to suit their needs, or find ways to justify breaking them. However, they want guidelines on which to base their decisions. Whether you are a man or woman, it is important for you to understand why your co-workers do what they do. Men and women do not have to adopt the same business practices to succeed. When familiarizing yourself with how men view business, you will understand the origins of business rules and requirements. By learning the rules of your organization, you will become an effective employee and leader. Your peers will respect your abilities and accept your opinions. 24. Ways to Identify Unwritten Rules Every organization will have different expectations both written and unwritten. To be an effective leader, you need to have a firm grasp on the unwritten rules of your company. Some rules will become apparent quickly, but most take effort to learn and understand. To identify and apply these rules, you need to:  Identify the impact of the unwritten rules on the business. Review the rules' significance to the company. It is possible that an informal or unwritten rule could hurt the success of the company. It is important to evaluate each informal rule, to be clear on how closely it should be followed.  Observe successful colleagues practicing unwritten rules. Watch the individuals in authority. These people set the example when following unwritten rules. Investigate whether all the powerful people within the organization comply with the same invisible rules. This observation will reveal the pattern of behaviors expected from all leaders.  Ask others to explain unwritten rules. It is impossible to clarify expectations without speaking to the people who are already
  • 35. Study Notes 35 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n familiar with the rules. This is sometimes the easiest and quickest way to acquaint yourself with the company's expectations. Joining a company, especially as a new leader, requires the ability to learn the organizational culture quickly. One way to do that is by dealing effectively with the unwritten rules. By following all the policies, both written and unwritten, you can efficiently lead others and increase the chances of your success within the organization.
  • 36. Study Notes 36 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n 25. Tracking Unwritten Rules Keep track of the unwritten rules within your organization. Unwritten Rule List the unwritten rule you've learned. Importance to Your Organization Describe the positive impact the unwritten rule will have on your business. Importance to Your Career Describe the positive impact the unwritten rule will have on advancing your career. 1. 2. 3. 4. 26. Benefits of Displaying Confidence Successful leaders not only have strong skills, but they also have confidence in their abilities. The display of confidence when mixed with solid skills will help you become a successful business leader. By portraying confidence as a leader, you will be:  viewed as a leader Show others that you are willing to make difficult decisions and attempt new ideas. If you are uncertain about your approach, you should exhibit courage and try to keep your doubts to yourself.  accepted as valuable to the team You need to show confidence when you describe your expectations, assign tasks, and take risks. If you appear to know what you want to accomplish, your team will be willing
  • 37. Study Notes 37 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n to cooperate. They will appreciate your self-assurance and strive to reach the goals you have set.  respected in your position Try new and creative ideas. Listen to the suggestions of your fellow employees. If something goes wrong with a plan, accept your share of the blame. Set up a meeting to discuss the failure and avoid the same mistakes in the future. By being confident and proactive, you will become respected in your leadership position. Leaders cannot succeed by confidence alone. They must also have strong skills. The combination of skills and self-confidence will enable you to achieve a leadership position. By acting with confidence, you will build a solid reputation of success. 27. Techniques to Advance Your Career Career growth and development depends on how you approach your daily tasks and responsibilities. To increase your chances for advancement, you need to become a valuable asset to your organization. To expand your skills and abilities, you need to:  Do more than follow directions. When a supervisor gives you clear directions on what he wants done, it is easy to complete the assignment exactly as requested. However, if you show that you are willing to go beyond the basic task, you will improve your standing within the company. By doing more than simply following directions, you exhibit a willingness to work hard.  Perform routine tasks in new ways. Professionals can tire of fulfilling regular duties, but those who perform routine tasks in new and creative ways add meaning to the duties. Consider ways to speed up routines such as recruiting people to help you or scheduling specific times to accomplish tasks. When you complete your duties efficiently and use creativity to make them more interesting and valuable, you will save time and gain visibility within your company.  Work outside of your comfort zone. To be a success in your career, you need to improve your job skills constantly. Push yourself to do more than just perform the duties you have already mastered. Try new ideas. Ask for more responsibility any time you can handle it along with your present tasks. Do not let the fear of failing stop you from working outside of your comfort zone. If you do not take risks, you cannot grow in your career. By seeking challenging opportunities, you will exhibit your willingness to work hard, try new ideas, and develop your skills. Advancing your career takes more than simply following rules and directions. You must extend yourself and seek opportunities to learn and improve your skills and abilities. By applying these techniques, you show your desire to become a valued employee and your commitment to the success of the organization. 28. Strategies to Be Assertive To become an effective leader and advance your career, you must be assertive. Being assertive does not mean being unreasonable, unscrupulous or rude. It simply means that you are
  • 38. Study Notes 38 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n confident about your skills and abilities to tackle new challenges. To be an assertive leader in business situations, you need to:  Volunteer for tough tasks. Do not wait for opportunity to knock at your door. Seek out difficult tasks and ask for the assignment. Do not be shy. Show enthusiasm. Most companies provide plenty of busywork to occupy your time. However, staying busy with routine responsibilities will not help you be noticed as a leader. The real opportunities for growth are demanding duties that display your skills and abilities. By extending yourself beyond the boundaries of your current position, you will gain respect as a business leader and increase your professional knowledge.  Fight for what you want. It is not necessary to be rude, pushy or unethical to fight for what you want. You should simply state your case in a confident manner.  Play to win. Use your strengths and experiences to persuade others of your abilities. List your strengths. Explain why you are the best choice. Do not be shy about describing the experience, skills, and personal qualities that make you uniquely qualified for the opportunity. Explain the advantages you have over your competitors. There may be times when you need to point out your competitors' disadvantages. You should focus on presenting the facts and avoid resorting to personal attacks. If the tide seems to be turning against you, do not give up. Continue to assert your position as long as it makes sense to do so. Stay positive and upbeat. Emphasize your desire to help the company succeed. The effective use of these strategies requires integrity and tact. There is a fine line between being perceived as confident and assertive or pushy and arrogant. You must use common sense to avoid straying over that line. By being an assertive leader, you will gain confidence, gain respect as a leader, and expand your skills. 29. Control Your Emotions in Business Situations Although people occasionally express emotions in business settings, it is important not to allow your personal feelings to interfere with your ability to conduct business. To control your emotions in business situations, you should:  not take the criticism personally Do not regard professional criticism or disagreements as personal attacks. Most business disputes are based on differences of opinion, not on whether those involved like each other. Businesspeople often speak harshly about the actions of others on the job, but true professionals do not attack one another on a personal level. Stay focused on the issue at hand and do not become distracted by your feelings.  view mistakes as learning experiences A business failure does not have to end your career. In fact, failures often help you grow professionally. Careful analysis of what went wrong teaches you what to do differently in the future.  move on It is important to realize that the frustrations you are experiencing now relate to the
  • 39. Study Notes 39 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n business issue at hand. When the issue is resolved, you must put those frustrations behind you so you can move on to the next item. Since passionate opinions can lead to frustration and criticism, professionals need to manage their emotions carefully. By regulating your feelings, you will remain objective, gain the respect of your co-workers and managers, and become an effective leader. 30. Build Support as a Leader Changes in business rules are not a unilateral activity. It involves negotiation with other people in business, who learn to trust your integrity and respect your business sense. These interactions and negotiations help you build your reputation as a leader. To build support for you as a leader, you need to:  Reveal your successes. Discussing your successes does not mean that you brag about what you have accomplished or embellish minor achievements. When you reveal your successes, you are simply taking credit for what you have achieved and how it improved business, either from your past or in your current job.  Make sincere connections with peers and subordinates. Sincere communication enables your subordinates and colleagues to view you as a caring person. Ask them about their career goals, families, interests, and favorite pastimes. This connection helps you build a healthy rapport with them. By encouraging positive relationships, you increase the chances that your fellow employees will accept the changes you suggest.  Win your supervisor's respect. If you work toward the same goal as your supervisor and earn his respect, you will make changes more quickly. Your boss will have more respect for your leadership skills if you come to him when you need guidance or advice. Your goal is to demonstrate to your supervisor that you know when to seek help. You do not want to give the impression that you are helpless. Exhibiting your ability to lead will enable you to influence rule changes in your organization. Unless the people around you trust and respect your capabilities, you will be unable to make any positive alterations. By building support as a leader, you will demonstrate that you have the wisdom and courage to know when it is time to change existing rules. 31. Bending the Rules Sometimes in business you have to bend the rules to succeed. This does not mean you ignore the rules. It simply means that you use them as a foundation for your business practices, without allowing them to bind you. To accomplish this, you need to:  Do something that has never been done before. Employ your own creativity and make the regulations work for you. These ideas often spark innovation and help employees see an issue from a different perspective.
