How To Avoid Unhelpful Habits And Thrive In A Professional Setting As A Woman
Women have come a long way in overcoming the various glass ceilings that exist in society, but they still experience challenges that their male counterparts don’t.
That is why it is important for women to learn how to smash their own glass ceiling and break down the unhelpful traits that may be holding them back from achieving their professional goals.
In order to do this, women must first recognize and identify their own learned behavior patterns – both good and bad.
Becoming an expert may seem like an attractive career move, however it’s actually not always beneficial and can sometimes lead to complacency instead.
Women must also be aware of the unfair expectations placed on them, both inside and outside of the workplace.
To maximize success in any given role, women need to shift their mindset from one of trying to “prove themselves” to one where they confidently take up more than one chair – meaning they are willing and ready to seize multiple opportunities as they arise.
By developing mindful techniques and tools that eliminate unconsciously learnt behaviors which are not beneficial, women can become steadfast advocates for knocking down all types of ceilings- even those which exist only in our minds!
Why Women Need To Stop Being Modest And Step Into Their Power In The Workplace
When it comes to taking credit for accomplishments, professional women often struggle.
A common problem seen in many of the interviews conducted by the author was that young professional women were reluctant to own up to their successes or take pride in their hard work.
They would bypass their personal contribution and project the success onto others instead.
This behavior was observed not just in one sector of industry but across different roles and levels, from blue-collar workers to corporate executives.
Men also noticed this lack of assertiveness among female colleagues and found it difficult to trust them — even if they displayed superior skills or worked harder than male colleagues.
Not claiming ownership over achievements can have a crippling effect on a woman’s career advancement opportunities too.
While modesty is a desirable trait, extreme self-deprecation can be damaging and harm her relationships with peers and managers in the long run.
On top of that, leaders who choose not to highlight individual contributions run the risk of demoralizing their team members as well as potentially being resented by them.
The Disease Of Pleasing: How Women Are Socialized To Put Others Before Themselves
Women are taught from a young age to be pleasant, helpful, and agreeable in order to please everyone around them.
It’s been ingrained into their socialization growing up, as they generally receive more praise from parents and teachers for doing so.
Unfortunately this behavior carries on into their working lives and has become known as the “disease to please.”
In the workplace, women are often given entry- and mid-level roles that involve helping others and being pleasant; success in these areas is based on their ability to fulfill the needs of others.
They find themselves unable to say no to any tasks or jobs people ask them to do even if it won’t benefit them in any way, because it would displease the asker.
This mindset prevents them from using their authority effectively, as they’re too frightened of displeasing others by doing so.
This disease affects women of all backgrounds in positions both leadership and non-leadership; it is holding back their progress damaging their potential career success.
Women must try to rid themselves of this mentality if they want to be successful at work, as it prevents them from making assertive decisions that could help further their careers down the line.
The Surest Strategy For Career Success: Don’T Let Expertise Trap You In Your Current Role
It’s common for women working in traditionally male-dominated industries to go the extra mile in trying to prove their competence.
And while excessive expertise can be seen as a means of showing you are worthy of your current position, it is not the surest way to progress your career.
What many women don’t realize is that spending so much time and energy on mastering the small details of their current role can actually hinder their chances at promotion.
By allotting all your attention to crafting perfect work at your desk, you’re seriously limiting yourself from cultivating meaningful relationships with colleagues and clients.
While this type of extreme specialization can make you indispensable in your current position, it won’t get you any closer to achieving those higher rungs on the career ladder.
To do that, you must show potential employers why you are the best fit for that specific role.
That means having a broader understanding of the industry, a vision for how this job will help take your career further, and knowledge about how to use networking skills to foster more relationships in the future.
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Don’T Underestimate Yourself: Make Yourself Visible In Professional Settings
Women often undermine their own authority by shrinking themselves physically and verbally.
We have been programmed to believe that taking up less space is more polite or professional, but this type of behavior sends the message that we are not as confident or committed as we could be.
Research by Harvard Business School has revealed that women use phrases that indicate indecision such as “This might not be important, but…” an example of verbal minimizing behaviors which can significantly impede their progress in the workplace.
Neuroscience research has further indicated that by making ourselves smaller through crossing arms and legs, tucking our belongings away neatly, and speaking uncertainly can send messages of submission.
This behavior implies a lack of power or authority which business leaders may interpret negatively.
It is crucial for women to recognize these minimizing behaviors in themselves so that they can make an effort to consciously take up space both physically and mentally in a professional setting.
By actively pushing outwards instead of drawing inwards, women can give off powerful vibes which will enable them to reach higher heights in whatever industry they find themselves in.
Women Know How To Dwell On Regrets And It’S Holding Them Back
There is a tendency amongst women to dwell on past mistakes, ruminating over what went wrong and what they could have done differently.
This is known as rumination, and it is much more common in women than in men.
Studies show that while both sexes are equally likely to fixate on negative events in their past, men tend to deal with these thoughts by blaming others for perceived failures and excusing themselves from responsibility.
Women, however, are much more likely to blame themselves for mistakes which can lead to devastating psychological consequences.
Excessive rumination has been linked directly to depression due to it leading to inaction of problem solving and a lack of mental energy spent finding solutions.
When a woman finds herself dwelling on regrets, she should remember that analysis equals paralysis and instead try her best to let go of the past.
We Should Ditch Perfectionism And Embrace Risk-Taking For Women To Reach Their Full Potential
Women have been trained since childhood to aim for perfection.
Society‘s expectations of women condition us to pursue an unrealistic goal, rather than striving for progress.
Julie Johnson, an executive professional coach, has seen firsthand how female clients often struggle to overcome perfectionism and its crippling effects.
Research supports Johnson’s observation: according to Carlos Marin, who analyzed the results of numerous psychology surveys, men in the executive workforce are more likely to be rewarded for taking risks; whereas women at the executive level are praised and rewarded primarily for their precision and accuracy.
This suggests that society encourages job seekers to take a more cautious approach as they strive to climb the ladder, setting them up with a habit of perfectionism that can hold them back from ever reaching top-tier positions and impeding their ability to take advantage of opportunities.
It is no wonder then why women experience so much difficulty when trying to rise in their career – the societal expectation continued on from childhood where obeying rules and avoiding mistakes gains approval over taking risks and learning through failures.
But that does not mean it will stop them from succeeding; rather, it means we must actively work against these gender biases if we want more women in leadership roles across multiple industries.
The takeaway from How Women Rise is that women can rise to the top of their chosen careers by developing confidence, taking up physical space, connecting with the right people in their work place, and owning their accomplishments.
Women should also practice talking less in order to get ahead.
Studies have shown that men speak on average 7000 words a day compared to women who speak 20,000 words a day.
In male-dominated environments, this can be seen as unprofessional and hinder female progression.
Therefore, if women want to succeed in these corporate contexts they should take steps towards only speaking when necessary and ensuring that everything they say has a clear message behind it.