Confident women stand out of a crowd, and can dictate their own life decisions. Here are 8 life skills that you should know to be one of these.
Look at any list of skills for women and you have the usual suspects – persuasion, assertiveness, leadership, negotiation – you know the list. I agree with all those well meant lists. Just from experience of women around me and my own, I have a list of my own which are essential for any woman – professional or stay at home. You can look at them as life skills that come in good stead especially if you are a woman.
Although, this is not exactly a skill, this is the foundation to all the other things I am going to talk about. Women, in most cultures, are conditioned to be giving and letting go. We always tend to put our needs last. We get affected when people judge us and feel guilty putting ourselves first.
A solid self esteem means to feel deserving of what we do for others. Of confidently moving ahead without self doubt.
When I met a client on the day of a training program and shook his hand the way it should be, he was surprised at the firmness of it. I am guessing he expected it to be just a perfunctory action just because I am a woman.
I don’t think handshakes have a gender. In fact, a firm handshake from a woman is a strong signal of confidence and strong self esteem (see!)
Whether you are a working mom, just a mom or even a housewife, sorry, homemaker, it is critical to find time for yourself. No matter which role we play, there is always enough to do on our plate. Time out is essential to find balance amidst the daily mayhem.
Indulge in a hobby or just catch up with the day’s news with a cup of green tea – healthy and soothing. (Hopefully, telling your kids not to disturb you for 30-60 minutes works.)
Whether you are at a bar with friends or at a meeting with colleagues, being able to say no – confidently and unapologetically – to something you don’t want to do is your right. You don’t have to agree to dance with someone or take up a task if you don’t want to. And I don’t think I have say any more about this with all the social activism happening around the phenomenon of saying No!
There is nothing that boosts one’s confidence more than travelling the world by yourself. If you are shaking your head at the impossibility of it in your life, let me complete. Travelling doesn’t have to be to exotic and expensive locations. Our own country has so many beautiful places to explore.
The idea is to manage your entire travel by yourself – bookings and local travel. Being able to do that will also greatly aid the first point I mentioned here.
I dealt with the investment/relationship managers from the bank for family investments for 6 years. And through the duration, I don’t think they took me seriously even once. Although, they knew that I was the tough nut to crack and had several questions to ask about any proposal they brought to me. But the general perception that men in the family make important (financial) decisions is a strong mindset to shake off.
So whether you are single or married, learn basic concepts like equity, debt markets, asset allocation and understand how your own investments work.
I couldn’t find a more diplomatic way to put this skill! Be it your real thoughts about your boss or your in-laws, women face a lot of situations where being blunt isn’t the right way to go. It will only end up hurting people.
It is a worthy skill to be able to express your thoughts in a manner that gets the point across and yet not let your real emotions get the better of you.
Research has proven that women are more risk averse than men. Women are not disruptive by nature. But this also stops them from taking chances and pushing their boundaries. This can be quite a dangerous trait to have in an entrepreneur. It is important to take risks without the fear of failure or being judged.
There can be many more skills added to this list. But, in my experience, these are a few that keep coming up all the time. Rather the lack of them. Pick one that seems easiest and make your way through the others.
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Published here earlier.
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