Women in Business: The Great Behavioural Shift

For as long as many of us can remember, we’ve been discouraged from ‘acting like women’ in the workplace—particularly in positions of power.

What exactly is that supposed to mean? We’re not supposed to cry, or whine, or nag? As much as that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up (as it does mine), many of us still adhere to that standard. We experience an emotion in the workplace and we suppress it. Our intuition speaks to us about a particular situation, and we ignore it.

Why?

Because someone is telling you to do those things?

Or because you’ve been conditioned to believe that the workplace is a ‘Man’s World’?

No matter the reasons behind our clinging to these deceptive principles, it’s time that this thinking and behaviour ended….for the sake of all women AND men in management and the general workforce.

When you think about competing in the workplace (and in the market), what do you consider your weaknesses to be? Do you feel that you need to be more forceful? Or project a more powerful air? Are you often reminding yourself to make ‘head’ decisions, rather than ‘heart’ decisions?

It’s time to shift your thinking and your behaviour to reflect the natural qualities that women have and teams need. Not only will the women in your office thank you (because they will feel more freedom to make decisions and to innovate based on their natural strengths), the men’s contributions will feel more valuable because they complement and support the contributions you’re making.

Here are a few areas you can start to work on:

  • How many times have you ignored your intuition and regretted it? Or followed it and felt like screaming “I told you so!”? Start assigning more weight to your intuition. Trust it. Give it the credit it deserves. Soon, others will start to trust it, too. Because, in truth, the biggest critic of your intuition is you. Start using it to make good decisions, and others will rarely question your future choices.
  • “Never cry at work.” Really? Because you don’t care about your job, your team, or the impact you have on the world around you? It just doesn’t make sense that you’re expected to put this job at the centre of your life, and yet wear a stone face that says “I really don’t care.” Dispense with this type of thinking. Emotions are valuable indicators of what should matter. Follow them, express them, and be professional whilst doing it.
  • What percentage of your clientele are women? Pew Research recently discovered that 43% of household financial decisions are made by women, whilst only 26% of men make those decisions (the rest were described as ‘equally divided’). So if your company is run with a complete male mindset, how many long-term brand relationships are being squandered? Sometimes, getting into the minds of your target market members is as simple as being yourself and finding out what you all have in common.
  • Authenticity and Energy. How much time and energy are wasted when you’re trying to be something you’re not? Trying to ‘act like a man’ is like swimming against a current: you’re not accomplishing anything except struggling to keep up the appearance that ‘you’ve got this.’ When you go with the flow—when you act as nature intended and in the ways that you feel comfortable—then you can accomplish more, in less time and with greater effectiveness.
  • Risk-Taking. Would you rather jump out of a plane with a parachute that you packed yourself, or with one that a stranger packed for you? When you’re trying to be something you’re not, you’re always in doubt of the system, and you’re going to be less likely to take that leap. Be yourself—rely on your own parachute—and you will make the types of calculated ventures that will set you (and your business) apart.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. When you’re feeling forced (either by outside influences or by yourself), to represent someone or something that just isn’t YOU, the results will be less than fabulous. When you’re working at peak performance, everyone wins; and in order for that to happen, your femininity and all the benefits that come with it must be recognised, accepted and celebrated.

Have an opinion, advice or comment? Please share it with me below…

Have a beautiful day, beautiful you.