Defining your leadership style

We live in a world where women are still heavily underrepresented in leadership roles. Empowering them to step into their full potential is crucial.

After attending Powrsuit’s enlightening 1-day Leadership workshop, it became evident that granting women permission to take up space could be the catalyst for transformative action.

The two key elements that we explored and built on were understanding your strengths and your derailers. In defining both of these, we were able to lean into our leadership styles and take action quickly.

Understanding your strengths.

The first key element explored in the workshop was understanding personal strengths. Participants engaged in an exercise that involved one-person storytelling and two of their peers were active listening. The active listeners then wrote down what strengths they believed the storyteller portrayed.

The surprising feedback from peers shed new light on individual strengths, showcasing the power of using our voices to quickly reveal our natural capabilities.

How to understand your strengths.

  • Take the Clifton Strengths test to identify your top 5 strengths, providing a foundational understanding of your operational approach.
  • Seek feedback from colleagues, friends, and peers regularly to gain external perspectives on your strengths.

Here are some key insights shared by the team at Powrsuit that are worth repeating here.

They conducted interviews with over 100 women over six months and they identified three key points that every woman in leadership mentioned as their catalysts:

  1. Having a peer group – every woman they interviewed said they had a peer group of 6-8 women they relied on to navigate their careers. They weren’t trying to do it alone!
  2. Learning – they developed their skills and integrated learning at every stage of their career
  3. Sought out advice – they had a business coach or mentor to support their goals and professional growth

The commonalities between the women they interviewed and the women in our workshop were bang on – none of the women seeking leadership opportunities are trying to do it alone.

Understand your derailers.

In the afternoon session, participants tackled their derailers—self-sabotaging limiting beliefs hindering proactive action.

Workshopping our limiting beliefs together made it much easier to get to the root cause of the problem. Being able to focus time on going deeper into our psychology of why we think things, we were able to pinpoint the causation of the derailer. And only after spending time uncovering our roadblocks, we were able to find the right solutions and action steps to fix them.

This exercise showed us how quickly we can solve our problems and remove roadblocks if we give ourselves time to focus on the core problem and not rush to the solution.

How to understand your derailers.

  • Identify a limiting belief hindering your leadership opportunities.
  •  List the reasons behind your feelings, creating awareness of the factors influencing your mindset.
  • Develop a separate list of potential solutions to address these limiting beliefs.
  • Choose and implement one solution.
  • [Bonus]: Seek input from a peer or mentor for alternative solutions.

Take action and get support.

Defining your leadership style isn’t about saying you feel one way about yourself. It’s about taking action towards your goals, using your strengths and raising your hand for support to help access new opportunities.

I went along to the workshop keen to understand more about learning about my leadership style and how I could use my strengths in my role with Canterbury Tech. I came away with an incredible amount of insight into the invisible load women carry, the derailers we put in front of ourselves and a new level of confidence to help me navigate leadership opportunities.

Thank you to Kristen and Natalie for hosting me at their Powrsession!