The 9 Skills Women Need To Advance Into Leadership

All of our 35 inspiring speakers at the Women In Leadership Summit last October, have one thing in common — they all have, at some point, gone through challenging setbacks. What pushed them to succeed is the confidence that comes from the mastery of a set of skills.

In this article, we have rounded up some of their best advice on the skills, capabilities and tools to help you advance in your own leadership journey.

 

Gabby Costigan

 

1. Self-belief and Courage

“You must trust in your capabilities and be willing to take a chance in the pursuit of leadership. A fear of failure means at times women tend to wait until they feel completely ready before making this leap. I’ve learned that if you feel 100 per cent ready for your next step the challenge is already too small for you.”

 

2. Adaptability

“Organisations today need to continually evolve in order to not merely survive, but to thrive and become enduring organisations that have a lasting legacy. As a leader, being able to flex and respond as needed and inspire this agility in your teams is a core skill. I have experienced my share of obstacles and setbacks, but it is my natural optimism, the passion for the Defence industry and the people we support that inspire me to continue to reach for new goals.”

 

3. Decisiveness

You need to be able to gather and take on the viewpoints of the people around you, but when it is time to make a decision it is you as a leader who needs to make the call. You must be prepared to do this even in the most difficult of circumstances.  This brings me back to having belief in yourself and courage in your convictions.”

 

Marnie Baker

 

4. Vulnerability

While many may see it as a weakness, in reality vulnerability is a strength because vulnerable leaders tend to inspire, are more authentic, and they build bonds that lead to increased performance overall. Embracing vulnerability means having the courage to face our fears. A vulnerable leader is willing to experience all the ups and downs that come with it and they know they can confront the brutal realities while maintaining faith they will ultimately prevail and also learn.”

 

Chelsea Bonner

5. Flexible Thinking

“There is a way ‘life’ looks like on paper and then a thousand small adjustments you may need to make to achieve your end goal. Don’t get yourself stuck working point A to point B. There are swings and roundabouts in every plan, it’s not a straight paved road to success.”

 

6. Conviction

“When you know you have a great idea it doesn’t mean that everyone will believe in it. You need to be able to back yourself 100% and keep finding new ways to express your ideas to a multitude of different people, in a broad range of circumstances, to be able to cut through with it. If you don’t have that conviction you will never be able to get others to back it.”

 

7. Resilience

“As women in business we are up against it all the way, from business loans and capital raising, to the hours we spend away from family and friends driving toward our goals. We are judged on a very different level than our male counterparts. Often, we end up feeling like we have to justify ourselves to everyone for wanting success in all areas of our lives. This is something unique to being female. You will be tested and will need resilience to keep going through the emotional blackmail you will be confronted with daily.”

 

8. Negotiation

“Vital for growth of any business. You need to be able to go into every situation with the ability to negotiate the outcome and close the deal. If you don’t learn how to push for sign off on any idea, contract or collaboration, you can waste months of time in meeting after meeting with no end in sight and going around and around in circles. The deal is never done until the paperwork is signed.”

 

9. Collaboration

“Reach out to every person in likeminded business you think of who can give you ideas or help to refine your own. Word of mouth is the most underrated tool for all businesses. Also sharing your thoughts and ideas in the spirit of collaborating and lifting each other up creates a village of likeminded mentors and peers that will be invaluable over the life of your career.”

 

If you want to learn from inspiring women on how you can create greater impact in your organization through leadership, register for The Empowered Woman 2020.

The Empowered Woman 2020

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Why All Leaders Need to Understand and Engage in MICROLEARNING

Why Managers Need to Engage in Microlearning

Winning the fight for talent

All over the world, across all industries surveyed by Gallup, only 15% of employees, on average, are actively engaged in their jobs. Consider the impact of this alarming statistic – 85% of staff are not adding value to their employers and draining company resources.

Low engagement leads to high employee turnover and with the falling supply of quality talent worldwide, more businesses are in danger of losing capacity to remain productive and competitive.

As a people manager, you play a critical role in winning this fight for talent. You need to make your team’s learning and development a top priority to successfully drive employee engagement, retention and productivity.

 

A call for managers to shake up L&D

You are in charge of people whose job it is to think, communicate, design, disseminate, create, innovate, and so on. Your operation runs on your team’s brain power and your job as a manager is to keep their minds fully engaged.

But the manager is not typically involved in L&D, you say. But you understand what your team is capable of and what the business needs from them more than anybody else. It only makes practical sense to take ownership of their learning and development.

 

Managers in the knowledge economy

How do you squeeze in the hours, energy and skill to train your staff with your demanding daily grind?

The trick is in identifying the easiest and quickest pathway to learning. You also need to consider building your team’s foundational knowledge throughout their career while steadily stacking up new skills along the way. This is ultimately a call for managers to revolutionise what we know as professional development by stepping up to become educators.

Welcome to Microlearning — the new way of delivering rapid, high-impact learning for your team through short bursts of training.

 

What IS Microlearning


Simply put, microlearning is an approach to learning that focuses on skill development by engaging in small units of learning. It can be characterised by the following:


1. It breaks down training into smaller bite-sized units
The idea is to communicate simple, short, actionable information


2. It is usually
self-paced and suited to fit schedules
Team members learn faster if allowed to manage their own time for training


3. It is custom designed for training goals
Whether digital, print, or in-person, microlearning is a flexible format for learning


4. It is single-outcome focus
Microlearning is intended to aid the learner in the performance of specific action.


5. It is agile and unstructured
There are no hard and fast rules to implementing microlearning except that it must be brief and actionable.

