For career women, solid leadership skills are vital in all situations. Whether you hold a leadership position on campus or are a full-time employee, others respect those who know what they’re doing. Here are five ways for female leaders to improve their everyday leadership skills.
Push fresh ideas
It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day same old routine. However, in most roles, employers are looking for those who can step up to the plate and introduce fresh, new content ideas. Some ideas may not be popular among your team, but others will be a hit. Don’t let failure keep you from thinking creatively.
In order to start thinking fresh, it is important to set your mind in the right place. For example, think of problems your organization faces. Is there an audience you’re wanting to reach but just can’t quite get there? Drafting solutions to your group’s issues will get you there. Notably, you don’t have to come up with these ideas all on your own. Sometimes it’s best brainstorming with a business partner or team. Try bouncing ideas off one another and begin building from there.
Admit when you’re wrong
A mistake shown by many leaders is the refusal to admit mistakes. It’s easy to forget that we are all humans and mistakes are inevitable. However, it is much more respectable to admit blatant mistakes than to ignore the problem or stand by your actions when you know they were wrong.
As people, we learn from our mistakes daily. It is a part of life, and once we begin embracing it rather than tiptoeing around it, we will be better off. This does not mean we should use this as an excuse to continually mess up. Major mistakes should be avoided, but admitting when you’re wrong and learning from these experiences is a characteristic of a true leader.
Confidence is KEY
We all learned from Legally Blonde that confidence is everything. Elle Woods put in a lot of work for her LSAT score and law school success, however it is obvious that it was partly due to her high confidence and belief that she could do it from the get-go. Yes, this movie is fictional, but teaches us an important lesson: success begins with believing we can get from where we are to where we want to be. This is mixed with a lot of dedication and hard work, of course.
People are drawn to those who exhibit confidence in who they are and what they’re doing. This is not coincidental, leaders must have the confidence to show the world that they have it handled. There is a reason why Nikki Haley got so much attention from her famous, “With all due respect, I don’t get confused,” comment.
This was Haley’s response after Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, suggested that she may have been “confused” when speaking out against President’s plan to inflict sanctions on Russia. Her words exhibited her unwavering confidence in herself and her actions. This showed women around the world that confidence sometimes means fighting back, with class of course.
Being a leader often means listening more and talking less. Part of being a leader is finding what works best for your organization or team. In order to truly know what this means, you must listen to others’ thoughts and concerns. People feel that they can confide in great leaders because they genuinely care and will listen intently.
It’s not a bad thing to be a little chatty, but those who have a lot to say can often overpower others and take away their opportunity to speak. Encourage others to speak their mind and contribute to the conversation.
Do your fair share, and then some