Today, for International Women’s Day, WilsonHCG’s employee belonging group (EBG) Women Who Lead hosted a panel of five women to chat about their experiences in the workplace and share their learnings. Here’s an overview of what they discussed:
Never stop learning
Our panel members discussed what motivates their success – and many weighed in on continually seeking opportunities for improvement for themselves and those around them. This included people leaders who mentioned building their teams’ confidence and parents who showcase leadership as an example for their children.
Create a culture of failing forward
One of the panel members mentioned that they’ve come to an understanding that they don’t always have to be perfect in everything they do. This was freeing for them. Every failure is room to develop. Nothing is taken on with the intention it will fail, so the culture of exploring new strategies or projects through calculated risk was pivotal for women on the call. The women discussed how much they appreciate hearing others’ stories of failing forward; it gives them confidence to try new things.
Another panelist mentioned taking failure with you as a lesson to be better in the future. As a result, not being afraid to fail and understanding the feeling is normal helps create a fail-forward environment. That authenticity and realistic perspective is necessary to grow and become stronger in the end.
Block your calendar to dedicate time for goal attainment
You can’t expect to achieve your goals if you don’t allow yourself time to work on them and reflect on progress. Setting realistic goals and giving yourself time to work toward them should be prioritized over holding yourself to an unsustainable standard. A good example of this is aiming to attend a webinar as a way of learning something new to share out with your team.
Leader tip: Always, if possible, keep 15- or 30-minute gaps in your calendar so employees feel like you are accessible. Having that open line of communication was helpful to one of our panelists as a way of managing different employees – some who may need more engagement than others.
Take care of your mental health
Doing regular internal check-ins was a major discussion point for the panelists. Regularly asking yourself how you’re doing is key to maintaining good mental health. Some discussed creating rituals as a way of separating their personal time and professional time – one mentioned waking up early to get a mile on the treadmill first, while another said applying her daily makeup helps get her in the mindset of work (and taking it off after the workday is an indication of relaxation time).
Check in with yourself about what activity recently made you feel good. Was it spending time with your children? Reading a book? Taking a walk on the beach? Or emptying out your inbox? Reflect on why it made you feel good and make more time to do these activities. That also means you can’t say yes to everything. The women talked about how it can be hard for them to say no, especially as it pertains to family caregiving obligations and managerial duties.
Be specific about your career growth desires
Focus on where your strengths and passions lie and find ways to be proactive in navigating your career growth. At WilsonHCG, we do quarterly goal setting, and members spoke about how that’s an optimal time to discuss with managers on your desired growth path. Attainable and prescriptive goals will help you get there.
Overall, giving yourself grace was a key takeaway for the panelists and participants on the call. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, so it’s comforting to hear from women who have achieved great success.
Happy International Women’s Day to all the strong, smart and incredible women out there!