How to Lean In Without Falling Over

*Inspired by Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead

Many women feel like they need to put on a very assertive, almost aggressive mask to get ahead in a masculine dominated workplace.

Yes, that attitude will get you noticed, get you raises and get you ahead, it can also drain your energy, make you feel like an impostor and ultimately take away the true gifts you have as a woman.

Women are collaborative, nurturing, communicative, creative beings and have different gifts that meld well with masculinity.  When we are competitive and overly assertive, we lose some of these gifts.

Staying feminine in a masculine working world can be difficult, but if you can truly learn how to stand in your own power, as a woman, you may be surprised by the effect and success you can have.

That’s right, instead of viewing it as winning in a masculine world, by transitioning into your masculine, competitive, assertive energy you lose out on a much more powerful force inside you. As a woman, when you stay in your feminine energy even when you’re at work and competing in a “man’s world”, it not only keeps you in integrity with yourself but will also create dynamic change with everyone you work with.

The goal is to stay in your feminine energy, while you work and you’ll tap into your greatest gifts and be able to contribute the most.

As a woman in the workforce, your unique gifts as a woman can add more to your company if you show up fully as yourself rather than trying to squish yourself into a mold that isn’t natural to your work style and natural talents.

Statistics prove that having a woman on a board of a large company helps profits, one woman in a meeting increase communication, women have different skills when it comes to risk management, leadership, and collaboration.

They complement the skill sets of the masculine very well.

And please don’t take this as a cry to tell women to not try doing everything that men can do, I’m definitely of the camp encouraging women to do anything, not letting gender norms stop them.

I’m encouraging women to see the power in their own gifts.  See femininity as a strength, as an untapped power.

In my experience in a very male-heavy office, learning how to use my own strengths as a woman always worked much better for me, than try to emulate masculinity.

Femininity, meaning empathy, collaboration, fluidness, and communication is becoming on of the keys to success in modern technology companies.  Gone are the days of just creating products that work, now more than ever – customer success, communication and emotion evoking experiences are becoming requirements for a product, software or technology companies success.

This is starting the beginning of the emergence of more balanced design, innovation, and business.  That’s why it’s more important than ever to stop putting on your “man’s mask” every morning when you head to work, but rather start shedding that shell and sharing your gifts of connection.  Start showing up deeply connected to your center, the energy that draws you to feel deeply, to express what needs to be done and to change the way you communicate and collaborate.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Lean into your own truth, lean into what you truly are feeling and the ways you want to work and share your creativity because that is what the world needs, and your workplace needs, more than ever.

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