In the business environment today, women often fight for leadership opportunities. It’s been a man’s world, and according to recent statistics, it still is. So, for many women, climbing the corporate ladder and claiming an office in the C-Suite requires tenacity, fortitude, and thick skin. Women find that showing strength through resilience and the ability to make tough decisions—even at the expense of other workers—is their best path to the leadership circle.
However, many women are rejecting this approach and instead are looking to work in a more team inspired manner. This is where approachability comes into play.
When working with clients, the front line often has the most objective perspective on what will work and what will not work. Being able to approach a leader and offer opinions is critical. Being able to develop a collaborative workplace where everyone has a respected voice will create the best environment where quality solutions develop.
Approachability also includes a self-understanding.
Smart female leaders take the time to truly understand their unique strengths, abilities, and weaknesses. They learn how to build collaborative partnerships with others by weaving their strengths to counter others’ weaknesses. They have the maturity and self-respect to acknowledge their weaknesses but counter them by building relationships where others show strength.
For example, one of my first jobs was that of an educator in an organization. The director of the organization explained that the reason he hired me for the position was because I had the skill set that she lacked. She was honest in assessing her abilities. She found that building this team boosted the organization’s competency level. We were able to provide better quality service by using her strong skill set paired with mine. It worked well, and clients were happy.
Women professionals embarking on becoming organizational leaders will fare better by utilizing their unique strengths and forging employee coalitions that inspire honest input into business improvement strategies. Keeping the office door open and modeling a strong dose of approachability is a women’s under-utilized gift.