  • 40. Study Notes 40 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n  Do something outside your job description. When you perform a duty or function that is outside your job description, you are going above and beyond your duties. This type of action inspires your coworkers, improves employee morale, gives you a fresh viewpoint, and demonstrates your dedication to the organization.  Put a new spin on an old idea. Seek solutions from the employees who work with the problem processes. This will help you identify and resolve areas that affect the productivity of your company. Bending the rules involves a certain amount of risk. There is no guarantee of success. However, sometimes you will need to take risks to succeed. By bending rules, you will approach issues with a fresh perspective, make your employees feel valued, and ensure the continued success of your organization. Would you solve problems in your organization by bending the rules of business in a positive way? Please, check what follow next. Briefly describe the problem. What traditional approaches would your organization typically use to solve this problem? Describe an innovative solution, an idea that's never been tried before, or a new twist on a traditional approach. List written or unwritten rules that stand in the way of the innovative solution. Can you justify bending those rules for this solution? Explain your rationale. What tasks outside your current job description will you volunteer to perform in order to contribute to the success of the innovative solution? 32. Exerting Your Influence Successful female leaders have altered the business world. Becoming a prominent leader requires courage and wisdom to persuade others. By learning how to exercise your influence, you will affect your organization. To exert your influence, you must:
  • 41. Study Notes 41 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n  Stick with decisions. Leaders must possess strong decision-making abilities. If you back down or give up, you will diminish your authority. Sticking with your plan will exhibit your confidence in your decision-making abilities.  Face failures. No matter how certain you may be about a plan, there will be times when it fails. When this happens, address the problem directly and then move on. If your peers remember this failure when you bring up a new plan, discuss the old problem again and explain why the new idea is better.  Share the credit. Few impressive business moves come from one person. When you initiate an idea, it can take many people to turn it into reality. To be viewed as a leader in business, you should acknowledge the contributions of others. Tell supervisors what prompted a vision or who started the conversation that grew into a creative idea. When asked directly who is involved in the process, make it a point to include everyone who played a part.  Be persistent. When faced with strong resistance from your boss or client, you need to rely on your powers of persuasion. Be persistent. However, if your manager or client still disagrees, it may be time to let the issue go. It is important to recognize that you may not always get your own way. As you win the support of others, you will be able to use your creativity to bend and eventually change business rules in a positive way. With dedication and practice, you will become an effective leader who influences positive change in the workplace. 33. Global Factors that Enable Women to Lead Over fifty years ago, the marketplace was more localized and could rely on resources it had come to know and trust. As the business world became more global and more competitive, it began to draw from all available resources. This change enabled women to enter the workforce and begin to influence it with their unique talents and skills. Women today hold almost half of all professional and managerial positions. This increase has not come about in a vacuum. There have been specific global and cultural factors affecting this change such as:  acquisitions An acquisition often shakes up the organization enough to allow new space for those not traditionally considered for leadership positions. With each new addition, companies find it necessary to adjust their tactics. As the business rules changed, new opportunities surfaced.  partnered companies These partnered companies rely heavily on teams to accomplish their goals. Within these teams, women often play essential roles, acting as communicators and networkers. Since the success of teamwork depends on strong communication skills, many women put these skills to use by helping to build communication among team members. By networking with corporate partnerships, a woman can increase her visibility in the organization.  virtual companies As more and more women become technologically proficient, they find themselves on
  • 42. Study Notes 42 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n equal competitive ground with men who have this same expertise. Being part of a virtual company offers a woman greater flexibility in where she lives and works, and her business hours. For many women, this flexibility allows them to take on greater leadership responsibility. As women move into leadership positions, they have brought their unique skills and traits and have begun to influence business rules and regulations. They have become more prominent and valuable to the business world. When women hold leadership positions within an organization, they inject new perspectives and insights and create new career paths for future female leaders. 34. Cultural Changes that Enable Women to Lead The corporate culture around you is changing. In the last 30 years, women have entered the professional world in growing numbers. They have brought with them new talents and customs and have begun influencing positive change in the workplace. This shift was encouraged by specific cultural changes in corporations such as:  a growing need for communication skills One of the most significant changes in corporate cultures has been a growing need for communication skills. Women, as a group, tend to have good communication skills. Since the work done in today's organizations requires a higher degree of coordination and integration, leaders who possess the ability to negotiate are in demand.  an increased flexibility Corporations are more willing and more able, to be flexible about where their employees work, how employees distribute their hours, and what types of additional benefits the corporation can offer. While all employees benefit from this elasticity, women in particular have found themselves better able to take on more leadership responsibilities.  the changing attitudes of traditional leaders Leadership happens from the top down. If those in charge are not open to including women among their ranks, it will be nearly impossible for women to enter leadership positions. As more women demonstrate their skills and abilities, they not only prove themselves, but also break down the traditional stereotypes and pave the way for future female leaders. These specific cultural changes in corporations have provided more leadership opportunities for women. As women have joined the professional world, they have fought hard to have their abilities and needs recognized by those in power. As a result, female leaders have earned their place within their organizations and affected positive changes in the business world today. 35. Creating Your Advancement Plan In the past, people waited for promotions to come to them. As the workforce becomes more competitive, it has become essential for you to plan and manage your professional growth. You need to create a career advancement plan to do this successfully. To move forward in your organization, you need to:
  • 43. Study Notes 43 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n 1. Evaluate your current position and decide where you want to go. You need to know exactly where you plan on going before you determine how to get there. Look at your current position and responsibilities. Examine your strengths, skills, and interests. This will help you identify what positions you should pursue. 2. Determine what you need to do to reach that position and set goals. When striving for advancement, you must be realistic. Make sure your goals are attainable and that you plan enough time to acquire any necessary skills. For example, if you are an executive assistant and want to become an executive vice president, you should not expect to reach this goal in a few months. The more realistic you are about what you want and how to get there, the greater is your chance of success. 3. Track your progress. Your goals will include short-term and long-term objectives. You need to keep track of both goals. As you meet each short-term goal, you will be closer to achieving your desired position. Monitoring our long-term goals will help you stay on track and focused. Your career advancement depends largely on you. To further your career successfully, you must follow the appropriate steps. By following these guidelines, you will plan, manage, monitor, and work toward your desired position. Below, to create your advancement plan and help you track the progress toward your goals. You may choose to create several advancement plans, depending on the number of goals you have.
