Confidence in my strengths is not something that I always had as a manager. When I first started managing, I tried acting like the team’s previous manager and that didn’t work. Then, I tried to manage like how I thought a man would manage, that failed miserably. Each of these strategies failed because it was pretty obvious to those I was leading that I didn’t know myself very well and I wasn’t really confident in who I was. It wasn’t until I started discovering my own leadership strengths and that I started to feel more confident in who I was as a female manager.
There are many qualities that female managers inherently have that men appreciate. Men often have different strengths than women and that is why diverse teams of men and women work well together. Remember, the goal is to be proud of the strengths you bring as a woman instead of trying to be like a man. Review this list of the 6 most common female leadership strengths and identify what strengths you have:
1) Collaboration: Women often request ideas from the entire team and get group buy-in. Women are also great at sharing information and delegating.
2) Calm Under Pressure: Women can handle tough situations with a sense of calm without getting aggressive. Women can also appear less threatening by establishing trust quickly with the men they manage.
3) Attention to Detail: Women are known to be organized and detailed and can usually handle doing a lot of things at once.
4) Openness: Women can be open and honest and share a lot of information about tasks and results.
5) Intuition: From my experience, women can often tap into other people’s needs faster and more effectively than men. Women can often pick up very subtle clues about how the people around them are feeling.
6) Empathy: Women are often more capable than men of showing concern for other people’s feelings and connecting on a personal level.
Take some time to reflect on the above leadership strengths and write down 2 strengths that you have right now. Then, right down 2 leadership skills that you want to improve on and you will quickly become a more confident female leader around those you manage.