Monday, March 19, 2012

Accelerate the Move to Acceptance of Women as Leaders

       Marcia Reynolds PsyD and author of Wander Woman, whom I've lauded in earlier posts, has great insights and understanding of high-achieving women. She posts for Psychology Today and also for the Huffington Post. Here' a paragraph from a recent Reynolds' Huff post titled, "Do Mean Girls Win at Work?" The article pushes for women and men to accelerate the evolution of women as accepted leaders.

 What caught my attention in particular was point #4:  

"Help women strengthen their confidence. The reason women don't self-promote as well as men is because they spend more time finding fault in their work than celebrating their wins.  A post for the Harvard Business Review noted confidence as a major factor keeping women out of the corporate suites. As Jill Flynn, Kathryn Heath, and Mary Davis Holt wrote: 'Having combed through more than a thousand 360-degree performance assessments conducted in recent years, we've found, by a wide margin, that the primary criticism men have about their female colleagues is that the women they work with seem to exhibit low self-confidence.' "

Here's an additional quote from Harvard Business Review:

"What we've found in our work is that career momentum for women is not about adding job skills but about changing everyday thinking and behaviors. We don't think the majority of high-performing women need to make major changes. Small adjustments in how they think and act can improve not only how confident they seem, but how confident they feel." 

Yes,  I'm biased. Eliminating negative self-talk, said out loud or internally is a big part of the solution to the problem of others' perception of low self-confidence  and felt, believed low self-confidence. E.g. "I really haven't had enough experience to take on that project", doesn't convey confidence to others, said out loud. Said internally, it doesn't build confidence. "I look forward to the opportunity to work on this project," shows a realistic, and not over or under confident expectation to yourself and others.

My addition to  Reynold's and the Harvard Business Review perspective is that negative self-talk is the primary factor that causes low-self-confidence.  Now's the time to get rid of it if you have any interest in being a high-acheiveing women, a leader, an influencer, a role model, a women that men and women would like to work with.
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