Self Empowering Tools

Self Empowering Tools For Women

Women have many natural talents, but all too often, we are discouraged from tapping into their own self empowering tools because they are thought to be unrelated to the needs of the business world. Women’s empowerment tools, those described as natural talents, can be very powerful to success in business.

Of course, women need to master technical business skills, and we are perfectly capable of doing so, but we already have an entirely different set of skills that make us natural leaders. By simply tapping into these skills and using them in a slightly different way, women can empower themselves to do anything and everything they want.

Communication Skills

Women are natural communicators, a skill that is vital for success. Have you ever noticed how a mother just knows  how important it is to talk to her children, using words and phrases that are appropriate for age and experience levels, so that each child can understand. This same skill, slightly adjusted, works perfectly in the business world.

For instance, a woman who is managing other people must know how to communicate with each person as an individual and in a manner that the other person can easily understand. Now look again at the previous paragraph  the same situation that occurs with mother and child also occurs with manager and employee.

Helen Fisher, author, The First Sex: The Natural Talents of Women and How They Are Changing the World, refers to this as a flair for language. Fisher describes the increasing need for the ability to communicate with written and spoken words. To quote her, “At talking, women have the edge.” Fisher describes how the female gender, even at very young ages “excel at… verbal fluency – rapidly finding appropriate words, phrases or sentences.” Fisher writes “Women are, on average, more articulate at saying what they say.” Women embracing this knowledge and trusting their natural language talent in communication will find their confidence building.

Teaching and Coaching

The nurturing characteristics that come so easily to most women make it possible to teach and coach children to their maximum potential. The right combination of encouragement, discipline, freedom and boundaries will lead to a child whose confidence and capabilities continue to grow throughout a lifetime.

Now think of that same situation in the business world. When you are in a position of leadership, you must do exactly the same things for your employees. The right combination of encouragement to achieve, correction when mistakes are made, freedom to pursue ideas, and boundaries within which to operate will empower you and empower others to grow and succeed.

Once again Helen Fisher’s research as presented in The First Sex states, “Women are, on average, more interested in cooperation, harmony, and connections – a network of support.” She further writes, “Women characteristically believe everyone can succeed in business; they take a win-win attitude in the office world.”

Multi-task and Multi-focus

Anyone who has ever been a mom, a Girl Scout leader, a teacher s aide, or a yard sale organizer has most likely mastered the art of multi-tasking and multi-focusing. These skills are vital for the empowered woman to excel in the workplace.

Here is a perfect example. You are a team leader tasked with oversight of two smaller groups. Each has its own needs, strengths, and weaknesses that differ from those of the other group. Your role as team leader is to provide the unique style of leadership that is appropriate for each group while staying up to date on the status and progress of their respective projects. Juggling people, reports, deadlines and all the necessary resources become critical to the success of the teams’ results.

Helen Fisher references that human’s evolution, even back to ancestral times, show a woman had to rear helpless and long- dependent babies under highly dangerous conditions demonstrating the need for multitasking even then. I lover her description, “In order to rear helpless infants, ancestral mothers needed to do many things at the same time. Watch for snakes. Listen for thunder. Taste for poison. Rock the sleepy. Distract the cranky. Instruct the curious. Soothe the fearful. Inspire the tardy. Feed the hungry. Mothers had to do countless daily chores while they stoked the fire, cooked the food and talked to friends.”

The Bottom Line

Women can be just as effective at business leadership and development as men can be, they just come to this realization and demonstrate their natural talents in a different way. Women do have their own self empowerment tools and just have to take the time to tap into them in powerful ways.

How about you? Which of your natural abilities can you use and empower yourself just by applying them in a new way? Think carefully and take notes for yourself. Make a list of your own self empowerment tools that, if viewed and acted upon from a slightly different perspective, empower you to soar to new heights.

