We’ve talked and worked with hundreds of corporate women in various types of organizations, functions and positions in order to identify why the best and most successful get that way. It seems clear that the reason that they are successful is because they never seem to lose the desire to keep learning. Not the classroom kind but the learning that comes from trying new things, interacting with their peers, subordinates and other stakeholders.

They are inquisitive and value these interactions as a way to become more successful and achieve their objectives. It’s one of the most important keys to successful career growth for corporate women in the long haul.

Strong and consistent communications and questioning is one particularly of the best ways to learn. Fortunately successful corporate women seem to be better communicators. In reality too often our conversations are superficial and ignore the toughest and most important issues. People may be uncomfortable having these discussions around people and performance issues.

How often have you left a meeting or a discussion with someone and weren’t quite sure what was discussed, what was the agenda or what you are supposed to do now. Some corporate women we know call it “mutual mystification.”

However it’s critical for corporate women to give and receive direct communications; straight talk to help them become more successful. Success depends on communicating honestly and effectively and getting feedback in order to make the right decisions. You can’t lead in a vacuum and the worst management decisions have been made by lack of objective input from others.

Corporate women are also great multi taskers who are more likely to have had many direct conversations with their children, their children’s teachers and many others who impact the care-taking decisions that most of them have responsibility for in their households. This lifetime of balance multiple projects, priorities and interests beside their own, helps them to focus on the most important issues and to cut through the fluff.

They seem to be less caught up in the official chain of command and have more of an open door policy. They’re more receptive to those who reach out to them. One of the traps that corporate women must avoid is the conflict between the official truth at the top versus the ground truth at lower levels.

In our conversations with people at all levels inside organization, it’s sometimes hard to believe that those at the top and first line workers work at the same place. CEOs can talk about how great a company they have while the workers grip about how unresponsive the leadership is to their problems.

Corporate women can’t manage by staying in their offices and expect to get the critical information they need for personal and organizational success. They should hang out in the trenches with people at the lowest levels to get the real scoop about important concerns, issues and opportunities. Ask those who are willing to speak with you what’s going on, what are they upset about?

Women are also more successful at nurturing and building relationships which should help get others to open up. The most successful corporate women also surround themselves with the best and the brightest. As great employees make her team successful, she becomes successful. The best leaders encourage active growth by their subordinates. They are not easily intimidated by aggressive subordinates. However the failure to have straight talk with all subordinates can have serious implications when it comes to promotions or advancement decisions. Employees can develop an unrealistic view of their performance and capabilities unless there is ongoing conversation and feedback.

People should never be surprised by your personnel decisions if you’ve been straight with them and communicating your feedback on a regular basis. This lack of prior communications can make any performance meeting very unsettling and antagonistic. There’s a reason why some corporate women achieve the results that others only dream about. To reach your goals just keep focused on learning and improve the way you communicate with everyone.

Click here corporate women to view additional additional tools and resources to help you communicate to achieve superior results. Wayne Tarken is a coach, advisor and problem solver to women business leaders and employees. He helps them increase their performance and get the results that they want. He has spent many hours working with successful business women and has developed some ideas, straregies and tools to help them be as successful as want to be. Why not learn from the experiences, challenges, opportunities and successes of other women? www.CEOWomensClub.com
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