How to Increase Perceived Power and Competence in the Workplace for Women
Women can increase their perceived power and competence in the workplace by taking the initiative, setting clear boundaries, maintaining a professional appearance and attitude, and strengthening their communication skills. Taking the initiative means being proactive in solving problems or identifying opportunities for improvement. Setting clear boundaries involves communicating expectations to co-workers and supervisors about availability, workloads, assignments, etc. Maintaining a professional appearance and attitude includes taking care of personal hygiene and clothing as well as remaining composed even when under stress. Strengthening communication skills can include attending online training courses that focus on assertive communication or dealing with difficult people at work.
Conversely, there are five things that diminish a woman's perceived power and competence in the workplace such as failing to take initiative, not setting clear boundaries, having an unprofessional appearance and attitude, poor communication skills, and gossiping. Not taking the initiative leaves a woman looking like she is not interested in advancing her career or achieving success. Not establishing clear boundaries creates confusion among co-workers as to who is responsible for what. An unprofessional appearance can lead to others assuming that a woman cannot handle a job's responsibilities. Poor communication skills such as speaking too softly or failing to make eye contact may indicate that a woman does not have the confidence needed for certain tasks. Finally, gossiping about colleagues or supervisors diminishes one's credibility and can damage working relationships.
Men struggle with these same issues, but the fact is that women are judged more harshly. Rather than argue about the justice of this judgment, women should be more proactive in countering it, while at the same time marshaling forces to change conditions in workplaces that are overwhelmingly male-dominated.
In summary, to increase your perceived power and competence in the workplace, and to handle difficult people at work:
• Take the initiative in solving problems and identifying opportunities
• Set clear boundaries for co-workers and supervisors regarding workloads, assignments etc.
• Maintain a professional appearance and attitude to remain composed under pressure
• Strengthen communication skills by taking online courses that focus on assertive communication
• Avoid gossiping about colleagues or supervisors
For an in-depth look at Dan O'Connor, Wizard of Words training, go to his website and to his Youtube channel. There you will find Dan giving the words to change your perspective and your life--guaranteed.
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