1. Assuming others know how much you’re contributing

Women are often uncomfortable telling others about their achievements because they don’t want to seem self-serving or big-headed.


So, instead they stay quiet and hope that they will be noticed and valued for their hard work and contribution.


When they are recognised, they often try to defer the credit elsewhere, “oh I couldn’t have done it without so and so”.


Keeping quiet can serve you well for a while because it demonstrates your humility but when stepping up into a leadership role, you need to be able to own your achievements.


Every business has a marketing person or team who helps them spread the word about their good work. Women need to be their own marketing team.


What new behaviours can be set?


  • Regular communication to share your contribution
  • Say “thank you” when you receive recognition instead of sharing the credit




2. Going out of your way to please others

Most women really want to be seen as nice, kind or generous – and many other typically ‘feminine’ traits.


We try really hard to please others and care a lot about what others think.


But we’re so worried about upsetting people that we struggle to hold others accountable and we make excuses for them.


And that means we have a difficult time respecting our own boundaries because we say yes when we want to say no.


Likewise, women often feel uncomfortable about leveraging their relationships because they don’t want anyone to feel used but relationships are key to success (and a win-win situation!)


If you recognise yourself as a chronic people pleaser, it’s time to recognise that we can’t please everybody all of the time.


Once you make peace with that, you’ll be able to play in a much bigger field.


What new behaviours can be set?

  • Think deliberately before you say yes
  • Leverage your relationships




3. Putting your job before your career

Women are often so focused on doing our jobs really well that we forget to invest in our career.


We spend so much time and energy into getting everything ‘right’ that we find it difficult to delegate to others.


We’re so afraid of someone else making a mistake that we end up doing more work.


“It’s just easier to do it myself” is something I hear a lot from the women I coach.


This type of perfectionism holds us back.


We could use the time spent “perfecting” to invest in our development.


Ultimately, a good leader knows how to delegate, trusts their people to do a job well – and how to hold them accountable if they don’t.


What new behaviours can be set?

  • Finding someone you can trust to delegate to
  • Letting go of the need to be perfect




4. Focusing on your mistakes

Many women give themselves a hard time.


We focus on past mistakes, trying to figure out what went wrong, what was said, what happened, what could be done differently and blaming ourselves.


It keeps us stuck in the past when we need to be looking forwards.


It also makes us feel bad!


To move beyond the self-judgement trap, we need to reframe how we look at things.



What new behaviours can be set?

  • Let go and say “oh well”
  • Forgive your mistakes




5. Apologising even when you’ve done nothing wrong

Women are inclined to say sorry, it is often our default.


We feel like we’re imposing and not contributing so we say sorry all the time.


But by doing so, we’re undermining ourselves.


“Do you have a minute, sorry?”


“Sorry, could I just say something?”


“Sorry, I just think…”


“Sorry to interrupt”



What new behaviours can be set?

Instead of apologising, consider saying:

“Thank you for flagging this issue…”

“Thank you for your patience…”

“Do you have a minute?