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female leaders

Celebrating Female Leaders Month

Posted by: Nicky Garcea and Alex Linley (as part of Capp’s Female Leaders Month, June 2012)

 

As we come to end of Female Leaders Month we hope you have enjoyed our blogs. We know from your feedback that the role of harnessing your power bases, realising your strengths and overcoming subliminal sexism has struck chords with many of you.

 

Our commitment to developing the Generation F of future female talent does not end here.

 

We are delighted as this month draws to a close to be able to share with you the launch of our Female Leaders Programme. This programme has been designed to harness the unique and impactful combination of strengths and power base development, helping female leaders to maximise the opportunities that are open to them by building on the capabilities they have.

 

In July, we will also be launching our Women in Leadership survey, designed to explore more about many of the issues that have been raised by our blogs and your comments throughout Female Leaders Month. We hope you will join us in completing this survey and help us further shape the women in leadership debate.

 

To receive regular female leadership updates, you are also invited to  follow Nicky on Twitter, @NickyGarcea

 

As we sign off for the month, we have 7 Top Tips for Female Leaders, that summarise the advice we have shared across Female Leaders Month:

 

1. Take confidence from your strengths: know what you’re good at and what energises you – and use it!

 

2. Maximise your unrealised strengths: align them to your future career goals and aspirations

 

3. Harness your power: influence decisions and outcomes to help you get what you want

 

4. Be courageous: with your choice of mentor and sponsor, don’t shy away from seeking someone with status

 

5. Think before you speak: eradicate unnecessary apologetic language from your daily interactions and particularly in meetings

 

6.  Tilt more than balance: say yes to the things that draw on your strengths and reduce the time  you spend on non-critical weaknesses

 

7. Hold out your hand: through your behaviours and actions, you can play your part to open the door for the female talent of tomorrow.

 

We hope that the themed blogs of Female Leaders Month have inspired you to do more to celebrate and develop female talent. Watch out for future blogs on these issues on The Capp Blog, and please share your comments and experiences by using the Comment function below.

 

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Women’s Secret Weapon to Success in Juggling Home and Work

Posted by: Nicky Garcea, as part of Capp’s Female Leaders Month (June 2012)

 

As a new mum, I understand the pressure of appearing to be able ‘to do it all’. As we continue to celebrate Female Leaders Month at Capp, I am pleased to share with you one of my blogs that was published on Changeboard. In this blog, I offer you three tips for using your strengths more on a daily basis. I hope you enjoy, tilting, being you, and aligning your strengths to action!

 

With the expectation that today’s female leaders need to be able to show that they can truly ‘do it all’, Nicky Garcea, director at organisational psychology firm Capp, explores the impact of the need to be a ‘juggler’ has on female talent development and well-being, and highlights ways that ‘doing less’, but thinking more strategically about using strengths can be women’s secret weapon to success.

 

In my experience of working with women globally, their feeling of needing to ‘do it all’ and ‘do it all well’ is unanimous. And if the pressure to juggle jam-packed home lives with getting a promotion wasn’t stressful enough, researchers also believe that this desire to balance home and work causes a significant decline in happiness.

 

So why at a time when we have more opportunities to progress our careers do we feel sadder? There is a school of thought that suggests it might be women’s desire for balance that is behind some of these statistics. That the pressure society and we put on ourselves to be good at everything has a detrimental impact on our well-being.

 

So what does this mean for those women striving to move up the career ladder? Firstly, you can’t do it all alone. You need other people to help keep the balls moving. Ezzedeen and Ritchy call this a ‘village of support’. Secondly, that the secret to success might be in creating ‘imbalance’ and this is where strengths can help.

 

One of the distinguishing features between men and women during their 30s and 40s is that men report being both more directive and strategic with their career decisions. They predominately do two things differently:

 

1.    They don’t get busy just ‘doing’ or being helpful. They are more selective with their career choices and more vocal with their expectations.

 

2.    They don’t wait until they have acquired the confidence and skills before putting themselves forward for promotion, they take more risks and self promote more easily.

 

So what does this mean for women?

