Are you sometimes wondering why people don’t listen to you? In fact, sometimes it may seem they just cannot hear you? And if they do, they don’t take you seriously and rather go with the idea your colleague came up with?
Unfortunately this is a very common issue, particularly for girls and women in a men’s world. People (and this includes also our fellow women) are still not accustomed to seeing smart and intelligent females in leadership positions. But this is not only their fault – it’s yours, too!
In fact, it’s only natural for humans to follow a strong, fearless and decisive leader. This behaviour is part of our basic instincts and can be traced back to the primates. Primates living in big groups select a leader, the so-called Alpha, to lead the group to sources of food, to resolve struggles and fights within the group and to protect it from external danger.
The Alpha earns this role by continuously demonstrating his ability to fulfil these responsibilities. If he fails to do so, he will be challenged by the next one in line, the Beta, and potentially be replaced. And while we sophisticated humans don’t appreciate being compared with primates, yet our instincts are exactly the same: we follow the Alphas!
Now, what makes an Alpha in human society? There are 6 different influencers, according to business coach Stefan Merath (1):
1) Competence: As in – know your stuff! Be knowledgeable on topics you are talking about and don’t let yourself be told otherwise.
2) Physics: Yes, your appearance does count and yes, size does matter! It’s unfair but it’s true: Tall men have a natural aura of authority. Pretty people have it easier in life. Sportive people are admired. On the other hand – lack of attention to your fitness and dress suggests that you don’t have full control over your body and your life. If you feel weak in your body, you will easily feel intimidated by stronger people around you. So, take responsibility and make the best version out of yourself, and then be proud!
3) Environment: The people around you have an influence on who you are and who you become. If you want to win the next Olympic gold medal in hockey, it’s not helpful to surround yourself with friends who sit on the couch and order pizza every day! You want to be with peers and people to look up to and teachers to learn from. And you want to have a support system, like family and friends to make you feel safe. By the way: Social status radiates. Being close to an Alpha will lift your own status as well. Think about it, it’s true!
4) Emotions: Mindfulness and being aware of your emotions improves your status. People around you will recognize and appreciate that you are in control and 100% attentive. Accept all your emotions and don’t be afraid to show them. Nothing is more authentic and powerful than an outcry of joy or a proper burst of anger. A lion must roar!
5) Focus and clarity: Focus on the NOW rather than on something in the past or future. Focus on your goal, not on some details. Focus on solutions, not problems. Alphas are individuals who think big picture and have the necessary optimism to reach their goals.
6) Belief systems: Be aware of harmful belief systems about yourself or about the world (“I’m not good at math”), because they will become true for you and hinder you to move forward. Instead, create positive affirmations that motivate you and help you reach your goals.
What’s stopping you now? Make yourself a check list of things you want to change in your life to awaken your inner Alpha. Start now, because we need a lot more female Alphas in this world!