“The problem with these leaders’ approaches (to leadership development for women) is that they don’t address the often fragile process of coming to see oneself, and to be seen by others, as a leader.”1
Too often a woman’s leadership presence does not reflect her true potential as a leader. Becoming a strong woman leader begins with defining a clear, strong sense of her leadership identity. A woman leader, then, asserts her leadership by taking actions that make a difference in a way that reinforces her confidence in her leadership identity. How others perceive her leadership activities will determine if she is capable for taking on more important leadership roles.
As a woman leader’s capabilities grow and opportunities to demonstrate them expand, her path to becoming a well-regarded leader will accelerate. Confidently applying one’s leadership identity will result in establishing a leadership presence that will greatly expand her potential as a leader.
Research has demonstrated that emerging women leaders can strengthen their leadership potential by addressing three common issues. The first is avoiding the natural hesitation that comes from a tendency to spend too much energy “self-negotiating” before acting. Second is the importance of clearly defining a woman’s authentic leadership identity. Thirdly, leveraging a woman’s proven natural, innate perceptual abilities to get credit for her accomplishments and ensuring her true leadership presence is well understood by other leaders. Successfully addressing these three leadership development competencies will greatly expand every woman leader’s potential.
An Innovative Leadership Development Program Designed Specifically for Women Leaders
Broadview has created a new workshop and professional development program that provides women with powerful new research-based insights and a set of personal development tools to overcome three common obstacles that are likely holding back the development of an emerging woman leader. After experiencing this workshop and implementing the 21-day personalized action plan a woman leader will gain confidence in relying on her leadership identity to assert herself and taking on more challenging leadership roles. With the added confidence, a woman leader will maintain a stronger leadership presence, accelerating the growth of her leadership potential.
The design of this workshop is customized to meet the development needs of women leaders. The core content and learning design in this innovative program have been experienced by thousands of women around the world. This blended interactive learning experience provides practical, powerful new insights for emerging women leaders. The discovery learning-based instructional design enables participants to work closely with other participants to make practical, personal application of the key concepts during the workshop. The six–hour small group interactive workshop and personalized tools will empower participants to leverage their authentic strengths and greatly enhance their likelihood of being perceived as strong leaders.
Content Based Upon Powerful New Research
Perception management is a critical competency in leadership development for women and men leaders. Research has proven that women have a clear, natural advantage in perceptual abilities, when compared to men.2 To gain a deeper understanding of how perceptions impact women leaders, our parent company, Brand Tool Box, conducted a research study in 2014. One of the key implications of the research results indicated that women leaders must manage two layers of perceptions to enhance their leadership presence and be perceived as effective leaders.
Women have a brand. First there are the stereotypical perceptions women must overcome. As an example over 50% of women routinely experience having an idea they put forward dismissed, but if a man offers the same idea other women recognize it as a good one!
Individually a woman’s brand is often misperceived. Secondly, at least 50% of women believe their authentic strengths are not understood or acknowledged by others. Taken together these two perceptual distortions about a woman leader create unnecessary hurdles for her to gain access to career opportunities or to be given credit for her contributions.
Women of all generations report that both sets of perceptions are likely to cause them to hesitate in contributing or pursuing an opportunity. Hesitating leads to lost opportunities. This workshop and development program empowers women to lean in with confidence, leveraging their authentic strengths to propel their development as leaders.
The results of the women and perceptions research study were based on a large national sample of woman across a range of age and career demographics. A copy of the research study can be found at http://www.broadviewlearning.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/WomenPerceptionsResearchArticle.pdf
Women – Accelerate! Why Hesitate? is a personalized, results-driven leadership development program designed specifically for women leaders. The program consists of four parts; the first two components are self-paced learning activities that take place prior to attending the workshop to begin the personalization of the personal-development experience. At the core of the program is a shared-learning experience where women learn together new insights and skills empowering them to accelerate past the most common roadblocks that cause hesitation in both their personal and professional lives.
Blended Learning Design
The Women – Accelerate! Why Hesitate? development program is built on a blended-learning instructional design platform. Each participant will begin the development program by engaging in a self-study learning assignment to define her leadership strengths and conduct an assessment of her perceived strengths. The participants’ learning is anchored by attending a 6-hour facilitator-led workshop. Following the workshop experience participants will be involved in a virtual group session to share experiences and fine tune the strategies and tools developed in the workshop.
Self-Paced Learning Assignment
Participants will use the Broadview® Personal Brand Discovery Tool to complete a powerful self-paced e-learning personal development experience. The unique, interactive development tool guides individuals through a personalized learning experience to identify the qualities that are truly authentic to them; measure with statistical accuracy how their authentic qualities are perceived by others; and use a set of personalized action-learning tools to more consistently lead with authenticity. The purpose of this development tool is to provide individuals with the practical tools that will enable and encourage them to be more of who they are and support their desire to be respected as a leader that acts with authenticity.
An overview of the learning modules within the Personal Brand Discovery Tool follows:
Determining Authentic Personal Qualities – Personal Brand Platform Development
This series of exercises will help individuals define their authentic qualities using the Broadview Personal Brand Platform model used and tested by 10,000’s of business professionals. The self-paced tutorial facilitates the participant through a step-by-step interactive learning process beginning with a pairwise-comparison decision model to determine their personal values. Following the determination of one’s values, each participant is guided through a self-paced, interactive process to determine his/her authentic qualities.
