By Rooda Al Neama (@ThinkDubai)
I attended a conference titled ‘Celebrating 100 years of women leadership’ on the 8th of March, and it was filled with prominent speakers, from ministers, to CEOs, managers and industry experts. To be honest, I do not enjoy hearing women preach about their lack of rights, etc. Thankfully the conference was not filled with that but concentrated mostly on facts, communication skills, and addressing issues and questions.
I can not say I agreed with everything that was said in the conference, that would be impossible, but there were key factors that I believe are universal in the success of any human as addressed by the panelists and speakers, here are some of the factors:
Believe in yourself: this was repeated by many of the female speakers; those three words are the epitome of self-empowerment. Ironically someone else has to say it to you first. Three words that when put into action can mean innovation, change, achievement to the greatest sense, all you have to do is ‘Believe.’
Really listen: when you ask a question, or look for answers, all you have to do is really listen. Sounds simple but when in practice really puts your attention skills to a test. Whether interested or not, listening to what someone has to say not only opens your mind to different possibilities but also gets your creativity flowing. Everybody loves to be heard and understood, even if you do not agree with their point of view. Ask questions, and really listen.
Be passionate: people are influenced when you share your passion and vision (now its their turn to listen while you talk). Believing in something and expressing it passionately is a powerful contagious tool. People start believing in your cause because at the end of the day everyone wants to belong somewhere, a place they feel best conveys who they want to be.
Do not be afraid: after hearing the advice of the female leaders attending, they pointed out that women, should not be afraid to call, should not be afraid to ask, should not be afraid to take the first step. Women are more reserved than men, that is their nature, they are less forceful and more considerate, which perhaps makes them seem like they are afraid. I think they are just hesitant. As a woman I usually think about an important decision from all aspects, both sides of an argument are going at it in my head and so I just end up being hesitant, not knowing where to side.
Most of the stuff mentioned, have been written, discussed, and heard millions of times. We know the success stories, the common factors, and what we need to do. We are constantly going ‘aha’ every time we hear those stories, because until we apply those factors, i.e., believing in ourselves, really listening, actually find out what we are passionate about, and stop being afraid for a moment to actually go do it; only then will we be on the other side of the fence, advising, that it really works. I love hearing these things, they never get old, and I know I need to be reminded of certain things to ensure I am still doing them. This can be summed up nicely by what H.E. Najla Al Awadhi had said, “there are no excuses to say you can not”.