While many workplaces are still dominated by men, women are becoming more and more commonly seen in powerful leadership positions.
In the UAE alone, women constitute 66% of the public sector workforce, with around 30% in senior posts, and this is a number that is continuously growing. The region is striving for gender equality and that applies to the workplace too.
Despite all this the taboo around women in senior positions still exists. Often women struggle to find the confidence and power that is needed for high powered roles, especially in male-dominated industries. But the world is changing and it’s for the better.
The #METOO movement has seen this begin to happen in Hollywood and it is something that is filtering down to our day-to-day lives. For women in the workplace there are many ways you can gain the confidence needed and with the correct office etiquette and good manners your confidence will grow. We reveal our tips to being a successful boss woman.
Make sure that you are in a calm peaceful state of mind when you reach the office. Try to forget about all your outside worries and focus on the job in hand. If you have trouble switching off from the outside world try yoga or meditation in the morning to clear your mind and re-focus.
If there are particular situations that worry you, play them out in your head beforehand. If you figure out a solution to the worst possible scenario, chances are you’re going to come out with a much better outcome than expected.
CONTROL YOUR EMOTIONS
“Easier said than done” we hear you say! Well yes that may well be the case but controlling your emotions in the workplace is key. Yes we all love a good cry and there are times when it cannot be helped but when making business decisions it’s important to keep it strictly business. Of course you want your colleagues to know that you have a bug heart too, but don’t let this overrule your mind in the workplace.
USE ASSERTIVE LANGUAGE
If you sound confident you will come across confident to others, and one way to do this is by using assertive language. Speaking in a confident strong tone that will ensure others of your confidence will earn their respect and confidence in you.
DON’T SECOND GUESS YOURSELF
Be confident and assured in the decisions you make. You are in this position because you are strong and great at what you do so don’t doubt your own judgement. This will also help to earn the respect of others around you.
Nothing is more stressful than having too much to do and not enough time to do it. So delegating is essential. As an employee it will take the pressure off you and leave you with more time to concentrate on the important things. While as a manager it will empower your staff and encourage a positive work environment.
VALUE YOUR TEAM
Treat people as you want to be treated and ensure you connect with all your employees on a personal level one way or another. Of course be assertive when it’s needed but getting to know each individual will earn their respect and encourage a positive working environment for everyone.
Try to switch off your brain when you leave the office. If that’s not possible at least allow yourself two or three hours each evening when you focus your mind on something other than work. This will ensure your batteries are recharged and you’re ready to face the next day.
Expert Etiquette Advice with BALSAM AL KHALIL
ETIQUETTE SPECIALIST, IMAGE CONSULTANT AND FOUNDER OF ETIQUETTE WITH BALSAM
What advice can you give to women for how they should present themselves in the workplace?
Be professional at all times. Dress for success and monitor what you say and what you do. Most importantly, never abuse your job.
What can we do to promote self-confidence?
Knowledge is a strong weapon. Learn, search, ask and continuously update your skills. Taking care of your appearance and wellbeing is key as it is an immediate self confidence booster.
When in meetings what was can we do to positively influence those around us?
Wear your smile at all times. Listen more than you talk and when you talk be precise and to the point. Always maintain eye contact with the other party.
How about interviews, what would be your advice?
Do your homework before you head to your interview. Do some background research on the company and dress for the job. Always arrive ten minutes before your scheduled time to ensure you have adequate time to fill in any forms and make sure to bring all your documents with you. Never discuss the salary unless discussed and never reveal secrets of your previous employment.
How important are good manners in the workplace?
They are very important. You get what you deserve and you get treated as you treat people. Respect and professionalism are key.
What advice would you have for those who find it difficult to interact with others?
Check your weak points and seek professional guidance.
And what about advice for those who struggle to socialise with strangers?
Enroll in Social Etiquette classes – you will notice the difference it makes.
When travelling for business what are the rules of etiquette we should remember?
Never abuse what you are offered and don’t mix business and pleasure.
How would you define a “power women”?
As an educated, intellectual, well informed and self-confident lady who dresses for success in all occasions.
What struggles do you find many women that come to you have?
Getting stuck where they are and not knowing how to go to the next level.
And what are you biggest challenges when you meet a new client?
Turning a difficult situation to a success.
Can you tell us about your biggest career success to date?
I am blessed to have many, however being the first female to head up a bank in the Gulf Region will always be in mind.
What does the term women’s empowerment mean to you?
Empowerment is amazing but never comes easily. It has to be earned by dictation, determination, great know-how and support from superiors.
By Lindsay Judge