- Who & Why?
Category Archive for: ‘Gender’
I ended the last blog post with the notion of self-confidence. Specifically that people are attracted to someone with high self-confidence. At Puris we use self-confidence, coupled with stress, as a big gauge to see how your personal branding is working. The main result of our work with clients is that their self-confidence goes UP when we help them create an effective personal brand.
When you have high self-confidence, it means everything is working well for you, including your personal brand. High self-confidence correlates to high productivity, high morale, reduced stress and effective behavior as an employee and a business owner.
It also is true that self-confidence is tied to effective leadership. Leslie Pratch*, a clinical psychologist, headed such research at the University of Chicago. Here she investigated the longer-term personality predictors of leadership. The research found that there were definite gender differences involved with respect to being self-confident and being an effective leader. Most notably for you and me, Pratch found overwhelmingly significant that women must have high self-confidence and self-esteem in order to be perceived as an effective leader. Men on the other hand are more expected to be self-confident, so we don’t judge their leadership on self-confidence.
What does this mean for you? If you are looking to grow your business or get promoted or just be taken seriously and noticed more- then you have got to be perceived in a leadership capacity of some form. This means you must have high self-confidence and self-esteem. A strong personal brand is based on high self-confidence. The more you “get” your personal brand and develop it, the more your self-confidence grows.
No one wants to work with, promote, listen or follow someone who doesn’t appear, and is not, sure of themselves. This is especially true if you are female. So go out there and develop an effective personal brand to boost your self-confidence!
*You can read more on Pratch's study on her website, Pratch & Company.
Over the past week, we have had several clients raise this difference in gender as a concern/issue within their business as it relates to their personal brand. Does being male versus female have an effect on how you and your business are perceived?
I had a female lawyer client share with me that another male lawyer colleague, more senior to her, had given her a bit of advice that had thrown her off completely. They both work for a large law firm with multiple locations in the United States and abroad. When she had asked him for feedback on her work product, he had told her to stop being so cut-throat and hard-core about getting work and business. She said in that moment, she was stunned because she never saw her personal brand and image as such. I asked her if she had followed up with a question to have her colleague shed more light on his comment. She had not done so. Unfortunately, months later this dialogue has become an inquiry that runs in the back of her mind often.
When a male does something in the business world that is perceived “cut-throat” is he called competitive and a go-getter versus when his female counterpart does the same, her personal brand becomes one of aggression and negative-ness? How much of our perceptions of quality work and business is dictated by our gender beliefs versus the neutral shifts we seek to make here at Puris, such as appearance/presence, communication and behavior?
Here are some of our tips for making sure your personal brand are based on you and not your gender:
– Always own what gender you are and don’t try to hide and blend in for the sake of not rocking the boat. Being genuine and yourself is what sells and is what you are comfortable being so your work productivity and happiness goes up. For example, as a women you don’t have to wear a pant-suit to fit in.
– Always ask follow-up questions to get clarifications when people give you ‘advice” or feedback that doesn’t make sense to you based on what you believe your personal brand and personality to be. Often the problem is miscommunication at one level or another that can be remedied quickly. Rarely is the comment gender-based.
-Never walk around with the assumption that there is gender discrimination going on against you. Assumptions such as these set you up for failure because you go around with a wall up and a chip on your shoulder. People will gravitate away from you. That result will leave you with a terrible personal brand.