Key Steps Women Can Take to Be Strong Leaders

Traditionally it has been difficult for women to break into the male-dominated world of business. Much emphasis is put on their ability to conform and perform to male-based expectations of themselves that just getting their foot in the door, much less realizing their potential, has been considerably difficult.

With changes in social values, access to education, and people starting families later in life, these barriers have been broken down considerably. This being said, women are still expected, if not required, to exemplify several qualities if they wish to make their mark in business or entrepreneurship. Of all these qualities, one of the most important is leadership. Women who demonstrate the ability to be strong leaders are significantly more likely to enjoy a successful career in business than those that do not. Unfortunately, some women do not know where to begin cultivating such a trait. Here we will look at the best way women can do just that.

Having Confidence To Take Risks And Step Outside Of Comfort Zones: Women generally have a much more difficult time leaving their comfort zone and taking risks than men do. For example, men will often apply for a job even if they don’t meet all the listed requirements. They usually do this thinking that they may meet enough to get their foot in the door and obtain an interview where they hope to impress the hiring manager. Women are much less likely to take these types of risks, instead preferring to apply for jobs which they feel they are fully qualified for. This line of thinking has historical roots. For many years women had children much earlier than men did, they had less time to make good decisions that would lead them to a quality, safe, and comfortable life. Men did not share this haste. Because men often settled down and fathered children a little later in life they had the necessary time to take risks. If the first couple of risks didn’t pan out it was okay, they still had time. Women did not historically speaking, have this luxury.

“Where there has been a paradigm shift in modern society, much of our notion of how women should behave are based on times when women had a much shorter period to make a life for herself. One of the largest challenges women face in business is becoming comfortable with risk-taking and stepping outside of their comfort zone” writes Jeremy Stephens, a career writer at 1Day2write and Australia2write.

Proper Use Of Body Language: One of the most visible aspects of leadership is body language. One can see the difference between a confident and unconfident individual with little difficulty and most of the time without even verbally communicating. One of the most important factors is posture. Shoulders should be back and the head should be up, lowered or sunken shoulders together with a drooping head is unlikely to garner confidence from one’s co-workers. “One area where many women fail is eye contact. It can be hard for people who feel intimidated to maintain eye contact with those who are speaking to them. Leaders do not look away or avoid eye contact when they are communicating” writes Maria Pageant, a business writer at Britstudent and Nextcoursework.

Develop Stress Management Techniques: Stress is an issue for everyone, especially in the workplace. It is easy for individuals to find themselves reacting to problems instead of responding or resolving. While stress is an issue for both men and women it can be more difficult for women who have just begun to seek a leadership role in the workplace. One of the most in-demand qualities people look for in a leader is their ability to handle and navigate stressful or uncertain situations. Some may say this is the essence of a leader.

Being able to develop and implement stress management capabilities is paramount for those women looking to become strong leaders and examples for their coworkers to follow.

Use Positive Thinking: It may sound trite, but positive thinking is a cornerstone for any successful individual. This does not mean one has to view the world through rose-colored glasses, it simply means one has to reinforce positive, productive, thought patterns instead of negative, unproductive, ones.

Michael Dehoyos is an editor and content marketer at Phd Kingdom and Academic brits. He works closely with companies and organizations to develop personalized marketing strategies to reach more clients and grow brand recognition. He is also a writer and has contributed to several publications. Most of his work can be viewed at Origin Writings.