Intuitive Skills in Business

Capitalizing on Intuition in the Workplace

Every person has experienced a feeling when something occurs or is about to occur. This feeling may be accompanied by chills, accelerated heart rate, sweaty palms, or a sense of calm. Whatever the signs, intuition is the cause. Intuition explains how people know of events or outcomes before they take place. Intuition can also be used to influence an outcome. This may mean speaking up at during a team meeting and focusing on a topic that no one else wants to discuss, but one that is important. Using intuition in business is one way to judge how a situation is turning out, when to speak up and when not to. Intuition can also be used to predict trends that may make the company more money. Recognizing and capitalizing on intuition skills is a must for every effective leader.

Honing in on this leadership skill can take some time, but after awhile people who concentrate on being more observant, looking at body language, and reading between the lines, will be able to predict quite a bit. Everyone has this ability; it’s just that some people have learned early on how to use it.

It is worth pointing out that intuition is based on feelings and not fact. Although facts may prove that ones intuition was correct, this does not mean that all intuitions should be acted upon. Assumption is another pitfall of intuition. Never assume anything until there is proof. Many times, leaders just use intuition as a guide to read other people’s reactions.

There are a few ways to use intuition when trying to gauge people’s reactions in team meetings, product planning, and in many other situations. Understanding these reactions will help when trying to sell’ an idea or product, training new employees, leading a team project, and even to tell when someone is lying.

Body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, and eye movements are cues that intuitive people use to prepare for possible outcomes. These are not the only factors that intuitive people use, but they are useful when trying to improve intuition.

Body language the most obvious way to gauge what a person is feeling. If a person is contributing to a conversation, they will lean forward, if they are bored, they will lean back and slouch. Body language is a good indication to follow when giving a speech or leading a meeting. Meetings that go on for too long are never productive. As soon as people begin to withdraw physically from the discussion, it is best to close the meeting quickly.

Tone of voice is an indicator of mood, acceptance, denial, and emotion. When a person is interested in the discussion, they may talk faster and be more expressive. When disinterested, a person may speak slowly and quietly. If a person does not understand the material being presented, they may end their statements as questions. When this happens, it is best to summarize what is being said so that they will begin to understand.

Facial expressions are used in conjunction with body language and tone of voice. Facial expressions can tell how a person is feeling as they are being told information. These expressions can indicate hundreds of emotions from confusion to anger. In meetings, it is important to look around the room and watch facial expressions. If the majority of the people seem confused, then summarize what is being said and ask if anymore clarification will be needed.

Eye movements are more subtle because they can happen very quickly and then change. People who are lying will usually look down or to the left in order to avoid other people’s eyes. People who are being honest or who want another person’s full attention will look at them directly. While there are other factors that contribute to eye movement, it can still give an indication of how a person is really feeling in a situation.

Taking the time to actively observe and use the ideas presented here will begin to enhance leadership skills and soon any leader will be amazed at their ability to capitalize on their intuitive skills in business.

Leadership Development Promotion Letter

Leadership Development: Promotion Letter

Here is a copy of a sample letter format that can be used for expressing your interest in furthering your career.


[Recipient’s address]

Dear [Name],

Please consider me as a candidate for the position of [……. ]

The enclosed resume indicates my broad experience in the area of [……..] and my considerable (and growing!) experience in [area].

I believe that this experience, together with my education has given me the ideal preparation to assume the role of [……. ].

All my professional experience has been in [area of expertise]. Since I have worked for [ company name] for four years, I understand your core business and am quite familiar with the kind of issues, problems and challenges I may face as a [position] working for you.

On my attached resume, I have described my concept of successful [sales] management. I am convinced that this function can make an enormous contribution to growth and profits, and I am most eager to prove it to you.

Also, I must say that I have been very happy with [company], my present employer.

However, I can see no further opportunity in the near future here as it is a relatively small concern and I am very ambitious and eager to become established with a larger and more progressive company where I can assume a much broader range of responsibility.

May I have the privilege of an interview? If you will let me know when it is convenient for you to see me, I will arrange my calendar accordingly.

You may telephone me at [xxx-xxx-xxxx], e-mail me at [… ] or if you prefer you can write to me at the address given.

