If you look at the statistics of the top 500 companies in the world, you will see that women still don’t have an equal share in leadership. Despite their unique qualities and skills, they still don’t make it to the top, and often reach the glass ceiling too soon.
In recent years, you might have come across some TV programs and series with a strong female lead and a woman who defied the odds and made it to the top, such as The Good Wife, The Good Fight, and House of Cards. However, in real life, we don’t see these women reach their full potential. Below you will find ten reasons why females have a well deserved place in leadership and management.
Women are more likely to compromise, so they are generally more effective when it comes to negotiation. They will listen to every view and try to find a solution that helps everyone win. Despite the misconception, not all women are trying to avoid conflicts; some of them will tackle the issues heads on. Negotiation is a skill that comes naturally for many women, and is very valuable when managing teams, people, or conflict. Women are also able to view other people’s points and put themselves in their shoes.
2. Making Informed Decisions
Women today are not used to having their decisions made for them. They will decide when to have children, which profession to choose, and how to achieve work-life balance. They can and should be able to decide when an abortion procedure is the best choice, and when they should start to settle down and have a family. They will research different options and look at various opportunities to make sure that they are not making a mistake that will affect their future and the company’s.
3. Connecting with People
Many women naturally know how to talk to different people. They will certainly make an effort to connect with people inside and outside of the organization. If you would like to make sure that you are maintaining positive relationships you might just need women’s help. They will understand people’s personal mission and values and align them with the organization’s goals. This is one of the reasons why many women work in HR and recruitment today.
Empathy is an undervalued skill that can be good in marketing, creating brand messages, and improving communication. If you understand what the audience is expecting of you, it is more likely that you will speak their language. Empathy will also help leaders understand what the main priorities of customers and employees are, and design buying triggers or motivation programs.
5. Listening Skills
If there is one thing that women do better than most men it is listening. They will investigate and ask questions, so they can understand others better. This can be useful during sales meetings, or when there is a need for understanding individual partners’ concerns and the reason behind them. Listening is a skill that is not valued enough in the world of leadership, but it can help deepen employee and partner relationships.
6. Nurturing Relationships
It is also important to note that many women are social people, and they like connecting and reconnecting with people. They will feel more comfortable asking the direct questions from clients and making sure that they are happy. They are more likely to monitor feedback and design surveys, so they can improve the offers of the company. They understand the value of personal touch and connections. Women like picking up the phone and checking in, and they are also more likely to send out birthday cards to their clients.
Many women like managing teams and the company can benefit from improving collaboration and creating a knowledge sharing culture. Women will quickly notice everyone’s strength and help employees make the most out of their knowledge and experience, as well as their capabilities. They can empower other women to help them achieve their full potential, and work with people, instead of working for them. They will be the leaders who sit down with individual employees and ask about their career plans and training needs.
Women are also known for their multitasking abilities. They are able to focus on various projects at once, managing deadlines, and making sure that they prioritize their tasks. Multitasking is a skill that can save managers and leaders a lot of energy and time, making them more effective in managing projects or people. Multitasking can be useful when taking notes during a client meeting or being engaged in self development, while driving to work. They will be focused on one task at a time when they can afford to, but more than one if they really have to.
9. Crisis and Conflict Handling
Women manage conflict every day, as they don’t like arguments in the family. They have a natural instinct to make everyone get on the same page and ensure that people find a common ground. As one of the main reasons for low employee retention rates is workplace conflict and misunderstanding, this is a very useful skill to have as a leader. Women will work until they understand what people are unhappy about and sit down with the parties to find a solution and brainstorm ideas so everyone’s voice is heard,
10. Inspirational Leadership
One of the latest theories of leadership lists inspiration as a quality of great managers. Transfromational leadership is based on creating a shared vision and motivating and inspiring others. The four I-s of transformational leadership are intellectual stimulation, individualized consideration, inspirational motivation, and idealized influence. If you look at some o the great female leaders, you will find many of these qualities as their main strengths and traits.
While women are underrepresented in the world of leadership and management, they are coming out of their shells. They bring something unique and valuable to the table, and have advanced conflict handling, emotional intelligence, and people skills that can be important for every organization.
Susan McCord @ The Dear Sybersue Advice Talk Show