Tuesday, July 21, 2009

9 Ways to Be a Powerful Woman

I'm a big fan of Alexandra Levit who is a business and workplace author and speaker, specialized in Gen Y. She recently wrote an article for her blog that I wanted to share with you. She reveals the secret of Catherine Kaputa, a brand strategist, on how to boost business success. Most of us are working or have worked, done internship ...Etc. so I thought it could interest you.

9 Ways to Be a Powerful Woman

Catherine Kaputa is a brand strategist, speaker, and the founder of SelfBrand LLC, a NYC-based personal branding firm. According to Catherine, now that women exert overwhelming influence in the business world they can make even more progress if they learn how to leverage their distinctly female aptitudes. Here are nine ways women can use their innately female traits to boost business success:

1. Tune in emotionally: Women are especially intuitive and empathetic, thanks in part to higher levels of hormones such as estrogen and oxytocin. Catherine’s advice: Use these emotionally driven strengths to be open and responsive to others' feelings and build strong and healthy work relationships.

2. Create an attractive package: Attractive people not only make more money, but are viewed as being smarter and more competent than others. Women possess an advantage here, too, having more "visual aids" to work with than men do. Catherine’s advice: Accentuate your best features, and develop a distinct look with a signature color, accessories, shoes, and so on. If you don't have the body of a fashion model, then do something wonderful with your hair and clothing. Work on your posture and gait. Think about what your visual image conveys, and find visual "props" that add originality and make a powerful statement.

3. Reach out: The larger your network, the more career capital you'll acquire--great news for women, who are natural-born networkers and team builders. Catherine's advice: Make and keep friends. Ask others for help, ideas, and feedback. And continually grow your network of colleagues, advisers, and mentors.

4. Communicate well: Women routinely outscore men on oral and written tests because they use both hemispheres of the brain--left and right--to process verbal, visual, and emotional stimuli. (Men tend to use only the left, "logical" side of the brain when verbalizing.) Catherine’s advice: Ask great questions, listen, and hone your business conversation and presentation skills. Become known for being a master communicator in both speaking and writing.

5. Be inclusive: Choosing inclusion over exclusivity is an inherent female strength and a powerful advantage in today's diverse, globalized workplace. Catherine’s advice: Commit to inviting as many perspectives as possible and extending goodwill to everyone--friends and foes. Cultivate strong alliances, and be loyal.

6. Read between the lines:
MRI studies show that women are much better at picking up subtle emotional messages than men are. This makes them especially attuned to body language and able to detect unspoken signals of distress, confusion, or other emotions, such as frustration. Catherine’s advice: Pay attention to what's going on behind the scenes. In meetings, for example, if something feels incomplete or not talked about, act on your hunch and initiate a follow-up phone conversation.

7. Empower others:
Gender studies show that girls tend to work together, forming a kind of committee, in order to accomplish tasks. This inclusiveness helps everyone in the group succeed. Catherine’s advice: The highly collaborative style of females is increasingly valuable in today's interconnected global business environment. Lead in a way that doesn't seek to have power over people, but empowers others instead. Create teams and a "personal board of directors" who can advise you--and be sure to include men too. Give public credit to people when they contribute.

8. Be a big picture thinker:
Studies show that women tend to take in multiple perspectives and consider a wide range of tangential elements when solving a problem or coming to a decision, while men's style of problem solving is different--more linear and more narrowly focused. Catherine’s advice: Leverage your enhanced ability to be a big picture thinker so you can bring more creativity and innovation to your work.

9. Be likable:
Women's gift for compassion, empathy, and intuition also makes them more likable. Catherine’s advice: Likability is a key asset the workplace. Smile and be positive--as opposed to being serious and stern--and you will win everyone over and be more influential in your job.


Fran said...

Very true! Great communicative skills help a lot in almost everything! They always do.

As for myself, I think I need to learn better to "create an attractive package"! :o)


Valérie said...

Every woman knows how to create this attractive package. It's in our DNA :) I think some of us don't really care about that sometimes. that's all. And Fran you're pretty, would you please stop depreciating yourself?!

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