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Women in Innovation – Having the Confidence to Lead Others 

November 4, 2020

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Women in Innovation- Having the Confidence to Lead Others

Are you a woman in innovation who is looking to develop and up-skill in the area of leadership? If the answer is yes, then this informative article is for you! We caught up with Dr. Giulia Sirigu from Inventya and Catherine Smith from Equal Talent to share their knowledge and expertise in how to lead others in an innovative and growing business. 

To consider your leadership style, you first need to consider what will success look like and what strengths and attributes do you need to develop to achieve your goal? Think of someone you know who does this well. What are their confident leadership characteristics? What can you do to develop these qualities more? 

Start understanding your leadership style. When leading others, it is important to feel comfortable in your own role and there are many techniques you can use to improve what you do.

You can be a task-oriented leader or a people-oriented one. A paternalistic guide or have an opportunistic approach. In each case, you need to be able to motivate people around you and develop your analytical and cognitive abilities to reach your shared goals. You can focus on different situations and adapt your leadership style to the people working with you. But, most importantly, you need to identify your strengths, and which areas need some improvement. 

Most of the time becoming a role model, exemplifying behaviours, and characteristics you encourage in your followers helps to encourage change and be an inspiration for others. But not everybody feels comfortable having this type of role, in this case, you can facilitate the presence of other inspirational people providing food for thought for your team and yourself.

During our Leadership workshop, Catherine recommended the following points to help develop your confidence in leading others:

  • Time to think… together – make sure you take time to think collaboratively. Instead of working alone and facing challenges alone, you can work with your team to solve problems together, this helps with inclusion and allows you to lead group-thinking sessions. Schedule thinking time!
  • Raise your and our self-awareness – when leading others, you need to think about being part of the whole team. You need to raise your own self-awareness, but you also need to be aware of others and that you are not on your own. You are leading by example and you should be communicating openly with your team. Observe and modify what you do accordingly!
  • Set some goals and outcomes – whether this is your own internal goal of how you can develop your leadership, or whether this is leading your team in terms of setting company/team goals and outcomes, it gives a tangible measurable for success. Plan!
  • Challenge AND support each other – to be a good leader, you need to be able to challenge your team through the use of constructive criticism but whilst consistently supporting them and helping them on their personal growth journey to be a stronger member of your team. If you cannot personally support, refer to the right people!
  • Build trust – most relationships are built on trust, personal or work-related. If you have a team that trusts you as a person and have the faith and trust in your leadership, then they will be more compliant with your work style. Do something every day to build it!
  • Contract confidentiality – it is imperative that you ensure that there is a level of confidentiality. As a leader, you have to be the go-to person for your team at times and you need them to feel confident and comfortable coming to you in any circumstance, knowing that the conversation will be professional, supportive and confidential. This will help you to face challenges!
  • Ask, not tell – you should listen with curiosity and interest. As a strong leader, you need to be able to listen to your team, take on-board their comments and action them where necessary. You need to be inclusive of their input when making decisions, allowing them to feel like a valued member of your team. Include and ask for other people’s input!

There are many different styles of leadership and we have all worked with people where we have admired or despised their leadership technique. Whilst many theories exist out there to find out what type of leader you are, this is something that is part of your personal growth and self-discovery when working with a growing team. So, give yourself the time to learn.

 

Dr Giulia Sirigu from Inventya and Catherine Smith from Equal Talent are both great leaders and they shared their top tips to help you become a great, and confident, leader. 

  • Do not hide anything from employees
  • Show empathy in tangible ways 
  • Learn how to lead the younger generation 
  • Do not be afraid of the truth 
  • Be human, not humanoid 
  • Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you 
  • Let employees in on your vision 
  • Always lead with character

If you want more support and advice from our Women in Innovation initiative, then keep an eye on the Inventya Events Webpage where will be promoting our upcoming Women in Innovation events where you will hear from experts and have take-away knowledge like the leadership tips shared in this article: https://www.inventya.com/events 

November 4, 2020
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