Coaching for women: How to assert yourself in your leadership position

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Coaching for women: How to assert yourself in your leadership position

In the course of equal rights, the same educational opportunities are now open to everyone in Germany. But despite the legally mandated quota for women, women are still underrepresented in management positions, even though they have the same or in some cases even higher qualifications than their male colleagues.

Interesting to know: According to the Federal Statistical Office more than 50 % of all women in Germany have a university degree. By contrast, the figure for men is less than 50 %.

But despite these numbers, why do women seem to have a harder time holding their own professionally? And how can a special Coaching provide a remedy for this? We would like to get to the bottom of this question in the following.

Coaching for women: What are the differences to general coaching?

An Coaching generally serves to explore one's own talents with the coach and to develop solution strategies for existing problems. Sometimes the goal of coaching is also to find the necessary impetus to embark on a completely new path in life. This can involve both professional and private areas.

It is important to mention that the coach helps you to help yourself. He does not present you with ready-made solutions, but helps you to mobilize your own resources to find solutions. So much for the goals of coaching in general: But what are the specific differences to coaching for women?

What are the special features of coaching for women?

Coaching for women can be designed just as individually as general coaching. The focus is always on the client's personal issues. However, coaching for women focuses on topics that tend to play a subordinate role for men.

Possible topics may include:

  • How do I reconcile family and career?
  • How do I make decisions that I feel good about?
  • An authentic appearance - how do I succeed?
  • How do I respond to power plays?
  • In what way do I deal with male colleagues and employees?
  • How do I succeed in appearing confident in a male-dominated environment?
  • I want to make my point better - how do I do that?
  • How do I deal with my emotions in a professional context?
  • Leadership versus professional competence: How do I acquire both?
  • How do I market myself without appearing arrogant?

The assumption is obvious that coaching for women is only offered by female coaches. However, this is not always necessarily the case. In fact, it can be very interesting to be coached by a man, as he is able to mirror the male perspective from his own experience. Ultimately, however, it is up to your personal preference whether you prefer a male or female coach.

What challenges does this alignment bring?

Coaching for women presupposes that the coach can empathize with gender-specific problems. Most coaches who specialize in this orientation self-explanatorily fulfill this requirement. Ultimately, the goal of coaching is for women to assert themselves in a male-dominated professional world.

Even strong women sometimes doubt their abilities when they are held back professionally. It helps to realize that (unfortunately) it's not always your professional qualifications that determine your career advancement. If you want to lead, you need the appropriate Relationships. Coaching for women can help you tie them.

Communication training forms the basis

In addition, the Communication training plays a central role in coaching for women. You learn to put aside your reticence. If you remain silent in the meeting, you will be overlooked. You should therefore speak up within the first quarter of an hour. However, it's not only what you say that's important, but also how you say it: Ideally, your body language and voice signal self-confidence.

The training of non-verbal communication is also a special challenge of this coaching direction: After all, nonverbal signals make up 55 % of your overall impact. Avoid (unconscious) gestures of submissiveness, such as the smile reflex. It is difficult to break the habit, but it is possible.

women in management positions

What challenges do women in leadership positions face?

Women face particular challenges in their professional lives. Leadership qualities such as assertiveness, authority and dominance are still attributed more to the male gender. The cliché that women cannot be as self-assured as men still persists. As a result, many a superior sometimes feels that her role is not taken entirely seriously.

It doesn't make sense to get worked up about the fact that discrimination on the basis of gender should no longer occur in our modern society. It is much more effective to deal with how you, as a woman, can react confidently to assaultive comments. Because it is unfortunately not impossible that you will have such an experience one day.

What is true for all managers is true for Women in management positions of even greater importance: You need a high degree of self-confidence without appearing arrogant. Self-confidence does not mean rejecting all benevolent advice as supposed discrimination. Finding the right balance is one of the greatest challenges.

Is there a need for a coaching program specifically for women?

Yes, coaching for women certainly has its raison d'être. As already mentioned, women face completely different challenges in their professional lives than their male colleagues. Encouraging them in their leadership qualities through professional coaching therefore makes perfect sense.

The reasons why coaching for women is needed are manifold: Have you ever heard of the so-called glass ceiling heard? This is a phenomenon that describes how numerous highly qualified women never reach the executive ranks, even though they do the same quality work as their male counterparts.

The glass ceiling includes all invisible factors that prevent women from pursuing a professional career. These include, for example, the lack of promotion: Male superiors often promote their male employees more strongly without being aware of it. In addition, the career jump often falls in the age range from the early to mid-30s, when starting a family is imminent.

In the following, let's take a closer look at the subsections of the glass ceiling:

1. outdated ideas of a manager

The fact that women are still underrepresented in management positions is due not least to the outdated image of a manager. The latter is typically male. Anyone who imagines a boss usually involuntarily thinks of a man. This has nothing to do with discrimination, but is simply anchored in people's minds as a result of years of handling.

Coaching for women can support you in breaking this role model. The more women dare to apply for management positions, the faster the old stereotype will be shaken. Why shouldn't you of all people make a start?

2. compatibility of family and career

It is still predominantly the women who have their Career Planning put it on hold as soon as a new baby is announced. This is reflected by the fact that women still take parental leave significantly more often than men. Only around 1.6 % of all men who have a child under the age of six stay at home. For women, the figure is around 25 %.

Based on these figures it is not surprising that men climb the career ladder more often than women. If a woman decides to return to work sooner after giving birth, she is often called a bad mother. Of course, the latter is not true, but some mothers are still unsettled by such statements.

Coaching for women can help you break free from society's expectations and go your own way.

3. lack of self-confidence

Girls are not infrequently brought up to be modest. They learn that they are most likely to win the sympathy of those around them if they act sweet and reserved. To be nominated for a leadership position, however, self-marketing is crucial. Those who have been taught that this is not the right thing to do find it difficult to advertise their own leadership qualities.

Again, coaching for women can help you become more confident and learn to market your skills profitably.

What are the general advantages of being coached in leadership positions?

Managers bear a high degree of responsibility and interact with numerous people on a daily basis. Successful Leadership means winning the trust of your employees and motivating them. This is a challenge that should not be underestimated, and there are a number of stumbling blocks to avoid. Professional coaching can support you in this.

Many companies even offer their managers regular leadership seminars or coaching sessions. The focus of management coaching is on promoting leadership skills. These apply equally to men and women, of course. These include:

  • The ability to lead and support people in their development.
  • Identify employee skills as well as existing deficiencies.
  • Consistent action: You stand by your word.
  • Targeted promotion of employees.
  • Promote and exemplify a appreciative Error culture.
  • Promote and build a trusting team atmosphere.
  • Make decisions even when you have limited information.
  • Knowledge of behavioral psychological phenomena that influence the work climate as well as the work performance of employees.
  • Provide leadership, as appropriate, by directing subordinate managers.

A distinction must be made between the above-mentioned skills and professional competence, which is a basic prerequisite for holding a management position, but is not sufficient on its own. Simplified printout: Technical knowledge is useless in a leadership position if you can't deal with people.

Women benefit particularly from executive coaching

Basically, every manager should be willing to develop professionally and personally. Executive coaching can give you the necessary impetus. Female executives benefit particularly from special coaching for women, as it takes gender-specific characteristics and challenges into account.

This in no way means that women need to be trained more than men, but merely that they have a greater challenge to overcome. It is a matter of breaking away from old role models and discarding false modesty that may have been imparted in upbringing. All this can be achieved with the support of professional coaching for women.

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