Being a woman in the corporate world is no longer an unusual occurrence. According to the United States Department of Labor, an estimated 60% of American women are employed either part-time or full-time. While women certainly hold top positions in major corporations like Google and Microsoft, they remain a minority compared to men in the same C-level positions. As a female businesswoman, it’s crucial to understand ways we can establish ourselves as distinguished leaders in a work environment through communication, confidence and knowledge.
Be an effective communicator — A lot to do with verbal communication, and a lot more to do with listening, being an effective communicator is key to any leader’s success. Being able to listen and understand your counterparts is crucial to succeeding in the workplace. Understanding what is expected of you and acting on that gives you credibility and makes your peers see you as dependable. In the workplace, you interact with various people at various levels of the organization. The absolutely best thing one can do to further their career is to learn how to effectively communicate with people of all levels.
Exert your confidence — You’ve heard the term “confidence is key” and it applies to careers now more than ever. If you don’t have confidence in yourself and what you’re saying, no one else will either. Being proactive and confident will help you earn your spot at the table. For example, if you’re going into a meeting and want to share an idea, run it by your colleagues one-on-one beforehand. Most colleagues will be extremely receptive and provide support when you need it most—during the meeting. Not only will boosting your confidence make you feel good, it will show others around you, including your superiors, you’re fit for a greater leadership role within the company.
Know your craft in and out — You can be confident and be an excellent communicator, but these two skills won’t matter if you don’t know your craft. The key here is to strive for progress, not perfection. Knowing your craft is vital but so is being able to effectively communicate that you know it. No one will care how smart you are if you can’t articulate it. In addition to your on-the-job experience, find ways to expand your knowledge through online courses, conferences, mentors and the like.
While the methods above may seem small and easy, you would be surprised by how many don’t incorporate them in their daily corporate lives. Ladies, follow my tips and you’ll not only improve yourself as an employee but you’ll also prepare yourself for greater leadership opportunities. One key to being a great leader is learning how to be the best version of you. Remember—your spot is at the table—you just have to seize it.
(Article written by Stephanie Chung.)
(Coach Stephanie Chung is a Certified FocalPoint Business Coach based in Dallas, Texas. An elite executive coach, trainer and advisor, Chung is backed by more than 25 years of team management, business development, and sales leadership experience.)