Women's vision is real power source, Helgesen says
Thursday, May 26, 2016
Posted by: Rufino Cabang
The power of women's
vision is an undervalued asset — but key to positioning yourself as a leader,
leadership consultant Sally Helgesen told online attendees during the fourth
NEW Summit Speaker Series webinar, May 24, 2016.
Helgesen, author of The Female Vision: Women’s Real Power at
Work, defined vision as:
- What you notice
- How you value what you notice
- How you "connect the dots" to tell yourself and others about why what you notice is important.
Many women are
shortchanged as leaders— and some shortchange themselves — as leaders when the
way they see the world isn't translated at the leadership level as something
powerful. "There are differences in how men and women generally notice,"
Helgesen explained. "Research has shown that women have a different
noticing style — they tend to notice many things at once, like a radar, whereas
men are laser-focused, more likely to notice one thing at a time in
To position yourself as
a visionary, Helgesen recommends advocating for what you notice and making sure
the "laser-noticers” get it. Remind yourself, "I am an ambassador for
creating a culture of doing the right thing," Helgesen says, "and be
prepared to back it up!"
Don’t say ‘Sorry’
Often, when offering
answers or explanations, women may find themselves "cut off" by male
bosses who want a bottom-line answer. "We don't want to get flustered or
back off,” Helgesen advises, "and we certainly don't want to say 'I'm
Instead, tailor your
delivery for a laser-focused person, saying simply, "Thank you. Here is
the point," and delivering a quick line with no adjectives, no
"justs," no "buts", and adding, "I'll send you a
one-pager with bullets to follow up."
Staying in the moment
and keeping distractions in check will help focus your vision, she said,
warning against multitasking "when our primary task is to be present for
another person; when we're in conversation, when we're supposed to be
listening, when our task is real communication."
"Your full attention is your greatest gift to others," Helgesen said.
NEW members may register
online for the next NEW Summit Speaker Series