Research shows that, compared to men, positive feedback for women often conforms to gender stereotypes and is more generic. Without the same constructive encouragement, women may not only fail to see their contributions as equal in value, but also miss out on the opportunity to learn. How can we redress the praise deficit?

Professor Laura Morgan Roberts, in collaboration with other leadership experts, developed the celebrated “Reflected Best Self Exercise” to help women leaders study their successes and see who they are at their best through the eyes of people they trust.

It’s illuminating for women to see themselves through the lens of other people and to be able to pinpoint where they are creating value. In strategic terms, it really sheds light on where the opportunities are to show up and bring your best self, and also when you can actually step back and preserve time and energy.

- Laura Morgan Roberts, Associate Professor of Business Administration

Roberts encourages the use of other simple tools, such as logging praise and journaling, as well as following up on positive feedback to keep women focused on where they contribute the most and what they can work on to continue growing those strengths.

Read the full article on Ideas to Action.

This article is excerpted from Executive Education & Lifelong Learning’s Women in Leadership: Faculty Insights whitepaper. Download the full whitepaper to read additional perspectives on negotiation, decision-making, building influence, and more from Darden’s world-renowned faculty experts.

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