Personal Brand Assessment
This statistically reliable, multi-rater assessment is quick and easy to implement, and provides a customized report describing how the participant is perceived by others. Professional associates, friends, and family write their perceptions of the participant in their words, unlike the preformed check-list approach used by many assessments. The completely anonymous responses from the participant’s contact list provide a statistically reliable database of trusted data for each participant to analyze their own authentic, individual perceptions – not be placed within a 4-color fits-all model or limited personality-type model.
Perceptions Assessment Report and Follow-on Activities
Each participant will be able to compare their list of self-described authentic qualities (their brand platform) to the perception data as reported by others and will then determine their actual authentic strengths and weaknesses. The report contains a series of learning exercises to close perception gaps and to leverage her authentic qualities to make a difference in everything she does.
E-Learning features of the Personal Brand Discovery Tool:
- Online audio coaches facilitating and encouraging each participant through the discovery learning process
- Assessment tool is integrated with each participant’s default email client program to facilitate ease of use in gathering perceptions using her existing contact data base
- Accessible on multiple delivery platforms, including mobile
“The insightful content and powerful tools in this program added to my confidence and ambition as a women leader. I find myself revisiting my ‘Personal Brand Tool Kit’ frequently while navigating the daily challenges of being a leader.”
Christina Agar, Sales and Marketing Portfolio Manager, Jack Links
“A phenomenal set of tools, ideas, feedback and activities to help you figure out how to be your truest, best self – at home and work!”
Arianna Gavzy, Director Operational Excellence, Target
“The tools used in this program provided me with powerful, practical information about myself as a woman leader. The result has been increased confidence and less second guessing myself when making important decisions.”
Sara Deeg, HR Consultant, ThedaCare
“Women – Accelerate! Why Hesitate? provided an amazing venue for professionals from Minneapolis to come together as one to learn how we can become stronger leaders and lean in!”
Danyelle Dougherty, Account Executive, Slalom
Module One: Women’s Relationship with Perceptions
This module focuses on creating a common understanding of why women hesitate in many interactions. Key findings from the Women and Perceptions research are discussed followed by small-group discussions about perceptions that cause participants to hesitate and misperceptions others may have of them to be addressed later in the workshop.
Module Two: Understanding the Power of Perceptions
Women have a keen sensitivity to perceptions that can cause hesitation. Module two explores how perceptions are created and how easy it is to be misperceived without knowing it.
Module Three: Defining Your Authentic Personal Brand of Leadership
Defining what specific perceptions represent a woman’s authentic strengths and style is one of the biggest hurdles to leveraging the power of perceptions. This module helps women use a proven model to practically define the perceptions that best represent her. The Broadview Personal Brand Platform framework developed in the Self-Paced Learning Assignment will be reviewed and each woman will have an opportunity in a peer-to-peer setting to further refine the platform she defined.
Module Four: Personal Brand Assessment
The purpose of this module is to understand and analyze how the participant is perceived by others. Each woman will be provided her findings from The Broadview Personal Brand Assessment tool that was initiated in the Self-Paced Learning Assignment.
The report from the assessment will provide the participant with a reliable, unbiased, factual understanding of how others perceive her. The assessment report also contains a set of analytical tools enabling each woman to analyze the data in the report and determine her leadership strengths as perceived by others. Each participant will compare her perceived leadership strengths with her Personal Brand Leadership Platform (leadership standards and leadership style) to determine her perception gaps and opportunities.
Module Five: Consciously Managing Perceptions
Some women become prisoners of perceptions, while others proactively manage perceptions to their benefit. Through the facilitation of action-learning exercises women will create strategies to change perceptions identified in their analysis of the perception assessment exercises that don’t support their desired leadership brand. Participants will learn several strategies for changing and reinforcing perceptions to overcome perceptual gaps and to create perceptions that will strengthen their authentic personal leadership brand.
Module Six: Now’s the Time to Accelerate!
In this module, each woman will develop a 21-Day Acceleration Plan that will provide a set of personalized steps to continue to reinforce the learning from the workshop and become more consciously competent in managing the perceptions that will expand her leadership potential.
Every woman completing this leadership development program will be inspired and equipped with the tools to confidently move forward to showcase her leadership potential.
Here are some of the benefits each woman will receive:
- Gain clarity on how others perceive her as a leader.
- Clearly define her leadership brand based upon the woman’s values, authentic strengths and style.
- Get credit for her strengths by closing the gap between how others perceive her as a leader and her aspirations as a leader.
- Develop strategies to overcome misperceptions that currently hamper the growth of the woman’s leadership status.
- Learn to engage authentically with confidence and avoid missing opportunities caused by hesitating to act.
- Expand her network of resources and friends by building more authentic, productive relationships.
- Make purposeful choices to expand her influence within her organization and teams.
- The confidence that comes from having a well-defined action plan (21-day Acceleration Plan) to develop new habits and strategies to proactively build a leadership brand that is an accurate representation of her leadership potential.