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Women: Start Working Out Loud

As women, we don’t always feel encouraged to share our contributions at work. Confident women are sometimes seen as less likable, and some women are uncomfortable taking credit for projects and sharing their past successes because they fear backlash (though self-promoting can be a key to opening career opportunities). I believe this shows the importance of women developing a strong voice so they can “work out loud.”

From my perspective, “working out loud” can provide women with two specific benefits: First, it connects the dots so others more clearly see how their contributions create tangible, business results. Secondly, it can bolster their own confidence, which in turn can help make it easier to work out loud.

As a coach, I’ve observed that even seasoned and experienced women sometimes need a bit of encouragement to work out loud. So, I’ve worked to help them understand the value of relying upon colleagues for support. I’ve also provided tips on having more of a voice in the workplace and encouraged them to simply observe when they admire how another woman performs in a professional environment.

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Women: Make Your Presence Known

Women are strong leaders who continue to infiltrate into more prominent and visible positions. Take, for example, the new Congress that just swore in a record 127 women. Or that women lead organizations such as GM, Anthem and IBM. This side of the equation undeniably demonstrates examples in which women have reaped success.

There is, however, another side of the equation, too: a dangerous one that all women should be alerted to. It’s the micro-missteps women make that undermine their leadership. We’ve all been guilty of such missteps, myself included. Any one misstep may not be enough to hamper a woman’s success, but when there’s a collection of them, danger abounds.