  • 44. Study Notes 44 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n 1. Evaluate where you currently stand and decide where you want to be. Where I am: Where I want to be: 2. Determine what you will need to do to reach that position, and set goals. What I need to do: Goals: 1. 2. 3. 3. Track your progress toward your goals. Date: Accomplishment: Date: Accomplishment: Date: Accomplishment: Date: Accomplishment: 36. Exhibiting Self-confidence as a Female Leader As a leader, you make decisions everyday. There will be times when your experience, expertise or authority will be questioned. Women are often more vulnerable than men in such situations, because many people require extra proof that a woman is capable of doing the job. In these situations, it is crucial to remain calm and positive. To exhibit self-confidence as a leader successfully, you need to: 1. Make a decision. When your authority or expertise is called into question, the person challenging you wants to see you look incapable of doing your job. When you make a decision, you show that you do have authority and that you are confident. Make sure you feel good about your decision. If you are questioned about something before you have time to make a solid decision, speak up and say you need more time to consider the issue. Then you can set up a time to readdress the issue. Present your decision in a positive manner. This shows others that you believe in your plan. If your attitude toward your own decisions is negative, no one else is going to buy them either.
  • 45. Study Notes 45 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n 2. Stick to your decision. Once you make a decision, you need to stick and defend it. If you find there are good reasons to modify your decision, do so. However, do not back down from your position simply because someone else is pressuring you. It is likely that you will encounter some resistance to your decisions, and you need to be prepared for this. When encountering resistance, be firm and point out the reasons why you chose to implement this plan. Stay in control of the situation. 3. Admit your mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. When you assume responsibility for your failures, you prove that you have enough confidence in yourself that you can look at your actions with a critical eye. If someone brings up things that went wrong in the past, you can cut off attempts to use that information against you by admitting your errors. In some situations, you may find it helpful to bring up and discuss your errors in judgment to show how you have learned from them. 4. Move on from your mistakes. If you stay focused on your errors, you will never show what you learned from those mistakes. You must continue moving forward with the project at hand. You should not go back and redo past efforts or spend too much time trying to figure out exactly what went wrong previously. As long as you learn from the past, there is no reason why it should slow you down. Exhibiting self-confidence successfully in the professional world requires the ability to make decisions, stand behind them, and to accept responsibility for any mistakes you make. By following these steps, you will be able to hold your own in your organization, gain the respect of your organization, and increase your opportunities for success. 37. Creating a Shared Vision The best way to strengthen your position within the organization is to draw on the talent of those around you. Very often, this is accomplished by creating a shared vision. By sharing a common goal, you and your staff will discover ways to improve business in your company. Since their ideas become part of the final project design, your staff will be automatically committed to your plan. Projects based on a shared vision are typically more solid than those designed by one person. To establish a shared vision, you need to: 1. Solicit staff members' ideas. Initiate the conversation by giving an overview of the project or proposal and then encourage the team to brainstorm. During this stage, there are no wrong answers. Give everyone the opportunity to speak and share his or her thoughts. Make sure you listen to all the suggestions proposed. If the discussion needs direction, ask the members for general ideas on how to approach the project. Once the group begins to share their ideas, ask specific questions to develop the recommendations. If you have come into the meeting with a number of your own suggestions, feel free to participate, but ask your staff for their ideas first. 2. Involve staff members in the decision making. People feel it is important to be able to participate in the decisions that will affect them. When people are asked to participate in the decision-making process, they are more likely to stay interested and involved in the project itself. It gives your staff the
  • 46. Study Notes 46 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n opportunity to make decisions based on their own ideas. Summarize the decision the group will have to make and decide how to proceed. You may want to either gather the ideas, create the proposal and then have the team critique it collectively or have the group come to a decision on its own and report back to you. You can then work with the team to come up with a final plan for the project. 3. Acknowledge the group's efforts. Since the group has worked hard to help you come up with ideas and decisions, it is important that you recognize their efforts. In doing so, you prove to the people on your staff that you care about them and are aware of the work they have done. While you may choose to acknowledge the people on your team on an individual basis, you should also recognize the group's efforts as a whole. This helps build the spirit of the team and adds to the sense of a shared vision. You can do this in many ways such as taking them out to lunch or dinner, throwing a party for them, acknowledging them during company staff meetings or in the company newsletter. You can use the shared-vision process in a variety of circumstances, from developing long-term company goals, to redesigning the department's structure, to creating a plan for an upcoming project. The opportunities are endless. This process is a great way for you to get to know the people in your staff and utilize the talents of the people around you. When you apply the shared-vision process, you generate the trust that the group needs to develop the vision together and improve their organization. What follows is mean to help you compile a list of ideas generated by your staff in the shared- vision process.
