Do women make good leaders?
Today’s focus is on not about who is a better leader. We need both male and female characteristics to lead well. Here’s why women can be top-notch leaders and managers that engage and motivate their staff.
In today’s new world of business and sustainability, leadership qualities that are most admired and apropos to global business and global solutions are those of shared leadership, nurturing, and helping others. These are the qualities that can and will make a difference and impact in the world. These are also strong qualities that female leaders possess.
Women are naturally good communicators and let’s face it, business, whether it’s on the internet or in person is really all about communication. Leading, instead of commanding, is a sought-after trait that allows employees and members to feel that they can contribute ideas and talent that’s valued. With strong interpersonal skills, female leaders can accurately read situations and people.
Female leaders excel at making people feel like they are a part of a team and encourage active teamwork and collaboration. Their leadership style is often more persuasive than male leaders. They are concerned with creating solid relationships with team members regardless of their rank in an organization, and thus foster an atmosphere of connection, cooperation and alliance. They genuinely understand the plight of others. These qualities together create a leadership style that is inclusive, open, collaborative, and built consensually. Powerful leadership is the ability to bring people together into a cohesive group or whole that may be vastly different from one another, yet can bond together to foster a collective vision.
How often do leaders place the blame of failure or mistake outside of themselves and on others or circumstances, rather than owning up to their role and responsibility for a specific problem? Many women possess a positive trait of acknowledging their errors, erring on the side of being human. This admission of mistakes increases loyalty and trust from the members.
You’ve heard how well women can multitask in relation to men because of their neurological makeup. In addition, women can see multiple options when having to make important decisions or when problem solving. This is because they think contextually. Men are more linear, analytic thinkers. Contextual thinking is a more sustainable approach. Focus is shifted from just the parts to a more systems oriented or holistic approach. This encourages thinking in terms of relationships, connectedness, and context. They integrate data into complex patterns and are able to entertain a variety of possibilities and solutions. Helen E. Fisher calls this “web thinking.” They are willing to take risks and are more flexible in thought and action.
Another strong trait of woman leaders is their capacity to empathize with their team members, giving them the ability to attune more accurately and effectively with their staff and with what their employees are feeling and experiencing. This quality is effective in identifying conflicts and in conflict resolution. People tend to support leaders who ‘get them’ and understand their needs, challenges and circumstances. Empathy does that and more.
With these strong leadership qualities, women can lead others and the world into a new dawning of cooperation, understanding and a shared vision.
Read more posts by Jo Anne White, Ph.D., international speaker. Dr. White is a blogger for JenningsWire.