As I write this blog, 35000 above sea level, flying from my home in the United States to India for executive coaching and speaking engagements in India I just finished a conversation at the LaGuardia airport with Radhika, who was once my coaching client.
I met Radhika at a women's tech conference where I spoke about 'Take Charge and Lead. At that time, Radhika was a senior director in an IT company in Bangalore.
During lunch, she told me how my thirty-minute talk had impacted her positively. She spoke to me about her challenge of growing in the organization. She works hard, takes up many projects, delivers them on time, builds her network, and keeps her skills updated.
Yet, when it was time to be promoted, she was passed over, and the role was offered to her colleague, who had the same credentials and experience like Radhika. This incidence frustrated her because it’s been repeatedly happening with her, where she still begs for the next role rather than being considered for it.
While she blames the management and felt highly discriminated against, I did not see these as the main reason for her being passed over for promotion. There was something more significant and more profound she was missing. For instance, what is interesting, though, is that when asked to evaluate her leadership capabilities, she tends to score herself lower than her male counterparts.
As Radhika spoke about her situation, I asked if she had ever thought of getting coached. She said she never considered investing in herself, except for taking up some courses for skill development.
Coaching women leaders can be a different experience than coaching male leaders because women face other challenges in the workplace. I have found that the two main things that can inhibit women from stepping up and taking charge are self-confidence and their overall attitude toward themselves.
After a few weeks of my being in India, my team received a call from Radhika stating that she was keen to sign up for coaching. Today seeing her after completing her eight months of coaching sessions, I see a more confident and better version of Radhika, who has moved ahead in her career, becoming the CIO of the company.
Many women are in a similar situation to Radhika. They have technical and functional expertise and work harder than their male counterparts but lack presence in the organization. They barely work on improving themselves and working on themselves, and because of this, their career growth is often stuck.
There are plenty of opportunities for women to grow and advance in their careers. Women must invest in their development.
I have seen how coaching helps women. There are many reasons why women must invest in coaching. To name a few, increase self-awareness, manage the politics of business, and overcome the limiting beliefs that come with being a woman leader.
But the most significant benefit I have seen is that it builds their confidence to advance in their career. I coach many male executives along with women leaders. I have seen how the career growth of men is different from women.
Coaching makes a significant difference in how women experience the workplace.
They build the confidence to:
1. Think big and play big
2. Break free from stereotypes
3. Challenge yourself daily
4. Be politically savvy
6. manage the politics of business
7. Think strategically about their careers.
8. Overcome limiting beliefs and self-doubt
There is an old saying – "if you waddle like a duck, swim like a duck, and act like a duck ... then you are a duck.". So to become a successful director, manager, or businesswoman, you need to begin to work on yourself.
I hope this helps in your journey towards success.
Your Friend + Mentor
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