Despite a global movement towards gender diversification in leadership positions, unconscious gender bias is still rife within workplaces. Executive Education leadership facilitator and Associate of the Melbourne Business School Abi O’Neill outlines strategies, qualities and skills that can support women to succeed in leadership roles.
To be truly authentic you have to know who you are and what you believe in, through expanding self-knowledge, you become clearer about your values, beliefs, preferences and motivations. From these insights you will gain wisdom, judgement and clarity about where you stand and where you draw the line – which will make you a stronger leader.
Ask yourself hard questions
What you are passionate about? What drives you? What is important for your life and career? What is not important? What you are good at? What gaps you need to fill? What you need to focus on?
Take control of your career
You are the pilot taking control of your career. If you allow your career and life to just drift along, chances are that you will stagnate and regret the inertia later on down the track. It is easy to get stuck. A useful strategy is to analyse your career and think through the steps you have taken and those you still need to take. Draft a development plan and set goals along the way.
Develop strong relationships
Even the busiest executives take the time to build close connections. Through trust you strengthen your integrity, credibility and influence. Projecting genuine warmth and empathy is a most effective way to influence others and strengthen relationships.
Silence your inner-critic
To some degree we all have an inner-critic, a voice our heads that expresses criticism, frustration or disapproval of our actions, usually caused by self-doubt and anxiety. The journey to dissipating your self-doubt starts with tuning into these thoughts and identifying them rather than suppressing or avoiding them.
Written by Abi O’Neill, facilitator of the Women in Leadership short course.