“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” – Sheryl Sandberg.
There are great women leaders who hold positions as CEOs, entrepreneurs, philanthropists etc. and inspire as well as upskill the next-generation female leaders to grow and succeed. Numerous studies and research identified 5 core skills next-generation female leaders need to create a more women-empowered workplace.
5 Top skills Next-Generation Female Leaders Need
“Gender diversity and developing the skills of the Next-Generation Female Leaders, should be core strategies in any trail blazing business”
says Elmarie Pretorius, the managing owner of The Mindspa Institute, a South African training and soft skills development company. She is a successful business woman herself, who is passionate about the development of outstanding female leaders. One of the key focus areas of The Mindspa Institute is to motivate skills development in both women in business and companies in general, in order to empower their women. Let’s look at the importance of the following 5 skillsets every future woman in business needs:
Maria Shi, Director, North America Large Enterprise Strategy and Operations with PayPal said:
“I measure my own success as a leader by how well the people who work for me succeed.”
Future business women leaders should definitely have a people orientated leadership approach. Thus meaning not worrying about how you as a leader succeed but what results your followers achieve through your leadership.
Although great progress has been made in empowering women and women in leadership positions, we are still far from reaching equality. There are only about 7% women as heads of state. These women hold powerful leadership positions in countries like Germany, New Zealand, Iceland and Finland. During a world crisis like COVID-19, they led with their emotional intelligence and they took swift decisions early enough in the fight to flatten their own country’s curve.
“I don’t go by the rule book. I lead from the heart, not the head.” – Princess Diana
Great women leaders have high emotional intelligence and are people orientated. Leading from the heart and therefore with empathy, help people feel understood, heard, and cared for which might have been why the women as heads of state had great success with their leadership approaches.
As leadership skills development specialists, The Mindspa Institute knows that leadership simply cannot exist without confidence. Throughout their confidence and their leadership training courses they realised that some women in business have a huge lack of confidence and not only doubt themselves but also their abilities. Frequent comments received, even from highly skilled women leaders, indicated that they are afraid to voice their opinion because they are afraid that they might seem to not know what they are talking about. Others feel like they don’t push for promotion because of various insecurities or feel like they don’t have what it takes.
“A mentor told me, ‘Never doubt yourself if someone else thinks you can do the job.” – Sara Ling, Senior Manager, Knowledge and Content Management with Veritas.
For women in leadership to gain more confidence in the workplace they must:
- get a boost for their self-esteem;
- step out of their comfort zones and keep overcoming challenges in order to learn;
- they must keep educating and upskilling themselves;
- lean on their strengths and
- embrace the progress they make
- as well as learn how to turn negative criticism into positive feedback, to name but a few.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
So why are women in business giving others the power to do so? Invest in upskilling yourself and building your confidence. All the above and more are covered in a comprehensive course from The Mindspa Institute called ‘Confidence and Assertiveness.’
Decision-making is part of everyday life and even more so when running a business. There is the assumption that when women are stressed, they make irrational and emotional decisions whereas their male counterparts are perceived as staying calm and rational. Many successful women, however, have proved this stereotype to be wrong.
In *a release published on sciencedaily.com they stated that: “Women’s abilities to make fair decisions when competing interests are at stake make them better corporate leaders, researchers have found.” They also said: “…women corporate directors are significantly more inclined to make decisions by taking the interests of multiple stakeholders into account in order to arrive at a fair and moral decision. They will also tend to use cooperation, collaboration and consensus-building more often — and more effectively — in order to make sound decisions.”
The Mindspa Institute has the ideal Decision Making and Problem Solving course to strengthen business decision making.
Networking plays a vital role for women in business, especially next generation female leaders. People do business with people and because women are good community builders, networking within these business communities can lead to quality referrals, expert advice or finding a mentor. This network community becomes an area where women in business motivate and inspire each other.
“While we may be individually strong, we are collectively powerful.” – Rakhi Voria, Worldwide Inside Sales Business Manager with Microsoft.
Caroline Castrillion stated in a *Forbes article that women form smaller, but deeper networks based on trust. They will often approach these networks for both personal and professional needs. She explained that women would rather think about what they can do for the other party first before initially asking something for themselves.
“While men are focused on the short-term need, women are more focused on building long-term personal connections or friendships” – Caroline Castrillion
5. Critical Thinking
Critical and Analytical thinking is the process of breaking down complex information into components to analyse, interpret, evaluate and construct reasoned arguments in order to solve a problem or reach a conclusion.
Women in business who are in leadership positions need to master critical thinking skills in order to solve problems effectively. This means that they have to acquire the necessary skills to think with an open-mind; ask vital questions surrounding the problem; gather and assess the information; and come to a suitable and acceptable solution.
The Mindspa Institute has a one-day workshop that will enable delegates to distinguish between both critical and analytical thinking. It will further equip them with tools to analyse information and solve problems in an effective manner.
Studies revealed that there is no shortage in ambition from the next generation of female leaders, but they need help to develop their skills, especially their confidence and leadership. Companies who want to drive their own growth should invest in women’s leadership training.