The curse of the competent woman

We all know a capable woman, she’s the one that you give the work to cos she’ll get it done.
She has a tough exterior hardened from years of having to laugh off comments to make the tea or take the notes.
Her team loves her, she’s firm but you know she always has your back and she won’t ask you to do anything she wouldn’t do herself. In fact, she often feels she has to do it all herself.
She’s smart, quick on her feet, can spot an issue a mile away and have it resolved before bedtime.
She’s working all of the hours of the day, often juggling family and what little social life she has.
Everyone tells her she is amazing but she doesn’t believe them. She’s battling that feeling of not being good enough, of not deserving her position. Then in her next thought she’s wondering how on earth that bozo got a promotion when she didn’t, and she’s out performing them!
More and more gets heaped on the capable woman, she never says no and her work is just so damn good!
If you are this women you need to recognise that you don’t need to do it all, in fact your team are probably so loyal to you that you could push them a bit harder and it will be OK. In fact they are probably sitting there wondering what is wrong with them because you aren’t.
If you know one of these amazing beauties remember that arbitrarily taking things off her plate makes her feel like a failure. You need to sit her down and have a conversation about how this is not sustainable and together to find new ways that are. Like getting her to lean on her team more and giving her permission to say no.
And while you’re at it, get that woman a coach the ROI will more than eclipse the expense.
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My thinking for this piece was inspired by the competent women I have and am coaching.
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