Sincerely yours,

[Your name]

[Job title]

Email Leadership Tip

Leadership Development: Leadership Tips and Tools

Use email automated signatures. And, only check email twice a day. Email can be very disruptive and distracting if you find yourself checking it every hour or every few minutes. Your ability to focus and complete projects can negatively influenced by how you handle your email. This month’s tool is simple to implement and has powerful results:

1) Turn off the automatic send/receive on your Outlook or similar email program which delivers email to your inbox and gives an audible alert as soon as someone sends you an email.

2) Check your email twice a day, once at mid-day, just before lunch and again at the end of your work day. Do not check email first thing in the morning. Use 8 am to 11:30 am to focus on your major priority projects. A single email viewed first thing in the morning can throw you immediately off schedule.

3) Utilize the email autoresponse feature for easily responding. Create an email autoresponse that lets your manager, co-workers and employees know that you will be checking email twice per day. Let them know in this autoresponse email that you are be more effective. Here is a sample email autoresponse template you can edit for you own use:

Hello Friends (Team members, Colleagues, etc. whatever is most natural for you),
As a result of my workload and my interest in being effective, I am currently checking email twice a day at 11:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. EST. If you require urgent assistance that cannot wait until one of these times, please contact me via phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Thank you for your patience and supporting my efforts to being more effective. This is helping me accomplish more and serve you better.
Warm regards, Susan West

4) Utilize the email signature for automatically replying to emails that you repeatedly receive. For example, when recruiting for a new position, my recruiters will receive many emails from candidates applying for the position. An automated signature will let the candidate know that their information has been received and will be reviewed. The message does not need to be retyped every time a new candidates applies. Thready made signature has really simplified our process and yet lets the candidate know their information has been received.

You can also use signatures to remind team members of an upcoming event, of a special theme for the month or inspire with a quote. All can be done with a little thought and the use of the tools your email system provides.

Take a few minutes now to figure out how you can put these leadership tips and tools to use in your office.

Business Writing

Business Writing: Improving This Leadership Skill

Effective communication, whether it is verbal or written, is necessary for business leaders and managers to succeed. How employees communicate with each other can help projects reach completion faster, give birth to new ideas, and also help employees rely on each other. Any leader must have competency in business writing skills.

There are many different forms of correspondence in the business world. People communicate through email, memos, sales letters, sales reports, and proposals. These documents need to be written in a simple, concise language. They should make points quickly and should flow evenly throughout. This will ensure that people who read the document grasp what is being said quickly and fully understand what the document is describing. Miscommunication can occur if a document is not worded correctly.

Documents that flow evenly are structured well. This means that the document has a beginning, middle, and an end. Each paragraph should compliment the other so that the person reading gets a clear picture of what is being said.

A good example of interoffice correspondence is the memo. Memos are used to keep people in the company aware of changes, accomplishments, requests, and rules that are made within the company. Since companies have grown so much, mass communication is the only way to alert everyone of changes that are being made.

The introduction is the first step when writing a memo. The introduction paragraph should not be too long. It should tell the reader the purpose of the memo in one or two sentences. Do not site specific details until later in the memo.

The second paragraph should tell the reader additional details. This will include changes to procedures, team accomplishments, or other company news. It should be one or two paragraphs depending on what is being mentioned.

The closing paragraph should relay any additional information. For example, if the memo is about a company parking situation, the closing paragraph should mention the penalty for parking in spaces where people aren’t supposed to park their car. Additional paragraphs may be added if there are research and findings of any sort that should be mentioned. Always close the memo with a polite remark and then add your name to the document.

This is a typical company memo. The paragraphs can be switched around if the situation calls for it, but for the most part, this structure will work for most correspondence.

Choosing The Right Words

In addition to knowing how to plot a business document, choosing how to word it is the next step. Do not make the issue more complex than it has to be. Use simple language that is easy and fast to read. Business people will read many memos during the day. They usually skim through a memo picking out the important parts. There is no need to impress them with fancy wording. People will appreciate language that is easy to understand.