  • 47. Study Notes 47 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Write the details of your project and the outcome your group hopes to achieve. Idea: Suggested by: 38. Role of Diversity in Advertising Changes Today's advertisements are reflecting the paradigm shift in the workforce. Since marketers base their ads on assumptions about the consumers they want to reach, they must keep up with the changes in consumer culture. To keep abreast of these fluctuations, marketers are looking at groups that have been underrepresented in the past. The two consumer groups receiving the most attention are: 1. Women Traditionally, marketers have featured home, family, health, and beauty products in advertisements that were directed at women. As more women enter the workforce, they have become the target for many ads featuring products not traditionally associated with women such as cars, sports, finances, and tools. 2. Minority groups In the early stages of marketing, primarily white middle-to-upper-class men made the decisions. They geared their marketing campaigns toward those consumers with whom they were familiar. If they did market to nonwhite groups, the advertisers most typically selected the products and marketing strategies based on prevailing stereotypes. As the workforce becomes more diverse, the marketing strategies began to shift. This
  • 48. Study Notes 48 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n consumer shift from white, middle-class male has now expanded to include and attract customers of many different ethnicities. Consumer culture is changing, and the marketing world's focus is changing with it. As the demographics of those with buying power continue to shift, the marketing paradigm itself will move to keep up. Advertising has become an intricate part of daily life, and you can learn a lot by observing it. By studying market techniques, you understand how marketers target ads in today's consumer culture to include groups that have been underrepresented in the past. 39. Persuade a Company to Make a Marketing Shift Convincing a company to make a marketing paradigm shift requires research, an explanation, and verification (REV). The REV process enables you to encourage marketers to include underrepresented groups in their advertising campaigns. This not only increases profits, but also strengthens the organization. To persuade an organization to change its marketing focus, you need to follow the three steps in the REV process. You need to: 1. Research what the underrepresented group wants You need to know specifically what the individuals within the group look for in the product or service you are selling. Study the methods used for marketing to this group in the past and analyze which methods have been the most successful. Gather as much direct information as possible. Ask those in your company who are part of this group for their ideas and feedback on their needs. Every group will have its own needs and desires, and this is what you need to uncover. When you present your idea, start with the information you discover during your research. 2. Explain what your company will gain by making the shift Every company is going to want to know what the trade-off will be for the resources it expends in marketing to new customers. One of the greatest incentives for making the marketing shift is the strong possibility of an increase in profits. To help you prepare, ask yourself: How the shift will increase profits? How the shift will increase the company's visibility? How the shift will strengthen the company's ability to provide its product or service? How the shift will build company loyalty among its current employees? What other benefits could result from the shift? 3. Verify your findings with examples of other companies that have succeeded in making the shift. Being able to demonstrate that another business has been successful in shifting its marketing focus helps you to gain the confidence of the marketing representatives. Look for companies in your industry and in other industries that have marketed to the same group you want to target. This gives you concrete data to cite in your presentation. When a company undertakes a marketing shift, it puts itself at risk for losing money. For this reason, companies are very cautious about taking such a risk and want to have a strong assurance that the gamble will pay off. By following the REV process, you will target your approach in a way that will yield positive results. Every step in the REV model is important if
  • 49. Study Notes 49 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n you want the best chances of being successful in convincing your company to make a shift in its marketing paradigm. 40. Become a Diversity Advocate A diverse workforce is beneficial to an organization. Employees from different genders, ethnicities, and beliefs bring a variety of ideas and suggestions that will help your company keep its successful advantage. As a leader, you should work to become a diversity advocate in your organization. To do this successfully, you must:  Be visible as a professional within your organization. A key way to achieve visibility as a leader is to join a professional organization. Being a member of such an organization gives you a chance to network and display your talents and skills. Your presence in these areas will encourage others to become active and join the company.  Openly acknowledge and support differences among people in the organization. You need to take an active role with your company's clients or customers. Differences in your company are supported through a wide range of activity such as setting up group meetings to discuss obstacles, coaching sessions, and training sessions on diversity.  Actively work to expand the diversity of the organization. You must be serious about diversity issues. By taking a proactive approach, your company will reflect the culture in which the employees live, and become strong. You need to seek people with a various backgrounds and experiences from inside and outside your company. Determining your success as a diversity advocate depends on finding examples of each strategy in your actions. To be a successful advocate, you need to be visible and proactive. By seeking diverse leaders and employees, you will create a culture that encourages new ideas. This variety will enable your organization to be strong, reflect the culture in which it operates, and ensure the success of the company. Below is some guidance to evaluate your performance as a diversity advocate. Also, address areas in which you'd like to improve and make notes of the actions you can take.
  • 50. Study Notes 50 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n How active are you in the professional world? Not active Somewhat active Active Quite active Very active What could you do to increase your visibility in the professional world? How active are you in supporting diversity in your organization? Not active Somewhat active Active Quite active Very active What could you do to better support diversity in your organization? How active are you in working to expand diversity in your organization? Not active Somewhat active Active Quite active Very active What could you do to better expand diversity in your organization? 41. Qualities of Leadership for Women in Daily Activities The application of your leadership skills is not limited to the work environment. You can use them in many facets of daily living. Leaders demonstrate three qualities on a regular basis outside of work. When dealing with people in their home circle, effective leaders: 1. Communicate effectively Communication is much more difficult when emotions are involved. Therefore, greater skills are needed when dealing with your family or close friends. Successful leaders
  • 51. Study Notes 51 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n utilize communication skills by talking with a partner, resolving conflicts, and interacting with family members, neighbours, and friends. 2. Are organized and responsible Family life requires an immense amount of both organization and responsibility to plan the week ahead. Most adults juggle multiple priorities such as jobs, shopping, children, spouses, home finances, yard work, and other projects. By taking responsibility for your duties, you are able to plan ahead, keep organized, and be ready to deal with the unexpected. 3. Set an example. As a leader in the professional world, you set an example every day with your actions. You serve as a role model for your associates. When outside of the office, you serve as a role model for children, neighbours, relatives, and friends. Whether you are involved in your community, local politics or volunteer work, you set an example in whatever you do. Communication, organization, and responsibility are all parts of your everyday life. The more conscious you become of approaching all the various activities of your life as a leader, the more effective you will be in your workforce. 42. Styles of Leadership Even as a woman, if you were asked to describe your style as a leader, what would you say? You might describe yourself as a person who likes to be in charge, or you might say that you prefer to share authority with those around you. Leadership styles vary but most can be classified as either directive, consultative, or facilitative. Directive The first style of leadership is directive. A directive leader is one who maintains control and stays in charge of her department, group, or division. She makes all the decisions that affect those she supervises. A directive leader is also highly structured and task-focused in her approach to accomplishing the work at hand. This is a traditional style of leadership. Direction comes from the top of the organization, and those within the organization have little or no say in how the organization functions. Consultative The second leadership style is consultative. A consultative leader still maintains an in-charge attitude, but she also consults with her staff members before she makes a final decision. Her focus is more on people than on tasks, and she delegates tasks instead of controlling them all herself. Facilitative If directive leaders are representative of traditional leaders, then facilitative leaders are the wave of the future. Everyone in the organization has an opportunity to participate under facilitative leadership. People support what they help create, and facilitative leadership is the best means for helping them create. As you come to understand your own style of leadership, you become more effective and successful as a leader and you gain leverage. You may find that different situations call for
