Why am I passionate about assisting, intelligent driven women, in male dominated industries achieve greater presence?
Too often, high performing females are coming to me because they are being misunderstood, overlooked or not valued without knowing why. Very rarely are they given honest feedback.
There’s a myth that you have to be outgoing or extroverted to be taken seriously. You may have bought into that myth without even realizing it. From experience the reason why women, especially quieter women, may get overlooked or not taken seriously is rarely about lack of skill or competence but in fact they are just misunderstood. In fact, all the quietly powerful women that I have worked with are incredibly intelligent, driven and capable. They have been overlooked because of misperceptions. They are seen as lacking in Executive Presence and therefore not being ‘Leadership material’. For many of them, their missing ‘X factor’ is not their IQ or EQ but rather their PQ®, their Presence Quotient.
However, once they become aware of how to take control of how others perceive them they regain control. No longer are they exhausting themselves trying to be someone they aren’t or trying to play a role. They can tap into their presence, their own personal brand and be able to communicate their strengths to the world.
My fascination with the power of a woman’s personal presence led me to start a personal branding and image consultancy, Style Confidante nearly 8 years which I rebranded to The Ascension Group just last year. It was my prior experience working in the corporate world, in Commercial Property for CBRE and Centre Management for Westfield which allowed me to see exactly what was going on in these environments.
Working with companies such as Myer, David Jones, Aldi, Coles, Wittner, allowed me to see why some brands have been successful and stood the test of time. I paid close attention to the skills and attributes of the employees and management, who ultimately represented the company brand. I witnessed behaviours and communication styles that were very effective and ones that weren’t so well received.
I became really interested in why some of my female colleagues were getting promoted while others were being overlooked. The challenges that women in business faced were becoming more and more self-evident. What I noticed was that for a woman, it wasn’t enough to be experienced and smart. To be heard, noticed and paid for what you were great at, you need to have confidence and an ability to communicate your value proposition. You need the skills to speak up and negotiate and most of all you need to have a presence and personal brand and image that complemented who you are and the organisation you work for.
Seeing a gap in the market, I decided to follow my passion which led me to delve into the science of presence. For the last 7 years I knew it was very rarely the skills holding back women but rather perceptions of others. I knew there had to be a better way to be able to measure presence so that people could incorporate it effectively.Through the Bates 360 Assessment tool, feedback is a validated way of accurately assessing where you currently sit with your stakeholders. The model decodes the mystery of 15 areas proven to be critical to influencing others and driving results which are tied directly to a leader’s ability to drive organisational performance. The model allows you as a leader to navigate the challenges in your role.
You will be able to exploit your strengths that you’re probably undervaluing and uncover any blind spots you may have so you can understand if you are being misunderstood and make minor tweaks to shift perceptions!
If you want to know how you can discover how your presence is felt by others with a scientific 360 Assessment tool please book for a phone call.