Writing a draft will help when trying to remember all the points that will need to be brought up in the memo. A draft will also help to establish tone. Two to three drafts will have to be written before the memo contains all the information in an easy to read format.

After finishing the draft, check the spelling, grammar, and any areas that do not seem clear. Be sure to use language that pertains to the company and try to keep the memo as short as possible.

Sometimes after completing a piece of business correspondence, it is best to leave it alone for a day to two. This way, if any points were missed, they can be added before the memo is sent.

All leaders in the business world should learn how to communicate effectively. Not only will the documents be well received, but they will help the company through solid productivity – a desire of all leadership.

Achieving Success

Achieving Success Through Ongoing Career Development

For most people, learning new skills and continuing to work new areas within a company is how to earn promotions and enjoy a successful career. These days there are many directions in business that people can try. Leadership roles, working in more than one area, giving presentations, and creating new departments are all ways that people develop as their career moves along. Not only is the work more satisfying, but people will learn to trust and depend on those who are willing to explore other areas of a company and take on more responsibility.

In some cases, this is the only way to survive in the business world. There is a lot of competition to be the best in the department. While this is not the only goal for those who have a career in business, it is one of many driving forces that will help motivate and keep a person on a positive career track. The business world is constantly changing, especially since the Internet has become a major advertising force. Companies need people who can not only work on projects within the company, but who also have a firm grasp of the Internet and its capabilities.

Continual learning is one way to improve one’s position within a company. Taking business or computer classes, learning another language, or learning about another area within the company that is in need of assistance are ways to increase personal growth and development. Reading trade papers and company newsletters are also ways to stay informed about what is going on in the company and in the industry.

After taking classes or learning about another area of the company, ask to take on some extra responsibilities if time permits. Do not take on more work than is realistically possible. Showing interest and offering suggestions in team meetings and in other situations will be noticed. It is important not to go overboard. Part of being a responsible team player means knowing when to volunteer and when not to volunteer. Overshadowing coworkers is not very responsible.

Taking on a leadership role is another way to experience career and personal growth. Leadership roles can help build self-esteem, confidence, and also help others hone their skills as well. Leading a team in a successful project will lead to other projects. This can be a very exciting time and one that may be a little stressful. Personal growth is not always easy. Through a leadership role, managers will learn their strengths and weaknesses. This will help in leading other teams in the future.

Personal growth and development also means discussing and demonstrating skills that are useful to the company. Talking with managers and supervisors about recent involvement in projects, presentations given, or business trips will help them realize the kinds of people who work in the company. Talking about one’s abilities may be a difficult task, but when it is done artfully, new responsibilities may be given.

It is important in the business world to continue learning in order to grow professionally. Learning about new technology, what is going on an industry, and learning about new areas within a company are all ways to move one’s career in another direction. All too often business people get stuck in one particular job. This can become boring over time and will not allow people to demonstrate other skills that might be useful. In team meetings, ask for a different role when a new project is being formed. Not only will you gain valuable experience, you will become an asset to a team for many different reasons. Careers should change and evolve over time. This happens when people take control and do what they can make positive changes.

Leadership Quotes

Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.
– Stephen R. Covey, The 8th Habit

Leadership is influence.
– John E. Maxwell, Developing the Leader Within You

Leadership is Authenticity, Not Style.
– Bill George, Authentic Leadership

Leadership is… Joyous! It’s a matchless opportunity to make a difference by marshalling the talents of others to a… Seriously Cool Cause.
– Tom Peters, The Leadership 50Leadership is the set of qualities that causes people to follow.
– Marshall Loeb and Stephen Kindel, Leadership for Dummies
Leadership is making it possible for others to follow by thinking strategically and focusing on the right directions, removing the obstacles, developing ownership, and taking self-directed actions.
– James A. Belasco and Ralph C. Stayer, Flight of the Buffalo

Leadership Quotes

“A leader is most effective when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim fulfilled, his troops will feel they did it themselves.”
– Lao-tzu, 6th century bce Chinese philosopher, founder of Taoism

“Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them.”
– Winston Churchill 20th century British statesman

