7 Ways Good Managers Can Lift Up Other Women for Success
You worked hard to climb that corporate ladder, smashing a few of your own glass ceilings along the way. Congratulations! We should be proud of what we’ve become. Our foremothers fought hard for us to be able to smash those ceilings and become entrepreneurs, managers and CEOs. So how can we lift up other women for success in the workplace, like we’ve been lifted up? Jesus tells us to help our fellow brothers and sisters, and this is one of the most powerful things we can do as a manager–create other successful and good women managers.
Successful Doesn’t Equal Good Managers
Before we get into the ways we can lift other women up in the workplace, let’s make sure we clarify that success doesn’t always equal good in the world of management. Just because someone is climbing the corporate ladder doesn’t mean they make a good manager or mentor. A lot of the time they learn bad lessons in how to get to the top, and they are clawing their way up there.
Not exactly the way we think would make God really happy, right?
So don’t put too much stock in those men and women sitting in those fancy chairs with those fancy name plates outside their corner offices. It’s their actions that matter more than anything else. I’ve met some CEOs that come around on a daily basis to check in on everyone, know people’s names, and are genuinely concerned about their employees. I also know Vice-Presidents that can barely spell their job titles, that only got their because they stole every idea they had from those they worked with, and their only skill is the art of the theft. I wouldn’t turn my back on them ever, because I’d only find a knife in it later.
We all have both of these types of stories, right? And we all know we’d prefer to work for the CEO that comes around and knows everyone’s names. They make you feel better about the work you’re doing, you respond better to feedback, and they make you want to work for them and the organization. They may not even know they’re modeling Godly methods for management, but they are.
So let’s get into the ways YOU can model these methods, because not all just about knowing names and being nice to people (though that helps):
7 Ways Good Managers Lift Up Other Women for Success
- Be the example. The number one things you can do to lift up other women in the workplace is to be the example of a good woman manager. Eyes are on you, so make sure they are seeing a manager doing the right things, the Godly things, from that managerial desk.
- Look out for your employees. Looking out for your employees doesn’t mean giving into your employees every demand. It means ensuring your employees are getting what they need to do the job at hand. Have they received the best training available? Do they have the right pay at the right pay scale? Are there enough staff to do the job? Are they being treated fairly?
- Listen to women. Yes, I said women and not all employees for a reason. Of course you should listen to all your employees. That’s just a given. Everyone comes up with great ideas. However, women are often talked over or dismissed at rates higher than men are. Even women managers are more likely to take men’s ideas more seriously. Give women a chance to speak and not be mansplained.
- Be a mentor. Women need other women to show them the way. We aren’t children who need mansplaining or childlike pats on the head. We need strong women to teach us how to be strong women. My favorite books of the Bible are Ruth and Esther. Two women who just set out on their own way and defied the rules. I love Deborah who was a judge and Jael who just took matters into her own hands, because she killed the enemy when no one else could. I learned from these other strong women of the Bible. There were other strong women in my life who took me under their wings and taught me to be a strong manager and mentor so I could lift up other women for success.
- Give constructive criticism. You didn’t get where you are without hearing some tough feedback. In fact, some of it was probably harsher than you wanted, right? I know I’ve been there. I’ve sat in offices and held back tears (and sometime harsh words back) when I’ve been told I’d done something wrong. However, we do need to hear proper criticism, because we need to learn from our mistakes. However, give the feedback in a way women can learn from going forward. Give women a way to take steps to improve, and help them through those steps in the way you wish someone had guided you.
- Be honest about your mistakes. We all want people to see us as the shiny managers and CEOs. After all, we worked hard to get to the top, right? We earned that corner office and that pretty nameplate on the door, so why should anyone have to know about all the missteps we made along the way? Well, if we want to help lift up women in the workplace, they have to know they can get there, too. If they see us as too shiny, and the office too unattainable, then they give up. By being honest about the three steps forward and two steps back we took along the way, they can see that they, too, can get there.
- Let your women fly. Eventually the time will come when the women you mentor will outgrow you. When it happens, you will be both happy and sad about it. Some of them will even become–gasp–more successful than you. Be proud of it. It was time for them to fly on their own. You were part of that. You were part of their growth. Let them go be managers of their own and help lift up other women in the workplace. As you pay it forward, so will they. And as Beyonce says…”who run the world??” One day, ladies…it won’t just be a song, it will be us.
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