  • 52. Study Notes 52 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n different styles of leadership. Your overall leadership style, however, will predominantly reflect one of the three styles of leadership: directive, consultative, or facilitative. 43. Cultivating Essential Leadership Qualities It is very unlikely that you already have all the leadership qualities you will ever need. And even if you do bring strong leadership skills to the job, it is important to keep adding to your abilities as a leader. Three qualities which are essential to effective leadership are: assertiveness, decisiveness, and supportiveness. Assertiveness The first leadership quality you should cultivate is assertiveness. To be assertive means to be in charge of your destiny. Assertive leaders go after what they want, and they know how to say no. When you are assertive in your professional life, you demonstrate to those around you that you feel confident about your abilities and the work you are doing. You can cultivate this quality in a number of ways. Phyllis knows that the image people have of her says a lot to them about her ability to be assertive. She makes a point of standing tall and keeping her head up. Every time she speaks, she maintains direct eye contact with her audience. Cindy used to be shy about going after what she wanted. Today she knows that going after what she wants is the best way to demonstrate her assertiveness. She enjoys tackling the challenging projects that she requests. Natalie has learned the hard way how to say "No." She used to agree to everything anyone would ask her to do. Now she is much more assertive. Before saying "yes" to anyone, Natalie looks at whether she is agreeing to something that will benefit her career, her company, or her department. Decisiveness Decisiveness is the second leadership quality you should cultivate. Being decisive means that you have thought about the details involved in your decision, and you have made a decision you can stand behind. Libby has a reputation for being decisive. When she is questioned about a decision she has made, she is ready to provide details explaining her decision without appearing defensive. Although she occasionally reconsiders her decisions, more often than not she stands firm with her original decision. Supportiveness The third quality of leadership that you can cultivate is supportiveness. Being supportive means being in communication with your employees and acting as an advocate for them. A supportive leader is well-respected, someone employees want to model or imitate.
  • 53. Study Notes 53 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Martin walks around the office every Monday, checking in with his staff. He fields questions and addresses any concerns. Cathy looks out for every member of her staff. When positions within her company open up, she recommends her staff members for promotions. No matter how many qualities you bring to your position as a leader, you always have room for more. By continually cultivating the qualities of assertiveness, decisiveness, and supportiveness, you make yourself a more effective leader and a role model for other leaders. 44. Determining Your Leadership Potential To become an effective leader, you need to understand who you are. You need to know your current strengths and identify areas of weakness. In this way, you will come to understand your potential. Leadership potential is based on qualities, abilities, experiences, and skills. As you explore these, you will begin to see what areas to target for further development. To determine your leadership potential, you need to ask yourself a few basic questions.  Do I know how to delegate and share power? Every strong leader knows how and when to delegate. The more you make use of delegation and power sharing in your role as a leader, the more effective you will be. Consider the following statements from leaders who understand the importance of sharing power. "I give my employees a chance to shine when I assign various tasks to them. They appreciate having opportunities to take on challenging projects and succeed." "My employees respect me because they know I'm not in my position simply because I crave power. It's important to me that everyone on my staff feel empowered."  Do I know how to advocate for and motivate people? When you take on a leadership role, you have a responsibility to those who work for you to support them in the work they do. Being an advocate and a motivator are essential means of offering support. Being an advocate means speaking up for the people on your staff. As an advocate, you might recommend an employee for a promotion or raise, suggest that an employee continue his education with company sponsorship, or publicly commend an employee who's done exemplary work. To be a motivational force in your workplace, you have to enjoy the work you do. A large part of motivating people is showing your own excitement. Excitement is contagious. It shows your commitment to your job to those around you, which helps keep them motivated and excited.  Can I proactively and constructively help shape the interrelationships in my organization?
  • 54. Study Notes 54 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n How much do you know about the various relationships that exist within your organization? Understanding interrelationships is an essential part of being a leader. This means having a solid understanding of how people in the office relate and then being able to use this understanding to support people, not bring them down. Many leaders have been undermined by their manipulation of interrelationships in a company. A strong leader must, on occasion, put on her psychologist's hat and strive to make the relationships in the organization work for the benefit of all.  Do I look for and pursue challenges in my professional life? Not everyone who goes after challenges in the workplace chooses to be a leader. However, everyone who wants to be a leader must love being challenged and pushed to her limits. Sarah takes every opportunity she can to seek out challenging assignments in her job as a computer programmer. She's been a team leader for the past six months, and she's hoping to get promoted into the next available management position. Two years ago, Amber had a choice to continue in her position as a bank teller or to take on the challenge of becoming a loan officer. Today, she's the chief loan officer at the same bank and supervises four other loan officers. Sarah and Amber rose to the challenge. They both showed potential as leaders by taking on difficult work, and now Amber is a chief loan officer, and Sarah is working her way up to management. Not everyone is cut out to be a leader, but those who are share a number of important characteristics, qualities, abilities, experiences, and skills. Through introspection, you can evaluate your leadership potential and discover areas for growth and future development. 45. Avoiding Self-defeating Behaviour Jessica is an analyst for a financial services corporation. Her supervisor, Matt, tends to be an in- your-face type of manager. Every time Jessica begins a meeting with him, she starts to apologize for not being more on top of things. She assures him that she's a lot more organized than she seems. What would you think if you were Matt? The fact is, Jessica is very competent at doing her job, and Matt knows this. But if he were to take her apologies seriously, he would have reason to be concerned about her performance. You've probably met people like Jessica during your professional career. Jessica's bad habits are working against the image she wants to project. Jessica has developed self-defeating communication habits that will eventually undermine her career. Apologizing prematurely, using qualifiers, and pretending to know the answer are the most common self-defeaters. If you want to become a strong leader, you must learn to recognize and avoid these self-destructive behaviors.
