Women leaders have many daily challenges that can throw them off balance, creating internal discord. It could be the way your morning started with a family matter that extracted the critical extra 15 minutes you needed to gather your thoughts while preparing for your day. Or if you have others at home, where you have likely been working more, the interruptions that are common no matter who it is can break your concentration. Or it could be an interaction with your boss, a colleague, client or direct report that is leaving you with a nagging feeling that it did not go as well as you had hoped. There is also that nagging sense of so much to do, not enough time that looms in the background like a time demon nipping at your heels.
While I suggest balance is not the goal, it is important to be able to notice the feeling of being off balance. This feeling or sense, points to the challenge of how you find alignment with what you are up to. Balance often suggests a pursuit for equality in how we allocate our time between life & work, while alignment suggests clarity of purpose, intention and goals. These three elements are crucial for finding your way to a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in your days which add up quickly to weeks, months, and years.
As a woman leader, often just being in a business work environment can create misalignment. Many work environments are based on a masculine way of working, leading with priorities that often don’t align with your values. This is not just a gender issue. Many women leaders have adeptly adopted a masculine way of leading and are highly successful in those environments, based on the traditional measures of success. As a woman leader, likely you have figured this out, and have also learned to navigate in these types of environments, good for you! I suggest that maybe you have adapted, but in so doing, you have likely adjusted yourself to fit the environment, losing some of the strengths that go with the feminine way of leading, and I wonder how that is serving you?
If you are interested in considering how you may have adapted to fit into a workplace that is likely based on the masculine way of leading here are questions for you to reflect on.
- How often do you extend yourself beyond your comfort zone at work?
- At the end of the week do you find yourself energized or exhausted?
- How often do you question your own decisions, plans or interactions?
- Do you ever have a confidence crisis?
- Do you often have the experience of having to tone yourself down or hold back emotionally at work?
- Do you ever have that sense of overwhelm with all that is on your plate?
- Do you question whether you really have what it takes to get it done?
- Is the inner voice that drives you a critical task master, or a perfectionist, and rarely satisfied?
- Do you often feel alone and isolated?
- Do you have time to regularly & successfully manage stress?
These questions may give you some insight into your current state of discord or alignment. In my work with women leaders, I find that most are struggling to gain the inner alignment needed to effectively lead and perform in ways that feel easier, truer, and that are highly effective. Work can often be a struggle, even for the most successful. My aim as a leadership coach is to help you find alignment and navigate leading even more effectively, and with a lot less struggle.
My Harmonic Leadership framework is custom designed for women leaders. Discord is the first step in the process of uncovering your own misalignments. We all have them, and the key is to discover what they are so we can adjust and eliminate those that we can. Take a look at the list of questions about adaptation, and start with one where you don’t like your answer. Share it with a trusted friend/mentor or colleague. See if you can uncover what one step you can take to make it 5% better.