It’s an indisputable fact of business life: the higher up you go up within the corporate ladder, it’s likely that you will find fewer women who are in positions of power and influence. There are several reasons as to why women continue to lag behind men when it comes to reaching the top at work or in business. We’ve compiled a list of the most important leadership skills within business and why women need them to overcome this trend.
Build relationships and support other women
“Putting yourself out there” is one of the first steps towards success. While it’s true that you won’t gain success overnight, focus on building strong networks with other people and supporting other women to help them achieve. Engaging with people and creating a community of supportive peers, colleagues and mentors that you can trust provides you with the chance to form partnerships, business relationships, and even long-lasting friendships. This can largely help in expanding your influence and in exercising your professional abilities to others. For the best results, build strong relationships with your co-workers, try volunteering, attend company events, or even run seminars or mentoring programmes to help inspire others.
Always try to assume responsibility, be self-directed, and most importantly, be confident in all of your decisions. To achieve this, avoid waiting for other people to give you direction or guidance on what to do next. This way, you can think open-mindedly about your own assumptions and possible consequences of decisions without the reliance of others.
Be someone who can be trusted and discrete with sensitive information, and aim to be the type of person that people can depend on when it comes to delivering results. Once you have established trust with other people, your team will most likely commit to your goals and mistakes will be made less frequently. Above all, it’s important to be credible and fair to others and to commit to this leading style.
Let your Creativity and Innovation flow
Successful leaders always try to bring creativity and innovation to any challenges that they may face. Whether you’re wishing to buy a bespoke exhibition stand to best showcase your new product or are leading a team to deliver an important pitch, you should aim to develop a skill set that brings a different perspective and additional value to your work ethic or entrepreneurial experience. Remember to always offer strategic vision to your team and learn to anticipate what other challenges may be on the horizon.
Being an effective communicator is arguably one of the most vital skills for any successful leader, but is not just limited to speaking. Specifically, knowing what questions to ask, how to ask them, and listening intently to these answers can be critical to your professional advancement. Being an effective communicator allows us to build relationships and have influence over other people, and is one of the leading factors in how you will get recognised within your organisation or industry.