  • 55. Study Notes 55 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n  apologizing prematurely The first self-defeating communication habit is apologizing prematurely. Everyone gets nervous at times and feels a compulsion to make excuses before some other person has a chance to point out problems, errors, or shortcomings. In such a situation, you need to ride out this compulsion to apologize. In most cases, your apology ends up being totally unnecessary and undermines other people's confidence in your work and abilities.  using qualifiers Using qualifiers is the second self-defeating communication habit. Qualifiers are words or phrases that serve to undermine the message that is being delivered. Although a speaker might be confident about what he's saying, when he uses qualifiers, he comes across as hesitant and unsure. Consider the following example. "If you think it's a good idea, maybe we should start Monday with the new process for recording incoming messages. Whatever you choose to do will work for me." "I'd like to start with the new process for recording incoming messages on Monday. We can test it after a week to determine how effective it is." Do you see the difference between those two statements? Including "if you think it's a good idea," "maybe," and "whatever you choose" all undermine whatever confidence the speaker had in his point of view. When you start to speak confidently, you will start to feel more confident.  pretending to know the answer The third self-defeating communication habit is pretending to know the answer. How many times have you been afraid that you might look stupid or incompetent if you had to admit you didn't know something? How much more incompetent do you think you would look if you made up an answer and were found out? Whenever you pretend to know an answer, you run the risk of ruining your credibility with others. Self-defeating communication habits are common, especially in women just starting out in their profession. Unfortunately, those who hang on to these habits seldom make it very far in their career. By studying and avoiding these behaviors, you can begin to present a more self- confident and self-assured you. 46. Basic Rules of Communication for Women Leaders Every leader intends to communicate effectively, but some fail when it comes to giving simple instructions or when conveying key points or expectations. The reason is that some leaders haven't learned the four basic rules of communication. To get your message across, you need to state your point clearly, ask if there are any questions, reply directly to any questions or concerns, and reiterate your expectations. Rule 1: State your point clearly. The first step to effective communication is to state your point clearly. The more clear you are from the beginning, the less you will have to explain or clarify later. Include every detail your
  • 56. Study Notes 56 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n listeners need to carry out your instructions. Be specific. Give times, dates, deadlines, and consequences. The more specific you are, the fewer chances there are for a misunderstanding. Rule 2: Ask if there are any questions. The second step is to ask whether the recipient of your message has any questions. It is important not to assume that everyone who has questions will ask them. Many people need to be prompted before they will ask for clarification. Rule 3: Reply directly to any questions or concerns. Replying directly to questions or concerns means addressing them in a straightforward manner. The key here is to identify the heart of the question or concern. Listen carefully and paraphrase the question to be sure you understand it. Don't couch your response or bury your answer in a sea of extraneous information. If you don't have an answer, don't hide the fact. Tell your listeners that you will get them an answer—then do it. Rule 4: Reiterate your expectations. It's possible that your point has gotten lost during the discussion so it is important to restate it. State your position as clearly as you did in the first step. Make it clear that your position hasn't changed and that your expectations are the same. Be specific, give details, and don't make assumptions. Effective communication is an essential leadership skill. Without it, you will waste valuable time correcting mistakes and repeating yourself. By adopting, practicing, and mastering these four rules, you can enhance your ability to communicate. Start today and, in no time at all, these rules will have become second nature. 47. Conquering Your Fears as a Leader "I had never been recognized for anything before, and suddenly I was being promoted and told that I had great potential. It freaked me out. I had to talk to ten friends before I started to feel the same confidence in myself that they did." Does this sound familiar? Arlene has experienced a fear of success. Even if you have not had such an experience yourself, it's likely that someone you work with, or even for, has. Women have to deal with their fears on a daily basis to succeed in business. The specific fears that female business leaders must overcome to be successful include: the fear of success, the fear of failure, and the fear of not being liked. The fear of success One of the most unexpected yet most common fears of motivated women is the fear of success. Think of the experience Arlene described above. When she got promoted and started receiving compliments, she got scared. Fear is a very natural human response to anything that is unknown. In Arlene's case, she had never really known what success looked like, and its appearance scared her. To conquer this fear, you need patience. Realize that you will have time to adjust to the demands and challenges of your success. Do what you can to prepare. Make a list of the things
  • 57. Study Notes 57 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n that frighten you about the change then tackle one at a time. Take a course to develop a necessary skill, adopt and learn from a mentor. But don't allow yourself to put off success for fear of the unknown. The fear of failure Another common fear that women face is fear of failure. Failure is actually an important and useful tool for learning. If you never made mistakes, you would never have an opportunity to learn from them. Women who overcome their fear of failure find that they are much more creative and excited in their work as well as the rest of their lives. Although fears can be useful for keeping you alert to danger, a fear of failure is more of a cover for the even deeper fear of success than it is an indicator of real danger. The only way to get through fear is to embrace it and understand it. When you face your fear of failure, you open up your chance to succeed. The fear of not being liked The third fear that women face is the fear of not being liked. This fear is a difficult one to get past for many women. Girls are traditionally taught to be nice and to get along. But getting along isn't always possible. Being a leader means being in charge, and being in charge means making decisions that might not always be popular. You need to feel confident that the people who work for you will respect you more for doing your job than they will if your concern is getting them to like you. Although it takes time to get over the fear of not being liked, it's essential if you're going to be successful and respected as a leader. As you become more aware of your fears, you can transform those fears into opportunities for growth. They key is not allowing your fears to to paralyze you and prevent you from achieving success. It’s worth identifying the fears that are keeping you from succeeding in the professional world. Use the spaces below to note comments about changes you will make.
  • 58. Study Notes 58 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Fear of Success Fear of Failure Fear of Not Being Liked If you think you're experiencing a fear of success, ask yourself the following questions. Use the space below to write out any thoughts you have about what you're afraid of.  Have you been recently promoted?  Do you feel like there's pressure on you to succeed?  Are you worried about having your success taken away?  What would be the worst thing that could happen to you if you succeeded at what you're doing? If you think you're experiencing a fear of failure, ask yourself the following questions. Use the space below to write out any thoughts you have about what you're afraid of.  Are you under pressure to accomplish something you think you can't do?  Are you afraid of making mistakes?  Are you concerned about how you'll look in front of your co- workers?  What would be the worst thing that could happen to you if you failed, and how would you deal with it? If you think you're experiencing a fear of not being liked, ask yourself the following questions. Use the space below to write out any thoughts you have about what you're afraid of.  How important is it to you that the people under your direction like you all the time?  Are you capable of disciplining someone you like?  Do you think you have to be nice all the time?  What's the worst thing that could happen to you if you made people angry?
  • 59. Study Notes 59 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n 48. Learning to Assert Yourself When you act assertively, you show your co-workers and employees that you have confidence in yourself and your abilities. You give them a reason to respect and trust you. To be assertive, you have to be clear about your stance. You have to show an understanding of the situation as a whole and demonstrate your own commitment to your stance. Be clear about your stance. The first aspect of assertiveness is being clear about your stand. To do this, you need to speak clearly and succinctly and avoid sounding defensive. Don't get caught up arguing "against" another person's stance. You are not expressing your position in opposition to someone else's. Take responsibility for any successes that have lead up to your ideas. Provide evidence to back the stance you have taken. Remain calm and self-assured as you present your position. Show an understanding of the situation as a whole. You must also demonstrate that you understand the situation as a whole. In showing your understanding of the bigger picture, you let those around you know that you're not stuck in your own limited view of the situation. Your stance gains credibility when you show you have done your homework and possess a broader understanding. Listen to those around you and reflect back to them their concerns. Openly acknowledge any risks or difficulties that might be associated with or arise from the stance you've taken. Carry a positive and supportive attitude with you and convey it to those you're communicating with. Demonstrate a commitment to your stance. Finally, you have to demonstrate commitment to your stance. Some people are very good at sounding assertive, but their commitment dies as soon as they are expected to follow through. Although this final step doesn't necessitate moving ahead immediately on your position, you should be able to confirm your willingness to stick with your position.