 

My advice to women is to look at their strengths and learn how to use them to best effect. Strengths are defined as having three specific components: energy, performance and use.

 

This simple three step process helps individuals to identify that if they spend a lot of time working on things which they perform well at, but have to do, will actually drain their energy.

 

In Capp’s Realise2 4M Model, we would call this a ‘learned behaviour’. Drawing continually on our learned behaviours, has a detrimental impact on our energy and could be one of the reasons that our happiness decreases.

 

My recommendation to emerging female leaders seeking to maximise their strengths, is to spend less time trying to do a lot of things ‘ok’, but actually to do less better.

 

Some of the ways that women can achieve this imbalance is by:

 

1. Tilting

Know your strengths and seek to work more on activities and in roles which expose your strengths. Others will then see you perform well but will also note your energy and passion for what you are doing. In a Capp study of the highly engaged, I noted that engaged individuals use their strengths 70% of any given week. Challenge yourself to do more of what you love and to find strategies to work around the areas which you find draining.

 

2. Being you

Female leaders are expected to be more congruent than their male colleagues. When you lead using your strengths others perceive you as more authentic. Reflect on the strengths which you believe have been with you across your life and career to-date. How can you make sure that through how you lead these strengths are protected, nurtured and developed so they are part of your unique brand of leadership? What do you want to be known for?

 

3. Aligning strengths to action

It is often the case that we see our greatest area of growth being in our areas of greatest weakness, but it is in fact in using our strengths. Take time and engage others in helping you to identify your rich tapestry of strengths; including those you use a lot (realised) and those you use less (unrealised). Then set about challenging yourself to align your different strengths to different activities inside and outside of work. Our research, shows that you will achieve your desired goals and outcomes quicker.

 

Strengths-based female leadership development helps women to develop their confidence and authenticity. It also provides them with a language to develop their own specific leadership brand. Developing our strengths could be seen as just another ball to keep moving, but focusing on our unique gifts rather than trying to be well-rounded has career and life benefits.

 

So ask yourself, what can you stop doing today so you can use your strengths more tomorrow?

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How to Create More than Just a Crack in the Glass Ceiling – Management Today

Posted by: Alex Linley, as part of Capp’s Female Leaders Month (June 2012)

 

Fresh from celebrating Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, we continue also to celebrate Female Leaders Month at Capp.

 

Do you find yourself continuously apologising, playing mum or not asking for that promotion? These are three common mistakes women make in the workplace, says Nicky Garcea in Management Today

 

“The glass ceiling has a hairline crack, but it is not yet broken. Women remain underrepresented at senior levels and latest research shows us that just 14% of FTSE 100 directorships and 22 percent of senior management positions were held by women. This, despite the fact that in the last year alone, female enterprise contributed over £130bn to our economy.


There are many reasons why female leaders are less represented in businesses, but research points chiefly at organisational bias and actually, perhaps surprisingly, women holding themselves back.


You don’t have to be superwomen to make it to the top, so what are the key challenges facing women?…”

 

Read the rest of Nicky’s article in Management Today.

 

Let us know your thoughts on the barriers that might stop women from reaching the top, and what we can do to overcome them, by sharing your Comment on The Capp Blog below.

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Announcing: Female Leaders Month – June 2012

Posted by: Nicky Garcea and Alex Linley, as part of Capp’s Female Leaders Month (June 2012)

 

We are delighted to announce that throughout June 2012, The Capp Blog will be hosting a series of blogs dedicated to female leaders.

 

Female Leaders Month will begin by marking the Diamond Jubilee, celebrating 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II as a role model of female leadership for women around the world.

 

Throughout the month of June, we will then follow this by posting our blogs on female leadership that have been published by media including Financial Mail, Changeboard and Training Journal.

 

Each blog will give you unique insight into Capp’s approach to developing female leaders and building female talent. We will also be sharing new findings from our research into what women want from their managers, together with tips and techniques for how you can develop yourself and others as female leaders.

 

We hope you enjoy celebrating the successes and aspirations of female leaders with us throughout the month of June.

 

 

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