“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say; I just watch what they do.”
– Andrew Carnegie American industrialist and philanthropist

“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.”
– Benjamin Franklin 18th century US statesman, writer and scientist

“I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.”
– George Washington First U.S. President 1789

“I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm.”
– Jim Rohn, Motivational Speaker

Career Training

Career Training Options for Older Women

Older women often face unique challenges when it comes to finding career training. They may need to stay in a particular location due to family or personal obligations, or they may be seeking formal training for the first time in their adult lives. Financial considerations and learning styles are also important, as traditional educational options are expensive and many older women prefer to learn at a more relaxed, careful pace. Yet their experiences can be a strong base for developing their leadership and increased contribution.
Today there are more options that ever for older women who want career training. Technology plays a large part in this phenomenon, as does our changing society that no longer views older women as unemployable or difficult to train. The world is a very different place now, and you are in a great position to take advantage of all it has to offer.

Teleclass Seminars

There is a wide range of training courses available as teleclass seminars. These courses typically involve students and an instructor linking up via web link or video link. They are interactive in nature, allowing the instructor and students to engage in discussions, question and answer sessions, and general back and forth conversation. Class size is usually limited.
I use this teleclass format for my Empowering Passionate Leadership Seminar. It works great for everyone involved  easy, convenient, and very low cost compared to traditional classroom settings. You can find this type of training on the Internet as well as at many community colleges, universities, and vocational centers.

Workshops and Short Courses

For face-to-face training, many older women turn to workshops and short courses offered by various local organizations. Traditional sources of these training courses include community colleges, community centers, and other workforce training facilities. You can also look for workshops and short courses from other organizations, such as the Small Business Administration, your local Chamber of Commerce, or even Rotary, Kiwanis or other service organizations.

Online Classes

Once thought to be suitable only for younger students, online classes have rapidly become the training of choice for many women aged 40 to 60. These classes are generally easy to access, easy to follow, and cost effective. They usually follow a set structure of lessons, exercises, quizzes and tests at a pace that may be set by an instructor or self-paced by the student.
A huge benefit of online classes is that you can take classes literally from anywhere in the world. This allows you to access training from leading institutions and providers, all from the comfort of your home. Textbooks may or may not be required for online classes; it just depends on the nature of the class and the structure of the course.

Internships and Job Shadowing

You may think internships are for young college students, but that is no longer always the case. Many employers offer internships and job shadowing opportunities to older women and men as an alternative way to receive career training.
Older people often learn better through hands on activity and repetition, so working directly with someone in the desired career field can make learning easier and faster. It also affords the opportunity to meet others in that career field and establish a network of contacts for future reference.
If you find a career field that interests you, make contact with a local company and ask if you can spend some time with someone who works in your area of interest. Even if the company does not have a formal internship program, they may be willing to let you spend some time there on an informal basis.

Why Organize?

Why Organizing and Planning are Important

In the business world there are many reasons why organizing and planning are important to success. Experts agree that it is critical to master these skills if you are to advance your career and develop your leadership. Why, then, is it so hard to actually organize and plan your work responsibilities?

The very dynamics of daily business are probably the biggest deterrent to organization and planning. It s hard to stay up to date on your calendar and “to do” list when your attention is constantly being diverted to urgent, daily problems and activities. These distractions, however, are precisely why organization and planning are so important.

When The Unexpected Occurs


It is a fact of business life that the unexpected occurs on a regular basis. Perhaps an employee misses a deadline, or you need to stay home with an ill child. Sometimes the task is simply larger than you expected and you have not allowed enough time to complete it appropriately.

These are the situations where organization and planning will help you survive. When you organize your time and plan workload according to a reasonable schedule, then you can better handle the unexpected. You are monitoring that employee so you know the deadline is in jeopardy before it is missed, or you can care for your child without the stress of wondering what you were supposed to be doing that day.

