women in leadership

Women in Leadership – Leading During a Crisis

Most of today’s workforce, let alone women in leadership, had never seen a social shift as seismic in their lifetime as the one created by COVID.

Lockdown on a global scale forced everyone to redefine normality. Emergency crises are the ultimate test for any woman in leadership in demonstrating their leadership skills. As a result, it is more important than ever that business owners and leaders alike know how to succeed.

Women are natural-born leaders, and they have a unique set of skills and abilities that are perfect for crisis leadership roles. Women take a more holistic approach to problem-solving, which is why they excel in this role.

Qualities of a Good Leader

First of all, it is vital to recognise the qualities of a good leader. The chances are that, as a leader, you likely already have the critical skills needed to excel in a crisis.

It is no surprise that all the finest qualities in a successful leader are expressive and emotive. Authenticity, honesty, motivation, and vulnerability are some of the skills that nurture success in the workplace.

Still, acknowledging you have these skills in your toolbox is only half the process. A gift of its own is for women in leadership to understand how to relate these existing skillsets in an emergency situation. Those who are willing to adapt, succeed where others fail.

Flexibility and Authenticity Provide Stability

The most important of any leadership quality in a crisis is the willingness to adapt to change, and providing that flexibility. Likewise, a great leader should be willing to adapt. Standing by principles is also powerful and valuable. This balances honesty and integrity with an open-minded approach, so employees feel heard and respected.

For example, in a GDPR breach, a good leader will stick to a robust moral code of privacy and involve other employees in the improvement process.

It is no surprise that employees of the most outstanding leaders are respectful in a crisis. These leaders identify as those who provide the perfect balance of principles.

Communication and Presence Bring Reassurance

One of the biggest reasons for failure in a crisis is a lack of leadership. And in the majority of cases, a lack of presence and communication are the reasons.

This is of course why most companies assign a second-in-command should a leader be absent for reasons out of their control. In any case, being available 24/7 is enough to build trust in a team.

Lack of presence also results in a lack of communication. Even if you are a present leader, the lack of flexibility and willingness to communicate only results in more failure. Most employees prefer direct contact for speed and accuracy.

Vulnerability and Compassion Engage Respect

In uncertain times, the primary emotion that resides in all employees is fear. If an employee is fearful for the future a great leader will encourage communication between different parties and show vulnerability where needed.

It may be that tension is between two or more team members, in which case a great leader flexes into a facilitator role. Likewise, if the fear is directly related to the company or leadership itself, great women in leadership listen with an open door. It is vital in these times that women in leadership allow themselves to guide the business in the right direction whilst acknowledging others’ views.

Times of crisis often provide the largest building blocks for developing a better future. Employees confide in a great leader because that leader knows how to bring out the best in them. A great leader believes in their team.

Curiosity and Optimism Drive Morale

A curious mind is often the one that turns a negative into a positive. And with that comes an optimistic philosophical approach to engaging the team through unexpected times.

For their own reasons, employees will present themselves as fearful and ask questions about the unknown. A curious leader will take these questions and expand on them. These questions given by the employees can, with the right mindset, provide many new ideas and answers never seen before.

A great example is the number of women in leadership who realise that it is possible to run a business from home due to Coronavirus lockdown.

Companies that stemmed around face-to-face interaction realise that, given the tools, their teams can work in an independent manner, attend video meetings and still communicate via business-tailored message boards.

Good leaders use curiosity to drive inspiration and optimism to engage the team in finding answers.

A Good Leader Knows When to Act

Women in Leadership may have all the above skills, but a good leader knows exactly when to execute them. A great leader also knows how to learn from their failures and accept their existence.

Skill execution is most important during a period of uncertainty. For example, it’s always good to be optimistic in principle. But without taking time to reflect on the situation and understand the end goal, many misconstrue optimism as naivety.

Many employees can see through a facade. They need a leader who will listen and ease their concerns, not brush them under the carpet with business jargon and preconditioned responses. Likewise, if a leader refuses to listen to employees and express their concerns, their morale, efficiency, and trust levels deplete.

Instead, most people would prefer an honest, justified answer than a flat-out dismissal of their opinions on the matter.

Every Leadership Quality Relates to Every Other

As essential as these qualities are in a good leader, it is clear they are worthless without the right balance, mix, and understanding.

A leader should support a team through uncertainties and ensure their leadership quality continues throughout the business’s ups and downs. In doing so, they can relax knowing the company is better prepared for whatever uncertainty comes at it in the future.

Sarah Jones Leadership Coaching and Women in Leadership

As a former member of the women in leadership fraternity  I have personally overcome many challenges women face as they progress their careers on the path to becoming women in leadership. With over 25 years working in leadership positions within global organisations, I am ideally placed to coach and prepare women for leadership roles.

If you are a woman, who is an aspiring leader of the future, an experienced woman in leadership, or an organisation looking to prepare your female employees for roles in leadership, then please contact me and I will help you achieve your goals.

How have I helped female leaders before?

Whether in their current, new, or first leadership role, I’ve helped women to find their voice & influence at a senior level, build confidence & resilience, embrace assertiveness as an asset to their role, and build alliances, overcoming any organisational & structural barriers.

Using proven tools & techniques, we will understand & analyse your behaviours at work, and define areas that we can improve upon. I have access to data that outlines the key global leadership traits that count today if you want to be successful and we will develop a plan to build key skills & techniques.

As a woman in leadership, whether new or experienced, you may realise that you need to adapt your mindset and style. Here are just some of the areas I cover – It’s called the ABC’s of women in leadership – Assertiveness, Boldness, Confidence: Owning your leadership journey & embracing your style, and what you offer.

  • Assertiveness training & skills
  • Boldness training & skills
  • Confidence training & skills
  • Finding your voice, and speaking up
  • A dive into ‘alpha female’ & related concerns
  • Building alliances & influence across the organisation
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Analysis of your leadership traits according to global benchmarks
  • Conflict resolution
  • Finding balance & dealing with competing emotions
  • Image, voice, words & body language

Many women have often told me that they find balancing competing emotions around wanting a career & balancing that with family life & parenting, emotionally & practically challenging – don’t worry, I’ve got your back.

Together, we will create & work through a personalised action plan to achieve both your personal & professional goals. 

My training programmes start at only £279.00, but in order to recommend a coaching programme and provide you with a quote, we would first need to talk thorough the challenges you are facing, identify where I can help you and how long this is likely to take.

The first step in this process is by booking a free, no obligation call with me.

Book Your Call & Get A Quotation

Your first call is obligation free, confidential and completely free of charge

The next step in your development journey is getting a professional assessment on the what practical steps you can take to develop and improve your skill set, mindset and your prospects. 

Executive development coaching

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Branding oneself as a leader, sarah jones leadership coaching, Assertive Communication