Female leaders are making waves in every field today. If you’re a woman who has suddenly found herself in a leadership position, you might feel a little bit overwhelmed by all of your new responsibilities. But you’re probably more capable than you realize! Every great leader has to start somewhere, and even if you don’t feel like a natural leader, you can always begin polishing your skills. Here are 6 ways women can improve their leadership skills.
Leadership 101: Learn to Delegate
It’s easy to feel like you need to be able to do everything on your own in order to be a good leader. In truth, competent leadership involves lots of delegation! Whether you’re managing a team at work, supervising a group of volunteers, or leading a group at your church, understanding the strengths of the people you’re working with can help you move your team forward. When you share the responsibilities, the whole team can lift together. And improve together.
Boost Your Self-Confidence
As a female leader, you may occasionally experience self-doubt, especially if you’ve ever been discouraged from reaching for your goals because of your gender. But taking small steps to boost your self-confidence can work wonders. Astronaut Abby recommends using positive affirmations and practicing self-care rather than overworking yourself. You should also list out your accomplishments if you’re feeling down so that you can acknowledge everything you’ve already achieved.
Often, the best way to learn is by doing. Women can improve their leadership skills by taking on new challenges. This can be nerve-wracking, but nothing will make you feel more accomplished than tackling a big problem and solving it. You’ll master new skills in the process, and you’ll realize that you’re definitely qualified to be a leader. Look for chances to take on new roles or tasks in order to go beyond your comfort zone.
Own Up to Your Mistakes
Even the best leaders can’t completely avoid making mistakes. Taking responsibility for your mistakes can actually boost your team’s trust in you and their confidence in your abilities. When your team knows that you’re honest with them, they will feel more at ease listening to your guidance in the future. They’ll respect you far more than if you simply pass the blame.
How can you get better at accepting your own mistakes and even publicly discussing them with your team? Tiny Buddha recommends adopting a growth mindset and remembering that every mistake offers a learning opportunity. You can talk to your team about what to avoid in the future and how you would handle the same situations differently going forward.
Continue to Educate Yourself
Investing in your education will never steer you wrong as a leader. You may want to think about earning another degree so that you can continue learning about leadership from experienced professors. Or, you might want to consider other continuing education opportunities. For instance, depending on your field, you could enroll in Code Academy to learn programming languages, learn about emergency preparedness through a FEMA program, or become a top-notch project manager with an Alison diploma. Training is always worth taking as they help to be up to date, such as conflict resolution training, marketing trends training, etc.
Helpful Reading to Improve Your Leadership Skills
Reading books by other female leaders can help you stay inspired and motivated. Plus, you can learn lots of useful tips and tricks right from history-making leaders themselves! Head to your local library to check out popular leadership books by successful women. For example, as In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, and How Remarkable Women Lead by Joanna Barsh.
Today, more and more women are stepping up into high-powered leadership roles, both at work and within their local communities. Women bring many great leadership qualities to the table. If you’re a woman looking to improve your leadership skills, there is no challenge you can’t take on without the right preparation! With these tips to get you started, you’ll become a more confident and capable leader.
Guest post by author Gloria Martinez.
For more tips, see our related article on time management skills.