Easier Delegation


Delegation is an integral part of management. The best managers are usually the best at delegating appropriately, and that means they organize and plan in advance. When you are well organized, you can quickly determine which projects are in the hands of which employees, and gauge their status toward completion. This allows you to delegate new work accordingly so that it is balanced among your team. Advance planning also makes it easier to delegate and match work to the specific talents of employees.

Balance of Work and Life


The demands of business in the modern world mean that inevitably there will be times when you need to work long hours or take work home with you at night. When long hours and taking work home become regular occurrences, though, it s time to look at your organization and planning habits more closely. Evaluate the way you allocate your time, as well as how you delegate to others. Are there ways you can work more effectively and efficiently by adjusting how your schedule activities? Ask yourself these types of questions and it is very likely you will find ways to better balance your work and your life simply by improving organization and planning.

Establish The Habit


Some people are natural organizers. They make lists, they create schedules, and they keep their files up to date and their desks neat and tidy. Others, however, are perpetually disorganized and running behind schedule. The differences between these two types of people lie partly in personality and partly in habit.

Organization and planning do not just occur on their own. They require conscious thought and action to accomplish. That s why there are so many businesses and companies that are anxious to sell you day planners, PDAs, and other accessories that are purported to make organization and planning easier.

While these supporting items may indeed make getting organized a bit easier, they still require you to establish the necessary habits to stay up to date even when business dynamics make it difficult to do so. In the end, it is worth the time and effort, though, to enjoy the many benefits of becoming better organized.

Organization and planning are key skills necessary for business success. This article discusses why they are important to your leadership development and provides concrete examples of situations where they benefit you.

Working with a team

Leading a Team

In business, there will be many occasions when employees will have to work in teams in order to complete projects. Every person in a team brings a specialized skill or expertise to help see the project through to completion. When people work together, they will either have a good experience or a bad experience. Good experiences will usually lead to a successful project, while bad experiences that lead to a successful project may also complicate future teamwork.

Being able to work in a team is an essential job function of any employee. When in a team, leaders must learn to be assertive; but not be rude, they must be able to debate issues concerning the project; but not get upset if the team has other opinions, and most of all, everyone in the team must respect how different people work and how they view a project.

Leading a team requires patience and the ability to delegate responsibility. It is important to realize the skills of each person in the group and assign parts of the project to those who have knowledge in a particular area. Leading a team also means moderating debate and acknowledging different opinions. Without proper leadership skills, the team will probably not function to the best of its abilities and the project may suffer.

Tips On How To Build a Permanent Team


In many circumstances, teams may work on a few projects each year. The people in the team may move to other teams, but for the most part, the team will not change. Building a permanent team requires several skills in addition to having knowledge about all areas of the project that will be assigned to team members. Leading a team is not easy, but with practice, leaders can get a lot of work from individual team members.

It is important that team leaders be excellent listeners. Team leaders should meet with teams together and individually to figure out who will be best suited for different areas of the project. It is important to make these decisions based on what a team member has produced in the past, other projects they have worked on, and the kind of worker they are. Giving a piece of a project that needs to be done quickly to a team member who is meticulous and who works slowly is not the best choice. Match assignments up with employees who can meet deadlines and achieve accuracy in their work.

After beginning a project, the team leader should monitor the progress of each team member and how they interact with other team members. It is important to make sure that all team members are happy and are being productive. If a team member is constantly dominating the conversation, the team leader should ask for other opinions. If a team member does not say much, the team leader should ask for their opinion. This way, everyone in the team can feel included.

Eventually, in permanent teams, everyone will adapt to each others way of doing things. But in the beginning, establishing ground rules is a good way to make sure everyone gets a chance to speak during meetings.

Tips On How To Build a Temporary Team


The same tips apply to temporary teams as they do for permanent ones. The difference is usually that temporary teams are established to solve a problem or issue that is immediate. These teams are usually under time or other constraints that are forcing them to find answers to the problem as quickly as possible. Leading on of these teams can be stressful, but by laying out a plan and assigning specific job duties, the project should yield positive results.

Leading a team is a rewarding experience. Being observant and respecting that team members have other job duties will help create an environment that is positive and productive.