  • 60. Study Notes 60 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Demonstrating your commitment to your stance also means not backing down when other people question your position or challenge you. Being assertive means maintaining confidence in your ideas and abilities. The more confident you are in your ideas, the more confidence you will inspire in others. To successfully assert yourself in the business world, it's important to be clear, show that you understand the situation, and demonstrate your commitment. When you act in this way, you help others to see the merit in your ideas, and you encourage support for your proposals. 49. Process for Neutralizing Conflict Squabbling. Hurt feelings. Misunderstandings. Cold shoulders. Retaliation. What do all these have in common? They are all results of conflict. Conflict is a natural component of human relationships. When conflict is mismanaged it becomes destructive. But when managed correctly, it can lead to unexpected solutions and stronger working relationships. The key to a positive outcome is knowing how to resolve conflicts successfully. Before you can resolve conflict, you need to neutralize it by stating the conflict, clarifying the other person's position, clarifying your position, and making it clear that your goal is to find a solution acceptable to both of you. Step 1: State the conflict. The first step in the process for neutralizing conflict is to state the conflict. It is essential that you do this in the presence of those with whom you're experiencing the difficulties. When stating the conflict, be as clear and neutral as possible. Give the specifics of the conflict itself: who is involved and what is disputed. Don't go into great detail at this stage of the process. Just state the conflict in a way that is acceptable to the parties involved. Step 2: Clarify the other person's position. Clarifying the other person's position is the second step in the process for neutralizing conflict. By starting with the other person's position, you demonstrate your willingness to take his position seriously.  Be respectful. - You will only add to the conflict if you act disrespectful toward those with whom you're in conflict. Demonstrate the same respect to the other person that you would like her to give to you. Being respectful at this stage sets the mood for the rest of the conflict resolution.  Think from that person's point of view. - The best way to give a fair description of another person's point of view is to put yourself in his position. Think about what would be important to you if you were on that side. Consider why you might be upset or angry. Keep in mind what that person has to lose or gain from this conflict.  Confirm. - After you state the other person's position, ask her for confirmation that she agrees with your description. You run the risk of upsetting the person even more and exacerbating the conflict if you assume your understanding is correct.
  • 61. Study Notes 61 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Step 3: Clarify your position. The third step in the process for neutralizing conflict is clarifying your position. As in Step 2, be as clear and straightforward as possible. This is not the time to elaborate, embellish, or add details the other person thinks are irrelevant. State your position succinctly and without drama. If your actions are the source of the conflict, explain the intent behind your actions. You may have been acting out of positive intentions that backfired. Remember that the point at this stage is not to resolve the conflict but to neutralize it so reasonable negotiations can begin. Step 4: Make it clear that your goal is to find a solution acceptable to both of you. The final step in the process of neutralizing conflict is to make it clear that your goal is to find a solution acceptable to both of you. This establishes the neutral ground necessary for the negotiation of the conflict. You can accomplish this step simply by stating that your intention is to find a win-win solution. Be genuine in your communication with the other person. People usually know when they are being deceived, and it will only add to the conflict it you are not saying what you mean. By following these four steps, you can take the edge off the conflict so you can begin to work on a solution. Because it is not always possible to resolve conflict immediately, it is good to know how to defuse the situation until the time is right for negotiating. Just because a conflict starts out with hostile feelings doesn't mean it has to end that way. If you follow the four steps of the process, you will find that your counterpart will be more open to talking about the conflict because he has no reason to be defensive. 50. Creating a Supportive Environment Liz has been working for the same investment company for nine years. During that time, she's seen the environment of the company change significantly. She used to feel hesitant about tracking down her supervisor to talk with him about her concerns. But now she feels confident about setting up meetings with Bruce, her current supervisor. Bruce is very supportive of her and is doing what he can to help her get ahead in her career. Most leaders have the goal of being supportive of the people who work for them. But they often get caught up in day-to-day operations and lose track of what their individual employees need. To create and maintain a supportive environment your people need to know that they can approach you one on one, that their ideas are welcome, and that you're acting as their advocate. People need to know they can approach you one on one. - You are the key element in creating a supportive environment through your ability to make yourself available to your employees. When people know you're approachable, they're more likely to come to you early with problems and issues, and that supports both you and them.
  • 62. Study Notes 62 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n People need to know that their ideas are welcome. - Most employees in your organization have ideas that could benefit the organization as a whole. It is essential to remain open to these ideas for the sake of both your employees and your company. People are more excited and invested in their jobs when they know their ideas are welcome. People need to know that you're acting as their advocate. - Nothing shows support more clearly than demonstrating your presence as an advocate. When you act as an advocate for your employees, they know that you are aware of who they are and what they need. This creates a valuable web of support. Supervisors like Bruce are essential. They serve to create an environment that supports their employees. Every working environment has the potential to be supportive. As a leader, you can use your knowledge of what it takes to create a supportive environment to demonstrate support for your employees, to encourage their ideas, and to help them reach their goals. 51. Elements of Effective Delegation Effective delegation saves time, ensures quality work, and gives your employees a chance to develop new skills. There are three aspects of effective delegation. First, you need to determine what you can handle and what you need to delegate. Next, you need to assign tasks to appropriate and available staff members. Finally, you need to request confirmation when the tasks are complete. Determine what you can handle and what you need to delegate. The first step to effective delegation is to determine what you can handle and what you need to delegate. You should be realistic about what you can handle. Don't try to be a hero. It's better to underestimate your abilities and end up with time for other tasks than to overestimate what you can accomplish and find yourself unable to deliver as promised. Assign the tasks to appropriate and available staff members. Once you've determined which tasks you need to delegate, the second step is to assign these tasks to appropriate and available staff members. Who you choose to perform each task will determine your success at delegating.  Make sure the person has the skills to handle the task. - It's important that you delegate tasks to people who already have the skills to accomplish them. Delegation is about saving yourself time and effort, and it is not the time to teach people new skills.  Make sure you're not overwhelming the people to whom you're assigning the tasks. - Plan ahead when you're delegating, and make sure that the people you're assigning tasks to don't already have too much on their plates. Your goal is to get the work done, not to get a task off your desk.  Realize that delegation isn't about who wants a particular task but about who is most capable of doing it. - Sometimes it's possible to give people tasks they would have asked for anyway. Sometimes it's not. You need to assign tasks based on skills and availability first, preference second.
