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Ways millennial women can prepare for leadership roles
August 16, 2015, 12:48 pm

Millennial women will need to do more than just talk about gender discrimination and other issues they confront in the workplace, which prevents them from achieving top management positions. Here are a few strategies to position you for leadership roles in the future.

Develop your executive presence: Being an effective manager mainly comes from a set of learned behaviors—how to deliver a presentation, command a room, and inspire respect and loyalty. Pay attention to the ways you connect with people at work and what things you do to earn confidence. Those traits will all factor into your executive presence.

Your energy: Work-life balance is often a matter of integrating the two into a liveable balance. Base your priorities around the goals and activities that motivate you both at home and work. Burnout is not just the result of doing too much — it can also set in when you are not doing what energizes you. If you are an extrovert, find ways to collaborate with people at work. If you are an introvert, seek out more independent projects.

Think positively: Optimism is something women can actually learn. Much the way positive thinking is about finding the upsides to the bad things that happen, a technique called ‘positive framing’ involves accepting tough realities and countering them with action. When things go badly at work, limit the experience to its specific impact and do not take it personally. Talk to trusted colleagues, and find a way to improve next time.

Use storytelling to advance your career: Stories are usually more memorable than facts. Many women fixate on where they are headed professionally and lose sight of where they have been. Sometimes the best way to achieve your goals is to reflect on the past. Many of the most successful leaders excel because they control their own narratives. Keep a work journal. Write down what you are doing and what is working. Be ready to tell your story come promotion time or when asking for a raise.

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