An email pops up at the end of an exhausting day. Your face grows hot and your heart pounds. You start to dash off a heated reply. Then that little voice inside warns you—not a great idea.
Especially for women.
According to the Gender Action Portal, women are perceived as less competent if they respond with anger. Research shows that even if a man says (or writes) the same words in the same way, they are perceived as “passionate” or “a leader,” while women are considered emotionally out of control.
Yet we all know it isn’t healthy to stuff emotions. How can we stay positive while still speaking our truth?
Daily exercise, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep. Self-care tools are helping women deal with career pressures—and to lead from a more compassionate and creative place. After all, when you’re feeling your best, it’s natural to come up with solutions that help everyone on the team rather than return fire with fire.
“Over the years, I’ve become less an aggressive, hard-edged businesswoman and more a balanced, thoughtful leader,” says Carole Couture, who has held senior management positions as CEO of leading brands like Sur la Table and Brooks Brothers.
Her secret? Practising the Transcendental Meditation technique daily to keep her cool, grow resilient to stress and think clearer.
An interesting side note: while keeping a cool head can help a girl in the workplace, a cool body may be another thing altogether. Have you ever been in a gender-related battle over the thermostat with women wanting it warmer and men wanting it colder? Recent research shows that men outperform women at lower temps, while at high temperatures the gender difference disappears.
So the next time you’re feeling foggy at work, try raising the thermostat and see if your brain functions better!