| IMAGESBAZAAR |
A woman's journey towards corporate success isn't devoid of any hurdles. But then, there are a few mental and behavioural roadblocks that women tend to create for themselves. Experts discuss solutions to overcome them
Roadblock 1: Many women try to please everyone by taking on more and more responsibility and not fully leveraging their team and those around them
Women, by nature, can multi-task and this leads them to believe they can handle more jobs than one and not be overwhelmed. But as a leader, the need for strategic work increases and work gets less transactional. This means that one needs to have other skills like people mentoring, putting together winning teams, manpower allocation according to skill and of course, delegation. The ability to build and rebuild, lead and deliver results from a team is the key and these actions are complimentary to the qualities of patience and resilience at which women score better than men.
Kanchana TK, executive director, Vantage Insurance Brokers & Risk Advisors
While women have a capacity to take on a lot of responsibility and delivering well, even in the most difficult circumstances, as leaders, we must work closely with our teams to leverage the combined potential of all team members. We should focus on looking at the bigger picture by giving strategic direction, delegating authority and inspiring our teams through guidance and appreciation. If we do all of the above and are open and transparent with our colleagues, we will realise that our cohesive and motivated teams deliver in the most trying circumstances.
Veena Gidwani, CEO, Madison Public Relations
Roadblock 2: Many women interpret leadership as a quality that requires stern action and they act against their values and beliefs because of assumptions and interpretations they have w.r.t the qualities of a leader
Leadership should always be based on the values and beliefs that women leaders aspire. It is imperative that women leaders act authentic in alignment to these values that will allow them to define their leadership style. Women leaders should assertively communicate with their stakeholders on their expectations and proactively address any challenges that will compromise their leadership. Here, assertive upfront communication is better than compliance.
Kumar Parakala, partner and COO, advisory services, KPMG India
Women, naturally, are more collaborative, better at multi-tasking, better listeners and more empathetic. All these skills are key ingredients for leadership positions. If women enhance these skills, which come naturally to them, and further sharpen their business and commercial acumen, there should be no hurdles restricting their growth to higher positions of responsibility.
Shalini Kamath – MD, HR and corporate communications at Ambit Holdings Pvt Ltd.
Roadblock 3: Women hold back and do not speak out when they are confronted
As a woman leader, it is important to choose appropriate situations to speak. As leaders, women should be prepared with sound logic as well as the necessary emotional connect at the appropriate juncture. Lastly, women leaders need to have confidence in their capabilities and their co-workers.
Smita Affinwalla, head of consulting DDI India
At times, women prefer not to speak their minds to avoid unnecessary arguments, thinking that keeping quiet will lead to a congenial team atmosphere. To be a successful woman leader, one needs to have confidence and faith in one's own capabilities, the courage to present her viewpoint and defend what they think is right and refrain from being judgmental or sentimental.
Radhika Balasubramanian, head of admin & infrastructure- India, Intelenet Global Services
- Sheetal Srivastava