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This Conference for Modern Female Leaders Had the Best Tips, Here Are Our Faves

Navigating the modern workplace as a female leader can certainly have its challenges as much as its rewards. There can be great highs and tough situations to work through in any given month, week or day. Sarah Panis and Jessica Miranda recognized this unique position professional women leaders are in and wanted to provide a resource and community to support them. They started The Gritty Movement focused on advancing modern, female leaders and equipping them to lead confidently. "By elevating diverse voices, we empower women to lead in their own way and challenge the perception of what 'brilliant leadership looks like." 

Recently, their experiential conference called Gritty Leadership took place in San Diego. It was a day created for and by modern female leaders to energize their passions, enhance their management skills, and collaborate with like-minded women. After experiencing the conference, we're bringing our five favorite tips and skills we learned from our own Gritty experience to you. 

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When You Shine, I Shine

Tara Salinas, a Business Ethics Professor at USD, acknowledged the frustration shared by many women who face bias and obstacles in the workplace, and how to overcome it. Using her “Shine Theory,” she suggests you not only advocate for your own success but the success of other women. When one of us does well, we all do well.
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Leading Company Change? Here's How in 2 Steps

In Diane Sadowski-Joseph’s mini-workshop, attendees learned how to become agents of change through a series of drills and communication skills. When leading a team through change, apply the "FACE" test: 
F = fairness: is the change we are expecting of the team/particular employees fair to them at their current compensation level? With their current skillset? What about their current workload? 
A = autonomy: does the employee feel like they have control over the change we are implementing?
C = cognitive load: how hard is the change for them? How will it affect their current workflow and responsibilities? 
E = ego: will they want to do this? Will this positively affect their job / their perception of their job? 

Next, to craft a successful change strategy and get the team onboard, pitch it using a vision statement that has 4 parts: 
Acknowledgment: “I know this will require extra work,” “I know this will affect you,” “I know this is different than what we have been doing in the past,” are all examples of acknowledgement.
Heart: appeal to their emotions with the future possibilities like, “Imagine if we could,” or “what if we could.”
Head: provide sound data to support your decision. 
Urgency: explain why we need to do this now and do it quickly.
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Manage With Integrity

When leading a team, this panel discussed a few tips for creating a healthy, happy, communicative company culture: 
• Managers should meet one-on-one with direct reports at least once a month to give them a forum for asking questions, addressing HR-related concerns, and giving their managers feedback for what they need to succeed in their roles. 
• Employees mimic leadership’s behavior: any changes and behavior you want to see from employees must start at the top. 
• Always remember to focus on health: "Work environments should put health and family first. Employees need space to take care of themselves so they can bring their best self to work."
• Over communicate: people generally need to hear something 20 times to remember it. Have channel diversity in getting your message across. Employees and managers alike should be trained to use Slack, verbal communication, email reminders, physical print outs, flyers hanging in the office, etc. for sharing messages
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Leaders Grow From Their Teams

Adam Leonard from Google’s People Development team shared that we can all become better leaders by taking a step back while taking a step forward. Take a step back to review your own leadership with high level awareness: think about yourself being on the balcony looking down at a situation, a leader can change situations by paying attention to: What is the body language of the room? What are the power dynamics? What is the energy in the room? Next, leader growth means getting constant feedback: give employees the avenue to do so and conduct leadership reviews of your own management progress and performance. 
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Embrace Emotion

Throughout another panel discussion, attendees learned that emotion is inherently a part of companies, and to not shy away from it. By encouraging positive emotions to motivate teams as well as identifying triggers for fear and stress, you can facilitate a culture of healthy, expressive emotions. 
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