Women hold more than 35% of senior leadership positions, whereas men represent most leadership positions. Gender equality in the workplace has always been the biggest concern, especially when it comes to leadership and senior roles. Women leaders have always struggled to find acceptance and encounter more challenges. Even if a company has women leaders, it is often said that they have to work twice as hard to get the same amount of respect as their male counterparts. When it comes to leadership skills, women are judged harshly. Some women overcome these barriers with courage, whereas many continue to face challenges. Women who aspire to take leadership roles should be ready for the challenges of women in leadership. Having influence at work is one of the keys that may help lead a successful career. Here are easy ways for women in leadership to build their influence at work.
Think Bigger and Set Goals
Women leaders are often not aware of their capabilities. As women leaders, one must be aware of their goals and what they wish to achieve for the betterment of their team. When a leader does not have proper influence, it can even get difficult and make them lose track. The best way to deal with the situation is to think about and list the goals. Think bigger and focus on accomplishing tasks that may seem to be out of your comfort zone. When an individual can achieve more significant tasks, they may be highly considered and get a better influence at work.
Hear Everyone’s Ideas
An effective leader is an individual who gives equal importance to everyone on the team. Women leaders can gain influence at work by giving equal weight to every individual’s opinion. With companies embracing diversity and inclusivity, communication barriers are likely to crop up. It is likely that the members may have different perspectives, which can impact the team’s engagement. Build influence in the workplace by knowing the employees and their ways of learning. It will allow women leaders to understand what initiatives they should take to build trust within the team.
Identify the Values
As women leaders, one should aim at identifying the values. Check the values that may help govern the behavior, such as curiosity, courage, and self-management. Think of the key aspects that may help in identifying and creating a satisfactory relationship with the team members. Foster relationships with the employees and focus on continually growing your character. Follow an empathetic and honest approach to develop a positive and productive relationship.
Follow and Study Thought Leaders
From lack of resources to lack of knowledge and guidance, there can be multiple challenges for women in leadership. Learning through others is the best way to expand your knowledge and gain experience. Try to study industry leaders and analyze the challenges they face. It may help identify the practices one should follow to build influence in the workplace. See the stories on YouTube or read the books written by industry experts. One may even consider following motivational women leaders to develop their skills and improve professionally.
Women leaders are often judged for their choices in the workplace. They face situations such as harassment, discrimination, and micro-aggression, which could impact their abilities to lead appropriately. Whether intentional or unconscious, it is crucial to confront bias at the right time and find ways to change it in the organization. If the employees are not cooperating, give them guidance and training to adopt healthier practices. Be courageous and avoid stepping back from dealing with such situations. Besides, women leaders must even support and stand for other women in the workplace and help build a more equitable place.
Lead with Logic
Women are often criticized for being emotional and weak. Women leaders must be aware that being emotional is never a weakness. It could be the biggest strength if used in the proper manner. Try to identify where to use logic and where to follow the emotions. As women leaders, one must be focused on gathering reasoning and ideas. Use logical statements and reasonings to put forth the point. Combine the logical statement and emotions to increase the impact of the argument.
Be it leadership or any other role, one cannot grow without understanding the flaws in the process. Women leaders should seek feedback from their employees and team members. Ask them about what they feel about the leadership pattern. Do not feel sad or disheartened after hearing negative comments. Be open to constructive feedback and incorporate valuable learning in everyday life. Taking feedback may even help identify what approach one should take to prevent challenges and build influence in the workplace.
Refine Your Professional Brand
Women leaders can have a better influence in the workplace when they focus on developing their own professional brand. Think about personality traits, consider what values you bring to the table, and how you would differentiate yourself from other leaders or members of the organization. Highlight the strengths and achievements and reflect them in character to build a highly professional brand for yourself.
Women leaders can use these ways to build influence in the workplace. Keep taking feedback and evaluate the performance to understand the challenges and loopholes in the process of gaining influence.
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