It is exciting to see women taking the lead in many different forms in their professional and personal lives. The recent Women in Leadership Workshops in Bunbury Western Australia were testament to the many diverse roles women play in regional and rural communities, and the relevance of relational and life-affirming leadership styles.
With a cross section of women from state and local government departments, community organisations, utilities providers and independent business owners the workshops sparked some lively and vulnerable story-sharing. Among all these stories we do find common paths as women. As leaders, current and emerging, we also realise that leadership skills are as relevant at work as they are in the community, at home and in many of our other daily relationships.
By far the biggest takeaway of these workshops is the fact that as we lead we empower other women to step up also.
As we increase awareness of, and embrace, our own styles, strengths and areas for growth we increase our individual appreciation of self and our capacity to self-manage in meaningful and positive ways.
Increased self-awareness enhances our empathy, social awareness and positive management of social relationships in all areas of our lives and the communities we live in.
Perhaps we could sum this up as leadership action through active self-awareness. Subtle, supportive and strong changes in our own behaviour ripples out to influence the many others with whom we interact.
A willingness to embrace uncertainties and possibilities supports us to move from states of anxiety and resignation in to more active states of curiosity and motivation. This is powerful and empowering for ourselves, and those around us, as we perform roles as changemakers, reformers, occasional rebels and everyday citizens.
We are very grateful to the women who made the time to show up, be present and share their stories at these regional workshops. All of them had a unique voice and perspective, and contributed to the success of the workshops just by being there, being themselves and being willing to participate.
Whether we are leading from the front, or leading from behind the key to life-affirming relational leadership is self-awareness and a willingness to be who you truly are not what someone or something else wants you to be.
Be great at being you!
We look forward to following up and doing more in 2018. Until then best wishes to all.
The Bunbury workshops were hosted by South West Catchment Council (SWCC)
If you are interested in hosting leadership workshops in your own community or organisation please get in touch with Dawn Atkin or Louise Duxbury on (08) 9848 3310 or by email [email protected]