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Women in Leadership: 5 Incredible Shifts We’ve Made at Work—and Beyond—Thanks to Personal Coaching

Here at Simantel, we prioritize connection, relationship, and communication. And with a strong roster of women in leadership positions, we have a knack for reading the room, recognizing problems before they’re voiced, and leading with our hearts.

But while we boast these strengths so deeply rooted in women, occasionally we still struggle with the societal conditioning that tells us we can’t be both mom and CEO, or that we should be extra careful with our words and actions when we need or want to command a room.

These negative thoughts impact our whole team—not just our women. It’s only when we’re ALL free to show up in our full power and fierceness that we work as a flawless machine and bring about the vision we all share.

So, as we evolve our management style at Simantel, we’ve hired personal coaches to inspire, equip, and empower us to unleash our full power. And the results have been nothing short of revolutionary.

We expected it to be fun, encouraging, and maybe lead to better meetings and workflow. But what happened was beyond that…

The way our leaders show up at work and in life has shifted. We’ve begun voicing what we know to be true, claiming the things we want, intervening when limiting stories play in our heads, and leaning into the superpowers that make us individually and infinitely valuable.

These are five shifts we’ve made thanks to our incredible coaches.

 

1. Tossing Out Black-and-White Thinking

Many of us grew up in a world full of binary choices.

“If I want to work, I can’t be a good mom.” “If I choose to have a family, I’ll never achieve my dream of leading a company.”

Going through coaching allowed us to understand that there is a world where “both and” can be true. We get to choose what our lives should look like and create that reality for ourselves, through baby steps.

We’ve used these lessons in our relationships at home and at work.

Let’s be honest. We are salespeople at heart. As advertising execs, our whole job is to use influence and sales tactics to convince other people of whatever our objective is. However, coaching allowed us to understand how to be better listeners and facilitative leaders—not just salespeople.

It’s not black and white. It’s not just about ROI and revenue. We can be hard-chargers in sales meetings, AND we can listen, respond, and connect at a human level. We can do both, and we are wired to do both. We just have to hone that ability.

Because we are able to tune inward and connect on a personal level, we are also able to connect more deeply in business—which leads not just to better ROI but to better relationships.

 

2. Knowing Our Superpowers

One of the phrases a coach used with us was “to leverage our superpower.” We all got to name what this was, by working through the things that we value most and really answering the question, “What do they really pay you for?” It’s changed the way we show up. We no longer come to work believing our job is to check off our to-do’s. Rather, our job is to show up and be our best selves. Let our energy spill over. When we’re not working out of our superpower, chances are we’re not supporting the organization in the best way we know how.

 

3. Trusting What We Want—And Asking for It

As women, we’re not often taught to name what we want. In fact, we’re pretty actively taught NOT to name what we want. Doing so could make us a “b****.” 😉

And yet, coaching taught us to shift this conditioning. To not only name the things we want, but also decide to make them happen and, in many ways, to be unapologetic about it.

Learning to hear our own voice was a big part of how we started “showing up differently”—and our teams loved it. We stopped asking permission, we owned our power and authority, and we made big things happen.

This empowers everyone at Simantel, not just the women. It’s about all of us knowing we can rely on our teammates bringing their FULL selves to work every day, unhindered by limiting stereotypes, self-doubt, or habits that don’t serve us. We trust each other because we see each other fully.

 

4. Believing What We “Know” to be True

One of our favorite coaches once said, “There’s no more you can DO for your business. There’s only more you can THINK.”

As women leaders, we’re often juggling so many balls in work and life that we forget to create space for ourselves to think, reflect, and listen. However, when we prioritize the time to do this – something magical happens.

We gain clarity. We know what we actually think, as opposed to doing what we think we “should” do or what others ask us to do. And, in doing so, we become stronger leaders – because we can communicate those thoughts with specificity.

So often we feel stuck. When challenged and asked what we think about this client issue, or how to handle that department change, all we can muster is, “I don’t know.” But we DO know. The truth is, our innate wisdom, our knowing about what to do and how to do it, is just buried so deep under layers of busy and others and service that we never give ourselves the chance to hear what we know.

We’ve changed that. We deserve space to hear ourselves, and we deserve to prioritize our own knowing. We are now much more intentional about using our “power” to create space in our calendar to think.

 

5. Telling the Other Story

This was one of the hardest and most pivotal lessons for us to learn. We own our stories—and we can choose which story we tell ourselves.

Hang with me for a minute.

When we’d have an issue at hand that stressed us out or felt impossible to overcome, our coach would push us to explore the flipside: What’s the story we’re telling ourselves? She’d probe, “What if the opposite were true?” What if this issue we feel so stuck inside isn’t actually the way we think it is?

We learned to see outside the scope of our habituated vision. Instead of hitting a roadblock and trying to solve it from the inside out—which inevitably leads to anxiety, panic, and a limited perspective—we began taking a 30,000 foot view, distancing ourselves, and solving it with confidence and charisma.

A bonus of this practice is that it taught us how to build an argument—even if we didn’t believe it. By learning to distance ourselves from problems at hand in order to solve them with an objective and measured approach, we also learned that we could craft an effective argument or campaign, even if it didn’t come from our inner truths.

It helped us rationalize others’ ideas. It helped us in arguments. It helped us be better consultants. And in the end, it made us better leaders.

Now, here’s the deal: This stuff is HARD. Our brains will always forget the new patterns we’ve established and revert to old habits—especially when things get tough. So we’ve had to learn to hold each other accountable and be intentional about practicing what we know we are capable of.

And in our agency of strong female leaders, this practice has created a sense of trust, camaraderie, and community that’s cascaded through our agency, far beyond just the leadership team—which in and of itself is a huge achievement.

We have seen the best in each other, and we know how to bring it out. We see our fellow leaders for the strong, compassionate, talented, wise, fierce women they are, and we encourage and support each other to be the best versions of ourselves—every single day.

We hire smart people, and we encourage them to grow. Investing in coaching for our leadership team is just one of the recent ways we’ve worked to enable personal and professional growth, at all levels of the organization. And it’s not just for the wellbeing of our agency, but more importantly, for the smart humans who make Simantel what it is.

We are unlocking each other, every day.

Is your team ready to step into a coaching mindset? Check out inspiration from some of our favorites, or share in the comments if you’ve used a coach and what you’ve gained from the experience.

Rebecca Olson: Ambitious and Balanced Working Mom Podcast 

Jenne Fromm: Connected Manager

Susan Reising: Coach and Communication Specialist

 

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