Helping women be heard & claim their seat at the leadership table
Well we are closing in on the end of 2020, a year full of upheaval and uncertainty. I doubt there is anyone who hasn’t felt the pressures of the year. Figuring out how to work from home, go to school from home, find a new job, figure out how to safely navigate shopping, and how to keep ourselves and our family healthy have pushed many of us into exhaustion. It seems like for every step forward we uncover a new challenge.
These crazy times give us an opportunity to grow skills that apply to work as well as to life. We are faced with constant change in the world around us right now. How do we handle it? Do we pull back and hide from it all? Do we step forward and look for a way forward? Do we step back and look for options? Do we charge ahead without a plan just to get through it? These are all decisions we make, often without conscious thought, each time a new situation hits us.
Like the fight or flight response that is natural we find ourselves holding tight to what was or...
It seems like too many people only want to see what they want to see. When we close our perspective down to what is known and comfortable, we stop learning. Additionally, our credibility can start to be eroded because we deem anything outside our accepted perspective as “wrong”. The reality is that we don’t know everything that is possible, nor do we know what others have experienced unless we open our eyes.
Leaders need to be able to create a vision for the future, so people know where they are headed. For that vision to resonate with others it must connect to their perspectives. With the huge variety in people’s experiences, priorities, and concerns being able to share the vision in terms of other people’s perspectives helps gain acceptance. If a leader speaks only from their perspective they are missing out on the connection with others, and you can’t lead if you don’t have followers.
I think all of us have had a boss or other leader who...
I walked into the conference room about 5 minutes before the meeting time. There were several guys already in the room chatting. I sat down at the table and said hi to a few that I knew. Several of the men in the room were giving me a side-eye look, obviously wondering why I dared to sit at the table. This was outside their experience for these weekly meetings. The women who attended sat in the back, along the wall and took notes. They didn’t sit at the “big boy” table. Wrong! As QA Manager had some items they needed to hear, and I was not sitting in the back. I belonged at the table just like they did. Once I was introduced and some of the senior men on my team deferred to me, attitudes changed, albeit slowly.
The reality was I was 25 years into my career and really didn’t care what the men in the room thought of me being in my role. I knew what I brought to the table and was comfortable with it. Honestly, it was kind of fun making some of them squirm.