Artful listening –
Artful listening is at the heart of authentic leadership.
It means entering the conversation without a personal agenda, being open minded to others’ opinions, and paying attention to all the unspoken cues (like body language) coming from the audience. While the gender stereotype presents women as good listeners, many women in leadership find this to be an advantage. Men tend to talk over one another in meetings, while women are more prone to listening.
Strong women leaders also make the extra effort to ensure others are heard, including probing for input from those in the room who are not sharing. Many women leaders have noted it is often more important to hear from those who are quiet than those who are doing much of talking. Matching another’s communication style is another excellent technique for promoting effective communication.
Women should aspire to look like leaders. Unfortunately, women are judged on their appearance more often than men are, even in the leadership realm. To have leadership presence, women must present a professional image. Recommendations from successful women include dressing “one step up,” dressing appropriately for the setting, and also dressing in a way that personally inspires confidence and expresses individuality.