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Do you prefer to work with a male boss or a female boss? Have you ever thought on these lines? I remember some of the female bosses (including me for the last three years) have been truly inspiring. They are enigmatic and passionate to their work just as they are in rearing their babies.
Are they difficult to work with? Do they think and execute from their heart or head? Many questions arose when I started working on this column and was surprised to receive similar perceptions of people from the fraternity that women have a huge trail of hatred and incompatibility to carry around at workplaces. Topping up with the male-centric business environment, the ability to access a woman role model becomes fairly a significant challenge.
Let me tell you, the idea that women who work together get more into brawls and cat fights is simply a myth. There’s so much more that women colleagues can serve on the inspirational table that one can easily neglect the passé statements. They can be each other’s strengths and buffer pads than what some of the statistics that I came across. Believe me or not, from my 12 years of experience as an employee, boss and an entrepreneur, female boss has a lot to offer than a male boss and here’s how…
Here are some of super tips to female entrepreneurs to empower fellow women colleagues:
Successful women who speak openly about their testing periods and failures make them look more real and approachable. Open up coffee table discussion initiatives and allow your women colleagues to admit to past failures, setbacks and apprehensions. Their vulnerabilities does not make them weaker in fact, it paves the way to more confidence and belief that their failures do not write them off as bad debts. It does not check on their existence or purpose. Remember, the world still looks at world through a male lens hence; these feeble moments can look irrelevant and ridiculous waste of time.
The best way to help fellow women team members is to lead by example. Create an initiative of sharing failure resumes. Resumes that include failures are a great proof of being real, brave and your appetite of taking risks. Remember initiatives, profiles and tenure can fail; people don’t. Let failure be an inevitable part of their success and let the entire organization move towards evolving into a learning organization.
Getting Feedback is critical to validate your existence in their minds. Just as an external feedback is taken from customers to understand what they want, internal feedback administered on yourself will help you to understand their perception and expectation from you as their boss. Make this a mindful exercise and focus on any negative reviews, followed up with a one-on-one meeting to dig deeper. This will win their belief and trust and fill any gap emerging out of women talks.
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It wasn’t surprising to receive an email communication with criticism or concerns when you were at the other side of the table. However, now that you are the boss, instead of just communicating what is negative or needs action, communicate small achievements and victories.
Create a Monday huddle to celebrate each other’s strengths and value their presence openly in the group. Believe me, lack of recognition can be one of the most important reasons why people leave organisations. Appreciation and well – defined praise go hand-in-hand in energizing your women soldiers.
The key to organizational growth, innovation and success is knowledge. Creating knowledge corners in your organization and importantly; within work hours will be largely appreciated and valued by your female colleagues. Majorly women juggle different roles and wear varied hats of responsibilities.
Any learning opportunity that steers them away from these roles can be quite strenuous and difficult. An average CEO reads up to 60 books a year. Hence, create a dialogue club initiative to share ideas and reviews. Cultivate healthy competition and provide rewards to inculcate good reading skills.
You can also try to nominate them to nouveau engagement ideas such as zumba class, webinars or a movie retreat. A raffle coupon at the end of the month to an all girls’ tour can be highly motivating!
Although few organisations have now come off age and adopted flexi working and work from home working hours, some still continue to frown upon such privileges. Offering flexi-working hours to women employees can be really beneficial. Working mothers can strike a perfect balance between both the aspects – work and life and give their 100% to both the fronts.
It will also leave them less stressed, increase their productivity and engagement with the organization, reduce employee turnover and retain good talent. Spending quantity time at your desk essentially does not act as an indicator of productivity and effectiveness.
The best way to combat that myth of female rivalry is to back each other and help each other to strike a balance. Depending on the potential worth and your delegation power, you can back few of your female staff for projects and challenging opportunities, even if they did not have any experience before.
Remember, we still gape around the question, who came first – the chicken or the egg? Women can be chosen keeping in mind not only their past experience but also their potential stand. Encourage the not-so-confident ones to stand up for themselves in the meetings. Create a pipeline and build trust in the team.
Have big plans for your women team. They often are unaware or underestimate their potential. They also fail to dream big as their goals are planned keeping their other roles in mind
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As you navigate through your career graph, you will come across varied opportunities to learn from varied minds and talent. Do not do it all alone – learn to delegate as per the strengths and potential as well as the willingness. To work along with millennials today, it is important to play the shield with coach and mentor’s armor. Figure out what support you need at each stage and do not forget to ask for help. It is often the most unlikely people that will give you the insight you are looking for.
Entrepreneurship does not come up with any standard operating procedure or plan. It is your gut and your greatness cultivated in your team that will act as radar to your success. Women who start businesses are usually ones who help many to realize their dreams and make the world a better place for many.
Once we equip fellow women teams with the right tools, confidence, knowledge, and right opportunities, we will see an innovative and sustainable business landscape that is diverse, tolerant and looking to better the world. As I have always believed, empowered women empower women. More power to W at work!
The writer of this article is highly passionate in shaping personalities and empowering women with skill sets in confidence, grooming, and communication. She is a Personal Excellence Coach and Soft Skills Training Expert with over 12 years of experience in Training, Teaching, Mentoring and Coaching entrepreneurs, students and professionals. For more such inspirational and interesting articles, follow her work on Nirmiti Academy
Also read: Empowered Words For The Wonder Women