In today’s business world, courage has a much deeper meaning and a more relevant role for women such as the family-career balancing act, difficulty with confrontation, reentering the workplace, political finesse, undermining other women and releasing the way people judge women who stand in their “originality.”
When women exhibit courage in the workplace, such as taking a stand on a precarious issue, speaking up as a new hire in a traditional male industry or overcoming a professional risk by taking a project they believe in “underground,” they tap into a valuable personal reserve called courage. Courageous women “step up” to the next level. They designed their steps rather than letting outside influences dictate who they are or what they should be. As a result of learning to live wholly in the moment and having the courage to stop and reflect, they processed choices clearly and quickly, took action more readily and stayed centered in their Truth. “Courageous Leadership—An INside Job!” is a program I conduct to assist people in this process.
The Label Trap
Unfortunately, when working women do demonstrate the behaviors of courage, they’re often labeled with some unflattering word to keep them “in their place.” On a performance review, they may receive what I call the “too syndrome” comments, such as too strong, too driven or too outspoken. The irony is that for men, these descriptions are often desirable. However, if used to inspire a woman to action, these stereotypical limitations can actually benefit women and increase their courage quotient. Facing habitual stereotypes, the first step is to acknowledge and honor in every human spirit their personal courageous behaviors. This perpetuates change in typecast.
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