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By Mike Mirshams

If you are a woman in a corporate business environment, you aren't alone. In fact, more women are joining major corporations every day. However, if you have a leadership role in that business environment, you are definitely in the minority.

It can be a daunting task trying to manage your team, especially if that team happens to consist mainly of men. So, here are some quick tips to help you gain the upper hand:

1- Own Your Success:

If you are a female leader in a business environment, look at how you got there. Surely, something about you made those above you want to promote you to such a position. So, even though you might feel in over your head a little to start, don't immediately assume that you will fail. Confidence is one of the keys to success for anyone in a leadership role, whether they are male or female.

2- Control Your Emotions:

You are going to encounter sexist people on occasion. You can't necessarily change their view, but you can keep yourself from adding to the problem. Maintaining a professional attitude during an uncomfortable discussion or confrontation is one of the signs of a great leader. Successful female leaders don't let an occasional bad remark get under their skin. Just remember that keeping a cool head doesn't mean being cold to your team. You are all working towards the same goals together. So, you need to be friendly, but professional.

3- Be Present for Your Team:

Regardless of whether you are leading 5 people or 50, one of the best things you can do to cement your role as a female leader is to be present for your team. There is nothing worse than a team leader who locks themselves in their office all day. Get to know your team. Be friendly, fair, and above all, available. Once you know each other well, you can build on each team member's strengths.

4- Encourage Communication:

Many women in leadership roles try too hard to prove that they know what they are doing. That causes them to stop communicating with the team. Instead, they make a decision and stick to it. That often leads to a complete breakdown of team morale. As a female leader, it's reasonable to be a little nervous about your team taking you seriously. However, they are likely to respect your opinions and your authority more when you also respect their opinions. That's why it's absolutely vital that you listen to each team members concerns and ideas. You may be a leader, but there is a difference between leadership and dictatorship. When your team knows that you are open to suggestions, they will be much more likely to voice opinions and let you know when issues pop up.

5- Explain Yourself:

Whenever possible, don't just tell your team when you make a final decision on something important. Instead, take the time to explain why you made that decision, especially if it wasn't a popular decision. Your team may disagree with you, but they will have more respect for you when they understand how you reached your conclusion.

6- Learn the Art of Constructive Criticism:

Women in leadership roles are often forced to criticize their team members. If a team member makes a mistake, you need to be able to tell them what they did wrong in a constructive way. Most people are open to learning, when they are given a chance. So, you may simply need to explain what is expected in a different way. Female leaders are often good at giving constructive criticism, especially if they have children. After all, leading a business team and raising a child are similar. The point is to help people learn and grow in order to reach an end goal.

7- Never Stop Learning:

Some women (and men) in leadership roles assume that they know everything they need to know already, but the best female leaders understand that the business world is always changing. So, it's important to keep learning and expanding your knowledge base.

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