Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.CareerStretchZone.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.
I love you business women, and I appreciate your ability to overcome challenge-after-challenge even while wearing high-heels in an environment that is overrun with Oxfords.
It’s time to celebrate all that makes women not only wonderful but also highly effective in business—your attitude! It’s the unspoken hero to your success story.
Power Attitude #1: We’re Appreciators….
“Appreciation can change a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.” --Margaret Cousins, Women’s Rights Activist
Women are natural encouragers. You’re committed to making this world a better place—including business organizations—one individual at a time. And this is a good thing. Studies confirm appreciation leads to satisfaction, increased productivity, innovation advances as well as improved engagement. Gallup studies concur engagement scores improve by 26 percent when employees receive recognition no matter at what level of the organization the person resides. Our corporate workforce is craving appreciation, and women understand this better than anyone.
Power Attitude #2: We’re Overcomers….
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.” --Helen Keller, Author, Political Activist, and Lecturer
Overcoming is the story of a woman’s life professionally and personally. Research validates that as you prevail against adversity muscle is being built that give you all kinds of advantages. First, you’re more resilient when faced again with a similar situation. And secondly, through the process of defeating one challenge, you expand your skills as an “overcomer.” The insights you’ve learned along the way are why you are standing on the precipice prepared to win against all the messy realities facing business today.
Power Attitude #3: We’re Connectors….
“When you look at successful women, they have other women who have supported them, and they’ve gotten to where they are because of those women (and men).” --Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and Founder of LeanIn.org
Women effortless build rich, productive relationships wherever they find themselves—including in business. You connect over shared interests and goals. You support others to thrive even in troublesome work environments. Since there are no products or services generated without relationships, this gives women a leg up as employees work better for people they trust and like. With your innate ability to keep your nurturing interactions over time research affirms, customers tend to remain loyal to women more than they do to men. Your relationship commitments have people working with and supporting your intended result.
Power Attitude #4: We’re Sounding Boards….?
“Sometimes people just need to be able to meet with somebody and talk about things. That person just needs a sounding board.” --Mary Bui-Pham, VP, Operations and Chief of Staff of Publisher Products at Yahoo
Women are better listeners than men according to a Cambridge University. It appears the part of the brain linked to emotions, calculating risk and listening is more dominant in women. Men only use half their brain to listen while women use both sides of their brain. As a woman, you naturally respond with your heart and head. This trait enables you to be an invaluable sounding board. With 40% of a typical professional’s salary earned through listening increasing dramatically as an executive moves up the ladder, this is a good thing for women.
Your attitudes are indeed powerful assets to achieving a rewarding, long-term, and satisfying career. So, lead with them whenever and as often as you can to assure both your success and your company’s.