Women have come a long way and obtained higher positions of authority, however, there are some lessons men can learn from women.
Throughout the 90s, women had been a part of the workplace for like two decades. But despite their inclusion making belated strides towards equality, women have historically been the ones making concessions. Women have come a long way and obtained higher positions of authority, however, there are some lessons men can learn from women. As we step into a brand new age, millions are waking up to an important realization: this is simply not the case.
We’ve witnessed modest, yet promising, improvements made towards female representation and gender equality in the workplace. While women are slowly breaking through, individuals are still inhibited by regressive thought patterns and gender traditionalism.
To accelerate the process, it’s time for lessons men can learn from women leaders both past and present. Here are 8 leadership lessons worth remembering from women leading the charge :
1. Collaborate, don’t control:
During these uncertain times, it can be easy for your team to lose motivation. If your team members are facing burnout caused by working from home. A lot of people are under more stress now than they have been in a very long time, if ever. They are worried about their safety, their family’s safety, and the added challenge of adjusting to working from home.
When people don’t feel heard, they often lose motivation and passion for work. Scheduling one-on-one meetings with your team can get a dialogue going about what needs to be done to reach their performance goals. Being a supportive, collaborative leader will take your team and company further during these uncertain times.
2. Lead by example:
Subconsciously, team members often emulate the characteristics of their superiors. Always exhibit characteristics and perform actions that you would like to see your team do. While you are monitoring and supervising your team, they are also watching you.
Try to be respectful, enthusiastic, hardworking, considerate, and dedicated. You also need to have a good work ethic while maintaining a positive attitude. These are all contagious behaviors that are bound to be emulated by your team. Setting rules and going contrary to them not only encourages your team to break them but also undermines your position. Saying one thing and then doing another is bound to undermine the authority of a leader.
3. Focus on empowering others:
Rather than taking the work of their teams and presenting it as their own, the best leaders ensure that their team receives the rightful recognition and visibility within the business surrounding their contributions.
This does seem to be a trait that has witnessed more in women leaders than men and is certainly something embraced today with how they manage their team. While of course ambitious and want to do well in career. Ultimately, these lessons men can learn by women and empower their team and give them a platform to stand upon, motivate and inspire them, driving them towards greater success. So it’s a win-win.
4. Maintain strong relationships:
Establishing and maintaining strong relationships with individuals at every level is pivotal to success in leadership. Lessons men can learn from women are often focused on relationships with people who can present an obvious advantage to them and forget that to be in leadership we must be connected with team members at every level.
To be in leadership is to serve others. And to serve well, leaders must be intimately aware of the challenges and opportunities that exist at every level of an organization. Intimacy is established through authentic relationships.
5. Pivot into new spaces :
To prepare yourself to pivot into new spaces, practice listening to others, making your observations, and then thinking creatively. In improv comedy, we call this “A to C’ing”…taking the original idea – in this case, the current product/space/business model – thinking of something that relates to what you’re currently doing, and then thinking of something that relates to that idea.
This gets us out of our typical line of thinking and has us thinking outside of the box. For example, if your current business is selling insurance to small businesses, then B might be selling cars to small businesses or selling insurance to farmers, and C might be car dealerships on farms.
6. Place value on effective communication:
When coaching leaders on effective communication, consistently saw that men and women view communication slightly differently. For most lessons men can learn from women, communication was equal to ‘information’. Which is, of course, part of it. But many missed the second part: ‘interaction’; what you want people to do with the information you share. Understanding the two together is important if you want not just to communicate, but connect with people and inspire them to act.
Women, on the other hand, are more willing to share what they knew, even when there were gaps in their understanding. This openness and willingness to be vulnerable was a powerful way to draw people to them, build credibility, and create a safe space for open communications.
7. Cultivate high emotional intelligence:
In making sharp decisions, there’s something to be said about emotional intelligence (EQ). The ability to manage your emotions in a way that defuses conflict and solves problems is invaluable in our divisive, modern society. Women are famous for having more empathy than men. And today, the world needs more empathy and nurturing than ever before. It’s great to ensure that your colleagues feel heard and understood, but emotional intelligence goes beyond this point.
Some men can mistake empathy with being easy on someone or ‘giving them a pass, but it’s far more about communicating that you see and understand the person you’re working with.
8. Be a dreamer:
Ever since we were kids, we were told to dream big. To ‘shoot for the moon – if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.’ But as we grew up, something happened. We learned to put ourselves into tiny boxes and expectations that other people had for us. And before long, we stopped daydreaming.
Being a dreamer doesn’t mean you’re blankly looking up into the clouds, or sitting around and waiting for things to happen. There is so much action that comes with it, but the difference is that this action is strongly based on a plan. Daydreaming is one of the most productive activities you can do out there because it’s what you want, and that’s worth its weight in gold.