Career Woman

How women can maximize their leadership skills


How far away are we from actual gender equality in the workforce? Here is a fact that makes that clear: only 32 of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. In percentages, that’s 6.4%. Strangely enough, that is a record number of women in elite leadership in the 63-year history of Fortune 500.

Why is this the case? Are women worse leaders than men? Are they less interested in careers in leadership?

A woman is not biologically predisposed to lead in a different way than a man. In fact, a research study published by the American Journal of Political Science ranked women as more effective lawmakers. Their biological predispositions give them advantages: women leaders tend to adopt more accommodating strategies, while men are more exploitive.

Not every woman is a great leader. Those who have the potential, however, can be exceptional. How exactly can you grow your leadership skills? That’s what we’re here for today. We’ll present few tips that will help you emphasize the good things about being a woman in leadership

1. Develop the crucial skills

You headed onto this path with unique skills and qualities. Maybe you’re a great motivational speaker. Maybe you can write well. Maybe you’re great at encouraging teams to achieve best results. Maybe you’re a strong, “masculine” leader. Whatever your unique qualities are, you can’t stop there.

It’s important for a woman to work on the development of all leadership skills. If you lack empathy, for example, that’s what you should work for. These are some of the most important skills for any leader to have:

  • Problem-solving
  • Creativity
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Consistency
  • Communication
  • Delegating

You cannot compensate the lack of a particular leadership skill with another skill. There’s no compromise in this. A great leader should be exceptional in all aspects. The good news is that there’s always room for growth. Keep analyzing your skills. Emphasize your good sides and work to improve your flaws.

2. Act strategically

Always have your eye on the big picture. Great female leaders are extraordinary multitaskers, so they can pay attention to many details while considering a big vision at the same time. They can stretch their perspective. Whenever they make a decision, they make sure it’s aligned with the big vision. This doesn’t mean they are uncomfortable with taking risks. They do take them, but they analyze every possible outcome before that.

Work on this skill! Keep seeing the big picture and thinking how every single detail fits in.

3. Be proactive

Women have better intuition than men. They don’t have a psychic ability to sense another person’s feelings or thoughts. They are, however, better at reading facial expressions and connecting them with the right emotions. That gut-level instinct gives you a chance to be a proactive instead of a reactive leader.

As a proactive leader, you’ll take action before a situation grows into a confrontation or crisis. Reactive leaders react after the crisis breaks out.

Trust your instincts. Analyze the behavior of your team members. Think where each situation could go. Take proper action to prevent confrontations. That’s what will make you a better leader than most men.

4. Be a well-rounded person

A great leader has circular vision. What does that mean? She can talk on any topic. She can easily get into a conversation about the latest art movements, but she can also discuss pop music with the same ease. She can talk about history, business, society, and any other topic the situation imposes.

How does a leader achieve such level of communication skills? She continuously learns. She runs the show both in the workplace and at home. She uses every opportunity to gain new information and she knows when and how to use that information.

A great leader invests in herself. Not just in clothes, bags and shoes, but in education and experiences as well. She is not afraid to ask questions when she doesn’t know something. Although she is curious to learn new things, she still has a healthy dose of skepticism and she checks the information she receives. Knowledge becomes her power.

5. Collaborate with both men and women

You feel bad when you realize that women are being discriminated in the workforce, right? Many women decide to return the favor. When they get on position of power, they ignore men and surround themselves with women. Is that feminism? No; it’s senseless behavior.

Do not value people’s skills according to their gender. Surround yourself with successful men and women. Treat them absolutely equally, just like you’d like any leader to treat their collaborators and employees.

Women in leadership don’t have it easy. However, the best ones don’t complain. They act. They prove they are worthy of the position they aim for. Remember that!

About Karen Dikson

Karen Dikson is a tech-minded entrepreneur and marketing expert. She is an intuitive and creative thinker who is able to connect various thoughts into a single theme. Her works have been published on HuffPost and other well-known resources. Find Karen on Twitter .

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