Women in Leadership

by | May 16, 2023

Playing to our strengths as female leaders

As women in leadership roles, can I suggest that we need to be proud of the fact that our leadership style is quite different from our male counterparts.  From my own experience I realised a long time ago that I didn’t need to be one of the blokes to be successful. 

dhm Coaching & Consulting - Debbie Millard - women in leadership

One of my values is having the courage to do the right thing as opposed to the popular thing.  And another one is that I don’t believe in going along to get along.  As a woman in a man’s world (I worked in the residential building industry for many years), I have no doubt that in upholding these values I made myself unpopular and made life difficult for myself at times, but in the end they gained me respect and contributed to my success in being able to lead change.

As female leaders we have some amazing strengths

We tend to be:

      • More collaborative.  Using a more nurturing approach, our interpersonal skills can be more highly developed, leading to higher staff morale, more collaboration and cooperation, and a trusted team.
      • Better communicators.  Our openness, willingness to listen  and power of conversation helps us to build better relationships with our staff, our peers, the directors and owners, our customers and suppliers leading to good outcomes.
      • Willing to admit what we don’t know, and are not too proud to ask for help and seek professional advice and guidance.  This enables us to bring new perspectives, skills and ideas to the table leading to better decisions.
      • Time poor. Often balancing multi life-roles at the same time, we have to be time efficient, focus on the job at hand whilst juggling many other balls at the same and get the job done.  This whirlwind of productivity can unleash some amazing results (can also be quite intimidating for those caught in the down draught!)

A supportive network

But we also need and value a support network around us. Michelle OBama  in “The Light We Carry refers to her “kitchen table” circle of closest friends.

The value of coaching

Coaching continues to be an important part of my journey and has been for the last 15 years. It has helped me to navigate forks in the road, to see things from a different perspective, to think differently and to challenge myself. Without the support of a coach, I don’t think I would have had the resilience to navigate some of the challenges of an executive career, or the courage to make some of the decisions that I have made.

dhm Coaching & Consulting - Debbie Millard - women in leadership

Professional coaching for women

During the last five years I have relied on a handful of coaches to support me in my transition from an employed executive role to a self-employed small business owner. There are many good professional coaches for women in Perth. This has varied from:

      • Counselling to support me when I stepped off the cliff by giving my job away with nothing else lined up. In hindsight I lost my identity that I had attached to my previous role and employer.  It took me a while to be ok with just being Debbie Millard.
      • Values based coaching to get to the core of my why and what is really important to me. This was really hard work. Answering the “5 Why’s” , in my early 50’s when I had never stopped to think about it before.
      • Career coaching to help me navigate the contemporary world of recruitment and source a new role when I hadn’t applied for a job for 15 years.  I needed coaching to teach me how to play this new game.
      • Business coaching and mentoring in the how to of running my own business. There has been a hell of a lot of things that are not my area of genius, eg: business development, social media, sales and marketing. I soon realised that I needed to ask for some help and guidance. This is a work in progress.
      • Ongoing personal professional coaching supporting the integration of my personal professional and business life; keeping me true to my core values showing up as my authentic self.

If you need a listening ear from a fellow professional woman who has walked in your shoes, who will challenge your thinking, help you see things a little differently and give you clarity to move forward, I would love the opportunity to have a chat.   I am also a qualified International Coach Federation Associate Certified Coach. 

dhm Coaching & Consulting - Debbie Millard - women in leadership

Written By Debbie Millard

Master your business through strong leadership, knowing your numbers and empowering your people

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