  • 63. Study Notes 63 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Request confirmation when the tasks are complete. The third step is to follow up to be sure each task is complete. This last step is essential. The point of delegating is to get someone else to do the tasks that you don't have time to do yourself. When you require people to report to you once they have completed the work, they will be more likely to follow through to completion. You can request confirmation through a simple e-mail or voice mail telling you that the task is done. Or the task itself may be in a form that your employee can pass off to you, such as a report or collection of data. You may also ask that employees meet with you one on one to discuss their accomplishments. However you choose to get confirmation that your employee has completed the task you assigned, it's important that you track down this confirmation if it isn't forthcoming by the agreed upon deadline. The next time you need to delegate, stop and think about the best way to handle the situation. You shouldn't delegate simply by throwing tasks in the general direction of your employees. Following these steps gives you the time to think through your needs and your employees' abilities. Don't try to go it alone when you're feeling overwhelmed by your responsibilities. Learn to delegate and find the time to do what you really need to do. Below, some items to help you delegate tasks effectively to the members of your staff or team. Tasks to do yourself: Tasks to delegate: List the people to whom you're delegating each task and provide the details of the tasks.     What have you done to confirm completion of each task?
  • 64. Study Notes 64 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n 52. Increasing Your Success in Negotiations Amy is the director of technical writing for a software developer. Her department creates online help documentation for software packages, and it works concurrently with the development department on all products. Amy has been frustrated by the constant changes her writers get from development. Every time the developers change a product under production, the writers have to change what they've written and work harder to meet the deadlines. She knew she needed to negotiate for more flexible deadlines. Before Amy goes into the negotiations with the development department, she wants to increase the likelihood of her success. She sets the stage for a positive outcome by having a clear understanding of her goals, knowing the other party's goals, and adopting a win-win attitude. Together, these factors will increase Amy's chances for success. Have a clear understanding of your goals. The first step is to have a clear understanding of your goals. You need to know exactly what you hope to gain from the negotiations as well as what you are not willing to compromise. When you are listing your goals, prioritize them. Think about which ones are most important to you. When it's time to go into the negotiations, you will be able to enter confidently with all your goals laid out clearly in front of you. Amy knew that her primary goal going into the negotiations was for more flexible deadlines that could accommodate the constant changes. She also wanted the development team to place a limit on how close to the project deadline they could make changes to a product. Know the other party's goals. Having an understanding of the other person's goals is the second step in setting the stage for negotiating. This is an important step. You will be much more effective at negotiating if you know what the other side is looking to get out of the negotiations. This knowledge can help you prepare arguments and counteroffers ahead of time. When Amy thought about what the development department's goals would be, she realized that it would want as much time to make changes as possible. Amy knew that the software developers would still want time to review the online documentation even if her group's deadlines were more flexible. Amy had to think about the situation from the point of view of the development department to gain an understanding of the goals that group would have. With that understanding, she will have a better idea of what the negotiations will entail.
  • 65. Study Notes 65 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Adopt a win-win attitude. A win-win attitude is an essential part of setting the stage for negotiating. If you go into the negotiations certain that the other side is out to get you, or worse, that you're going to get them, you are setting the stage for conflict. The more positive an outlook you take into the negotiations, the more smoothly they will go. If you're not sure how to adopt a positive attitude, talk to someone who can help you see the strengths that both sides bring to the table. In Amy's case, she had several friends on the development team. She knew how hard they worked, so it was easy for her to want a win-win solution. Like Amy, you can learn to set the stage for negotiations and influence a positive outcome. The key is to know your goals and the goals of the other party. With these in mind, you can adopt a win-win attitude that will help steer the negotiations away from potential conflict and on the road to mutual benefit. Success in negotiating an issue or conflict in your workplace needs good preparation. 1. What are your goals in the negotiation? 2. What are the other party's goals in the negotiation? 3. What can you do to approach the negotiation with a win-win attitude?
  • 66. Study Notes 66 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n 53. Glossary Advancement plan A plan for advancing in one's career that involves three steps: evaluate where you currently stand and decide where you want to be; determine what you will need to do to reach that position and set goals; and track your progress toward your goals. Corporate partnerships Formal partnerships between corporations in which both companies have something to offer that adds to the value of the other company. Diversity advocate A person who acts as an advocate in her workplace for encouraging, supporting, and using the diversity in the people who work there. This person also acts as an advocate for increasing the diversity in that workplace. Glass ceiling The invisible barrier in the business world that has kept women from being able to advance into top leadership positions. Marketing paradigm shift A shift in the traditional approach to marketing in which marketers are looking at groups that have been underrepresented in the past in particular markets. Paradigm A particular pattern or mode of operation. Shared-vision process A process in which a leader and her staff create a vision for a project together. The leader must solicit ideas from her staff, include them in the decision making, and acknowledge their efforts. Virtual companies Companies that exist online and may or may not have a primary physical location. Consultative leader A leader who maintains an in-charge attitude but also consults with staff members before making a final decision. Delegate To distribute and share tasks with the people one works with or supervises. Directive leader A leader who maintains control and stays in charge of his or her department, group, or division. Facilitative leader
  • 67. Study Notes 67 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n A leader who guides those who work for him or her and shares the process of decision making with them. Leadership potential The potential that one has to be a leader based on certain qualities, abilities, experiences, and skills. Negotiation A process by which conflicts are resolved and a settlement is reached on which all parties agree. Neutralize To take the negative charge out of a situation that involves conflict between people so the conflict can be resolved. Self-defeating communication habit A communication habit, such as providing unnecessary apologies or using qualifiers, that undermines the message the speaker is attempting to send. Advocate A person with more authority in business who pleads another's cause. Career plan A document used to help someone succeed by focusing on short-term and long-term goals in business. Career statement A word, phrase, or sentence that gives a succinct description of what a person wants to accomplish in her profession. Glass ceiling An unofficial policy that a business might impose on women and minorities to prevent them from advancing to positions of power. Intuition The immediate understanding of something without the conscious use of reasoning. Leadership style The manner in which a person leads using her distinction, skills, character, and originality. Life balance A state of equilibrium between work life and home life. Mentor A person who acts as a teacher or guide to another.
  • 68. Study Notes 68 | P a g e L e a d e r s h i p S k i l l s f o r W o m e n Network A group of people with whom a person stays in touch for various reasons and can assist in daily business operations. Organizational culture Written and unwritten rules of an organization that govern how staff members interact and how work gets done. Unwritten rules Understood acceptable behavior and procedures within an organization; often based in tradition.