Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2016

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

Issue link: https://diversitywoman.epubxp.com/i/730428

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w w w. d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m Fa l l 2 0 1 6 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N 33 Point of View > Leadership Lesson H ow can you cultivate a work culture in which women managers can exercise more authentic leadership to reach their fullest potential? Consider integrating the use of executive, leadership, and life coaching to nuture high-potential women into leadership and help them thrive so you can retain them. A universal challenge for employees and companies is the "boss," who may be skilled in some areas, but who may not have the ability to lead and develop people. Despite the research on leadership development and the ready availability of training programs na- tionwide, many people don't get the support they need to develop true leadership skills. Even when managers participate in training programs, training without practice simply won't translate into ideal leader transforma- tion. Training and coaching programs that encourage and teach women how to lead while maintaining their authenticity are the key. We must show up unafraid to exert our feminine- style confidence, drive, and determination. When taking on more senior roles, we should not trade our authenticity for titles only to discover the dissonance this creates within our souls. If we fail to choose authenticity, we immediately begin a spiral into self-doubt and the associated negative self-talk. is limit- ing and oppressive thinking then controls our behaviors. e sad results are diminished self-worth, failure to engage in critical success behaviors, and wasted expended energy. Best- selling author Brené Brown calls this "hustling for worthiness"—largely focusing on how others perceive us and rate our worth. Organizations must go the distance to invest in meaningful development experi- ences focused on how women can manage processes and lead people while maintaining their authentic self. Now is the time to focus Pearl J. Alexander on how to prepare women to thrive and rise into senior roles. Today, with women representing a majority of the highly educated and contribut- ing members of the workforce in the United States, we must maximize the value of their contributions if we are to remain competitive as a nation. Executive, leadership, and life coaching is proactive transformative work that will help high-potential women accelerate their devel- opment. Initiatives at Georgia Tech, which combine leadership training and professional coaching, are designed to generate individual awareness of core identities and celebrate in- tersectionality in ways that garner emotional intelligence and strengthen self-efficacy, resilience, and the capacity to think more strategically to achieve results. A key compo- nent of the program, for example, is learning influencing strategies. Coaching promotes work-life integration, too, since people do not park their lives while working. Reflective practices inform an emerging diversity and inclusion curriculum with lead- ership coaching as a centerpiece rather than an afterthought or intervention. Infusing this deep learning into organizational initia- tives and creating communities of practice will help build a critical mass of women who courageously choose authenticity, flexibility, and wholeness, positively changing the D&I narrative and shifting the culture toward "inclusive excellence." DW Pearl J. Alexander is an inclusion strategist, profound listener, and executive-life coach for cultural transformation at Georgia Tech. We must show up unafraid to exert our feminine-style confidence, drive, and determination. Coaching: The Power to Transform

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