• Mar 23 2022

The Wisdom of Women Coaching Women: Self-Care, Confidence and Mentorship

by Cristina Padilla, Director of Coaching & Engagement & Tiffany Tate, DEI Specialist

For Women’s History Month, ExecOnline is proud to present curated leadership lessons for women by our community of committed and talented female coaches. It has been widely recognized that women are underrepresented in positions of leadership across industries and organizational levels. It is important to champion women in a way that supports their unique leadership development needs. We interviewed nine of our Leadership Coaches who share advice for women leaders and lessons learned from their coaching of women leaders. 

In the first of this two-part series, we explore the importance of self-care and confidence building, and how seeking out female role models can provide you inspiration for the type of leader you want to be.

Dr. Tracy Lowrance

The advice I coach female leaders on most often is “put your own oxygen mask on first.”  I find female leaders so busy attending to the needs of their teams and their leaders that they end up sacrificing their own health and well-being. I think self-care, which includes setting boundaries, saying ‘no’ and not feeling guilty, and taking care of yourself physically and mentally is one of the most important lessons a female leader can learn.  

Dr. Tracy Lowrance began her career in the financial services industry supporting card sales and retention business units. Since then she has worked as a learning and development practitioner, organizational development specialist, executive coach and consultant in a variety of industries including the federal government, higher education and healthcare.

Suzanne Kryder, PhD

A prominent lesson I coach to female leaders is to confidently act on your own understanding rather than always doing what other leaders did in the past. An important lesson for female leaders is to take care of yourself. Rather than working exhausting hours, role model self-care and balance. My advice is to identify a female leader who you admire and want to emulate. It could be someone in your organization who’s a potential mentor, or it could be someone outside the organization who is living or dead. Learn about her life and motivation. Be inspired by her and grateful for the opportunity to lead.

Suzanne specializes in helping leaders develop personal leadership skills including confidence, introspection, and power as well as Interpersonal Leadership including emotional and social intelligence. Suzanne has developed and delivered many ‘Manager as Coach’ programs that help leaders communicate effectively as well as develop innovative and creative team members.  Suzanne’s niche is new managers up to the VP level in a variety of fields including healthcare, science, and academics.

Diana Jackson-Lovett, PhD

I find two issues to be especially prominent for women ascending into new leadership roles. Those issues are confidence and courage. In my work, I encourage women to consider “confidence” as trusting their ability to figure things out. That trust is based on exploring their previous successful professional experience, experience that women sometimes unconsciously devalue until we bring some achievements to light. With respect to “courage,”  again, the goal is to define it not as fearlessness, but as the ability and commitment to “do it afraid.” Helping clients connect with their own successful experiences of “doing it afraid” (from learning to ride a bike to learning how to lead project teams, for example) helps them appreciate their own “fortitude,” their own ability to master challenging situations, and enhances their personal estimation of the strengths and value they bring to their roles.

Diana began her career in the corporate sector facilitating leadership development programs for managers and senior executives. After completing her PhD, she held multiple leadership roles in higher education and expanded her external training and consulting work to include organizational development & team building, women’s leadership development, and organizational change management – including helping organizations develop strategies for enhancing diversity and inclusion. 
As a coach, Diana enjoys helping leaders recognize and add to their repertoire of unique strengths; understand and address internal and external barriers to effectiveness, and strategize to meet organizational goals

Juliane Locker-Olesker

Female leaders need to practice greater self-care and stronger self-confidence! I often need to tell my female clients explicitly: “Nobody will be on your team until YOU are on your team!”

An important piece of this work, in my experience, is that women often need to learn that they need not be perfect in order to be an effective leader. No one has all the answers or every perfect solution. Women often wait to present their ideas and solutions until they have worked out 99% of the kinks. I encourage my female clients to aim for 75-80% rather than 99%, and then to share their ideas with trusted advisors to move those ideas forward. It serves no one if a great idea never sees the light of day or, just as unfortunate, is credited to some other leader who simply had the gumption to push it forward before it was fully developed.

Juliane coaches her clients to lead with consistent excellence rather than by putting out fires. Now more than ever, executives need to be mindful leaders whose effectiveness derives significantly from deep, honest self-awareness that expands to comprehensive knowledge of stakeholders’ needs and the overall business environment. Juliane’s background as a certified workplace mindfulness facilitator strongly informs her coaching, leading leaders to cultivate presence, focus, clarity, diversity, creativity, productivity, and compassion.

Ellen Frank

In my sessions with female leaders, I find that we, as women, often underestimate our abilities and can lack the confidence of our male counterparts.  I believe that, as women, we need to support each other, to capitalize on our unique strengths and abilities, and to build our confidence. My advice to women leaders would be to find a female mentor that you respect and admire. Ask this female leader to help you harness your unique strengths and abilities as both a woman and a leader. Don’t be afraid to speak up, ask for help, and be yourself – you have a lot to offer!

Ellen specializes in helping business leaders focus on their highest priorities to create collaborative teams that focus and quickly deliver on these priorities, and to establish an agile culture.  Ellen’s goal as a coach is to help leaders focus on clearly defined outcomes to help leaders become successful by empowering others, and to “work smarter, not harder.

Learn more about our individual, group, and project-based coaching to help drive personal growth and enhance the impact leaders have on their organizations: https://www.execonline.com/coaching/


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