Leading the Way to Leadership PDF Print E-mail
Written by Linda Palacios   
Thursday, 20 May 2010 05:54

Leading the Way to Leadership
One workplace trend has women headed for success, but is that where you're headed? Find out some expert tips to developing your own leadership qualities.

Whether you played softball or ran track, your athletic coach always helped point you in the right direction toward improvement and success. Now, that same idea of coaching is available in the workplace.


"I think what's happened in the past 10 years is that many organizations have hired internal people or worked in partnership with external coaches because they've started to see that coaching is not something remedial, but rather, it's really a form of development and really a perk for many people," says Amy Katz, chief learning officer and senior executive coach for Baker and Daboll and finalist for Cincy magazine's 2009 Athena Awards.


Now, executive coaching has proved itself as more of a professional staple than a fleeting trend, so coaches like Katz are able to help businesses and their employees as other changes occur in the workplace.


Katz recognizes one of these changes in a trend in women in the workplace. "More recently, I am finding, in the positive sense, that more women are really exploring ways to develop leadership, to think about ways they can progress within their organizations," Katz says.


To help women take on those leadership roles, Katz helps her clients with self-awareness. One of the most common themes that Katz sees in her coaching experience is that she can point out strengths that her clients never realized they had, she says. "People really do not always appreciate where their strengths lie, and coming to that realization can be the most significant aspect of the coaching process," Katz says.


When women recognize these strengths and take ownership of them, they can be more efficient and effective in the workplace. Sometimes this recognition leads women to nurture specific interests and hobbies, which leads to more personal satisfaction and less stress overall.


Beyond strengths, recognizing others' perceptions of you is another important part of self-awareness. "People often have very little appreciation of how they come across to others," Katz says. The disconnect between your thinking that others see you as friendly and the potential reality of your intimidating demeanor really can make a difference in the workplace. So Katz recommends her clients deliberately seek feedback from other people.


The perception of others also comes into play with your communication, and the way women use language in a professional setting is a hot topic for researchers like Deborah Tannen, an author and a professor at Georgetown University, Katz says. "Women have been told that it's important to be direct and to speak up and to be assertive, and women have told them that. And yet, sometimes they could benefit from being a little indirect or a little tentative," Katz says. This doesn't mean that you have to compromise who you are and what you think, but other methods of sending your message might be more effective and better received.


To learn more about executive coaching through Katz or Baker and Daboll in general, head to




Photo courtesy of Amy Katz
Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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