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Leadership Strategies for Women – Unpacking Sally Helgesen’s How Women Rise and Marshall Goldsmith’s #1Thinkers50 Strategy

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Alex Rivera

Chief Editor at EduNow.me

Leadership Strategies for Women – Unpacking Sally Helgesen’s How Women Rise and Marshall Goldsmith’s #1Thinkers50 Strategy

This episode deconstructs Helgesen’s book and examine the leadership strategies she and Marshall Goldsmith have identified for women leaders, such as reframing our narrative around self-promotion and finding support through mentors and peers.

Imagine Sarah is an intelligent professional working tirelessly to advance in her corporate career. However, over time her habits that helped her early in her career begin sabotaging her efforts as she seeks the top.

1. Reframe Your Achievements as Contributions

Sally Helgesen, a leadership coach and author of the best seller How Women Rise, has worked with professional women who struggle with advancing in their careers. According to Helgesen, one of the main impediments to female success lies in their reluctance to speak up about their accomplishments.

Helgesen found that women often downplay their achievements in order to appear modest and modest; this approach can impede career advancement and cause superiors more comfortable sharing the limelight among male colleagues to overlook them as contributors.

Helgesen provides several strategies to assist women in breaking these unhealthy behaviors. Here are a few:

2. Practice Self-Advocacy

Self-advocacy involves two elements that are of great significance: knowing and communicating your worth. No matter if it be fighting for legal accommodations or asking your employer for a raise, communicating the value of what you contribute must remain an essential element.

Assertiveness refers to the skill of communicating your thoughts, feelings and needs clearly and confidently. Teaching assertiveness skills to young children early can help them build self-confidence while developing strong personal boundaries. You can practice these abilities through role-playing exercises, group discussions or real world scenarios.

3. Practice Assertiveness

Assertiveness is a powerful communication style that aims to communicate one’s needs, opinions, and feelings in an assertive yet respectful manner. This form of dialogue can be applied in almost any situation and serves as a healthy alternative to aggression (Hill 2020).

At first, practicing assertiveness can feel awkward or even terrifying, particularly if people who are used to you acting passively are confronted by it. But by practicing in low-risk scenarios beforehand, you will be more prepared when stakes become higher and you need to react assertively.

If someone attempts to pressure you into purchasing something you don’t want, try the “broken record technique,” in which you repeat your message until they give up (Williams 2020). This may help you be more assertive at critical moments – Sally Helgesen is an author, speaker and coach specializing in women’s leadership who was recently honored by being inducted into Thinkers50 Hall of Fame and is co-author of How Women Rise (Rowman & Littlefield 2019).

4. Practice Self-Promotion

Reluctance to promote themselves can prevent women from reaching their full potential in business. When women do not advocate for themselves, their peers can often overshadow them and sideline them from the game.

Women may face particular difficulty when it comes to self-promotion; studies reveal they are less likely to be promoted if they don’t promote themselves; moreover, promoting themselves may result in negative backlash and may even create the opposite result of what was desired.

Women must actively look for opportunities to showcase their achievements. This can include soliciting feedback from colleagues and supervisors or sharing examples of them during casual conversations. Instead of waiting for recognition of contributions by superiors to spontaneously come their way, women need to actively promote themselves without violating feminine modesty norms – keeping a list of key achievements and sharing them proactively with others.

5. Build a Strong Support Network

Women leaders gain even more from developing an extensive network than their male counterparts do, according to a 2019 study. High-achieving female executives found greater job success when their inner circles consisted of close women than those that relied more on men as connections. Women can build such networks by attending industry events and conferences, participating in mentoring programs or joining women-specific groups.

Helgesen has long been recognized for her coaching, facilitation workshops and research on leadership. Utilizing her experience working with Marshall Goldsmith on her upcoming book How Women Rise, Helgesen provides twelve of the most common barriers that prevent women from rising. To overcome them, women must recognize and dismantle harmful thoughts and behaviors; Helgesen advises starting small to change one behavior at a time – expect others to spontaneously recognize contributions, brooding over setbacks or interactions without making decisions, overanalyzing situations or expecting others to reward contributions without realizing what needs be done to break free themselves of limitations imposed upon themselves by self-inflicted limitations imposed upon themselves by self-imposed limitations imposed upon themselves by self-imposed limitations;

6. Get a Mentor

Mentorship opportunities shouldn’t be difficult for women who seek to climb the career ladder; yet many companies don’t make them readily accessible.

Women who have had the benefit of working with a women mentor often report feeling empowered to achieve anything. Furthermore, having one can provide insight into unspoken rules in workplace culture which might otherwise hinder progression.

Women often prefer being mentored by another female mentor; however, studies indicate that men who mentor women often gain greater appreciation of diversity within the workplace.

7. Take a Risk

Helgesen collaborated with #1Thinkers50 Strategy expert Marshall Goldsmith on a keynote address and leadership masterclass that helps women identify and break 12 habits that stand in the way of reaching the top levels of society. Inspired by Tara Mohr’s Playing Big, Helgesen and Goldsmith present strategies to overcome unconscious learned behaviors which hinder women from rising into leadership positions.

Women often mistake expertise for success and put forth great effort into producing work that meets letter perfect standards, but in order to advance within an organization women must show they possess more diverse skill sets and be open to taking risks.

Desiring perfection keeps women focused on what’s within their control and limits their horizons in ways that can limit career growth. Any self-imposed barriers that prevent women from rising are self-inflicted barriers which must be dismantled to unlock female leadership potential.

8. Focus on Your Strengths

Many women excel at doing meticulous work that quickly makes their mark in their career, but this can backfire as they become comfortable in their current role and don’t push hard enough for promotions or rewards. Instead they assume that superiors will spontaneously notice and recognize them for their efforts and reward them accordingly.

Helgesen asserts that this sort of thinking can prevent women from taking on new responsibilities and can ultimately hold them back. She and Goldsmith suggest women start by identifying their patterns of behavior and then working to change them step by step; for instance if you tend to overprepare for meetings try relaxing your need for perfection and focus on meeting with peers instead. As soon as you can let go of perfectionism, the more successful your career will become.

9. Let Go of Perfection

Helgesen notes that striving for perfection is admirable; however, an obsession can become detrimental. Obsession often forces women to work overtime hours, experience stress and negative emotions as a result, focus on minor details which don’t matter, and pass up opportunities for growth and advancement.

He emphasizes the fact that perfectionism may stem from many sources, including family upbringing, societal pressures and self-criticism. Whatever its source may be, relinquishing perfection can help women rise.

Helgesen is an internationally acclaimed leadership expert who has provided workshops and coaching sessions to professional women around the globe. Her co-authored book “How Women Rise”, written in conjunction with Marshall Goldsmith, examines unconscious learned behaviors which limit women from reaching their full leadership potential and provides ways of breaking free. A popular choice among book clubs worldwide, this #1Thinkers50 strategy has already assisted numerous women advance in their careers.

10. Be Yourself

Helgesen asserts that in order to become successful leaders, women need to embrace themselves as leaders. She notes this involves more than being thrust into leadership positions or learning new skills; it involves an identity shift often threatened by workplace policies and practices which indicate women cannot lead effectively.

Cultivate collaboration rather than competition- Support the goals and achievements of other women even if it threatens your own. Provide honest feedback when needed and celebrate their victories together.

Practice Self-Compassion- Women tend to be harsher critics of themselves than men, which can have a devastating impact on their career advancement. Instead of becoming mired in self-reproach, focus on making constructive improvements that will boost confidence and allow you to advance in your field.

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