A leader's loud, energetic communication style may be deemed charismatic by one group of workers, while another group might find that leader's approach to be over-the-top. For women business leaders, charisma is even more difficult to define and assess, and it can often be mislabeled based on stereotypes. Women who show charisma by being gregarious and expressive might be categorized as "chatty" or "emotional," while a calmer and more nurturing woman leader might be criticized for being too "motherly." Leadership charisma is a complicated concept with no single set of guidelines. But, the majority of workers would agree that a charismatic leader, regardless of gender, commands the room.
At the core of strong leadership is the ability to communicate effectively. And while much focus is placed on verbal communication skills, it is often the nonverbal messages - sent through facial expressions, body movements, and gestures - that have a greater impact.
Understanding how to read and use body language to communicate can help women business leaders, in particular, establish their positions of authority and prevent feeling constrained by gender stereotypes. Certain nonverbal cues can come more naturally than others, but like verbal communication, nonverbal messages can be controlled by the individual.
Active listening is a way of listening and responding to another person that improves mutual understanding. Active listening can be employed in varied organizational settings, in discussions between managers and employees, in interviews of all types, and in mediation and conflict resolution. Check out these ten tips on how you can improve your active listening skills.