For women with their sights set on leadership roles, there are often factors, such as unconscious bias, working against establishing credibility and asserting oneself as a leader. Once in a leadership role, it can also take time to shape your identity.
Adeft Capital CEO and Founder Carol Melton and Council of Women World Leaders Secretary General Laura Liswood sat down with Brenda Morris, Deputy General Counsel of Litigation and Government Inquiries at Booz Allen to discuss how they established their signature styles while building reverence in the board room.
Here are some ways to take your career to the next level with confidence.
Own your expertise
Women often undermine their own credibility with words like “just” and phrases like “I might be wrong, but…” in emails or meetings. To avoid falling into your own trap, Laura suggests credentialing yourself when giving feedback or posing your point of view. Rather than prefacing your opinion with doubt, support it with stating proof of why your opinion is valuable, whether that’s your years of experience or extensive research. Then, invite others into the conversation.
Visualize until it’s realized
When it comes to practice, Carol likes to think of the Italian word “sprezzatura,” which effectively means practicing something so tirelessly that eventually it appears to be done effortlessly. In the same way that athletes might prep for a big game, she suggests visualization techniques when preparing for an important conversation, presentation, or for reaching other milestones that will take you to the next level as a leader.