I recently interviewed author Julia Mateer.
Julia just released her book, Lifegiving Leadership: A Woman’s Toolbox for Leading. She is also the co-founder of Generation Eve, an online community for women focusing on leadership, relationships, and parenting. She is also a wife, mother, and licensed mental health therapist.
During our interview, Julia shared about her background as a mental health therapist in a private practice for 10 years. Her main focus was working with at-risk adolescent girls. Over the years, she transitioned into becoming a full-time pastor. For the past four years, she has directed small groups at a large church in her area. She focuses on writing and maintaining her relationship with her husband of 33 years. She has three adult children and one grandchild.
Julia was inspired to write her book, Lifegiving Leadership, after finishing up her career as a therapist working with women facing clinical and spiritual issues. Largely influenced by her Christian faith, Julia observed her patients with a unique perspective. “One of the things that I noticed caused women the most heartbreak was relationships, particularly relationships with other women,” Julia said. She considers this a point that many Christian women struggle with and noticed many have trouble finding the support and encouragement they need.
The purpose of her book is to help these women the tools to develop healthy, lifegiving environments within the church setting so fellow women can find healthy relationships and opportunities to minister and impact people’s lives with the love of Jesus.
Tools to Help Women Lead
“For us to be able to lead others, we have to be able to lead ourselves,” Julia said. In her book, she covers several ways to accomplish this:
- Develop your observational skills
- Develop your ability to find quiet and stillness in a busy world
- Be willing to seek help for any “heart blockages” we have that might inhibit our ability to lead from a healthy place.
- Learn how to develop a healthy team and how to affirm and bless your team
- Learn how to foster good relationships with members of your team
- Learn how to be a champion for the women you’re mentoring and developing
Leadership Goals and the Challenges They Bring
Julia says the main challenge facing women leaders is balancing family life with leadership goals. As she began developing as a leader, she said one of her biggest struggles was “being able to keep the integrity of my family while I was going to graduate school, while I was taking on more responsibility in ministry, and staying before the Lord to protect my heart and making sure I was following His leading, too.”
Another challenge facing women leaders is keeping themselves healthy physically, emotionally, and spiritually in high-stress roles.
Faith and Career Goals
Most of Julia’s goals are directly influenced by her relationship with Jesus Christ. She became a Christian at age 19. “My goal since then is to filter everything I do through Him,” she said. This impacts every area of her life, including her roles as a wife, mother, therapist, writer, pastor, and leader. It influences how she leads and how she respects others. It drives her to help others to grow and take their next steps. She wants to lead through the lifegiving love of Jesus, which inspires her to show integrity and honor as she fulfills her various responsibilities.
Julia launched Generation Eve, or GenEve, a little over a year ago. The idea stemmed from a desire for an online community that could foster authentic conversations with women about important issues facing them every day: what it’s like to be a woman leader and the challenges that brings, issues in relationships, parenting issues, and various faith topics. The community includes people from all walks of life and many different ethnic backgrounds, each bringing her own perspective to the group. She wants the conversations to be inclusive and encouraging. To learn more about GenEve, visit www.generationeve.com. Julia is in the process of developing several new books about parenting and women’s issues. She also wants to begin hosting live events for her GenEve group.
You can connect with Julia by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To review Julia’s complete list of leadership tools, her book, Lifegiving Leadership: A Woman’s Toolbox for Leading, is available through online book retailers.
You can listen to the full interview on the Leadership Strategies for Women Podcast.
Ellie Nieves interviews Renee Weisman, Author of Why Hillary Lost: What Women Can Learn from the 2016 Election. During the interview, Renee shares that likability and competence are directly affected by gender, much more than experience or evidence of talent.
I recently interviewed Renee Weisman: author, consultant, and former engineer.
Renee Weisman was a distinguished engineer and Director of Engineering at the IBM corporation prior to retiring in 2008. Having spent nearly 40 years in the heavily male dominated semi-conductor engineering industry, often as the only woman, Renee learned firsthand how women can hold themselves back. Renee is the owner of Winning at Work Consulting and the author of the recently-released book, Why Hillary Lost: What Women Can Learn from the 2016 Election. The book focuses on the behaviors women must understand and the biases they must overcome to succeed. She uses the 2016 election to show how the female disadvantage impacted Hillary’s campaign and gives competent women advice on how they can address similar situations. She published her first book, Winning in a Man’s World, in 2008. Renee has two daughters, five grandchildren, and a very supportive husband.
During our interview, Renee shared her experience working in a male-dominated industry. She also explained how this experience gave her a unique insight while witnessing the 2016 presidential election. “I saw Hillary making many of the same mistakes that I’ve spent so much time advising women to avoid,” Renee said. She decided to write a book for women to address the unique challenges Hillary faced as a woman and the lessons all women can learn from her campaign.
Likability vs. Competence Trap
There are two things that occur when women compete for something that’s perceived as a “power-seeking position”:
- We tolerate untrustworthiness and unlikability in a man much more than in a woman
- Competency isn’t necessarily a virtue for a woman. “For a woman, the more successful you become, the less liked or trusted you will be, especially if you’re seeking power,” Renee said.
Renee described several fascinating studies regarding biases related to gender. All these studies show that likability and competence is directly affected by gender, much more than experience or evidence of talent. “We can’t hide behind a curtain at work, and the reality is that the biases are still there, and unfortunately, women have to deal with them,” Renee said.
But Renee remains optimistic. Though the biases are there, they can be managed if they are addressed. “If you ignore them,” Renee said, “they will come back to bite you. They will impact your long-term success in your career.”
So, what can a modern professional woman learn from the 2016 election? Renee provides several pieces of advice:
- If you want to get ahead as a woman, studies and statistics show that it’s more important to be likable than to be competent. “If you’re not trusted and not liked, most people will not care if you’re competent or not,” Renee said.
- Let people know you and be relatable.
- Be more inspiring.
- Avoid being perceived as the “B-words”: bitchy, bossy, bully.
- Find a balance between these perceptions and practice awareness in your behavior.
- Use the correct data. Get your facts straight before you try to convince someone else.
- Get together the right team to work with you and support you. Have a diverse team with many different points of view.
- Understand your audience when you’re speaking.
- Learn how to apologize.
- Address your appearance. “Even today, people judge a woman by how she looks, and then they start listening,” Renee said. “Appearance is critically important, not because you have to look so good, but to make sure appearance is a non-issue. You don’t want to look so different that people are paying attention to what you look like. You want them to pay attention to what you’re saying and doing.”
Renee’s advice would be useful to any woman looking to get ahead in a male-dominated field. Her book, Why Hillary Lost: What Women Can Learn from the 2016 Election, is now available on Amazon Kindle. She has plans to write a new book addressing harassment in the workplace.
You can listen to the full interview on the Leadership Strategies for Women Podcast.
Ellie Nieves interviews Julia Dale. Julia is a wife, mother, and an attorney. She is also an avid writer who seeks to encourage moms through her blog entitled: Motherhood Matters. During the interview, Julia shares how shebalances faith, career, and family.