The playing field still isn’t even: women remain underrepresented at the top end of business. There are many reasons for this and one of the primary ones is a confidence imbalance, which can hold immensely capable women back. By expertly coaching women in business and giving them the confidence their ability warrants, we help them push their careers further.
What is the difference between business coaching for men and women?
Of course, everyone is an individual, but research from the University of Cambridge has shown that higher testosterone levels increase confidence and appetite for risk. And research from The Royal Society has shown that testosterone hampers collaboration.
With men having more testosterone, the way they think is fundamentally different. While it is often subtle and might not always be apparent, this difference has consequences for behaviour in the workplace:
- Women can sometimes undervalue their contributions
- Men can be more vocal in expressing their ideas
- Collaboration may come more naturally to women
- Women might be better at planning for the longer term
- Men negotiate better on their own behalves
In addition to all this, men and women can hold contrasting outlooks on what they want from work, the work/life balance and family priorities. Another factor to consider is that women are sometimes more effective communicators.
Any business coaching must take such differences into account, addressing strengths and weaknesses to give clients the support they need.
Why is confidence and resilience so important for women in business?
Unfortunately, not every sector or organisation offers women equal opportunities, particularly when it comes to senior roles. Women often have to work harder to impress and secure top positions. And, of course, there’s still a disparity in pay.
Selling yourself effectively is vital, so the more confidence women have to do this, the better. If women have been overlooked or treated unfairly in the workplace, confidence can be dented, so boosting it is even more important.
Resilience is another crucial trait that women in business must develop: both because of the challenges their gender presents and because success does not come easily. Everyone in business has to endure criticism and setbacks. How you react to difficulties can define how successful you are. Confidence coaching for women can teach you to overcome adversity and learn from it.
Why is business coaching important for women?
Business coaching can help take anyone’s career to the next level. This is especially true of women, who face obstacles men don’t encounter.
And as research has shown, women can naturally have less confidence than men, which coaching can help to rectify. Effective business coaching for women can help them to see their worth and sell themselves better. It can also build upon their innate longer term thinking, adding strategic thinking to their skillset.
With women often being great collaborators, this is another characteristic that business coaching can bring out. Add leadership skills to the ability to collaborate and it becomes a potent combination, which will help anybody in their career progression.
Planning for success
While team-working and fruitful communication can come quite naturally to women, office politics is something that many can struggle with. And office politics is sometimes what holds women back, due to conscious or unconscious gender bias. Coaches can help businesswomen to navigate through this minefield, forming useful professional relationships in the process.
Such relationships can give people an edge, but women must also be prepared to self-promote. It can be useful to actively plan for ways to increase your visibility at work, showcasing your accomplishments. Others aren’t shy about blowing their own trumpet: why should you be?
How does confidence coaching improve the careers of women in retail?
Women are prominent in all kinds of customer-facing retail roles, yet consistently underrepresented in management roles. Although it can’t change gender bias and convention, confidence coaching can help give women’s retail careers a significant boost.
First of all, it can free you to talk about your achievements, raising your profile in the workplace, particularly when it comes to going for promotions. In retail, sales figures are everything, so if you’ve helped to raise sales, it’s vital to highlight that as an accomplishment.
If you can gain confidence and become more vocal, you can also fight your corner better, whether you’re negotiating your salary or ensuring your ideas are given more consideration. After all, winning ideas are achievements that help people climb career ladders.
Of course, applying for a new job can be a great way to climb up. But this is one time when confidence is more vital than ever. Although interviewees are usually forgiven for exhibiting a few nerves, they’re also judged on their confidence all the time. Being confident means you can have a natural conversation with your prospective new employers, effectively conveying that you have the experience, skills and knowledge to really perform in the role.
I’m a female entrepreneur, do I need business coaching?
The skills and self-knowledge you can acquire from business coaching are no less relevant to entrepreneurs. Perhaps they’re even more important if your business relies upon your personal brand. Being confident enough so you are able to amplify your brand and profile will push your company further into the spotlight.
Coaching for women entrepreneurs will benefit your whole organisation, particularly if you’re very hands-on. It will teach you how to make better decisions, which can propel your business onto bigger and better things. The right coaching could even turn you into a more influential leader, who can better motivate and inspire a workforce.
What can you expect from confidence coaching for women with agp?
The first thing we do is run a complimentary discovery session, where you can share your story, ask questions and, crucially, what we can do to help you achieve your career goals.
All sessions are one-to-one, giving you complete confidentiality and the undivided attention of an expert business coach. They’ll challenge your thinking through insightful questions and conversations, encouraging you to reach conclusions for yourself.
Whether you’re aiming to develop better relationships at work, improve your communication skills or add strategic thinking to your skills, confidence coaching from agp will boost your career development.
Sharon Gregg is our qualified female executive coach at agp.
Sharon is an expert business coach for women certified by the ICF and with a professional certificate in executive coaching from Henley Business School. Contact us to find out how we can support you in your career.