Crushing The Confidence Gap: Four Ways for Women to Make the Leap
In the workplace, confidence matters as much as ability—the higher the confidence, the higher the performance. Confidence is the foundation for becoming a strong leader, pursuing challenge, taking risk and putting one’s self in positions to learn and grow. Lack of confidence drives risk aversion and makes employees less willing to pursue challenges. Businesses lose out on innovation, productivity and strong leadership, while individuals miss out on opportunity, career advancement and personal development.
Lack of confidence not only holds women back, it holds companies back. According to one of the most comprehensive business case studies ever conducted, companies that perform best financially have the greatest numbers of women in leadership roles.[i] Yet statistics suggest that lack of confidence is holding women back from leadership opportunities. While more than 50 percent of women hold college degrees[ii] and close to 40 percent have MBAs[iii], they comprise less than 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions[iv] and only about 15 percent of senior executive positions.[v] Improved confidence allows women to step into and excel in these roles.
While there is no shortage of information around The Confidence Gap in the workplace, there is shockingly little on what to DO about it. That is why this program is essential.
Building confidence in one aspect of our lives transfers to all of them. Training in the following areas creates confidence and competence that can be applied to one’s professional life.
- Confidence is influenced by how well we know our values and purpose. When we lack clarity, we typically lack confidence as well. It is difficult to feel confident in our abilities when we are uncertain about why and how we make decisions. But once we truly understand ourselves, then our decisions will naturally align with our ideals. We will grow in confidence as we learn to trust our internal locus rather than be swayed by external forces.
- Confidence is shaped by what we consume. What we watch, listen to and read can make us feel either positive and empowered or inadequate and insecure. Unfortunately, much of the information we “eat” is junk, filling us with empty “calories” and making us weak. In order to nurture confidence, we must nurture our minds with nourishing input.
- Confidence is affected by recovery. Our days are filled with incessant obligations and habitual time wasters. How can we feel confident when it seems we are not doing enough or not doing it well enough? Recovery means granting ourselves permission to refuel and recharge. Only then will there be time and space for confidence to grow.
- Confidence is linked to our physical being. In particular, we can use movement in strategic ways to connect and change. Our movement needs vary from day to day and person to person. Gentle forms of movement help us center and connect to the inner power within us. More challenging types of movement allow us to build grit and tenacity—if it doesn’t challenge us, it doesn’t change us
Confidence comes from taking action. This interactive and engaging program teaches women how to develop daily practices that embolden confidence and competence in the workplace and beyond, thus helping companies to have their female employees unleash their untapped potential. Rich with discussion and inner reflection, this course utilizes the wisdom and experiences of the entire group. Attendees leave with personalized plans for taking action in the interrelated areas of inner reflection, thoughtful consumption, strategic movement and regular recovery.
- Close the confidence gap in your organization and foster a culture of high-performing women on paths of improved self-assurance, performance and advancement.
- Empower women to step into leadership roles and develop their abilities to lead, take action, drive for results and improve the bottom line.
- Help women identify their values and purpose in order to guide their decision-making process.
- Embolden women to step out of their comfort zones, embrace challenge, take initiative and strategic risk.
- Balance stress and recovery in order to show up fully focused and energized, as well as to utilize their complete array of talents and skills in the workplace.
- Create opportunity for reflection in order to gain clarity, identify goals, strengths and weaknesses, and what actions need to be taken.
- Design and implement an individualized action plan that improves confidence, competence, energy, engagement and resiliency.
Duration: One to three hours.
Why is this topic important to your business and bottom line? When the Institute of Leadership Management surveyed managers about how confident they feel in their work, half of female respondents reported self-doubt in regards to their job performance and careers. Self-doubt, fear and lack of belief in one’s abilities result in hesitation and inaction. In today’s constantly changing and highly demanding work environment, employees who confidently step up to a challenge and rise to the occasion is a competitive advantage.
Confident leaders take initiative, make bold decisions, drive for results, and are more innovative and purposeful. They create trust, communicate concisely and passionately, drive productivity, and motivate and inspire their teams. They have a clear vision of who and what they want to become, what they want the business and their team to achieve, and how to execute in a bold and successful way.
Closing the confidence gap means employees contribute to the organization more fully, manage well through crisis, and move themselves and the business forward. They not only make up a strong, resilient and energized workforce, they are inspiring role models, transforming the future of the business.
[i] Adams, S. (2014, August 5). Companies Do Better With Women Leaders (But Women Need More Confidence To Lead), Study Says. Retrieved August 02, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/susanadams/2014/08/05/companies-do-better-with-women-leaders-but-women-need-more-confidence-to-lead-study-says/
[ii] Aud, S., Hussar, W., Johnson, F., Kena, G., Roth, E., Manning, E., Wang, X., and Zhang, J. (2012). The Condition of Education 2012 (NCES 2012-045). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC. Retrieved Aug 2, 2016 from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch.
[iii] Matt, S. (2014). Will Harvard Ever Have an MBA Class With 50 Percent Women? (n.d.). Retrieved August 02, 2016, from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-08-29/harvard-will-have-trouble-getting-to-an-mba-class-thats-half-women
[iv] Catalyst. Women CEOs of the S&P 500. New York: Catalyst, July 1, 2016. Retrieved Aug 2, 2016 from http://www.catalyst.org/knowledge/women-ceos-sp-500
[v] Swanson, Ana. (2015) The number of Fortune 500 companies led by women is at an all-time high: 5 percent. Ana Swanson. Retrieved on Aug 2, 2016 from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/06/04/the-number-of-fortune-500-companies-led-by-women-is-at-an-all-time-high-5-percent/
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