Winning Women – Own your space!

The world has evolved, we are told, and women are empowered, we are told. But it seems no one told the women about this somewhat startling fact.  Empowered women exist, and they exist in large numbers, but we are the exception, rather than the rule. Just like men, empowered women are different; they are positive in their outlook, positive in their interactions with the world around them. Empowered women affect change in the orbits of everything and everyone around them. McKinsey Global Institute launched a report stating that advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth by 2025. The change can happen from the top down but the change also starts with you, great woman.

To be an empowered woman, one must inhabit a space of positivity to take on the world. The reality is that our fight is interlaced with a plethora of constant obstacles as women. Our fight is a doubly as hard, and to succeed in a world that seems to throw obstructions on the regular in our way, there are several things I have taken note of to achieve true success.

For others to believe in your words, you must own your space and behave in a certain way, exude a certain aura. Behave like you are the president of a medium sized country.

Public speaking is integral to your success in any industry. The tone of your voice, your general demeanor, and confidence will put you in a place for people to aspire towards, and also to inspire. The value and importance of strong public speaking is sometimes forgotten. It is essential to build a foundation for solid success. Famously, Margaret Thatcher was advised to lower her tone, which she did, to win the election in 1979.

A typical downfall of a creative, intelligent, successful woman is letting nerves dictate your words and decisions. Stopping you from leaning In. When you feel your thoughts are hindering a forward thinking path, you must interrupt your thoughts. A suggestion I would strongly suggest is to avoid the usage of a phone. Using your phone to avoid and distract from these nerves makes you an observer, not a participant. Observers are intrinsically passive in nature and do not affect the outcome. Participants, on the other hand, are intrinsically active in nature and are a primary factor in the outcome. Bottom line, to alleviate your nerves, then try to not think about it or you can anchor techniques that can be used to empower you. In behavioral psychology, it is referenced to as a stimuli-response conditioning which all started with the well-known experiment of Pavlov’s dogs. This has then moved on to be tried on human’s. For example, an alarm clock ring means it is time to wake up subsequently, you can use a form of stimuli to be associated with an empowered response. In my public speaking trainings, we try to anchor power moves by repeating them numerous times.

When you are invited to an event, be it professional or play, it is ideal to come at an earlier time so people feel the need to come up to you and speak. It becomes easier to own your space and welcoming people to your space which means you are dictating the social protocol. Maintain eye contact with people in the room. This breeds trust and inspires a conversation between acquaintances and strangers alike.

Power hierarchies exist in all social contexts. Be cordial and courteous at all times and always be respectful to all levels of the hierarchy. If the “leader of the pack” decides they like you, the trickle down effect comes into play. Others will in turn respond to you too. Decide who you want to target and plan your approach towards them. Be strong, confident and assertive. Know your worth and value, and do not feel the need to be validated.

Empowered women cope with success, but they also know how to cope with rejection. How you cope with rejection is actually more important than how you deal with success.  Think about it – with success comes adulation and joy, but with rejection comes feelings of failure and loneliness.  If you cannot cope with rejection, then you cannot cope with success.  This is true in business as it is in your personal life.

All of these techniques present further opportunities for empowerment and growth for you. Try some of what you have read here and own your space.

 

By Saana Azzam

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