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Women in Leadership: Unlocking Leadership Excellence

Women in Leadership: Unlocking Leadership Excellence

Leaders face a myriad of challenges in today’s ever-evolving world of work, from staying on top of rapid technological advancements to managing a multi-generational workforce amidst shifting cultural and geopolitical dynamics.

With International Women’s Day on March 8, we’ve gathered insight from some of our most requested female leadership keynote speakers to help you better navigate the complexities of leadership roles in today’s multi-faceted business climate.

We were fortunate to attend The Art of Leadership for Women in 2023, where our speakers made up a majority of the line-up. Discover what we learned below and enjoy clips from the incredible 2023 event.

Mastering the Art of Negotiation

Today’s workforce follows leaders who can persuade and inspire them. So, how can you, as a leader, make your voice stand out? Become more influential day-to-day and achieve the results you want? Through mastering the principles of persuasion and negotiation.

An expert communicator, Fotini Iconomopoulos is passionate about helping people, particularly women, develop confidence when it comes to negotiation, both at home and work. Below are the four key themes she walks audiences through to help them become the kind of leader people want to follow — and become master negotiators in their own right.

The Principles of Persuasion and Negotiation

  1. Power: We all have power — even if it’s just perceived power — but we need the courage to own it. Before walking into a situation, ask yourself: How am I showing up? You are there for a reason, own it.
  2. People: Likeability doesn’t come from giving everyone what they want. Become a good listener and approach situations with curiosity instead of fear to encourage cooperation.
  3. Process: There’s a difference between curiosity and empathy. Don’t be a victim of empathy! Approach negotiation from the viewpoint of “what do they need” vs. “what can they afford to do for me?”
  4. Communication: The four magic words of any negotiation are “if you” and “than I”.

Watch the clip below to see more from Fotini:

Building an Inclusive Workplace Culture

Now more than ever, leaders are being called upon to build and foster inclusive workplaces, where everyone can experience belonging and contribute to their fullest. Ritu Bhasin, the CEO of a preeminent DEI consulting firm, equips leaders with her Three Selves Framework so they can claim and create belonging and build an inclusive workplace culture rooted in authenticity.

The Three Selves Framework

The Three Selves Framework provides a model for better understanding how to be more authentic in how you live, work and lead by exploring your Performing Self, Authentic Self, and Adaptive Self.

  1. The Performing Self: On one side of the spectrum, you have your performing self. This is the self you front when you feel like you have no choice but to change who you are for the environment you’re in.
  2. The Authentic Self: On the other side of the spectrum is our authentic self. It’s our core self — the good, the bad, and the ugly. We should all be aiming to be in a place where we can reveal our true selves as much as possible.
  3. The Adapted Self: The adapted self is where the magic happens. Adapting doesn’t mean you’re performing, instead you’re willingly choosing to adjust or adapt your behaviour to meet your own needs and those of others.

An authentic leader thrives in the adapted self, Ritu says. If leaders push their authenticity too much, they can quiet others instead of leaving them room to grow. Adapting allows others’ authenticity to shine, which should be a leader’s ultimate goal.  

Hear more from Ritu in the video below:

Enhancing Team Effectiveness

A leader is only as effective as their team. Dr. Hayley Wickenheiser is considered one of the best female hockey players in the world with seven world championships, six Olympic appearances, and five Olympic medals to her name. She retired from the national women’s hockey team in 2017 and is now a resident medical doctor in family medicine and the assistant general manager of player development for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

As a leader both on and off the ice, Hayley is well practiced in enhancing team effectiveness and optimizing personal and team performance for long-term success. The biggest lessons she’s learned as a leader include the importance of:

  • Adaptability: Learn to adapt or be left behind.
  • Surrendering control: Control what you can, let go of what you can’t.
  • Reframing pressure: Viewing pressure as a privilege vs. a burden makes it easier to carry and use as a catalyst for performance. Remember, Hayley said, Someone put you in that pressure-filled position because they believe in you.

Hear more from Hayley in the video below:

Becoming a Future-Ready Leader

The three biggest challenges facing leaders today is burnout, disconnection, and disruption. An award-winning medical doctor, Dr. Shimi Kang shares “prescriptions” to help leaders overcome these obstacles.

It starts by learning how to be human again:

  • We need downtime to combat stress and burnout.
  • We need connection and community to break out of this pattern of disconnection that was only made worse throughout the pandemic.
  • We need to embrace a play mindset to spark creativity.

These are the future-ready skills that we need cultivate in our day-to-day lives to equip us to handle the shifting realities of our dynamic world. Learn more in the video below:

Contact us to learn more about our leadership speakers and how we can help you book a stand-out keynote speaker for your next event. 

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