“Wear a suit.“
Qualities we often associate with leadership are overwhelmingly masculine – hardly surprising, given the less-than-equal gender makeup of c-suites across America.
Yet women who try to model these behaviors typically aren’t received as positively as their male counterparts. In fact, we can be penalized for speaking up or asserting ourselves, and those penalties are steeper still for women of color. But increasingly organizations are recognizing that, aside from being unfair, that old brand of leadership might not be conducive to morale, productivity, or even business results.
So, as we and others work to improve diversity and inclusion in hiring and representation, what can we do in the meantime to enhance how we are perceived, received, and, yes, promoted at work? How can we define our own brands of leadership – and dial-up the qualities that work for us, rather than against us?
We are pleased to unveil a new workshop that takes a 2-pronged approach:
Facilitated discussion among women who work together. Beyond providing participants a space to share and be heard, frank discussion helps gauge the status quo and provides a foundation on which to build.
Targeted, personalized skill-building in practical dialogue and presence techniques. Rather than coaching women to “be more masculine” or to simply act out a role – our skills are about amplifying the presence of the individual. Sample topics include: speaking with impact, making sure you are heard and given credit, handling interruptions, and owning your place at the table.
Already, we’ve been thrilled to see participants emerge feeling empowered and supported by their colleagues - not to mention, having mastered proven communication skills to enhance how they show up and are received, by people of all stripes and genders.
Ellie Hearne is a leadership-communications expert and founder of Pencil or Ink. She has worked with Apple, Google, Kate Spade, Marriott, Morgan Stanley, Oracle, Pfizer, Piaget, Spotify, Starbucks, and Twitter, among others, and has coached numerous individuals and teams. Ellie can be reached here, here, and here.