 

What is NOT Microlearning


1. It is not for learning complex concepts
Broad and multi-layered subjects need to be broken into simpler parts or topline bullets to be considered microlearning.

 

2. It is not for gaining deep expertise
The goal of microlearning is to impart simple information quickly, and not for in-depth study. The goal is to quickly learn a new skill, not gain deep understanding of a concept.

 

So, as a leader, how can you engage yourself and your team in microlearning?

1. First, identify critical skill gaps, then plug in the training content to fix it.
The onus is upon the manager to help team members stack up on skills and be excellent at their jobs. Microlearning allows managers to implement a learning plan with speed and urgency. A quick Google, YouTube or Linkedin Learning search will usually help you find the right training material to quickly mitigate a skill gap.


2. Tailor-fit content to specific training needs.
What most Learning and Development experts get wrong is that they dump a one-size-fits-all approach to training. Microlearning allows managers to quickly put together highly relevant and useful content for their teams’ individual training needs.


3. Engage with multimedia.
Don’t just paste whole blocks of text in an email and call it microlearning. In this era of short attention spans, the multimedia format – from a 2-minute slideshow, a 15-minute YouTube tutorial, a 1-hour podcast or 3 hour interactive workshop – is the fastest and most engaging way to learn new material.


4. “Gamify” the learning experience.
In case your online learning platform does not support gamification, get creative through some analogue fun and games, i.e. flashcards, boardgames, etc., that’s guaranteed to make the lessons stick.


5. Pop quizzes and other micro-assessments
Reinforce the lessons of microlearning with, you guessed it – micro assessments! A pop quiz or a 1-minute verbal summary will help you assess how your learners are retaining and using all the new information.


6. Register yourself or your team for a conference or training course
Perhaps the easiest way to engage in microlearning is to attend an event or workshop. Most training course facilitators are experts at delivering content in engaging, interactive ways, and large conferences feature experts at the top of their field delivering 40-60 minute sessions on hyper-specific topics.

Microlearning Infographic

It’s never too early to start a microlearning plan for your team! View our range of training and events, or get in touch with us directly to learn know more about the long-term business benefits of microlearning.

view all our learning events and training courses

 

4 Strategies to Supercharge Your Professional Development

Here are 4 strategies you can do right now to super-charge your career.

It’s never too early to start planning your professional development goals and actions in 2020. Check out our lineup of courses and events to get ahead of career trends, expand your network and learn new skill sets. 

 

If you are looking to improve yourself at work, it’s time to go beyond what your company offers in the learning and development department. As work becomes more competitive, moving up to the next level requires a more proactive approach to training. 

 

Here are 4 strategies you can do right now to super-charge your career. 

 

1. Take a hard look at your skills  

What skill, knowledge, and experience gaps do you need to fill to be excellent at your current job and be considered to move up to the next level? There are three areas in your professional tool kit that you will need to check –   

Technical – the ability to perform specific tasks or the level in which you operate systems and applications to be functional at your job. For example, if your job requires some Excel skills, consider increasing your level from “basic” to “expert.”   

Communication – the ability to process, organise, and articulate information. Asking the right questions is an important communication skill. So is listening and understanding your audience and tailoring what you say and how you say it. How would you rate your writing skills? How about your presentation skills? Having excellent communication skills sets you up for success in your current role and beyond.   

Enterprise – the ability to create business value. You do not have to own a business to learn enterprise skills. You need to show real interest in how your company does business. Consider leveling up on skills such as spotting market opportunities, suggesting ways to improve processes, or coming up with new ideas to serve customers better. These are skills that employers will pay top dollar for.   

   

2. Get Your Manager’s Feedback  

Include your manager in your professional development journey by asking for feedback. Questions like – what does it mean to be successful in your position? What are your KSIs (Key Success Indicators)? What will it take to be considered for a promotion, and what is the timeframe for that?   

Receiving this kind of feedback is essential to your professional growth and should be an
on-going conversation with your manager.  If that’s not happening, understand the success indicators of your role. Identify and track your weekly, monthly, and quarterly targets so that you are well prepared when the evaluation period comes around.  
 

   

3Research your company or industry 

Keep an ear to the ground and find out the issues, threats, and opportunities that are of growing concern to your company. Then plan to increase your knowledge or competence in that area. For example, your company is grappling with a time waste issue, study up, and write a proposal with specific action plans to address it.   

You can circulate this internally or write a white paper and publish it. Developing your expertise in an area of increasing importance to your company or industry can be your ticket to a more rewarding career opportunity.    

   

4. Put it all together and map out a plan.  

List the 5 to 10 skills you need to develop in your career for 2020. Then identify the classes, online courses, books, and conferences you need. Lastly, take out your calendar and allocate the time to do them. A good rule of thumb when allocating time for learning is the 80-20 Rule. For example, block-off 8 hours out of your 40-hour workweek for training. 

 

“Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.” 

Dwight Eisenhower 

 

The irony of plan is that it’s useless and can only be valuable when you set it in motion.
If you have started on a plan, congratulations! You are one step closer to your goal and have defined in your mind the outcome you desire for your career. 
Now go and make them happen!