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By Heather Backstrom

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Dr. Heather Backstrom's COLLABORATIVE CONFIDENCE is a practical and informative handbook that women---and their employers--can turn to when in need of guidance or inspiration.
IR Approved

Leadership coach Dr. Heather Backstrom shares the benefits of her experience as a woman in the business world in COLLECTIVE CONFIDENCE.

With a background in human resources, Dr. Heather Backstrom has first-hand knowledge of what it takes for a woman to perform at her best in the competitive business world. Her book, COLLABORATIVE CONFIDENCE, is founded on three pillars–Activate, Amplify, Accelerate–that both form the backbone of the contents and make it straightforward to navigate. Having found herself somewhat dissatisfied in a previous career, Backstrom discovered for herself what it meant to activate her self-awareness, which is a prerequisite for the Amplify pillar. It transpires self-awareness is not nearly as common as we might think. Luckily, the author has plenty of practical strategies for assisting her readers in developing it, supported by credible data, anecdotal examples and case studies.

Likewise, when advancing to the Amplify stage, Backstrom offers examples aplenty of the ways in which women can become more visible and communicate more effectively in the workplace. The third and final pillar is Accelerate. a stage that highlights some of the systemic issues that need to be addressed if employers are to get the best out of their female employees’ strengths–and benefit the business world writ large. This very much plays into the “collective” aspect of the book’s theme, highlighting the importance of being a “voicer” for other women and subverting the stereotypes of women competing against one another in business. Again, Backstrom draws upon inspiring and illustrative examples, such as activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai and former US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, to drive home her point. Cultivating the unique strengths of women, Backstrom suggests, has measurable benefits–which she cites–can boost productivity and performance overall.

While there are a glut of business books available on a similar theme, COLLABORATIVE CONFIDENCE is a very respectable example of the genre. Not only is it clearly structured (almost signposting a path to success) but it offers practical advice along the way–an aspect that is often missing in such books. Moreover, it provides real examples from the author’s own experience and that of her sources. A range of metrics render Backstrom’s insights valid and authoritative. Although aimed at women who are already successful, the book can also be of use to anyone wanting to develop within their chosen field, not to mention being a worthwhile read for male leaders too.

Dr. Heather Backstrom’s COLLABORATIVE CONFIDENCE is a practical and informative handbook that women—and their employers–can turn to when in need of guidance or inspiration.

~Amanda Ellison for IndieReader

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