I checked and double-checked my news feed. The ad disguised as an article caught me off guard. I can’t recall the title, but the message stayed with me: high-achieving women are ruthless, and destined to be alone. As someone who has succeeded in business while maintaining a loving marriage, raising a family, and mentoring other women, the article was a sad representation of the culture of women in the workplace.
Can women be both kind and successful? In a culture where women are stepping into leadership roles and embracing success, encouraging each other is more important than ever.
As women, we often work twice as hard for recognition in the workplace. Outperforming male competitors is simply not enough. Many women resort to bullying their way to the top, eliminating relationships with other women. We live in fear of losing face, of being seen as too emotional, caring, or kind. Instead of operating from a place of encouragement for other women, we can be quick to write off the success of others. In this article, I explore five ways to highlight the successful women in your life, and the reasons why this is so important. We are not destined to be alone at the top. By standing together, our voices become much stronger, and we become a force that cannot be stopped.
- Show Your Gratitude
Is there a particular woman that inspires you? Someone who encouraged you to take a chance when you doubted yourself? Someone who stayed late to help you meet a deadline, covered for you when you had to pick your kids up from school, or picked up coffee for you before your big meeting? It is important for us to recognize these important gestures for the show of support that they are. Show your gratitude immediately, and pay it forward.
- Share the Excitement
It can be hard when we’re the ones passed up for a promotion or outperformed by others. Instead of coveting the success of your coworkers, share their excitement for a job well done. By genuinely celebrating with others, we let them know that it is okay to enjoy their success and make it easier for them to do the same when the tables are turned. By strengthening your relationship, you also open the door to greater learning. You may have overlooked something that they picked up right away.
- Share the Defeat
If you excel at your job, take a moment to notice those around you. If you’ve been given a promotion, be willing to speak to the other women in your department who were not chosen. Let them know that you are an open book. Often, criticizing someone’s success is a way to soften the blow of failure. By relating to your coworkers on a personal level, you remind them that you are human as well. Psychologists have studied the reason behind bullying among women in the workplace, and a fear of inadequacy often lies at the heart of it. Be willing to listen to others as they share their disappointments. Truly listen. Remember that they are not against you, but are expressing their frustration with an unfruitful effort.
- Be Open
Showing vulnerability at work can be difficult for us women, as we are taught that our feelings are a weakness instead of an incredible gift. Our intuition, empathy, and kindness can make us outstanding leaders in our fields, if we allow these values to shine through. Realize that we are all unique. Each person brings a fresh perspective to the table. If you find yourself tempted to indulge in the latest gossip or make a snarky remark about somebody’s appearance or job performance, take a step back and think about the feelings that are pushing you towards this behavior. Are you anxious about the shifts in management? Do you feel like a coworker is putting on a show? Have you put on a few pounds yourself? Chances are, the negativity is also affecting everyone else. Be willing to make a connection with the other women around you. Let them know that you’re nervous as well. Opening a channel of communication can transform a closed, under producing group of people to a unified team with a shared goal.
- Be Honest
Being truly honest with yourself and others can be terrifying. The vast majority of us are honest about the big things in life. However, our lives are lived in the still, quiet moments as we pour our hearts and souls into our work. If you are no longer passionate about what you’re doing, it’s time to have a difficult, truthful conversation with yourself. If you feel that someone has wronged you, the issue must be brought out in the open. If you feel that other women are untrustworthy, start addressing each relationship one by one.
Be the Authentic You!
As a female leader, I am a committed and compassionate presence eager to develop, expand, and celebrate your leadership journey according to your own unique values and individual strengths. When you know your passions, strengths, and talents and can align these with company and industry values, you will have an unwavering confidence within your market, organization, and joint venture(s). It’s a win-win! I want you to identify the key action steps that you must take to emerge into positions of influence and leadership.
In my journey as an emerging leader, I took many unexpected life and business twists, turns and detours. What kept me grounded was having my own solid career and leadership brand as an expression of my life purpose. I had to dig deep with reflection, self-awareness, and self-acceptance to emerge transformed into the woman, and leadership brand, I am meant to be! Now, as a rising leader, clients and opportunities find me!
We are not destined to be alone; we can support one another to be positive authentic leaders to
As women, it can be easy to be critical of others who have found success. A young, attractive coworker who just joined the team and is making more money than you’d expect can be upsetting. By taking a moment to address the emotions behind your initial reaction, you’ll realize that you’re envious of her bold choices and sharp wit. The more we support and uplift each other, the greater our impact as leaders becomes. We have the natural gifts of compassion, empathy, and love. Resist the urge to belittle the success of others, and embrace each success with dignity and compassion. Remember that we are not competing against each other, but against ourselves. Our best efforts today should outshine those of yesterday.
The NEW leader is YOU! BELIEVE
I invite you to start now. Visit my website at TheCoachingNest.ca and sign up for a free giveaway. If you have questions and want to connect, I would love to chat: 902-431-5189 or drop me an email: Shelley@shelleycox.ca
Sharing your Leadership Journey,